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Concept# Derivative

Summary

In mathematics, the derivative shows the sensitivity of change of a function's output with respect to the input. Derivatives are a fundamental tool of calculus. For example, the derivative of the position of a moving object with respect to time is the object's velocity: this measures how quickly the position of the object changes when time advances.
The derivative of a function of a single variable at a chosen input value, when it exists, is the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function at that point. The tangent line is the best linear approximation of the function near that input value. For this reason, the derivative is often described as the "instantaneous rate of change", the ratio of the instantaneous change in the dependent variable to that of the independent variable.
Derivatives can be generalized to functions of several real variables. In this generalization, the derivative is reinterpreted as a linear transformation whose graph is (after an appropriate translation) the best linear approximation to the graph of the original function. The Jacobian matrix is the matrix that represents this linear transformation with respect to the basis given by the choice of independent and dependent variables. It can be calculated in terms of the partial derivatives with respect to the independent variables. For a real-valued function of several variables, the Jacobian matrix reduces to the gradient vector.
The process of finding a derivative is called differentiation. The reverse process is called antidifferentiation. The fundamental theorem of calculus relates antidifferentiation with integration. Differentiation and integration constitute the two fundamental operations in single-variable calculus.
A function of a real variable f(x) is differentiable at a point a of its domain, if its domain contains an open interval I containing a, and the limit
exists. This means that, for every positive real number (even very small), there exists a positive real number such that, for every h such that and then is defined, and
where the vertical bars denote the absolute value (see (ε, δ)-definition of limit).

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Function (mathematics)

In mathematics, a function from a set X to a set Y assigns to each element of X exactly one element of Y. The set X is called the domain of the function and the set Y is called the codomain of the function. Functions were originally the idealization of how a varying quantity depends on another quantity. For example, the position of a planet is a function of time. Historically, the concept was elaborated with the infinitesimal calculus at the end of the 17th century, and, until the 19th century, the functions that were considered were differentiable (that is, they had a high degree of regularity).

Chain rule

In calculus, the chain rule is a formula that expresses the derivative of the composition of two differentiable functions f and g in terms of the derivatives of f and g. More precisely, if is the function such that for every x, then the chain rule is, in Lagrange's notation, or, equivalently, The chain rule may also be expressed in Leibniz's notation. If a variable z depends on the variable y, which itself depends on the variable x (that is, y and z are dependent variables), then z depends on x as well, via the intermediate variable y.

Calculus

Calculus is the mathematical study of continuous change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape, and algebra is the study of generalizations of arithmetic operations. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus; the former concerns instantaneous rates of change, and the slopes of curves, while the latter concerns accumulation of quantities, and areas under or between curves.

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