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## #1 2005-12-02 09:33:22

fatulant
Member
Registered: 2005-12-01
Posts: 10

### What is a partial derivative?

and how do you find one?

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## #2 2005-12-02 09:48:27

Flowers4Carlos
Member
Registered: 2005-08-25
Posts: 106

### Re: What is a partial derivative?

partial derivative is basically holding one variable constant and differentiating with respect to another variable.  for example: z = 3x + 4y

the partial of z with respect to x is 3 (hold y constant)
the partial of z with respect to y is 4 (hold x constant)

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## #3 2005-12-02 09:58:50

fatulant
Member
Registered: 2005-12-01
Posts: 10

### Re: What is a partial derivative?

So what uses do they have?

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## #4 2005-12-02 10:19:15

Flowers4Carlos
Member
Registered: 2005-08-25
Posts: 106

### Re: What is a partial derivative?

one use is in optimization problems.  if you want to find the minimum cost of constructing, oh i don't don't, say a can, you would probably use partial derivaties.

i'm sure someone in the field can give you a better use for it.

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