To understand why this is true, we must start with the Fundamental Theorem of Vector calculus. If is a conservative field ( i.e ), then
What this means is that the value is dependent only on the initial and final positions. The path that you take to get from A to B is not important.
Now if the path of integration is a closed loop, then points A and B are the same, and therefore:
Now that we are clear about this, according to Stokes theorem the same integral for a closed region can be represented in another form:
From this we get that Curl = for a conservative field (i.e ). Therefore when a conservative field is operated on by a curl operator (), it yields 0.
Bravo Prof.Ghrist! Beautifully said 😀