We demonstrate how to make the coordinate transformation or change of variables from Cartesian coordinates to curvilinear coordinates by making use of a convolution of a function with Dirac delta functions whose arguments are determined by the transformation functions between the two coordinate systems. By integrating out an original coordinate with a Dirac delta function, we replace the original coordinate with a new coordinate in a systematic way. A recursive use of Dirac delta functions allows the coordinate transformation successively. After replacing every original coordinate into a new curvilinear coordinate, we find that the resultant Jacobian of the corresponding coordinate transformation is automatically obtained in a completely algebraic way. In order to provide insights on this method, we present a few examples of evaluating the Jacobian explicitly without resort to the known general formula.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 European Physical Society.
- Dirac delta function
- chain rule of partial derivatives
- coordinate transformation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)