Exterior derivative

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In mathematics, the exterior derivative operator of differential topology, extends the concept of the differential of a function to differential forms of higher degree. It is important in the theory of integration on manifolds, and is the differential used to define de Rham and Alexander-Spanier cohomology. Its current form was invented by Élie Cartan.

Definition

The exterior derivative of a differential form of degree k is a differential form of degree k + 1.

For a k-form ω = fI dxI over Rn, the definition is as follows:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d{\omega} = \sum_{i=1}^n \frac{\partial f_I}{\partial x_i} dx_i \wedge dx_I.}

For general k-forms ΣI fI dxI (where the multi-index I runs over all ordered subsets of {1, ..., n} of cardinality k), we just extend linearly. Note that if Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle i = I} above then Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle dx_i \wedge dx_I = 0} (see wedge product).

Properties

Exterior differentiation satisfies three important properties:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d(\omega \wedge \eta) = d\omega \wedge \eta+(-1)^{{\rm deg\,}\omega}(\omega \wedge d\eta)}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d(d\omega)=0 \, \!}

It can be shown that exterior derivative is uniquely determined by these properties and its agreement with the differential on 0-forms (functions).

The kernel of d consists of the closed forms, and the image of the exact forms (cf. exact differentials).

Invariant formula

Given a k-form ω and arbitrary smooth vector fields V0,V1, …, Vk we have

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d\omega(V_0,V_1,...V_k)=\sum_i(-1)^i V_i\omega(V_0,...,\hat V_i,...,V_k)}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle +\sum_{i<j}(-1)^{i+j}\omega([V_i,V_j],V_0,...,\hat V_i,...,\hat V_j,...,V_k)}

where Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle [V_i,V_j]} denotes Lie bracket and the hat denotes the omission of that element: Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \omega(V_0,...,\hat V_i,...,V_k)=\omega(V_0,..., V_{i-1},V_{i+1}...,V_k).}

In particular, for 1-forms we have:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d\omega(X,Y)=X(\omega(Y))-Y(\omega(X))-\omega([X,Y]).}

More generally, the Lie derivative is defined via the Lie bracket:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathcal{L}_XY=[X,Y]} ,

and the Lie derivative of a general differential form is closely related to the exterior derivative. The differences are primarily notational; various identities between the two are provided in the article on Lie derivatives.

The exterior derivative in calculus

The following correspondence reveals about a dozen formulas from vector calculus as merely special cases of the above three rules of exterior differentiation.

Gradient

For a 0-form, that is a smooth function f: RnR, we have

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle df = \sum_{i=1}^n \frac{\partial f}{\partial x_i}\, dx_i.}

Therefore, for vector field Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle V}

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle df(V) = \langle \mbox{grad }f,V\rangle,}

where grad f denotes gradient of f and <•, •> is the scalar product.

Curl

For a 1-form Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \omega=\sum_{i} f_i\,dx_i} on R3,

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d \omega=\sum_{i,j}\frac{\partial f_i}{\partial x_j} dx_j\wedge dx_i,}

which restricted to the three-dimensional case Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \omega= u\,dx+v\,dy+w\,dz } is

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d \omega = \left(\frac{\partial v}{\partial x} - \frac{\partial u}{\partial y} \right) dx \wedge dy + \left(\frac{\partial w}{\partial y} - \frac{\partial v}{\partial z} \right) dy \wedge dz + \left(\frac{\partial u}{\partial z} - \frac{\partial w}{\partial x} \right) dz \wedge dx.}

Therefore, for vector fields Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle U} , Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle V=[u,v,w]} and Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle W} we have Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d \omega(U,W)=\langle\mbox{curl}\, V \times U,W\rangle } where curl V denotes the curl of V, × is the vector product, and <•, •> is the scalar product.

Divergence

For a 2-form Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \omega = \sum_{i,j} h_{i,j}\,dx_i\wedge dx_j,}

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d \omega = \sum_{i,j,k} \frac{\partial h_{i,j}}{\partial x_k} dx_k \wedge dx_i \wedge dx_j.}

For three dimensions, with Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \omega = p\,dy\wedge dz+q\,dz\wedge dx+r\,dx\wedge dy} we get

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d \omega\,} Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle = \left( \frac{\partial p}{\partial x} + \frac{\partial q}{\partial y} + \frac{\partial r}{\partial z} \right) dx \wedge dy \wedge dz }
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle = \mbox{div}V\, dx \wedge dy \wedge dz,}

where V is a vector field defined by Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle V = [p,q,r].}

Examples

For a 1-form Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sigma = u\, dx + v\, dy} on R2 we have

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle d \sigma = \left(\frac{\partial{v}}{\partial{x}} - \frac{\partial{u}}{\partial{y}}\right) dx \wedge dy}

which is exactly the 2-form being integrated in Green's theorem.

See also

es:Derivada exterior fr:Dérivée extérieure