Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- In Spanish, "del" is a contraction of "de el," meaning "of the," and is often evident in various names.
In vector calculus, del is a vector differential operator represented by the symbol . This symbol is sometimes called the nabla operator, after the Greek word for a kind of harp with a similar shape (with related words in Aramaic and Hebrew). (Another, less-common name is Atled, because it is a reversed Delta.)
It is a shorthand for the vector:
The symbol was introduced by William Rowan Hamilton.
• Gradient: • Divergence: • Curl: • Laplacian:
- Div, Grad, Curl, and All That, H. M. Schey, ISBN 0-393-96997-5
- Jeff Miller, Earliest Uses of Symbols of Calculus (Aug. 30, 2004).
- Cleve Moler, ed., "History of Nabla", NA Digest 98 (Jan. 26, 1998).
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