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- Thread starter dwsmith
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- Feb 5, 2012

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Hi dwsmith,I have

$$

u(r,\theta) = r\cos(\theta)\left[1 - \left(\frac{1}{r}\right)^2\right]

$$

and the gradient is

$$

1 + \frac{2 x^2}{(x^2 + y^2)^2} - \frac{1}{x^2 + y^2}, \frac{2 x y}{(x^2 + y^2)^2}

$$

How was this obtained?

The gradient of a scalar field \(f\) in spherical coordinates is given by,

\[\nabla f(r, \theta, \phi) = \frac{\partial f}{\partial r}\mathbf{e}_r+\frac{1}{r}\frac{\partial f}{\partial \theta}\mathbf{e}_\theta+\frac{1}{r \sin\theta}\frac{\partial f}{\partial \phi}\mathbf{e}_\phi=\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial r},\,\frac{1}{r}\frac{\partial f}{\partial \theta},\,\frac{1}{r \sin\theta}\frac{\partial f}{\partial \phi}\right)\]

Therefore,

\[\nabla u(r, \theta)=\left(\frac{\partial u}{\partial r},\,\frac{1}{r}\frac{\partial u}{\partial \theta},\,0\right)\]

Calculate the partial derivatives and convert them into Cartesian coordinates. Hope you can continue.

Kind Regards,

Sudharaka.

- Jan 26, 2012

- 183

$u = x \left( 1 - \dfrac{1}{x^2+y^2}\right)$,

then calculate the gradient the usual way.