This video is from the MIT Teaching and Learning Laboratory, and is not covered under our Creative Commons license.

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This video describes how divergence is a fundamental component of a complex modeling problem involving detonation blasts. The divergence of a vector field is defined physically, and the physical description is connected to the mathematical formula. Students analyze a collection of vector fields to determine whether or not they have positive, negative, or zero divergence by analyzing the change in area or volume of a region of tracer particles.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video students will be able to determine points at which a vector field is divergent.

Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

Related Resources

Instructor Guide

Divergence Instructor Guide (PDF)

It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students will:

  • Derive the formula for divergence.
  • Predict whether different example vector fields have positive, negative, or zero divergence.