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Topic: How to Define Derivative of a Vector Field in this Case ( Curve in R^3)?
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jan 18, 2013 4:30 AM

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 Bacle H Posts: 283 Registered: 4/8/12
How to Define Derivative of a Vector Field in this Case ( Curve in R^3)?
Posted: Jan 18, 2013 12:34 AM

Hi, All:

Let C:I-->R^3 be a smooth curve, and let Z(s) be a vector field along the curve,
parametrized by arc-length.

We define the derivative of a vector field Z along the curve to be the quotient:

Lim_ds->0 [Z(s+ds)-Z(s)]/ds

Now, I don't know how to make sense of the difference in the numerator:

The two vectors Z(s+ds) and Z(s) , are in different tangent spaces --

tangent space at s+ds and s respectively -- and , AFAIK, the difference

of vectors in different tangent spaces is not defined, except for cases

where there is a natural isomorphism between the tangent spaces, as in the

case where the tangent spaces are those in R^n itself. Any suggestions,