## Motivation

In a discord thread on the bivector group (a geometric algebra group chat), MoneyKills posts about trouble he has calculating the correct expression for the angular momentum bivector or it’s dual.

This blog post is a more long winded answer than my bivector response and includes this calculation using both cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

## Cylindrical coordinates.

The position vector for any point on a plane can be expressed as
\label{eqn:amomentum:20}
\Br = r \rcap,

where $$\rcap = \rcap(\phi)$$ encodes all the angular dependence of the position vector, and $$r$$ is the length along that direction to our point, as illustrated in fig. 1.

fig. 1. Cylindrical coordinates position vector.

The radial unit vector has a compact GA representation
\label{eqn:amomentum:40}
\rcap = \Be_1 e^{i\phi},

where $$i = \Be_1 \Be_2$$.

The velocity (or momentum) will have both $$\rcap$$ and $$\phicap$$ dependence. By chain rule, that velocity is
\label{eqn:amomentum:60}
\Bv = \dot{r} \rcap + r \dot{\rcap},

where
\label{eqn:amomentum:80}
\begin{aligned}
\dot{\rcap}
&= \Be_1 i e^{i\phi} \dot{\phi} \\
&= \Be_2 e^{i\phi} \dot{\phi} \\
&= \phicap \dot{\phi}.
\end{aligned}

It is left to the reader to show that the vector designated $$\phicap$$, is a unit vector and perpendicular to $$\rcap$$ (Hint: compute the grade-0 selection of the product of the two to show that they are perpendicular.)

We can now compute the momentum, which is
\label{eqn:amomentum:100}
\Bp = m \Bv = m \lr{ \dot{r} \rcap + r \dot{\phi} \phicap },

and the angular momentum bivector
\label{eqn:amomentum:120}
\begin{aligned}
L
&= \Br \wedge \Bp \\
&= m \lr{ r \rcap } \wedge \lr{ \dot{r} \rcap + r \dot{\phi} \phicap } \\
&= m r^2 \dot{\phi} \rcap \phicap.
\end{aligned}

This has the $$m r^2 \dot{\phi}$$ magnitude that the OP was seeking.

## Spherical coordinates.

In spherical coordinates, our position vector is
\label{eqn:amomentum:140}
\Br = r \lr{ \Be_1 \sin\theta \cos\phi + \Be_2 \sin\theta \sin\phi + \Be_3 \cos\theta },

as sketched in fig. 2.

fig. 2. Spherical coordinates.

We can factor this into a more compact representation
\label{eqn:amomentum:160}
\begin{aligned}
\Br
&= r \lr{ \sin\theta \Be_1 (\cos\phi + \Be_{12} \sin\phi ) + \Be_3 \cos\theta } \\
&= r \lr{ \sin\theta \Be_1 e^{\Be_{12} \phi } + \Be_3 \cos\theta } \\
&= r \Be_3 \lr{ \cos\theta + \sin\theta \Be_3 \Be_1 e^{\Be_{12} \phi } }.
\end{aligned}

It is useful to name two of the bivector terms above, first, we write $$i$$ for the azimuthal plane bivector sketched in fig. 3.

Spherical coordinates, azimuthal plane.

\label{eqn:amomentum:180}
i = \Be_{12},

and introduce a bivector $$j$$ that encodes the $$\Be_3, \rcap$$ plane as sketched in fig. 4.

Spherical coordinates, “j-plane”.

\label{eqn:amomentum:200}
j = \Be_{31} e^{i \phi}.

Having done so, we now have a compact representation for our position vector
\label{eqn:amomentum:220}
\begin{aligned}
\Br
&= r \Be_3 \lr{ \cos\theta + j \sin\theta } \\
&= r \Be_3 e^{j \theta}.
\end{aligned}

This provides us with a nice compact representation of the radial unit vector
\label{eqn:amomentum:240}
\rcap = \Be_3 e^{j \theta}.

Just as was the case in cylindrical coordinates, our azimuthal plane unit vector is
\label{eqn:amomentum:280}
\phicap = \Be_2 e^{i\phi}.

Now we want to compute the velocity vector. As was the case in cylindrical coordinates, we have
\label{eqn:amomentum:300}
\Bv = \dot{r} \rcap + r \dot{\rcap},

but now we need the spherical representation for the $$\rcap$$ derivative, which is
\label{eqn:amomentum:320}
\begin{aligned}
\dot{\rcap}
&=
\PD{\theta}{\rcap} \dot{\theta} + \PD{\phi}{\rcap} \dot{\phi} \\
&=
\Be_3 e^{j\theta} j \dot{\theta} + \Be_3 \sin\theta \PD{\phi}{j} \dot{\phi} \\
&=
\rcap j \dot{\theta} + \Be_3 \sin\theta j i \dot{\phi}.
\end{aligned}

We can reduce the second multivector term without too much work
\label{eqn:amomentum:340}
\begin{aligned}
\Be_3 j i
&=
\Be_3 \Be_{31} e^{i\phi} i \\
&=
\Be_3 \Be_{31} i e^{i\phi} \\
&=
\Be_{33112} e^{i\phi} \\
&=
\Be_{2} e^{i\phi} \\
&= \phicap,
\end{aligned}

so we have
\label{eqn:amomentum:360}
\dot{\rcap}
=
\rcap j \dot{\theta} + \sin\theta \phicap \dot{\phi}.

The velocity is
\label{eqn:amomentum:380}
\Bv = \dot{r} \rcap + r \lr{ \rcap j \dot{\theta} + \sin\theta \phicap \dot{\phi} }.

Now we can finally compute the angular momentum bivector, which is
\label{eqn:amomentum:400}
\begin{aligned}
L &=
\Br \wedge \Bp \\
&=
m r \rcap \wedge \lr{ \dot{r} \rcap + r \lr{ \rcap j \dot{\theta} + \sin\theta \phicap \dot{\phi} } } \\
&=
m r^2 \rcap \wedge \lr{ \rcap j \dot{\theta} + \sin\theta \phicap \dot{\phi} } \\
&=
m r^2 \gpgradetwo{ \rcap \lr{ \rcap j \dot{\theta} + \sin\theta \phicap \dot{\phi} } },
\end{aligned}

which is just
\label{eqn:amomentum:420}
L =
m r^2 \lr{ j \dot{\theta} + \sin\theta \rcap \phicap \dot{\phi} }.

I was slightly surprised by this result, as I naively expected the cylindrical coordinate result. We have a $$m r^2 \rcap \phicap \dot{\phi}$$ term, as was the case in cylindrical coordinates, but scaled down with a $$\sin\theta$$ factor. However, this result does make sense. Consider for example, some fixed circular motion with $$\theta = \mathrm{constant}$$, as sketched in fig. 5.

fig. 5. Circular motion for constant theta

The radius of this circle is actually $$r \sin\theta$$, so the total angular momentum for that motion is scaled down to $$m r^2 \sin\theta \dot{\phi}$$, smaller than the maximum circular angular momentum of $$m r^2 \dot{\phi}$$ which occurs in the $$\theta = \pi/2$$ azimuthal plane. Similarly, if we have circular motion in the “j-plane”, sketched in fig. 6.

fig. 6. Circular motion for constant phi.

where $$\phi = \mathrm{constant}$$, then our angular momentum is $$L = m r^2 j \dot{\theta}$$.

## Dipole field from multipole moment sum

As indicated in Jackson [1], the components of the electric field can be obtained directly from the multipole moments

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:20}
\Phi(\Bx)
= \inv{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \sum \frac{4 \pi}{ (2 l + 1) r^{l + 1} } q_{l m} Y_{l m},

so for the $$l,m$$ contribution to this sum the components of the electric field are

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:40}
E_r
=
\inv{\epsilon_0} \sum \frac{l+1}{ (2 l + 1) r^{l + 2} } q_{l m} Y_{l m},

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:60}
E_\theta
= -\inv{\epsilon_0} \sum \frac{1}{ (2 l + 1) r^{l + 2} } q_{l m} \partial_\theta Y_{l m}

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:80}
\begin{aligned}
E_\phi
&= -\inv{\epsilon_0} \sum \frac{1}{ (2 l + 1) r^{l + 2} \sin\theta } q_{l m} \partial_\phi Y_{l m} \\
&= -\inv{\epsilon_0} \sum \frac{j m}{ (2 l + 1) r^{l + 2} \sin\theta } q_{l m} Y_{l m}.
\end{aligned}

Here I’ve translated from CGS to SI. Let’s calculate the $$l = 1$$ electric field components directly from these expressions and check against the previously calculated results.

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:100}
\begin{aligned}
E_r
&=
\inv{\epsilon_0} \frac{2}{ 3 r^{3} }
\lr{
2 \lr{ -\sqrt{\frac{3}{8\pi}} }^2 \textrm{Re} \lr{
(p_x – j p_y) \sin\theta e^{j\phi}
}
+
\lr{ \sqrt{\frac{3}{4\pi}} }^2 p_z \cos\theta
} \\
&=
\frac{2}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\lr{
p_x \sin\theta \cos\phi + p_y \sin\theta \sin\phi + p_z \cos\theta
} \\
&=
\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3} 2 \Bp \cdot \rcap.
\end{aligned}

Note that

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:120}
\partial_\theta Y_{11} = -\sqrt{\frac{3}{8\pi}} \cos\theta e^{j \phi},

and

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:140}
\partial_\theta Y_{1,-1} = \sqrt{\frac{3}{8\pi}} \cos\theta e^{-j \phi},

so

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:160}
\begin{aligned}
E_\theta
&=
-\inv{\epsilon_0} \frac{1}{ 3 r^{3} }
\lr{
2 \lr{ -\sqrt{\frac{3}{8\pi}} }^2 \textrm{Re} \lr{
(p_x – j p_y) \cos\theta e^{j\phi}
}

\lr{ \sqrt{\frac{3}{4\pi}} }^2 p_z \sin\theta
} \\
&=
-\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\lr{
p_x \cos\theta \cos\phi + p_y \cos\theta \sin\phi – p_z \sin\theta
} \\
&=
-\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3} \Bp \cdot \thetacap.
\end{aligned}

For the $$\phicap$$ component, the $$m = 0$$ term is killed. This leaves

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:180}
\begin{aligned}
E_\phi
&=
-\frac{1}{\epsilon_0} \frac{1}{ 3 r^{3} \sin\theta }
\lr{
j q_{11} Y_{11} – j q_{1,-1} Y_{1,-1}
} \\
&=
-\frac{1}{3 \epsilon_0 r^{3} \sin\theta }
\lr{
j q_{11} Y_{11} – j (-1)^{2m} q_{11}^\conj Y_{11}^\conj
} \\
&=
\frac{2}{\epsilon_0} \frac{1}{ 3 r^{3} \sin\theta }
\textrm{Im} q_{11} Y_{11} \\
&=
\frac{2}{3 \epsilon_0 r^{3} \sin\theta }
\textrm{Im} \lr{
\lr{ -\sqrt{\frac{3}{8\pi}} }^2 (p_x – j p_y) \sin\theta e^{j \phi}
} \\
&=
\frac{1}{ 4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^{3} }
\textrm{Im} \lr{
(p_x – j p_y) e^{j \phi}
} \\
&=
\frac{1}{ 4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^{3} }
\lr{
p_x \sin\phi – p_y \cos\phi
} \\
&=
-\frac{\Bp \cdot \phicap}{ 4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}.
\end{aligned}

That is
\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:200}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
E_r &=
\frac{2}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\Bp \cdot \rcap \\
E_\theta &= –
\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\Bp \cdot \thetacap \\
E_\phi &= –
\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\Bp \cdot \phicap.
\end{aligned}
}

These are consistent with equations (4.12) from the text for when $$\Bp$$ is aligned with the z-axis.

Observe that we can sum each of the projections of $$\BE$$ to construct the total electric field due to this $$l = 1$$ term of the multipole moment sum

\label{eqn:dipoleFromSphericalMoments:n}
\begin{aligned}
\BE
&=
\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\lr{
2 \rcap (\Bp \cdot \rcap)

\phicap ( \Bp \cdot \phicap)

\thetacap ( \Bp \cdot \thetacap)
} \\
&=
\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0 r^3}
\lr{
3 \rcap (\Bp \cdot \rcap)

\Bp
},
\end{aligned}

which recovers the expected dipole moment approximation.

# References

[1] JD Jackson. Classical Electrodynamics. John Wiley and Sons, 2nd edition, 1975.

## Vector wave equation in spherical coordinates

November 10, 2016 math and physics play , , ,

For a vector $$\BA$$ in spherical coordinates, let’s compute the Laplacian

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:20}

to see the form of the wave equation. The spherical vector representation has a curvilinear basis
\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:40}
\BA = \rcap A_r + \thetacap A_\theta + \phicap A_\phi,

and the spherical Laplacian has been found to have the representation

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:60}
=
\inv{r^2} \PD{r}{} \lr{ r^2 \PD{r}{ \psi} }
+ \frac{1}{r^2 \sin\theta} \PD{\theta}{} \lr{ \sin\theta \PD{\theta}{ \psi } }
+ \frac{1}{r^2 \sin^2\theta} \PDSq{\phi}{ \psi}.

Evaluating the Laplacian will require the following curvilinear basis derivatives

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:80}
\begin{aligned}
\partial_\theta \rcap &= \thetacap \\
\partial_\theta \thetacap &= -\rcap \\
\partial_\theta \phicap &= 0 \\
\partial_\phi \rcap &= S_\theta \phicap \\
\partial_\phi \thetacap &= C_\theta \phicap \\
\partial_\phi \phicap &= -\rcap S_\theta – \thetacap C_\theta.
\end{aligned}

We’ll need to evaluate a number of derivatives. Starting with the $$\rcap$$ components

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:120}
\partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r \lr{ \rcap \psi} }
=
\rcap \partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r \psi }

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:140}
\begin{aligned}
\partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta \partial_\theta \lr{ \rcap \psi } }
&=
\partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta (\thetacap \psi + \rcap \partial_\theta \psi ) } \\
&=
C_\theta (\thetacap \psi + \rcap \partial_\theta \psi )
+ S_\theta \partial_\theta (\thetacap \psi + \rcap \partial_\theta \psi ) \\
&=
C_\theta (\thetacap \psi + \rcap \partial_\theta \psi )
+ S_\theta \partial_\theta ((\partial_\theta \thetacap) \psi + (\partial_\theta \rcap) \partial_\theta \psi )
+ S_\theta \partial_\theta (\thetacap \partial_\theta \psi + \rcap \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi ) \\
&=
C_\theta (\thetacap \psi + \rcap \partial_\theta \psi )
+ S_\theta ((-\rcap) \psi + (\thetacap) \partial_\theta \psi )
+ S_\theta (\thetacap \partial_\theta \psi + \rcap \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi ) \\
&=
\rcap \lr{
C_\theta \partial_\theta \psi
– S_\theta \psi
+ S_\theta \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
}
+\thetacap \lr{
C_\theta \psi
+ 2 S_\theta \partial_\theta \psi
}
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:160}
\begin{aligned}
\partial_{\phi \phi} \lr{ \rcap \psi}
&=
\partial_\phi \lr{ (\partial_\phi \rcap) \psi + \rcap \partial_\phi \psi } \\
&=
\partial_\phi \lr{ (S_\theta \phicap) \psi + \rcap \partial_\phi \psi } \\
&=
S_\theta \partial_\phi (\phicap \psi)
+ \partial_\phi \lr{ \rcap \partial_\phi \psi } \\
&=
S_\theta (\partial_\phi \phicap) \psi
+ S_\theta \phicap \partial_\phi \psi
+ (\partial_\phi \rcap) \partial_\phi \psi
+ \rcap \partial_{\phi\phi} \psi \\
&=
S_\theta (-S_\theta \rcap – C_\theta \thetacap) \psi
+ S_\theta \phicap \partial_\phi \psi
+ (S_\theta \phicap) \partial_\phi \psi
+ \rcap \partial_{\phi\phi} \psi \\
&=
\rcap \lr{
– S_\theta^2 \psi
+ \partial_{\phi\phi} \psi
}
+
\thetacap \lr{
– S_\theta C_\theta \psi
}
+
\phicap \lr{
2 S_\theta \phicap \partial_\phi \psi
}
\end{aligned}

This gives

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:180}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\rcap \lr{
\inv{r^2}
\partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r A_r }
+
\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
\lr{
C_\theta \partial_\theta A_r
– S_\theta A_r
+ S_\theta \partial_{\theta \theta} A_r
}
+ \inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
\lr{
– S_\theta^2 A_r
+ \partial_{\phi\phi} A_r
}
} \\
\thetacap
\lr{
\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
\lr{
C_\theta A_r
+ 2 S_\theta \partial_\theta A_r
}

\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
S_\theta C_\theta A_r
} \\
\phicap
\lr{
\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
2 S_\theta \partial_\phi A_r
} \\
&=
\rcap \lr{
-\frac{2}{r^2 } A_r
}
+
\frac{\thetacap}{r^2}
\lr{
\frac{C_\theta}{S_\theta} A_r
+ 2 \partial_\theta A_r
– C_\theta A_r
}
+
\phicap
\frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_r.
\end{aligned}

Next, let’s compute the derivatives of the $$\thetacap$$ projection.

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:220}
\partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r \lr{ \thetacap \psi} }
=
\thetacap \partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r \psi }

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:240}
\begin{aligned}
\partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta \partial_\theta \lr{ \thetacap \psi } }
&=
\partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta
\lr{
(\partial_\theta \thetacap ) \psi
+\thetacap \partial_\theta \psi
}
} \\
&=
\partial_\theta
\lr{ S_\theta
\lr{
(-\rcap ) \psi
+\thetacap \partial_\theta \psi
}
} \\
&=
C_\theta \lr{
-\rcap \psi
+\thetacap \partial_\theta \psi
}
+
S_\theta
\lr{
-(\partial_\theta \rcap) \psi
-\rcap \partial_\theta \psi
+(\partial_\theta \thetacap) \partial_\theta \psi
+\thetacap \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
} \\
&=
C_\theta \lr{
-\rcap \psi
+\thetacap \partial_\theta \psi
}
+
S_\theta
\lr{
-(\thetacap) \psi
-\rcap \partial_\theta \psi
+(-\rcap) \partial_\theta \psi
+\thetacap \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
} \\
&=
\rcap \lr{
-C_\theta \psi
-2 S_\theta \partial_\theta \psi
}
+
\thetacap \lr{
+C_\theta \partial_\theta \psi
-S_\theta \psi
+S_\theta \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
} \\
&=
\rcap \lr{
-C_\theta \psi
-2 S_\theta \partial_\theta \psi
}
+
\thetacap \lr{
+\partial_\theta (S_\theta \partial_\theta \psi)
-S_\theta \psi
}
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:260}
\begin{aligned}
\partial_{\phi \phi} \lr{ \thetacap \psi}
&=
\partial_{\phi} \lr{
(\partial_\phi \thetacap) \psi
+\thetacap \partial_\phi \psi
} \\
&=
\partial_{\phi} \lr{
(C_\theta \phicap) \psi
+\thetacap \partial_\phi \psi
} \\
&=
C_\theta \partial_{\phi} (\phicap \psi)
+
\partial_{\phi} ( \thetacap \partial_\phi \psi ) \\
&=
C_\theta (\partial_\phi \phicap) \psi
+C_\theta \phicap \partial_{\phi} \psi
+ (\partial_\phi \thetacap) \partial_\phi \psi
+\thetacap \partial_{\phi\phi} \psi \\
&=
C_\theta (-\rcap S_\theta – \thetacap C_\theta) \psi
+C_\theta \phicap \partial_{\phi} \psi
+ (C_\theta \phicap) \partial_\phi \psi
+\thetacap \partial_{\phi\phi} \psi \\
&=
-\rcap C_\theta S_\theta \psi
+\thetacap \lr{
-C_\theta C_\theta \psi
+\partial_{\phi\phi} \psi
}
+2 \phicap C_\theta \partial_\phi \psi,
\end{aligned}

which gives
\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:360}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\rcap
\lr{
\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
\lr{
-C_\theta A_\theta
-2 S_\theta \partial_\theta A_\theta
}

\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
C_\theta S_\theta A_\theta
} \\
\thetacap \lr{
\inv{r^2} \partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r A_\theta }
+
\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
\lr{
+\partial_\theta (S_\theta \partial_\theta A_\theta)
-S_\theta A_\theta
}
+\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
\lr{
-C_\theta C_\theta A_\theta
+\partial_{\phi\phi} A_\theta
}
} \\
\phicap \lr{
\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
2 C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\theta
} \\
&=
-2 \rcap
\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
\partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\theta)
+
\thetacap \lr{
-\inv{r^2}
A_\theta
-\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta^2 A_\theta
}
+
2 \phicap \lr{
\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\theta
}.
\end{aligned}

Finally, we can compute the derivatives of the $$\phicap$$ projection.

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:300}
\partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r \lr{ \phicap \psi} }
=
\phicap \partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r \psi }

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:320}
\partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta \partial_\theta \lr{ \phicap \psi } }
=
\phicap \partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta \partial_\theta \psi }

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:340}
\begin{aligned}
\partial_{\phi \phi} \lr{ \phicap \psi}
&=
\partial_{\phi} \lr{
(\partial_\phi \phicap) \psi
+\phicap \partial_\phi \psi
} \\
&=
\partial_{\phi} \lr{
(-\rcap S_\theta – \thetacap C_\theta) \psi
+\phicap \partial_\phi \psi
} \\
&=
-((\partial_\phi \rcap) S_\theta + (\partial_\phi \thetacap) C_\theta) \psi
-(\rcap S_\theta + \thetacap C_\theta) \partial_\phi \psi
+(\partial_\phi \phicap \partial_\phi \psi
+\phicap \partial_{\phi \phi} \psi \\
&=
-((S_\theta \phicap) S_\theta + (C_\theta \phicap) C_\theta) \psi
-(\rcap S_\theta + \thetacap C_\theta) \partial_\phi \psi
+(-\rcap S_\theta – \thetacap C_\theta) \partial_\phi \psi
+\phicap \partial_{\phi \phi} \psi \\
&=
– 2 \rcap S_\theta \partial_\phi \psi
– 2 \thetacap C_\theta \partial_\phi \psi
+ \phicap \lr{
\partial_{\phi \phi} \psi
-\psi
},
\end{aligned}

which gives
\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:380}
\begin{aligned}
&=
-2 \rcap \inv{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi
-2 \thetacap \inv{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\phi \\
\phicap \lr{
\inv{r^2}
\partial_r \lr{ r^2 \partial_r A_\phi }
+
\inv{r^2 S_\theta}
\partial_\theta \lr{ S_\theta \partial_\theta A_\phi }
+
\inv{r^2 S_\theta^2}
\lr{
\partial_{\phi \phi} A_\phi -A_\phi
}
} \\
&=
-2 \rcap \inv{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi
-2 \thetacap \inv{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\phi
+
\phicap \lr{
}.
\end{aligned}

The vector Laplacian resolves into three augmented scalar wave equations, all highly coupled

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:420}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
\rcap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad^2 \BA }
&=
-\frac{2}{r^2 } A_r
– \frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\theta)
– \frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi \\
\thetacap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad^2 \BA }
&=
\frac{1}{r^2} \frac{C_\theta}{S_\theta} A_r
+ \frac{2}{r^2} \partial_\theta A_r
– \frac{1}{r^2} C_\theta A_r
– \inv{r^2} A_\theta
– \inv{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta^2 A_\theta
-2 \inv{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\phi \\
\phicap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad^2 \BA }
&=
\frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_r
+ \frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\theta
+ \spacegrad^2 A_\phi – \inv{r^2} A_\phi.
\end{aligned}
}

I’d guess one way to decouple these equations would be to impose a constraint that allows all the non-wave equation terms in one of the component equations to be killed, and then substitute that constraint into the remaining equations. Let’s try one such constraint

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:480}
A_r
=
– \inv{S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\theta)
– \inv{S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi.

This gives

\label{eqn:vectorWaveEquationSpherical:520}
\begin{aligned}
\rcap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad^2 \BA }
&=
\thetacap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad^2 \BA }
&=
\lr{
\frac{1}{r^2} \frac{C_\theta}{S_\theta}
+ \frac{2}{r^2} \partial_\theta
– \frac{1}{r^2} C_\theta
}
\lr{
– \inv{S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\theta)
– \inv{S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi
} \\
– \inv{r^2} A_\theta
– \inv{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta^2 A_\theta
-\frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\phi \\
\phicap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad^2 \BA }
&=
– \frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\phi
\lr{
\inv{S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\theta)
+ \inv{S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi
}
+ \frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_\phi A_\theta
+ \spacegrad^2 A_\phi – \inv{r^2} A_\phi \\
&=
-\frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_\theta A_\theta
-\frac{2}{r^2 S_\theta^2} \partial_{\phi\phi} A_\theta
+ \spacegrad^2 A_\phi – \inv{r^2} A_\phi
\end{aligned}

It looks like some additional cancellations may be had in the $$\thetacap$$ projection of this constrained vector Laplacian. I’m not inclined to try to take this reduction any further without a thorough check of all the algebra (using Mathematica to do so would make sense).

I also guessing that such a solution might be how the $$\textrm{TE}^r$$ and $$\textrm{TM}^r$$ modes were defined, but that doesn’t appear to be the case according to [1]. There the wave equation is formulated in terms of the vector potentials (picking one to be zero and the other to be radial only). The solution obtained from such a potential wave equation then directly defines the $$\textrm{TE}^r$$ and $$\textrm{TM}^r$$ modes. It would be interesting to see how the modes derived in that analysis transform with application of the vector Laplacian derived above.

# References

[1] Constantine A Balanis. Advanced engineering electromagnetics. Wiley New York, 1989.

## Spherical gradient, divergence, curl and Laplacian

### Unit vectors

Two of the spherical unit vectors we can immediately write by inspection.

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:20}
\begin{aligned}
\rcap &= \Be_1 \sin\theta \cos\phi + \Be_2 \sin\theta \sin\phi + \Be_3 \cos\theta \\
\phicap &= -\Be_1 \sin\theta + \Be_2 \cos\phi
\end{aligned}

We can compute $$\thetacap$$ by utilizing the right hand triplet property

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:40}
\begin{aligned}
\thetacap
&=
\phicap \cross \rcap \\
&=
\begin{vmatrix}
\Be_1 & \Be_2 & \Be_3 \\
-S_\phi & C_\phi & 0 \\
S_\theta C_\phi & S_\theta S_\phi & C_\theta \\
\end{vmatrix} \\
&=
\Be_1 \lr{ C_\theta C_\phi }
+\Be_2 \lr{ C_\theta S_\phi }
+\Be_3 \lr{ -S_\theta \lr{ S_\phi^2 + C_\phi^2 } } \\
&=
\Be_1 \cos\theta \cos\phi
+\Be_2 \cos\theta \sin\phi
-\Be_3 \sin\theta.
\end{aligned}

Here I’ve used $$C_\theta = \cos\theta, S_\phi = \sin\phi, \cdots$$ as a convenient shorthand. Observe that with $$i = \Be_1 \Be_2$$, these unit vectors admit a small factorization that makes further manipulation easier

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:80}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
\rcap &= \Be_1 e^{i\phi} \sin\theta + \Be_3 \cos\theta \\
\thetacap &= \cos\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – \sin\theta \Be_3 \\
\phicap &= \Be_2 e^{i\phi}
\end{aligned}
}

It should also be the case that $$\rcap \thetacap \phicap = I$$, where $$I = \Be_1 \Be_2 \Be_3 = \Be_{123}$$ is the \R{3} pseudoscalar, which is straightforward to check

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:60}
\begin{aligned}
\rcap \thetacap \phicap
&=
\lr{ \Be_1 e^{i\phi} \sin\theta + \Be_3 \cos\theta }
\lr{ \cos\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – \sin\theta \Be_3 }
\Be_2 e^{i\phi} \\
&=
\lr{ \sin\theta \cos\theta – \cos\theta \sin\theta + \Be_{31} e^{i\phi} \lr{ \cos^2\theta + \sin^2\theta } }
\Be_2 e^{i\phi} \\
&=
\Be_{31} \Be_2 e^{-i\phi} e^{i\phi} \\
&=
\Be_{123}.
\end{aligned}

This property could also have been used to compute $$\thetacap$$.

To compute the gradient, note that the coordinate vectors for the spherical parameterization are
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:120}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_r
&= \PD{r}{\Br} \\
&= \PD{r}{\lr{r \rcap}} \\
&= \rcap + r \PD{r}{\rcap} \\
&= \rcap,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:140}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_\theta
&= \PD{\theta}{\lr{r \rcap} } \\
&= r \PD{\theta}{} \lr{ S_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} + C_\theta \Be_3 } \\
&= r \PD{\theta}{} \lr{ C_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – S_\theta \Be_3 } \\
&= r \thetacap,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:160}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_\phi
&= \PD{\phi}{\lr{r \rcap} } \\
&= r \PD{\phi}{} \lr{ S_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} + C_\theta \Be_3 } \\
&= r S_\theta \Be_2 e^{i\phi} \\
&= r \sin\theta \phicap.
\end{aligned}

Since these are all normal, the dual vectors defined by $$\Bx^j \cdot \Bx_k = \delta^j_k$$, can be obtained by inspection
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:180}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx^r &= \rcap \\
\Bx^\theta &= \inv{r} \thetacap \\
\Bx^\phi &= \inv{r \sin\theta} \phicap.
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:200}
\Bx^r \PD{r}{} +
\Bx^\theta \PD{\theta}{} +
\Bx^\phi \PD{\phicap}{},

or
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:240}
\boxed{
=
\rcap \PD{r}{} +
\frac{\thetacap}{r} \PD{\theta}{} +
\frac{\phicap}{r\sin\theta} \PD{\phicap}{}.
}

More information on this general dual-vector technique of computing the gradient in curvilinear coordinate systems can be found in
[2].

### Partials

To compute the divergence, curl and Laplacian, we’ll need the partials of each of the unit vectors $$\PDi{\theta}{\rcap}, \PDi{\phi}{\rcap}, \PDi{\theta}{\thetacap}, \PDi{\phi}{\thetacap}, \PDi{\phi}{\phicap}$$.

The $$\thetacap$$ partials are

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:260}
\begin{aligned}
\PD{\theta}{\thetacap}
&=
\PD{\theta}{} \lr{
C_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – S_\theta \Be_3
} \\
&=
-S_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – C_\theta \Be_3 \\
&=
-\rcap,
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:280}
\begin{aligned}
\PD{\phi}{\thetacap}
&=
\PD{\phi}{} \lr{
C_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – S_\theta \Be_3
} \\
&=
C_\theta \Be_2 e^{i\phi} \\
&=
C_\theta \phicap.
\end{aligned}

The $$\phicap$$ partials are

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:300}
\begin{aligned}
\PD{\theta}{\phicap}
&=
\PD{\theta}{} \Be_2 e^{i\phi} \\
&=
0.
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:320}
\begin{aligned}
\PD{\phi}{\phicap}
&=
\PD{\phi}{} \Be_2 e^{i \phi} \\
&=
-\Be_1 e^{i \phi} \\
&=
-\rcap \gpgradezero{ \rcap \Be_1 e^{i \phi} }
– \thetacap \gpgradezero{ \thetacap \Be_1 e^{i \phi} }
– \phicap \gpgradezero{ \phicap \Be_1 e^{i \phi} } \\
&=
\Be_1 e^{i\phi} S_\theta + \Be_3 C_\theta
} \Be_1 e^{i \phi} }
C_\theta \Be_1 e^{i\phi} – S_\theta \Be_3
} \Be_1 e^{i \phi} } \\
&=
-\rcap \gpgradezero{ e^{-i\phi} S_\theta e^{i \phi} }
– \thetacap \gpgradezero{ C_\theta e^{-i\phi} e^{i \phi} } \\
&=
-\rcap S_\theta
– \thetacap C_\theta.
\end{aligned}

The $$\rcap$$ partials are were computed as a side effect of evaluating $$\Bx_\theta$$, and $$\Bx_\phi$$, and are

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:340}
\PD{\theta}{\rcap}
=
\thetacap,

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:360}
\PD{\phi}{\rcap}
=
S_\theta \phicap.

In summary
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:380}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
\partial_{\theta}{\rcap} &= \thetacap \\
\partial_{\phi}{\rcap} &= S_\theta \phicap \\
\partial_{\theta}{\thetacap} &= -\rcap \\
\partial_{\phi}{\thetacap} &= C_\theta \phicap \\
\partial_{\theta}{\phicap} &= 0 \\
\partial_{\phi}{\phicap} &= -\rcap S_\theta – \thetacap C_\theta.
\end{aligned}
}

### Divergence and curl.

The divergence and curl can be computed from the vector product of the spherical coordinate gradient and the spherical representation of a vector. That is

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:400}

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:420}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\lr{
\rcap \partial_{r}
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r} \partial_{\theta}
+ \frac{\phicap}{rS_\theta} \partial_{\phi}
}
\lr{ \rcap A_r + \thetacap A_\theta + \phicap A_\phi} \\
&=
\rcap \partial_{r}
\lr{ \rcap A_r + \thetacap A_\theta + \phicap A_\phi} \\
&+ \frac{\thetacap}{r} \partial_{\theta}
\lr{ \rcap A_r + \thetacap A_\theta + \phicap A_\phi} \\
&+ \frac{\phicap}{rS_\theta} \partial_{\phicap}
\lr{ \rcap A_r + \thetacap A_\theta + \phicap A_\phi} \\
&=
\lr{ \partial_r A_r + \rcap \thetacap \partial_r A_\theta + \rcap \phicap \partial_r A_\phi} \\
&+ \frac{1}{r}
\lr{
\thetacap (\partial_\theta \rcap) A_r + \thetacap (\partial_\theta \thetacap) A_\theta + \thetacap (\partial_\theta \phicap) A_\phi
+\thetacap \rcap \partial_\theta A_r + \partial_\theta A_\theta + \thetacap \phicap \partial_\theta A_\phi
} \\
&+ \frac{1}{rS_\theta}
\lr{
\phicap (\partial_\phi \rcap) A_r + \phicap (\partial_\phi \thetacap) A_\theta + \phicap (\partial_\phi \phicap) A_\phi
+\phicap \rcap \partial_\phi A_r + \phicap \thetacap \partial_\phi A_\theta + \partial_\phi A_\phi
} \\
&=
\lr{ \partial_r A_r + \rcap \thetacap \partial_r A_\theta + \rcap \phicap \partial_r A_\phi} \\
&+ \frac{1}{r}
\lr{
\thetacap (\thetacap) A_r + \thetacap (-\rcap) A_\theta + \thetacap (0) A_\phi
+\thetacap \rcap \partial_\theta A_r + \partial_\theta A_\theta + \thetacap \phicap \partial_\theta A_\phi
} \\
&+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta}
\lr{
\phicap (S_\theta \phicap) A_r + \phicap (C_\theta \phicap) A_\theta – \phicap (\rcap S_\theta + \thetacap C_\theta) A_\phi
+\phicap \rcap \partial_\phi A_r + \phicap \thetacap \partial_\phi A_\theta + \partial_\phi A_\phi
}.
\end{aligned}

The scalar component of this is the divergence
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:440}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\partial_r A_r
+ \frac{A_r}{r}
+ \inv{r} \partial_\theta A_\theta
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta}
\lr{ S_\theta A_r + C_\theta A_\theta + \partial_\phi A_\phi
} \\
&=
\partial_r A_r
+ 2 \frac{A_r}{r}
+ \inv{r} \partial_\theta A_\theta
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta}
C_\theta A_\theta
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi \\
&=
\partial_r A_r
+ 2 \frac{A_r}{r}
+ \inv{r} \partial_\theta A_\theta
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta}
C_\theta A_\theta
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi,
\end{aligned}

which can be factored as
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:460}
\boxed{
=
\inv{r^2} \partial_r (r^2 A_r)
+ \inv{r S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\theta)
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\phi.
}

The bivector grade of $$\spacegrad \BA$$ is the bivector curl
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:480}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\lr{
\rcap \thetacap \partial_r A_\theta + \rcap \phicap \partial_r A_\phi
} \\
\lr{
\thetacap (-\rcap) A_\theta
+\thetacap \rcap \partial_\theta A_r + \thetacap \phicap \partial_\theta A_\phi
} \\
\frac{1}{r S_\theta}
\lr{
-\phicap (\rcap S_\theta + \thetacap C_\theta) A_\phi
+\phicap \rcap \partial_\phi A_r + \phicap \thetacap \partial_\phi A_\theta
} \\
&=
\lr{
\rcap \thetacap \partial_r A_\theta – \phicap \rcap \partial_r A_\phi
} \\
\lr{
\rcap \thetacap A_\theta
-\rcap \thetacap \partial_\theta A_r + \thetacap \phicap \partial_\theta A_\phi
} \\
\frac{1}{r S_\theta}
\lr{
-\phicap \rcap S_\theta A_\phi + \thetacap \phicap C_\theta A_\phi
+\phicap \rcap \partial_\phi A_r – \thetacap \phicap \partial_\phi A_\theta
} \\
&=
\thetacap \phicap \lr{
\inv{r S_\theta} C_\theta A_\phi
+\frac{1}{r} \partial_\theta A_\phi
-\frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\theta
} \\
-\partial_r A_\phi
+
\frac{1}{r S_\theta}
\lr{
-S_\theta A_\phi
+ \partial_\phi A_r
}
} \\
\partial_r A_\theta
+ \frac{1}{r} A_\theta
– \inv{r} \partial_\theta A_r
} \\
&=
I
\rcap \lr{
\inv{r S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\phi)
-\frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\theta
}
+ I \thetacap \lr{
\frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_r
-\inv{r} \partial_r (r A_\phi)
}
+ I \phicap \lr{
\inv{r} \partial_r (r A_\theta)
– \inv{r} \partial_\theta A_r
}
\end{aligned}

This gives
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:500}
\boxed{
=
\rcap \lr{
\inv{r S_\theta} \partial_\theta (S_\theta A_\phi)
-\frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_\theta
}
+ \thetacap \lr{
\frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_\phi A_r
-\inv{r} \partial_r (r A_\phi)
}
+ \phicap \lr{
\inv{r} \partial_r (r A_\theta)
– \inv{r} \partial_\theta A_r
}.
}

This and the divergence result above both check against the back cover of [1].

### Laplacian

Using the divergence and curl it’s possible to compute the Laplacian from those, but we saw in cylindrical coordinates that it was much harder to do it that way than to do it directly.

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:540}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\lr{
\rcap \partial_{r} +
\frac{\thetacap}{r} \partial_{\theta} +
\frac{\phicap}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi}
}
\lr{
\rcap \partial_{r} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r} \partial_{\theta} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi
} \\
&=
\partial_{rr} \psi
+ \rcap \thetacap \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\theta \psi}
+ \rcap \phicap \inv{S_\theta} \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\phi \psi } \\
&
\quad + \frac{\thetacap}{r} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \rcap \partial_{r} \psi }
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \thetacap \partial_{\theta} \psi }
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \frac{\phicap}{S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi } \\
&
\quad + \frac{\phicap}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \lr{ \rcap \partial_{r} \psi }
+ \frac{\phicap}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \lr{ \thetacap \partial_{\theta} \psi }
+ \frac{\phicap}{r^2 S_\theta^2} \partial_{\phi} \lr{ \phicap \partial_{\phi} \psi } \\
&=
\partial_{rr} \psi
+ \rcap \thetacap \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\theta \psi}
+ \rcap \phicap \inv{S_\theta} \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\phi \psi } \\
&
\quad + \frac{\thetacap\rcap}{r} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \partial_{r} \psi }
+ \frac{1}{r^2} \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap \phicap}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \frac{1}{S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi } \\
&
\quad + \frac{\phicap \rcap}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi r} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap\thetacap}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\phi\theta} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta^2} \partial_{\phi \phi} \psi \\
&
\quad + \frac{\thetacap}{r} (\partial_\theta \rcap) \partial_{r} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r^2} (\partial_\theta \thetacap) \partial_{\theta} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r^2} (\partial_\theta \phicap) \frac{\phicap}{S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi \\
&
\quad + \frac{\phicap}{r S_\theta} (\partial_\phi \rcap) \partial_{r} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap}{r^2 S_\theta} (\partial_\phi \thetacap) \partial_{\theta} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap}{r^2 S_\theta^2} (\partial_\phi \phicap) \partial_{\phi} \psi \\
&=
\partial_{rr} \psi
+ \rcap \thetacap \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\theta \psi}
+ \rcap \phicap \inv{S_\theta} \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\phi \psi } \\
&
\quad + \frac{\thetacap\rcap}{r} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \partial_{r} \psi }
+ \frac{1}{r^2} \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap \phicap}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \frac{1}{S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi } \\
&
\quad + \frac{\phicap \rcap}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi r} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap\thetacap}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\phi\theta} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta^2} \partial_{\phi \phi} \psi \\
&
\quad + \frac{\thetacap}{r} (\thetacap) \partial_{r} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r^2} (-\rcap) \partial_{\theta} \psi
+ \frac{\thetacap}{r^2} (0) \frac{\phicap}{S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi \\
&
\quad + \frac{\phicap}{r S_\theta} (S_\theta \phicap) \partial_{r} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap}{r^2 S_\theta} (C_\theta \phicap) \partial_{\theta} \psi
+ \frac{\phicap}{r^2 S_\theta^2} (-\rcap S_\theta – \thetacap C_\theta) \partial_{\phi} \psi
\end{aligned}

All the bivector factors are expected to cancel out, but this should be checked. Those with an $$\rcap \thetacap$$ factor are

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:560}
\partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\theta \psi}
– \frac{1}{r} \partial_{\theta r} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \psi
=
-\inv{r^2} \partial_\theta \psi
+\inv{r} \partial_{r \theta} \psi
– \frac{1}{r} \partial_{\theta r} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \psi
= 0,

and those with a $$\thetacap \phicap$$ factor are
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:580}
\frac{1}{r^2} \partial_{\theta} \lr{ \frac{1}{S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi }
– \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\phi\theta} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_{\phi} \psi
=
– \frac{1}{r^2} \frac{C_\theta}{S_\theta^2} \partial_{\phi} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\theta \phi} \psi
– \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\phi\theta} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta^2} C_\theta \partial_{\phi} \psi
= 0,

and those with a $$\phicap \rcap$$ factor are
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:600}
– \inv{S_\theta} \partial_r \lr{ \inv{r} \partial_\phi \psi }
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi r} \psi
– \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta^2} S_\theta \partial_{\phi} \psi
=
\inv{S_\theta} \frac{1}{r^2} \partial_\phi \psi
– \inv{r S_\theta} \partial_{r \phi} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r S_\theta} \partial_{\phi r} \psi
– \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta} \partial_{\phi} \psi
= 0.

This leaves
\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:620}
=
\partial_{rr} \psi
+ \frac{2}{r} \partial_{r} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2} \partial_{\theta \theta} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta} C_\theta \partial_{\theta} \psi
+ \frac{1}{r^2 S_\theta^2} \partial_{\phi \phi} \psi.

This factors nicely as

\label{eqn:sphericalLaplacian:640}
\boxed{
=
\inv{r^2} \PD{r}{} \lr{ r^2 \PD{r}{ \psi} }
+ \frac{1}{r^2 \sin\theta} \PD{\theta}{} \lr{ \sin\theta \PD{\theta}{ \psi } }
+ \frac{1}{r^2 \sin\theta^2} \PDSq{\phi}{ \psi}
,
}

which checks against the back cover of Jackson. Here it has been demonstrated explicitly that this operator expression is valid for multivector fields $$\psi$$ as well as scalar fields $$\psi$$.

# References

[1] JD Jackson. Classical Electrodynamics. John Wiley and Sons, 2nd edition, 1975.

[2] A. Macdonald. Vector and Geometric Calculus. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

## Updated notes for ece1229 antenna theory

I’ve now posted a first update of my notes for the antenna theory course that I am taking this term at UofT.

Unlike most of the other classes I have taken, I am not attempting to take comprehensive notes for this class. The class is taught on slides which go by faster than I can easily take notes for (and some of which match the textbook closely). In class I have annotated my copy of textbook with little details instead. This set of notes contains musings of details that were unclear, or in some cases, details that were provided in class, but are not in the text (and too long to pencil into my book), as well as some notes Geometric Algebra formalism for Maxwell’s equations with magnetic sources (something I’ve encountered for the first time in any real detail in this class).

The notes compilation linked above includes all of the following separate notes, some of which have been posted separately on this blog: