Dictionary:Del (∇)

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The vector gradient operator. In rectangular coordinates,

,

where i, j, k are unit vectors in the x, y, z directions. is the gradient of the scalar field U.

The operator , the Laplacian, appears frequently:

.

As an operator on a vector field V, is called the divergence, and is called the curl. Del is also called nabla and the vector operator. See also Figure C-14 for expressions using del in cylindrical and spherical coordinates.