↑ The line integral over a scalar field *f* can be thought of as the area under the curve *C* along a surface *z* = *f*(*x*,*y*), described by the field.

**Line integral**

In mathematics, a **line integral** (sometimes called a **path integral**, **contour integral**, or **curve integral**; not to be confused with calculating arc length using integration) is an integral where the function to be integrated is evaluated along a curve.

The function to be integrated may be a scalar field or a vector field. The value of the line integral is the sum of values of the field at all points on the curve, weighted by some scalar function on the curve (commonly arc length or, for a vector field, the scalar product of the vector field with a differential vector in the curve). This weighting distinguishes the line integral from simpler integrals defined on intervals.