# Del Operator

- The del operator operates on a scalar to produce a vector. Compare the ∇ operation to taking the time derivative. Where δ/δt means to take the derivative with respect to time and introduces a s

- In rectangular coordinates

- In cylindrical coordinates

- In spherical coordinates

^{-1}component to the units of the result, the ∇ operation means to take the derivative with respect to distance (in 3 dimensions) and introduces a m

^{-1}component to the units of the result. ∇ terms may be called space derivatives and an equation which contains the ∇ operator may be called a vector differential equation. In other words ∇

*A*is how fast

*A*changes as you move through space.

**See also: **Divergence, Laplacian.

**Subjects: ** Mathematics