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Three-dimensional space (also: 3D space, 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called
parameter A parameter (), generally, is any characteristic that can help in defining or classifying a particular system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified wh ...

parameter
s) are required to determine the position of an element (i.e.,
point Point or points may refer to: Places * Point, LewisImage:Point Western Isles NASA World Wind.png, Satellite image of Point Point ( gd, An Rubha), also known as the Eye Peninsula, is a peninsula some 11 km long in the Outer Hebrides (or Western I ...
). This is the informal meaning of the term
dimension In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...

dimension
. In
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, a
tuple In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
of
numbers A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduc ...
can be understood as the
Cartesian coordinates A Cartesian coordinate system (, ) in a plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane or aeroplane or informally plane, a powered, fixed-wing aircraft Arts, entertainment and media *Plane (Dungeons & Dragons), Plane (''Dungeons & Dragons'') ...

Cartesian coordinates
of a location in a -dimensional Euclidean space. The set of these -tuples is commonly denoted \R^n, and can be identified to the -dimensional Euclidean space. When , this space is called ''three-dimensional
Euclidean space Euclidean space is the fundamental space of classical geometry. Originally, it was the three-dimensional space of Euclidean geometry, but in modern mathematics there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer dimension (mathematics), dimens ...
'' (or simply Euclidean space when the context is clear), and serves as a model of the physical universe (when relativity theory is not considered), in which all known matter exists. While this space remains the most compelling and useful way to model the world as it is experienced, it is only one example of a large variety of spaces in three dimensions called
3-manifold . All of the cubes in the image are the same cube, since light in the manifold wraps around into closed loops, the effect is that the cube is tiling all of space. This space has finite volume and no boundary. In mathematics Mathematics (from ...
s. In this classical example, when the three values refer to measurements in different directions (
coordinates In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space t ...

coordinates
), any three directions can be chosen, provided that
vectors Vector may refer to: Biology *Vector (epidemiology), an agent that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism; a disease vector *Vector (molecular biology), a DNA molecule used as a vehicle to artificially carr ...
in these directions do not all lie in the same 2-space (
plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early flying machines include all forms of aircraft studied ...
). Furthermore, in this case, these three values can be labeled by any combination of three chosen from the terms ''
width Length is a measure of distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be us ...

width
/breadth'', ''
height 200px, A cuboid demonstrating the dimensions length, width">length.html" ;"title="cuboid demonstrating the dimensions length">cuboid demonstrating the dimensions length, width, and height. Height is measure of vertical distance, either vertical ...

height
/depth'', and ''
length Length is a measure of distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be us ...

length
''.


In Euclidean geometry


Coordinate systems

In mathematics,
analytic geometry In classical mathematics, analytic geometry, also known as coordinate geometry or Cartesian geometry, is the study of geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measur ...
(also called Cartesian geometry) describes every point in three-dimensional space by means of three coordinates. Three
coordinate axes A Cartesian coordinate system (, ) in a plane is a coordinate system In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the o ...
are given, each perpendicular to the other two at the
origin Origin(s) or The Origin may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics and manga * Origin (comics), ''Origin'' (comics), a Wolverine comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics in 2002 * The Origin (Buffy comic), ''The Origin'' (Bu ...
, the point at which they cross. They are usually labeled , and . Relative to these axes, the position of any point in three-dimensional space is given by an ordered triple of
real number In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
s, each number giving the distance of that point from the
origin Origin(s) or The Origin may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics and manga * Origin (comics), ''Origin'' (comics), a Wolverine comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics in 2002 * The Origin (Buffy comic), ''The Origin'' (Bu ...
measured along the given axis, which is equal to the distance of that point from the plane determined by the other two axes. Other popular methods of describing the location of a point in three-dimensional space include
cylindrical coordinates 240px, A cylindrical coordinate system with origin , polar axis , and longitudinal axis . The dot is the point with radial distance , angular coordinate , and height . A cylindrical coordinate system is a three-dimensional coordinate system that s ...

cylindrical coordinates
and
spherical coordinates In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities ...

spherical coordinates
, though there are an infinite number of possible methods. For more, see
Euclidean space Euclidean space is the fundamental space of classical geometry. Originally, it was the three-dimensional space of Euclidean geometry, but in modern mathematics there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer dimension (mathematics), dimens ...
. Below are images of the above-mentioned systems. Image:Coord XYZ.svg,
Cartesian coordinate system A Cartesian coordinate system (, ) in a plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early fly ...
Image:Cylindrical Coordinates.svg,
Cylindrical coordinate system 240px, A cylindrical coordinate system with origin , polar axis , and longitudinal axis . The dot is the point with radial distance , angular coordinate , and height . A cylindrical coordinate system is a three-dimensional coordinate system In ...

Cylindrical coordinate system
Image:Spherical Coordinates (Colatitude, Longitude).svg,
Spherical coordinate system File:3D Spherical 2.svg, 240px, Spherical coordinates as often used in ''mathematics'': radial distance , azimuthal angle , and polar angle . The meanings of and have been swapped compared to the physics convention. As in physics, (rho) is oft ...

Spherical coordinate system


Lines and planes

Two distinct points always determine a (straight)
line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', a 2009 independent film by Nancy Schwartzman Lite ...

line
. Three distinct points are either
collinear In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space th ...
or determine a unique plane. On the other hand, four distinct points can either be collinear,
coplanarIn geometry, a set of points in space are coplanar if there exists a geometric Plane (mathematics), plane that contains them all. For example, three points are always coplanar, and if the points are distinct and non-collinear points, non-collinear, t ...

coplanar
, or determine the entire space. Two distinct lines can either intersect, be
parallel Parallel may refer to: Computing * Parallel algorithm In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their a ...
or be skew. Two parallel lines, or two intersecting lines, lie in a unique plane, so skew lines are lines that do not meet and do not lie in a common plane. Two distinct planes can either meet in a common line or are parallel (i.e., do not meet). Three distinct planes, no pair of which are parallel, can either meet in a common line, meet in a unique common point, or have no point in common. In the last case, the three lines of intersection of each pair of planes are mutually parallel. A line can lie in a given plane, intersect that plane in a unique point, or be parallel to the plane. In the last case, there will be lines in the plane that are parallel to the given line. A
hyperplane In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position ...
is a subspace of one dimension less than the dimension of the full space. The hyperplanes of a three-dimensional space are the two-dimensional subspaces, that is, the planes. In terms of Cartesian coordinates, the points of a hyperplane satisfy a single
linear equation In mathematics, a linear equation is an equation that may be put in the form :a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n+b=0, where x_1, \ldots, x_n are the variable (mathematics), variables (or unknown (mathematics), unknowns), and b, a_1, \ldots, a_n are the coeffi ...

linear equation
, so planes in this 3-space are described by linear equations. A line can be described by a pair of independent linear equations—each representing a plane having this line as a common intersection. Varignon's theorem states that the midpoints of any quadrilateral in ℝ3 form a
parallelogram In Euclidean geometry Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandrian Greek mathematics , Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry: the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements''. Euclid's method c ...

parallelogram
, and hence are coplanar.


Spheres and balls

A
sphere A sphere (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

sphere
in 3-space (also called a 2-sphere because it is a 2-dimensional object) consists of the set of all points in 3-space at a fixed distance from a central point . The solid enclosed by the sphere is called a ball (or, more precisely a 3-ball). The volume of the ball is given by :V = \frac\pi r^. Another type of sphere arises from a 4-ball, whose three-dimensional surface is the 3-sphere: points equidistant to the origin of the euclidean space . If a point has coordinates, , then characterizes those points on the unit 3-sphere centered at the origin.


Polytopes

In three dimensions, there are nine regular polytopes: the five convex
Platonic solid In three-dimensional space, a Platonic solid is a Regular polyhedron, regular, Convex set, convex polyhedron. It is constructed by Congruence (geometry), congruent (identical in shape and size), regular polygon, regular (all angles equal and all sid ...
s and the four nonconvex Kepler-Poinsot polyhedra.


Surfaces of revolution

A
surface File:Water droplet lying on a damask.jpg, Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to prevent floating below the textile. A surface, as the term is most generally used, is the outermost or uppermost layer of a physical obje ...
generated by revolving a plane
curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to be Linearity, straight. Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point (geo ...

curve
about a fixed line in its plane as an axis is called a
surface of revolution A surface of revolution is a surface File:Water droplet lying on a damask.jpg, Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to prevent floating below the textile. A surface, as the term is most generally used, is the outermos ...
. The plane curve is called the '' generatrix'' of the surface. A section of the surface, made by intersecting the surface with a plane that is perpendicular (orthogonal) to the axis, is a circle. Simple examples occur when the generatrix is a line. If the generatrix line intersects the axis line, the surface of revolution is a right circular
cone A cone is a three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek wikt:πα ...
with vertex (apex) the point of intersection. However, if the generatrix and axis are parallel, then the surface of revolution is a circular
cylinder A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilinear geometric shapes. Geometrically, it can be considered as a Prism (geometry), prism with a circle as its base. This traditi ...

cylinder
.


Quadric surfaces

In analogy with the
conic section In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s, the set of points whose Cartesian coordinates satisfy the general equation of the second degree, namely, :Ax^2 + By^2 + Cz^2 + Fxy + Gyz + Hxz + Jx + Ky + Lz + M = 0, where and are real numbers and not all of and are zero, is called a quadric surface. There are six types of non-degenerate quadric surfaces: #
Ellipsoid An ellipsoid is a surface that may be obtained from a sphere by deforming it by means of directional Scaling (geometry), scalings, or more generally, of an affine transformation. An ellipsoid is a quadric surface;  that is, a Surface (mathemat ...

Ellipsoid
#
Hyperboloid of one sheet In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space th ...
# Hyperboloid of two sheets # Elliptic cone #
Elliptic paraboloid
Elliptic paraboloid
#
Hyperbolic paraboloid Hyperbolic is an adjective describing something that resembles or pertains to a hyperbola (a curve), to hyperbole (an overstatement or exaggeration), or to hyperbolic geometry. The following phenomena are described as ''hyperbolic'' because they ...

Hyperbolic paraboloid
The degenerate quadric surfaces are the empty set, a single point, a single line, a single plane, a pair of planes or a quadratic cylinder (a surface consisting of a non-degenerate conic section in a plane and all the lines of through that conic that are normal to ). Elliptic cones are sometimes considered to be degenerate quadric surfaces as well. Both the hyperboloid of one sheet and the hyperbolic paraboloid are
ruled surface In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space that ...
s, meaning that they can be made up from a family of straight lines. In fact, each has two families of generating lines, the members of each family are disjoint and each member one family intersects, with just one exception, every member of the other family. Each family is called a
regulus Regulus , designated α Leonis (Latinisation of names, Latinized to Alpha Leonis, abbreviated Alpha Leo, α Leo), is the brightest object in the constellation Leo (constellation), Leo and one of the List of brightest stars, brightest ...
.


In linear algebra

Another way of viewing three-dimensional space is found in
linear algebra Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as: :a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b, linear maps such as: :(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n, and their representations in vector spaces and through matrix (mat ...
, where the idea of independence is crucial. Space has three dimensions because the length of a
box File:Box with cover MET DP241878.jpg, alt=A small, elaborate box, featuring a hinged lid, two swing doors at the front and a small pull-out drawer; the interior is entirely red and features small items that seem to be part of a toilette set, An el ...

box
is independent of its width or breadth. In the technical language of linear algebra, space is three-dimensional because every point in space can be described by a linear combination of three independent
vector Vector may refer to: Biology *Vector (epidemiology) In epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined pop ...
s.


Dot product, angle, and length

A vector can be pictured as an arrow. The vector's magnitude is its length, and its direction is the direction the arrow points. A vector in can be represented by an ordered triple of real numbers. These numbers are called the components of the vector. The dot product of two vectors and is defined as: :\mathbf\cdot \mathbf = A_1B_1 + A_2B_2 + A_3B_3. The magnitude of a vector is denoted by . The dot product of a vector with itself is :\mathbf A\cdot\mathbf A = \, \mathbf A\, ^2 = A_1^2 + A_2^2 + A_3^2, which gives : \, \mathbf A\, = \sqrt = \sqrt, the formula for the
Euclidean length In mathematics, the Euclidean distance between two points in Euclidean space is the length of a line segment between the two points. It can be calculated from the Cartesian coordinates of the points using the Pythagorean theorem, therefore occa ...
of the vector. Without reference to the components of the vectors, the dot product of two non-zero Euclidean vectors and is given by :\mathbf A\cdot\mathbf B = \, \mathbf A\, \,\, \mathbf B\, \cos\theta, where is the
angle In Euclidean geometry Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandrian Greek mathematics , Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry: the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements''. Euclid's method ...

angle
between and .


Cross product

The
cross product In , the cross product or vector product (occasionally directed area product, to emphasize its geometric significance) is a on two s in a three-dimensional (named here E), and is denoted by the symbol \times. Given two and , the cross produc ...

cross product
or vector product is a
binary operation In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
on two
vector Vector may refer to: Biology *Vector (epidemiology) In epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined pop ...
s in three-dimensional
space Space is the boundless three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Gre ...
and is denoted by the symbol ×. The cross product a × b of the vectors a and b is a vector that is
perpendicular In elementary geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relativ ...

perpendicular
to both and therefore normal to the plane containing them. It has many applications in mathematics,
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
, and
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more speciali ...

engineering
. The space and product form an
algebra over a field In mathematics, an algebra over a field (often simply called an algebra) is a vector space equipped with a bilinear map, bilinear product (mathematics), product. Thus, an algebra is an algebraic structure consisting of a set (mathematics), set to ...
, which is neither
commutative In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...
nor
associative In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
, but is a
Lie algebra In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...
with the cross product being the Lie bracket. One can in ''n'' dimensions take the product of vectors to produce a vector perpendicular to all of them. But if the product is limited to non-trivial binary products with vector results, it exists only in three and seven dimensions.


In calculus


Gradient, divergence and curl

In a rectangular coordinate system, the gradient is given by :\nabla f = \frac \mathbf + \frac \mathbf + \frac \mathbf The divergence of a
continuously differentiable In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...
vector field In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Product ...

vector field
F = ''U'' i + ''V'' j + ''W'' k is equal to the
scalar Scalar may refer to: *Scalar (mathematics), an element of a field, which is used to define a vector space, usually the field of real numbers *Scalar (physics), a physical quantity that can be described by a single element of a number field such as ...
-valued function: :\operatorname\,\mathbf = \nabla\cdot\mathbf =\frac +\frac +\frac. Expanded in
Cartesian coordinates A Cartesian coordinate system (, ) in a plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early fly ...
(see
Del in cylindrical and spherical coordinatesThis is a list of some vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with derivative, differentiation and integral, integration of vector fields, primarily in 3-dimensional Euclidean space \mathbb^3. The term "vector calculu ...
for
spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values ...

spherical
and
cylindrical A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilinear geometric shapes. Geometrically, it can be considered as a Prism (geometry), prism with a circle as its base. This traditi ...

cylindrical
coordinate representations), the curl ∇ × F is, for F composed of 'F''x, ''F''y, ''F''z :\begin \mathbf & \mathbf & \mathbf \\ \\ & & \\ \\ F_x & F_y & F_z \end where i, j, and k are the
unit vector In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...
s for the ''x''-, ''y''-, and ''z''-axes, respectively. This expands as follows: :\left(\frac - \frac\right) \mathbf + \left(\frac - \frac\right) \mathbf + \left(\frac - \frac\right) \mathbf


Line integrals, surface integrals, and volume integrals

For some
scalar field In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

scalar field
''f'' : ''U'' ⊆ R''n'' → R, the line integral along a
curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to be Linearity, straight. Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point (geo ...

curve
''C'' ⊂ ''U'' is defined as :\int\limits_C f\, ds = \int_a^b f(\mathbf(t)) , \mathbf'(t), \, dt. where r:
, b The comma is a punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, ...
→ ''C'' is an arbitrary
bijective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
parametrization of the curve ''C'' such that r(''a'') and r(''b'') give the endpoints of ''C'' and a < b. For a
vector field In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Product ...

vector field
F : ''U'' ⊆ R''n'' → R''n'', the line integral along a
curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to be Linearity, straight. Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point (geo ...

curve
''C'' ⊂ ''U'', in the direction of r, is defined as :\int\limits_C \mathbf(\mathbf)\cdot\,d\mathbf = \int_a^b \mathbf(\mathbf(t))\cdot\mathbf'(t)\,dt. where · is the
dot product In mathematics, the dot product or scalar productThe term ''scalar product'' is often also used more generally to mean a symmetric bilinear form, for example for a pseudo-Euclidean space. is an algebraic operation that takes two equal-length seque ...
and r:
, b The comma is a punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, ...
→ ''C'' is a
bijective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
parametrization of the curve ''C'' such that r(''a'') and r(''b'') give the endpoints of ''C''. A
surface integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

surface integral
is a generalization of
multiple integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s to integration over
surface File:Water droplet lying on a damask.jpg, Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to prevent floating below the textile. A surface, as the term is most generally used, is the outermost or uppermost layer of a physical obje ...
s. It can be thought of as the
double integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

double integral
analog of the
line integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
. To find an explicit formula for the surface integral, we need to the surface of interest, ''S'', by considering a system of
curvilinear coordinates In , curvilinear coordinates are a for in which the s may be curved. These coordinates may be derived from a set of s by using a transformation that is (a one-to-one map) at each point. This means that one can convert a point given in a C ...
on ''S'', like the
latitude and longitude In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
on a
sphere A sphere (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

sphere
. Let such a parameterization be x(''s'', ''t''), where (''s'', ''t'') varies in some region ''T'' in the
plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early flying machines include all forms of aircraft studied ...
. Then, the surface integral is given by : \iint_ f \,\mathrm dS = \iint_ f(\mathbf(s, t)) \left\, \times \right\, \mathrm ds\, \mathrm dt where the expression between bars on the right-hand side is the
magnitude Magnitude may refer to: Mathematics *Euclidean vector, a quantity defined by both its magnitude and its direction *Magnitude (mathematics), the relative size of an object *Norm (mathematics), a term for the size or length of a vector *Order of ...
of the
cross product In , the cross product or vector product (occasionally directed area product, to emphasize its geometric significance) is a on two s in a three-dimensional (named here E), and is denoted by the symbol \times. Given two and , the cross produc ...

cross product
of the
partial derivative In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

partial derivative
s of x(''s'', ''t''), and is known as the surface
element Element may refer to: Science * Chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all ...
. Given a vector field v on ''S'', that is a function that assigns to each x in ''S'' a vector v(x), the surface integral can be defined component-wise according to the definition of the surface integral of a scalar field; the result is a vector. A
volume integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
refers to an
integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

integral
over a 3-
dimension In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular s ...

dimension
al domain. It can also mean a
triple integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
within a region ''D'' in R3 of a
function Function or functionality may refer to: Computing * Function key A function key is a key on a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...
f(x,y,z), and is usually written as: :\iiint\limits_D f(x,y,z)\,dx\,dy\,dz.


Fundamental theorem of line integrals

The fundamental theorem of line integrals, says that a
line integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
through a
gradient In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Prod ...

gradient
field can be evaluated by evaluating the original scalar field at the endpoints of the curve. Let \varphi : U \subseteq \mathbb^n \to \mathbb. Then : \varphi\left(\mathbf\right)-\varphi\left(\mathbf\right) = \int_ \nabla\varphi(\mathbf)\cdot d\mathbf.


Stokes' theorem

Stokes' theorem Stokes' theorem, also known as Kelvin–Stokes theorem Nagayoshi Iwahori, et al.:"Bi-Bun-Seki-Bun-Gaku" :ja:裳華房, Sho-Ka-Bou(jp) 1983/12Written in Japanese)Atsuo Fujimoto;"Vector-Kai-Seki Gendai su-gaku rekucha zu. C(1)" :ja:培風館, Ba ...
relates the
surface integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

surface integral
of the
curl Curl or CURL may refer to: Science and technology * Curl (mathematics) In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the p ...
of a
vector field In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Product ...

vector field
F over a surface Σ in Euclidean three-space to the
line integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
of the vector field over its boundary ∂Σ: : \iint_ \nabla \times \mathbf \cdot \mathrm\mathbf = \oint_ \mathbf \cdot \mathrm \mathbf.


Divergence theorem

Suppose is a subset of \mathbb^n (in the case of represents a volume in 3D space) which is
compact Compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact A pact, from Latin ''pactum'' ("something agreed upon"), is a formal agreement. In international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or internationa ...
and has a
piecewise In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
smooth boundary (also indicated with ). If is a continuously differentiable vector field defined on a neighborhood of , then the
divergence theorem In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Prod ...

divergence theorem
says: : The left side is a
volume integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
over the volume , the right side is the
surface integral In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

surface integral
over the boundary of the volume . The closed manifold is quite generally the boundary of oriented by outward-pointing , and is the outward pointing unit normal field of the boundary . ( may be used as a shorthand for .)


In topology

Three-dimensional space has a number of topological properties that distinguish it from spaces of other dimension numbers. For example, at least three dimensions are required to tie a
knot A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, including hitches, bend Bend or bends may refer to: Materials * Bend, a curvature in a pipe, tube, o ...
in a piece of string. In
differential geometry Differential geometry is a Mathematics, mathematical discipline that studies the geometry of smooth shapes and smooth spaces, otherwise known as smooth manifolds, using the techniques of differential calculus, integral calculus, linear algebra a ...
the generic three-dimensional spaces are
3-manifold . All of the cubes in the image are the same cube, since light in the manifold wraps around into closed loops, the effect is that the cube is tiling all of space. This space has finite volume and no boundary. In mathematics Mathematics (from ...
s, which locally resemble ^3.


In finite geometry

Many ideas of dimension can be tested with
finite geometry A finite geometry is any geometric Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; '' geo-'' "earth", '' -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic Arithmetic (from the Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:en:ἀριθμός#Ancient Greek, ἀριθ ...
. The simplest instance is
PG(3,2) In finite geometry, PG(3,2) is the smallest three-dimensional projective space. It can be thought of as an extension of the Fano plane. It has 15 points, 35 lines, and 15 planes. It also has the following properties: * Each point is contained in ...
, which has
Fano plane In finite geometry, the Fano plane (after Gino Fano) is the Projective plane#Finite projective planes, finite projective plane of order 2. It is the finite projective plane with the smallest possible number of points and lines: 7 points and 7 li ...

Fano plane
s as its 2-dimensional subspaces. It is an instance of
Galois geometry Galois geometry (so named after the 19th-century French mathematician Évariste Galois) is the branch of finite geometry that is concerned with Algebraic geometry, algebraic and analytic geometry over a finite field (or ''Galois field''). More narro ...
, a study of
projective geometry In mathematics, projective geometry is the study of geometric properties that are invariant with respect to projective transformations. This means that, compared to elementary Euclidean geometry, projective geometry has a different setting, proj ...
using
finite field In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
s. Thus, for any Galois field GF(''q''), there is a
projective space In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...
PG(3,''q'') of three dimensions. For example, any three skew lines in PG(3,''q'') are contained in exactly one
regulus Regulus , designated α Leonis (Latinisation of names, Latinized to Alpha Leonis, abbreviated Alpha Leo, α Leo), is the brightest object in the constellation Leo (constellation), Leo and one of the List of brightest stars, brightest ...
.Albrecht Beutelspacher & Ute Rosenbaum (1998) ''Projective Geometry'', page 72, Cambridge University Press


See also

* Dimensional analysis * Distance from a point to a plane * Four-dimensional space * * Graph of a function of two variables, Three-dimensional graph * Solid geometry * Two-dimensional space


Notes


References

* * George B. Arfken, Arfken, George B. and Hans J. Weber. ''Mathematical Methods For Physicists'', Academic Press; 6 edition (June 21, 2005). . *


External links

* *
Elementary Linear Algebra - Chapter 8: Three-dimensional Geometry
Keith Matthews from University of Queensland, 1991 {{Dimension topics Euclidean solid geometry, * Analytic geometry Multi-dimensional geometry Three-dimensional coordinate systems 3 (number)