The derivate of a function with respect to its variable is the instantaneous rate of change (slope) of the function at any value of .
is a constant, while , , are functions. The derivates are expressed as derivatives with respect to an arbitrary variable x.
When there is more than one variable in a function it is often useful to examine the variation of the function with respect to one of the variables with all the other variables considered to stay constant.
Suppose we have a function:
then, the partial derivate with respect to is written as:
respectively, after deriving by :
In physics, partial derivates are used to express various equations that rely on time. For example, the velocity is the derivate of the position with respect to time:
and acceleration is the derivative of velocity with respect to time (and hence the double derivate):
When applied to combination of functions certain properties of derivates apply.
If a function is a product of two functions and , then the derivate of this product is:
If the function is a sum of two functions and , then the derivate of this sum is:
If the function and , then the derivative of with respect to can be written as a product of derivates: