Kelvin-Stokes Theorem

Theorem

Let $S$ be some orientable smooth surface with boundary in $\R^3$.

Let $\mathbf F:\R^3 \to \R^3$ be a vector-valued function with Euclidean coordinate expression:

$\mathbf F = f_1 \mathbf i + f_2 \mathbf j + f_3 \mathbf k$

where $f_i: \R^3 \to \R$.

Then:

$\ds \oint_{\partial S} f_1 \rd x + f_2 \rd y + f_3 \rd z = \iint_S \paren {\nabla \times \mathbf F} \cdot \mathbf n \rd A$

where $\mathbf n$ is the unit normal to $S$ and $\d A$ is the area element on the surface.

Proof

Let $\mathbf r:\R^2 \to \R^3, \map {\mathbf r} {s, t}$ be a smooth parametrization of $S$ from some region $R$ in the $st$-plane, so that:

$\map {\mathbf r} R = S$

and:

$\map {\mathbf r} {\partial R} = \partial S$

First, we convert the left hand side into a line integral:

 $\ds \oint_{\partial S} f_1 \rd x + f_2 \rd y + f_3 \rd z$ $=$ $\ds \oint_{\partial S} \mathbf F \cdot \rd \mathbf r$ $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \oint_{\partial R} \mathbf F \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} \rd s + \mathbf F \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} \rd t$

so that if we define:

$\mathbf G = \paren {G_1, G_2} = \paren {\mathbf F \cdot \dfrac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s}, \mathbf F \cdot \dfrac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} }$

then:

$\ds \int_{\partial S} \mathbf F \cdot \rd \mathbf r = \int_{\partial R} \mathbf G \cdot \rd \mathbf s$

where $\mathbf s$ is the position vector in the $s t$-plane.

Note that:

 $\ds \frac {\partial G_2} {\partial s}$ $=$ $\ds \mathbf F \cdot \map {\frac \partial {\partial s} } {\frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} } + \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial s}$ Derivative of Dot Product of Vector-Valued Functions $\ds \frac {\partial G_1} {\partial t}$ $=$ $\ds \mathbf F \cdot \map {\frac \partial {\partial t} } {\frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} } + \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial t}$ Derivative of Dot Product of Vector-Valued Functions $\ds \frac {\partial G_2} {\partial s} - \frac {\partial G_1} {\partial t}$ $=$ $\ds \mathbf F \cdot \map {\frac \partial {\partial s} } {\frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} } + \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial s}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds - \,$ $\ds \mathbf F \cdot \map {\frac \partial {\partial t} } {\frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} } - \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial t}$ $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial s} - \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} \cdot \frac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial t}$ Symmetry of Second Derivatives

We turn now to the expression on the right hand side and write it in terms of $s$ and $t$:

 $\ds$  $\ds \iint_S \paren {\nabla \times \mathbf F} \cdot \mathbf n \rd A$ $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \iint_R \paren {\nabla \times \mathbf F \cdot \paren {\frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} \times \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} } } \rd s \rd t$

Let us investigate the integrand:

 $\ds$  $\ds \nabla \times \mathbf F \cdot \paren {\frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s} \times \frac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \paren {\paren {\dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} } \mathbf i + \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} } \mathbf j + \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} } \mathbf k}$ Definition of Curl Operator $\ds$  $\, \ds \cdot \,$ $\ds \paren {\paren {\dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} } \mathbf i + \paren {\dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} } \mathbf j + \paren {\dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} } \mathbf k}$ Definition of Cross Product $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} } \paren {\dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} } \paren {\dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} } \paren {\dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} }$ Definition of Dot Product $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds - \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ grouping the terms that reference like components of $\mathbf F$ together $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac{\partial x}{\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac{\partial z}{\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac{\partial y}{\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac{\partial x}{\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds - \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ introducing terms that themselves sum to zero, in order to complete the parts of the derivatives of $\mathbf F$ in a later step $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {- \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {- \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \paren {- \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ grouping terms by sign, but keeping terms that reference like components of $\mathbf F$ together $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds - \,$ $\ds \leftparen {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \rightparen {\dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ grouping all negative terms together and factoring out the negative sign $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds - \,$ $\ds \leftparen {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t}$ $\ds$  $\, \ds + \,$ $\ds \rightparen {\dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial x} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial y} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial z} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ rearranging into groups, in order to clarify use of the Chain Rule for Real-Valued Functions in the next step $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial s} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ $\ds$  $\, \ds - \,$ $\ds \paren {\dfrac {\partial f_1} {\partial t} \dfrac {\partial x} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_2} {\partial t} \dfrac {\partial y} {\partial t} + \dfrac {\partial f_3} {\partial t} \dfrac {\partial z} {\partial t} }$ Chain Rule for Real-Valued Functions $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \dfrac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial s} \cdot \dfrac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial t} - \dfrac {\partial \mathbf F} {\partial t} \cdot \dfrac {\partial \mathbf r} {\partial s}$ Definition:Dot Product $\ds$ $=$ $\ds \frac {\partial G_2} {\partial s} - \frac {\partial G_1} {\partial t}$

That is:

$\ds \iint_S \paren {\nabla \times \mathbf F} \cdot \mathbf n \rd A = \iint_R \paren {\frac {\partial G_2} {\partial s} - \frac {\partial G_1} {\partial t} } \rd s \rd t$

By Green's Theorem, this can be written as:

$\ds \int_{\partial R} \mathbf G \cdot \rd \mathbf s$

Hence both sides of the theorem equation are equal.

$\blacksquare$

Also known as

Also known as the Classical Stokes' Theorem.

Source of Name

This entry was named for Lord Kelvin and George Gabriel Stokes.