Line integral

related topics
{math, number, function}
{math, energy, light}
{line, north, south}

Power rule, Product rule, Quotient rule, Chain rule

Lists of integrals
Improper integrals
Integration by:
parts, disks, cylindrical
, substitution,
trigonometric substitution,
partial fractions, changing order

In mathematics, a line integral (sometimes called a path integral, contour integral, or curve integral; not to be confused with calculating arc length using integration) is an integral where the function to be integrated is evaluated along a curve.

The function to be integrated may be a scalar field or a vector field. The value of the line integral is the sum of values of the field at all points on the curve, weighted by some scalar function on the curve (commonly arc length or, for a vector field, the scalar product of the vector field with a differential vector in the curve). This weighing distinguishes the line integral from simpler integrals defined on intervals. Many simple formulae in physics (for example, W=F·s) have natural continuous analogs in terms of line integrals (W=∫C F· ds). The line integral finds the work done on an object moving through an electric or gravitational field, for example.


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