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Calculation of Flux

Keywords: Small Group Activity, Vector Field, Coordinate Systems, Flux, Curvilinear Coordinates, Differential Elements


Highlights of the activity

  1. This small group activity is designed to help students learn how to calculate flux in curvilinear coordinates.
  2. Students calculate the flux of a simple vector field ($\Vec{F}=C\, z\,\hat{k}$) through a cone.
  3. The wrap-up discussion reinforces the concept that only the component of the vector field perpendicular to the surface contributes to the flux and how to find the differential area element on a surface that is not a “coordinate equals constant” surface.

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

This is a relatively short, strictly computational small group activity that checks whether students understand the conceptual and computational definition of flux.


Instructor's Guide

Authors: Corinne Manogue, Elizabeth Gire, and Tevian Dray
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