All the examples of **continuity equations** below express the same idea; they are all really examples of the same concept. Continuity equations are the (stronger) local form of conservation laws. In physics, a conservation law states that a particular measurable property of an isolated physical system does not change as the system evolves. ...
## Electromagnetic theory
In electromagnetic theory, the **continuity equation** is derived from two of Maxwell's equations. It states that the divergence of the current density is equal to the negative rate of change of the charge density, Maxwells equations are the set of four equations, attributed to James Clerk Maxwell, that describe the behavior of both the electric and magnetic fields, as well as their interactions with matter. ...
Maxwells equations (sometimes called the Maxwell equations) are the set of four equations, attributed to James Clerk Maxwell, that describe the behavior of both the electric and magnetic fields, as well as their interactions with matter. ...
In electricity, current is the rate of flow of charges, usually through a metal wire or some other electrical conductor. ...
Charge density is the amount of electric charge per unit volume. ...
### Derivation One of Maxwell's equations states that Taking the divergence of both sides results in - ,
but the divergence of a curl is zero, so that Another one of Maxwell's equations states that Substitute this into equation (1) to obtain which is the continuity equation.
### Interpretation Current density is the movement of charge density. The continuity equation says that if charge is moving out of a differential volume (i.e. divergence of current density is positive) then the amount of charge within that volume is going to decrease, so the rate of change of charge density is negative. Therefore the continuity equation amounts to a conservation of charge.
## Fluid dynamics In fluid dynamics, a **continuity equation** is an equation of conservation of mass. Its differential form is Fluid dynamics is the subdiscipline of fluid mechanics that studies fluids in motion. ...
law of conservation of mass/matter states that the mass of a system of substances is constant, regardless of the processes acting inside the system. ...
where ρ is density, t is time, and **u** is fluid velocity.
## Quantum mechanics In quantum mechanics, the conservation of probability also yields a **continuity equation**. Let *P*(*x*, *t*) be a probability density and write Fig. ...
In quantum mechanics, a probability amplitude is a complex number-valued function which describes an uncertain or unknown quantity. ...
where **J** is probability flux. In quantum mechanics, the probability current (sometimes called probability flux) is a useful concept which describes the flow of probability density. ...
## See also |