## Motivation

Maverick posed the following question on the bivector discord

“I saw your blog post on curvilinear coordinates in geometric calculus. I saw your derivation of the volume of a sphere using this technique and decided for practice by doing a surface integral to calculate the area of sphere using the quantity $\partial{\theta} \wedge \partial{\phi}~ dA$ is there a way to integrate this without simply taking the magnitude of this quantity and then integrating or are we limited to only integrating quantities that are 1 dimensional like scalars and pseudoscalars”.

My initial response was that, sure, we should be able to compute bivector and trivector valued integrals. However, in retrospect, the reality is a bit more subtle.

We aren’t limited to using the magnitudes of the differential forms, but not all multivector integral are interesting.
In the original blog post, I must have computed the area of the circle using a bivector valued area element, or the volume of a sphere using a trivector valued volume element. However, if I did the volume that way, I probably cheated and computed 8 times the value of the first octant volume (which is positive), vs. the entire integral, which is zero.  [EDIT: the original post, now linked above, has been corrected.]

Let’s compute the circular area and circumference, and the spherical volume and surface area using multivector valued integrals, and see where we end up having to resort to scalar integrals.

## Circular example.

The polar parameterization of points in circular region is
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:20}
\Bx = r \Be_1 e^{i\theta},

where $$i = \Be_1 \Be_2$$.
Our differentials are
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:40}
\begin{aligned}
d\Bx_r &= \Be_1 e^{i\theta} \,dr \\
d\Bx_\theta &= r \Be_2 e^{i\theta} \,d\theta.
\end{aligned}

Our “volume” element, is a 2D pseudoscalar
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:60}
\begin{aligned}
dA &= d\Bx_r \wedge d\Bx_\theta \\
&= r \gpgradetwo{ \Be_1 e^{i\theta} \Be_2 e^{i\theta} } \, dr d\theta \\
&= r \gpgradetwo{ \Be_1 \Be_2 e^{-i\theta} e^{i\theta} } \, dr d\theta \\
&= r i \, dr d\theta.
\end{aligned}

This, as I probably pointed out in my previous blog post, can be integrated to find the area of the circle
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:80}
\begin{aligned}
A &= \int_{r = 0}^R \int_{\theta = 0}^{2\pi} r i \, dr d\theta \\
&= \frac{R^2}{2} 2 \pi i \\
&= \pi R^2 i.
\end{aligned}

However, we got lucky, as the two-form area element was strictly positive (i.e.: the Jacobean for a polar change of coordinates is strictly positive.)

However, we can’t find the circumference of a circle my integrating $$d\Bx_\theta$$ around that circular path, because $$d\Bx_\theta$$ has an orientation, and we will get zero (given the symmetry of the problem) if we integrate all the way around
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:100}
\begin{aligned}
\int_{\theta = 0}^{2\pi} d\Bx_\theta &= \int_{\theta = 0}^{2\pi} r \Be_2 e^{i\theta} \,d\theta \\
&= r \Be_2 \evalrange{ \frac{e^{i\theta}}{i} }{0}{2\pi} \\
&= \frac{r \Be_2}{i} \times 0.
\end{aligned}

If we want the circumference of a circle, we have to sum all the contributions of $$d\Bx_\theta$$ that are colinear with $$\thetacap = \Be_2 e^{i\theta}$$
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:120}
\begin{aligned}
C &= \int_{\theta = 0}^{2\pi} \thetacap \cdot \, d\Bx_\theta \\
&= \int_{\theta = 0}^{2\pi} \thetacap \cdot \lr{ r \thetacap \, d\theta } \\
&= 2 \pi r.
\end{aligned}

This is a plain old boring scalar integral, because the vector valued path integral isn’t terribly interesting.

## Spherical example.

For a spherical parameterization, our position vector is
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:140}
\Bx = r \Be_1 e^{i \phi} \sin\theta + r \Be_3 \cos\theta,

so the differentials are
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:160}
\begin{aligned}
d\Bx_r &= \lr{ \Be_1 e^{i \phi} \sin\theta + \Be_3 \cos\theta } \,dr = \rcap \, dr \\
d\Bx_\theta &= \lr{ r \Be_1 e^{i \phi} \cos\theta – r \Be_3 \sin\theta }\, d\theta = r \thetacap \,d\theta \\
d\Bx_\phi &= r \Be_2 e^{i \phi} \sin\theta \, d\phi = r \sin\theta \phicap.
\end{aligned}

The oriented area element on the surface of the sphere is
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:180}
\begin{aligned}
dA &= d\Bx_\theta \wedge d\Bx_\phi \\
&= r^2 \gpgradetwo{ \lr{ \Be_1 e^{i \phi} \cos\theta – \Be_3 \sin\theta } \Be_2 e^{i \phi} \sin\theta } \,d\theta d\phi \\
&= r^2 \sin\theta \lr{ i \cos\theta – \Be_{32} e^{i \phi} \sin\theta } \,d\theta d\phi .
\end{aligned}

Integrating this over the surface will give us zero, with the first integrand killed by the $$\theta$$ integral, and the second by the $$\phi$$ integral. As pointed out in the original question, we must integrate the absolute value of this two-form in order to find the surface area of the sphere, just as we had to integrate the absolute value of $$d\Bx_\theta$$ for the circle to find the circumference.

Let’s perform that integration to verify that we get the expected result. We will first simplify our bivector valued oriented area element. Observe that $$dA \wedge \rcap = dA \rcap \propto I$$, so $$dA \propto \rcap I$$. We should be able to simplify our expression for $$dA$$ by factoring out an $$\rcap$$ term
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:200}
\begin{aligned}
dA &= r^2 \sin\theta \lr{ \Be_{1233} \cos\theta – \Be_{1132} e^{i \phi} \sin\theta } \,d\theta d\phi \\
&= r^2 \sin\theta I \lr{ \Be_3 \cos\theta + \Be_1 e^{i \phi} \sin\theta } \,d\theta d\phi \\
&= r^2 \sin\theta I \rcap \,d\theta d\phi.
\end{aligned}

The spherical scalar area is
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:220}
\begin{aligned}
A
&= \int_{\theta = 0}^{\pi} \int_{\phi = 0}^{2 \pi} \Abs{ r^2 \sin\theta I \rcap } \,d\theta d\phi \\
&= r^2 \int_{\theta = 0}^{\pi} \int_{\phi = 0}^{2 \pi} \Abs{ \sin\theta } \,d\theta d\phi \\
&= 2 r^2 \int_{\theta = 0}^{\pi/2} \int_{\phi = 0}^{2\pi} \sin\theta \,d\theta d\phi \\
&= 2 r^2 (2 \pi) \\
&= 4 \pi r^2.
\end{aligned}

Observe that to find the volume of the sphere, we also cannot just integrate the trivector valued volume element directly either. That oriented volume element is
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:240}
\begin{aligned}
dV
&= d\Bx_r \wedge dA \\
&= \rcap\, dr dA \\
&= r^2 \sin\theta I \,dr d\theta d\phi.
\end{aligned}

This integrand is positive above the azimuthal plane, and negative below, so will give us zero if we integrate over the entire $$\theta \in [0, \pi]$$ region. So, if we want to find the volume of a sphere, we also must use an absolute integrand.
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:260}
\begin{aligned}
V
&= \int_{r = 0}^{R} \int_{\theta = 0}^{\pi} \int_{\phi = 0}^{2 \pi} \Abs{ r^2 \sin\theta I } \,dr d\theta d\phi \\
&= 2 \int_{r = 0}^{R} \int_{\theta = 0}^{\pi/2} \int_{\phi = 0}^{2\pi} r^2 \sin\theta \,dr d\theta d\phi \\
&= 2 \frac{R^3}{3} (2 \pi) \\
&= \frac{4}{3} \pi R^3.
\end{aligned}

Had the sign of our volume element been invariant over the entire integration region, as it was for the circular area computation (but not the circular boundary computation), we could have computed this as a pseudoscalar integral. For example, if we wanted to know what the oriented volume of the first quadrant of the sphere was, we could compute that directly, as
\label{eqn:circularAndSphericalAreaVolumeAndBoundaries:280}
\begin{aligned}
V_1 &= \int_{r = 0}^{R} \int_{\theta = 0}^{\pi/2} \int_{\phi = 0}^{\pi/2} r^2 \sin\theta I \,dr d\theta d\phi \\
&= \inv{6} \pi R^3 I,
\end{aligned}

but if this volume integral is extended to the entire spherical region, the result is zero, not $$(4/3) \pi R^3 I$$.

Only when our multivector integrand doesn’t change sign over the integration region, can we directly integrate without taking absolute values.
Again, this should not be too surprising.
This is why, in conventional scalar calculus, we generally must take the absolute value of our change of variable Jacobians, when we compute area or volume computations.

## Stokes Theorem

The Fundamental Theorem of (Geometric) Calculus is a generalization of Stokes theorem to multivector integrals. Notationally, it looks like Stokes theorem with all the dot and wedge products removed. It is worth restating Stokes theorem and all the definitions associated with it for reference

## Stokes’ Theorem

For blades $$F \in \bigwedge^{s}$$, and $$m$$ volume element $$d^k \Bx, s < k$$, \begin{equation*} \int_V d^k \Bx \cdot (\boldpartial \wedge F) = \oint_{\partial V} d^{k-1} \Bx \cdot F. \end{equation*} This is a loaded and abstract statement, and requires many definitions to make it useful

• The volume integral is over a $$m$$ dimensional surface (manifold).
• Integration over the boundary of the manifold $$V$$ is indicated by $$\partial V$$.
• This manifold is assumed to be spanned by a parameterized vector $$\Bx(u^1, u^2, \cdots, u^k)$$.
• A curvilinear coordinate basis $$\setlr{ \Bx_i }$$ can be defined on the manifold by
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:40}
\Bx_i \equiv \PD{u^i}{\Bx} \equiv \partial_i \Bx.

• A dual basis $$\setlr{\Bx^i}$$ reciprocal to the tangent vector basis $$\Bx_i$$ can be calculated subject to the requirement $$\Bx_i \cdot \Bx^j = \delta_i^j$$.
• The vector derivative $$\boldpartial$$, the projection of the gradient onto the tangent space of the manifold, is defined by
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:100}
\boldpartial = \Bx^i \partial_i = \sum_{i=1}^k \Bx_i \PD{u^i}{}.

• The volume element is defined by
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:60}
d^k \Bx = d\Bx_1 \wedge d\Bx_2 \cdots \wedge d\Bx_k,

where

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:80}
d\Bx_k = \Bx_k du^k,\qquad \text{(no sum)}.

• The volume element is non-zero on the manifold, or $$\Bx_1 \wedge \cdots \wedge \Bx_k \ne 0$$.
• The surface area element $$d^{k-1} \Bx$$, is defined by
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:120}
d^{k-1} \Bx = \sum_{i = 1}^k (-1)^{k-i} d\Bx_1 \wedge d\Bx_2 \cdots \widehat{d\Bx_i} \cdots \wedge d\Bx_k,

where $$\widehat{d\Bx_i}$$ indicates the omission of $$d\Bx_i$$.

• My proof for this theorem was restricted to a simple “rectangular” volume parameterized by the ranges
$$[u^1(0), u^1(1) ] \otimes [u^2(0), u^2(1) ] \otimes \cdots \otimes [u^k(0), u^k(1) ]$$

• The precise meaning that should be given to oriented area integral is
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:140}
\oint_{\partial V} d^{k-1} \Bx \cdot F
=
\sum_{i = 1}^k (-1)^{k-i} \int \evalrange{
\lr{ \lr{ d\Bx_1 \wedge d\Bx_2 \cdots \widehat{d\Bx_i} \cdots \wedge d\Bx_k } \cdot F }
}{u^i = u^i(0)}{u^i(1)},

where both the a area form and the blade $$F$$ are evaluated at the end points of the parameterization range.

After the work of stating exactly what is meant by this theorem, most of the proof follows from the fact that for $$s < k$$ the volume curl dot product can be expanded as $$\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:160} \int_V d^k \Bx \cdot (\boldpartial \wedge F) = \int_V d^k \Bx \cdot (\Bx^i \wedge \partial_i F) = \int_V \lr{ d^k \Bx \cdot \Bx^i } \cdot \partial_i F.$$ Each of the $$du^i$$ integrals can be evaluated directly, since each of the remaining $$d\Bx_j = du^j \PDi{u^j}{}, i \ne j$$ is calculated with $$u^i$$ held fixed. This allows for the integration over a rectangular'' parameterization region, proving the theorem for such a volume parameterization. A more general proof requires a triangulation of the volume and surface, but the basic principle of the theorem is evident, without that additional work.

## Fundamental Theorem of Calculus

There is a Geometric Algebra generalization of Stokes theorem that does not have the blade grade restriction of Stokes theorem. In [2] this is stated as

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:180}
\int_V d^k \Bx \boldpartial F = \oint_{\partial V} d^{k-1} \Bx F.

A similar expression is used in [1] where it is also pointed out there is a variant with the vector derivative acting to the left

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:200}
\int_V F d^k \Bx \boldpartial = \oint_{\partial V} F d^{k-1} \Bx.

In [3] it is pointed out that a bidirectional formulation is possible, providing the most general expression of the Fundamental Theorem of (Geometric) Calculus

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:220}
\boxed{
\int_V F d^k \Bx \boldpartial G = \oint_{\partial V} F d^{k-1} \Bx G.
}

Here the vector derivative acts both to the left and right on $$F$$ and $$G$$. The specific action of this operator is
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:240}
\begin{aligned}
F \boldpartial G
&=
(F \boldpartial) G
+
F (\boldpartial G) \\
&=
(\partial_i F) \Bx^i G
+
F \Bx^i (\partial_i G).
\end{aligned}

The fundamental theorem can be demonstrated by direct expansion. With the vector derivative $$\boldpartial$$ and its partials $$\partial_i$$ acting bidirectionally, that is

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:260}
\begin{aligned}
\int_V F d^k \Bx \boldpartial G
&=
\int_V F d^k \Bx \Bx^i \partial_i G \\
&=
\int_V F \lr{ d^k \Bx \cdot \Bx^i + d^k \Bx \wedge \Bx^i } \partial_i G.
\end{aligned}

Both the reciprocal frame vectors and the curvilinear basis span the tangent space of the manifold, since we can write any reciprocal frame vector as a set of projections in the curvilinear basis

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:280}
\Bx^i = \sum_j \lr{ \Bx^i \cdot \Bx^j } \Bx_j,

so $$\Bx^i \in sectionpan \setlr{ \Bx_j, j \in [1,k] }$$.
This means that $$d^k \Bx \wedge \Bx^i = 0$$, and

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:300}
\begin{aligned}
\int_V F d^k \Bx \boldpartial G
&=
\int_V F \lr{ d^k \Bx \cdot \Bx^i } \partial_i G \\
&=
\sum_{i = 1}^{k}
\int_V
du^1 du^2 \cdots \widehat{ du^i} \cdots du^k
F \lr{
(-1)^{k-i}
\Bx_1 \wedge \Bx_2 \cdots \widehat{\Bx_i} \cdots \wedge \Bx_k } \partial_i G du^i \\
&=
\sum_{i = 1}^{k}
(-1)^{k-i}
\int_{u^1}
\int_{u^2}
\cdots
\int_{u^{i-1}}
\int_{u^{i+1}}
\cdots
\int_{u^k}
\evalrange{ \lr{
F d\Bx_1 \wedge d\Bx_2 \cdots \widehat{d\Bx_i} \cdots \wedge d\Bx_k G
}
}{u^i = u^i(0)}{u^i(1)}.
\end{aligned}

Adding in the same notational sugar that we used in Stokes theorem, this proves the Fundamental theorem \ref{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:220} for “rectangular” parameterizations. Note that such a parameterization need not actually be rectangular.

## Example: Application to Maxwell’s equation

{example:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:1}

Maxwell’s equation is an example of a first order gradient equation

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:320}
\grad F = \inv{\epsilon_0 c} J.

Integrating over a four-volume (where the vector derivative equals the gradient), and applying the Fundamental theorem, we have

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:340}
\inv{\epsilon_0 c} \int d^4 x J = \oint d^3 x F.

Observe that the surface area element product with $$F$$ has both vector and trivector terms. This can be demonstrated by considering some examples

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:360}
\begin{aligned}
\gamma_{012} \gamma_{01} &\propto \gamma_2 \\
\gamma_{012} \gamma_{23} &\propto \gamma_{023}.
\end{aligned}

On the other hand, the four volume integral of $$J$$ has only trivector parts. This means that the integral can be split into a pair of same-grade equations

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:380}
\begin{aligned}
\inv{\epsilon_0 c} \int d^4 x \cdot J &=
\oint \gpgradethree{ d^3 x F} \\
0 &=
\oint d^3 x \cdot F.
\end{aligned}

The first can be put into a slightly tidier form using a duality transformation
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:400}
\begin{aligned}
&=
-\gpgradethree{ d^3 x I^2 F} \\
&=
\gpgradethree{ I d^3 x I F} \\
&=
(I d^3 x) \wedge (I F).
\end{aligned}

Letting $$n \Abs{d^3 x} = I d^3 x$$, this gives

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:420}
\oint \Abs{d^3 x} n \wedge (I F) = \inv{\epsilon_0 c} \int d^4 x \cdot J.

Note that this normal is normal to a three-volume subspace of the spacetime volume. For example, if one component of that spacetime surface area element is $$\gamma_{012} c dt dx dy$$, then the normal to that area component is $$\gamma_3$$.

A second set of duality transformations

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:440}
\begin{aligned}
n \wedge (IF)
&=
&=
&=
-\gpgradethree{ I (n \cdot F)} \\
&=
-I (n \cdot F),
\end{aligned}

and
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:460}
\begin{aligned}
I d^4 x \cdot J
&=
\gpgradeone{ I d^4 x \cdot J } \\
&=
\gpgradeone{ I d^4 x J } \\
&=
\gpgradeone{ (I d^4 x) J } \\
&=
(I d^4 x) J,
\end{aligned}

can further tidy things up, leaving us with

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfCalculus:500}
\boxed{
\begin{aligned}
\oint \Abs{d^3 x} n \cdot F &= \inv{\epsilon_0 c} \int (I d^4 x) J \\
\oint d^3 x \cdot F &= 0.
\end{aligned}
}

The Fundamental theorem of calculus immediately provides relations between the Faraday bivector $$F$$ and the four-current $$J$$.

# References

[1] C. Doran and A.N. Lasenby. Geometric algebra for physicists. Cambridge University Press New York, Cambridge, UK, 1st edition, 2003.

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

[3] Garret Sobczyk and Omar Le\’on S\’anchez. Fundamental theorem of calculus. Advances in Applied Clifford Algebras, 21\penalty0 (1):\penalty0 221–231, 2011. URL https://arxiv.org/abs/0809.4526.