Partial derivative

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

In mathematics, a partial derivative of a function of several variables is its derivative with respect to one of those variables while all others are kept constant. Partial derivatives are widely used in differential geometry, vector calculus, and physics.

Definition

A function is called a function of multiple variables if . The partial derivative of in the direction at the point is defined as


Notation

The partial derivative of a function f with respect to the variable xi is written as fxi or ∂f/∂xi. The partial derivative symbol is distinguished from the straight d that denotes the total derivative.

See also