# How to derive the Curl formula in Cylindrical and Spherical

Curl of the vector field is an important operation in the study of Electromagnetics and we are well aware with its formulas in all the coordinate systems. Generally, we are familiar with the derivation of the Curl formula in Cartesian coordinate system and remember its Cylindrical and Spherical forms intuitively. This article explains the step by step procedure for deriving the Deriving Curl in Cylindrical and Spherical coordinate systems.

## What is Curl of Vector field?

Curl of a vector field is a measure of circulating nature or whirling nature of an vector field at the given point. If the field lines are circulating around the given point leading to net circulation, signifies the Curl. The net circulation may be positive or negative. The uniform vector field posses zero curl. Go through the following article for in depth discussion of the Curl.

What is the Curl of a vector field?

## Curl Formulas

#### Curl Formula in Cartesian

#### Curl Formula in Cylindrical

#### Curl Formula in Spherical

#### Derivation for the curl in Cartesian

The Curl formula in cartesian coordinate system can be derived from the basic definition of the Curl of a vector field. Go through the following article for intuitive derivation.

The intuitive proof for the Curl formula.

## Deriving Curl in Cylindrical and Spherical

Let’s talk about getting the Curl formula in cylindrical first. Later by analogy you can work for the spherical coordinate system.

As read from above we can easily derive the Curl formula in Cartesian which is as below.

And the same in cylindrical coordinates is as follows:

It is quite obvious to think that why some extra terms like (1/ρ) and ρ are present. Where do they come from? What is the logic behind them. Because thinking intuitively, one might expect the formula similar to cartesian one. We know, Cartesian is characterized by x, y and z while Cylindrical is defined by ρ, φ and z. So one can think of getting partial derivatives w.r.t. ρ, φ and z instead of x, y and z and A_{ρ}, A_{φ} and A_{z} instead of A_{x}, A_{y} and A_{z}. Right?

The answer for this can be found in the steps for deriving the Curl in cylindrical system. So let us start.

#### Deriving the Curl in Cylindrical

We know that, the curl of a vector field A is given as,

Here ∇ is the del operator and A is the vector field. If I take the del operator in cylindrical and cross it with A written in cylindrical then I would get the curl formula in cylindrical coordinate system.

In cylindrical coordinates, any vector field is represented as follows:

The Cylindrical del operator is as follows

Read here: – *How to convert the Del operator from Cartesian to Cylindrical?*

So, let us take the cross product.

Carefully observe that how derivative are written using the product rule. Don’t consider unit vector to be a constant and taking out of the derivative. The derivatives of the unit vectors is not zero always. Check out the related article below.

Derivatives of the unit vectors in different coordinate systems.

Let me represent the required derivatives of the unit vectors.

So putting all these derivatives in the step above, and taking the required cross product, we have,

Collecting together the similar terms,

This can be adjusted and re written as like following,

The above expression can be easily written in matrix determinant form as:

Which is our required curl formula in cylindrical.Similar steps can be followed for deriving the Divergence in Spherical.

*Suggested Community: Electromagnetics for GATE & ESE*

Tag:Electromagnetism