Partial derivatives 2 | Multivariable Calculus | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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August 9, 2008
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Khan Academy
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Partial derivatives 2 | Multivariable Calculus | Khan Academy

TL;DR

This video explains the concept of partial derivatives and how to calculate them, as well as how to find the slope of tangent lines on a given surface.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is a partial derivative?

A partial derivative measures how a function changes with respect to only one variable while keeping the other variables constant. It allows us to analyze the sensitivity of the function to changes in a specific variable.

Q: How do you calculate a partial derivative?

To find the partial derivative of a function with respect to x, you treat y as a constant and take the derivative of the function with respect to x. Similarly, to find the partial derivative with respect to y, you treat x as a constant and take the derivative with respect to y.

Q: What is the significance of tangent lines in partial derivatives?

Tangent lines on a surface represent the slope of the function at a specific point. By taking partial derivatives, we can determine the slope of the function in the x and y directions at that point, which helps in visualizing the changes in the function.

Q: How can partial derivatives be applied in real-world scenarios?

Partial derivatives are widely used in fields such as physics, economics, and engineering. They help in understanding the rate of change of various quantities in systems that involve multiple variables, allowing for more accurate predictions and analysis.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Partial derivatives allow us to measure how a function changes with respect to only one variable while keeping the others constant.

  • The partial derivative of a function with respect to x is found by taking the derivative of the function with respect to x while treating y as a constant.

  • The partial derivative of a function with respect to y is found by taking the derivative of the function with respect to y while treating x as a constant.

  • Tangent lines on a surface can be determined by taking the partial derivatives of the function at a given point.

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