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## SO513: Quick and dirty review of Index Notation

1. Vectors and vector operations

With a coordinate system in 3-dimensions, a vector may be presented by an ordered set of
components with each having a projection on the coordinate axes 1,2,3:

1
2
3
v
v v
v
(
(
=
(
(

Three commonly used coordinate systems are rectangular, cylindrical, and spherical. The vector
v can be represented by the sum of the magnitudes of the projections on the orthogonal axes:

3
1 1 2 2 3 3
1

i i
i
v v e v e v e v e
=
= + + =

The unit vectors
1 2 3
, , e e e are

, , i j k in Cartesian (rectangular) coordinate system,

, , r k u in
cylindrical coordinate system, and

, , r u | in spherical coordinate system.

Thus equivalent notation:
1 2 3
1 2 3
, ,

, ,
, ,
e e e
i j k
a a a

1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
cos 1 1 cos 0 1
cos 1 1 cos 0 1
cos 1 1 cos 0 1
e e e e
e e e e
e e e e
u
u
u
= = =
= = =
= = =

But

1 2 1 2
1 3 1 3
cos 1 1 cos90 0
cos 1 1 cos90 0, etc.
e e e e
e e e e
u
u
= = =
= = =

The magnitude of the vector is given as

3
2 2 2 2
1 2 3
1
i
i
v v v v v
=
= + + =

2
Addition and subtraction of vectors in index notation is easy:

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
3
1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3
1

i i i
i
a b a b e a b e a b e a b e
=
+ = + + + + + = +

.

Multiplication by a scalar, s gives:

( ) ( ) ( )
3
1 1 2 2 3 3
1

i i
i
sa sa e sa e sa e s a e
=
= + + =

The dot product of two vectors gives:

3
1 1 2 2 3 3
1
i i i i
i
a b a b a b a b a b a b
=
= + + = =

The cross product of two vectors gives:

( ) ( ) ( )
1 2 3
1 2 3 1 2 3 3 2 2 3 1 1 3 3 1 2 2 1
1 2 3

ijk i j k kij i j k
e e e
u v u u u e u v u v e u v u v e u v u v u v e u v e
v v v
c c = = + + = =

The del operator V is given as

1 2 3
1 2 3

i
i
e e e e
x x x x
c c c c
V = = + +
c c c c

Thus the partial derivative of a scalar ( ) , , f f x y z = (gradient) is represented:

1 2 3
1 2 3

i i
i i
f f f f
f e e e e f e
x x x x x
c c c c c
V = + + = =
c c c c c

The Laplacian of a vector is the following:

( )
2
a u u = V = V V

2
2
2 2

j
j i i j j
i i i i
u
a e e u u
x x x x
c | | | | | | c c c
= = =
| | |
c c c c
\ . \ . \ .

3
Divergence of a vector u :

i
i
i i
u
u u
x x
c c
V = =
c c

Notice that i repeats in the divergence term, implying a dot product. Contrast this with the
gradient of a vector field, which is a tensor with 9 elements:

i
j i
j
u
u e e
x
c
V =
c

Curl of a vector u :

j
ijk k
i
u
u e
x
c
c
V
c

2. Tensors.

A tensor is an ordered array of nine components

11 12 13
21 22 23
31 32 33
ij
T T T
T T T T T
T T T
(
(
= =
(
(

The transpose of a Tensor,
T
T , simply interchanges the elements of each element

( )
11 21 31
12 22 32
13 23 33
T
T
ij ji
T T T
T T T T T T
T T T
(
(
= = =
(
(

.

The dyadic product (not to be confused with the dot product) of two vectors results in a tensor:

1 1 1 2 1 3
2 1 2 2 2 3
3 1 3 2 3 3
i j
u v u v u v
uv u v u v u v u v
u v u v u v
(
(
=
(
(

4
Thus the gradient of a vector can be represented as the following.

i
j
u u u
x y z
u v v v
u
x x y z
w w w
x y z
( c c c
(
c c c
(
( c c c c
V = =
(
c c c c
(
( c c c
(
c c c

.

When the vector above is the velocity vector, the resulting velocity gradient is a two-dimensional
tensor that determines the distortion of a fluid element as it moves. As seen in the notes, the
velocity gradient can be separated into symmetric
ij
e and antisymmetric
ij
w components:

i
ij ij
j
u
u e r
x
c
V = = +
c
,

where

1
2
j
i
ij
j i
u
u
e
x x
| | c
c
= +
|
|
c c
\ .

and

1
2
j
i
ij
j i
u
u
r
x x
| | c
c
=
|
|
c c
\ .
.

The symmetric component,
ij
e defines the rate of strain or deformation tensor acting on the fluid
element. The diagonal components of e characterize the rate of stretching (aka longitudinal
deformation, or variations of velocity in the direction of motion). For example,
11
e describes the
rate of change of the east-west motion in the east-west direction,
u
x
c
c
. All three components of
stretching give the trace of e and the divergence of the velocity field:

i
i
u
u
x
c
= V
c
,
5
which represents the rate of increase in volume (or dilation) of the fluid element. The off-
diagonal elements of e describe the rate of shear, or transverse deformation (orthogonal to the
motion).

The antisymmetric component of the velocity gradient,
ij
r , is called the rotation tensor. It has no
diagonal elements and describes relative motion, not deformation. It contains only three
independent components and is related to the vorticity vector:

1
2
r dx dx e =

Tensors are easily added, in a manner similar to vectors:

( )
11 11 12 12 13 13
3 3
21 21 22 22 23 23
1 1
31 31 32 32 33 33

i j ij i j
i j
A B A B A B
A B A B A B A B A B e e
A B A B A B
= =
+ + + (
(
+ = + + + = +
(
( + + +

The double dot product of two tensors results in a scalar:

11 11 12 21 13 31
3 3
21 12 22 22 23 32
1 1
31 13 32 23 33 33
:
i j ji
i j
A B A B A B
A B A B A B A B A B
A B A B A B
= =
+ + +
= + + + =
+ +

And the dot product of a vector with a tensor is:

( )
( )
( )
1 1 11 2 21 3 31
3 3
2 1 12 2 22 3 32
1 1
3 1 13 2 23 3 33

i j ji
i j
e u B u B u B
u B e u B u B u B e u B
e u B u B u B
= =
+ + +
| |
= + + + =
|
\ .
+ +