Complex lamellar vector field

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In vector calculus, a complex lamellar vector field is a vector field in three dimensions which is orthogonal to its own curl. That is,

\mathbf{F}\cdot (\nabla\times \mathbf{F}) = 0.

Complex lamellar vector fields are precisely those that are normal to a family of surfaces. A special case are irrotational vector fields, satisfying

\nabla\times\mathbf{F}=\mathbf{0}.

An irrotational vector field is locally the gradient of a function, and is therefore orthogonal to the family of level surfaces (the equipotential surfaces). Accordingly, the term lamellar vector field is sometimes used as a synonym for an irrotational vector field.[1] The adjective "lamellar" derives from the noun "lamella", which means a thin layer. The lamellae to which "lamellar flow" refers are the surfaces of constant potential, or in the complex case, the surfaces orthogonal to the vector field.

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  1. ^ Aris 1989, p. 64

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