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In mathematics—in particular, in multivariable calculus—a volume integral refers to an integral over a 3-dimensional domain, that is, it is a special case of multiple integrals. Volume integrals are especially important in physics for many applications, for example, to calculate flux densities.
A volume integral in cylindrical coordinates is
Integrating the function over a unit cube yields the following result:
So the volume of the unit cube is 1 as expected. This is rather trivial however, and a volume integral is far more powerful. For instance if we have a scalar function describing the density of the cube at a given point by then performing the volume integral will give the total mass of the cube:
- Hazewinkel, Michiel, ed. (2001), "Multiple integral", Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Springer, ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4
- Weisstein, Eric W. "Volume integral". MathWorld.