Linked Questions

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3answers
2k views

What is wrong with treating $\dfrac {dy}{dx}$ as a fraction? [duplicate]

If you think about the limit definition of the derivative, $dy$ represents $$\lim_{h\rightarrow 0}\dfrac {f(x+h)-f(x)}{h}$$, and $dx$ represents $$\lim_{h\rightarrow 0}$$ . So you have a ...
0
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2answers
127 views

$dy\over dx$ is one things but why in integration we can treat it as 2 different terms [duplicate]

when i am learning differentiation, my lectuer tell us that the deriative $dy\over dx$ is one things, it is not the ration between dy and dx. However when i learn about integrating, sometime we need ...
1
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0answers
112 views

How do we go from $f'(x) = \frac{dy}{dx}$ to $dy = f'(x)dx$? [duplicate]

As far as I know, the derivative of $y$ is defined as: $$f'(x) = \lim_{h \rightarrow 0} \frac{f(x + h) - f(x)}h = \frac{dy}{dx}$$ So $\frac{dy}{dx}$ is a limit, not a fraction of real numbers. I ...
4
votes
2answers
48 views

Conceptual question on substitution in integration [duplicate]

In calculus we learn about the substitution method of integrals, but I haven't been able to prove that it works. I mainly don't see how manipulations of differentials is justified, i.e how $dy/dx = ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Why do we treat differential notation as a fraction in u-substitution method [duplicate]

How did we come to know that treating the differential notation as a fraction will help us in finding the integral. And how do we know about its validity? How can $\frac{dy}{dx}$ be treated as a ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

$dx=\frac {dx}{dt}dt $. Why is this equality true and what does it mean? [duplicate]

$dx=\frac {dx}{dt}dt $. I know that this deduction is obvious from the chain rule, given that we treat our dx and dt as just numbers. But I find it quite unsatisfactory to think of it in that sense. ...
0
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0answers
48 views

Why is $\frac {dy}{dx}$ treated as a fraction? Plus an implicit differentiation question. [duplicate]

Why is $\frac {dy}{dx}$ treated as a fraction? I always thought that it is just notation for the derivative of $y$ with respect to $x$, but when it comes to implicit differentiation and integration ...
0
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0answers
18 views

flexibility of differention operator dy/dx [duplicate]

If dy/dx = p(say) then we write dy = pdx .But in reality d /dx is an operator,not simply division.So we can not treat this operator as simple division but we do.In reality we can not seperate this dy ...
72
votes
31answers
7k views

What are some conceptualizations that work in mathematics but are not strictly true?

I'm having an argument with someone who thinks it's never justified to teach something that's not strictly correct. I disagree: often, the pedagogically most efficient way to make progress is to ...
89
votes
22answers
10k views

Most ambiguous and inconsistent phrases and notations in maths

What are some examples of notations and words in maths which have been overused or abused to the point of them being almost completely ambiguous when presented in new contexts? For instance, a ...
53
votes
11answers
7k views

What is $dx$ in integration?

When I was at school and learning integration in maths class at A Level my teacher wrote things like this on the board. $$\int f(x)\, dx$$ When he came to explain the meaning of the $dx$, he told us ...
88
votes
3answers
44k views

What is the practical difference between a differential and a derivative?

I ask because, as a first-year calculus student, I am running into the fact that I didn't quite get this down when understanding the derivative: So, a derivative is the rate of change of a function ...
40
votes
9answers
2k views

Is $dx\,dy$ really a multiplication of $dx$ and $dy$?

On the answers of the question Is $\frac{dy}{dx}$ not a ratio? it was told that $\frac{dy}{dx}$ cannot be seen as a quotient, even though it looks like a fraction. My question is: does $dxdy$ in the ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

What does $dx$ mean?

$dx$ appears in differential equations, such us derivatives and integrals. For example, a function $f(x)$ its first derivative is $\dfrac{d}{dx}f(x)$ and its integral $\displaystyle\int f(x)dx$. But ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Chain Rule Intuition

We know that the chain rule is used to differentiate a composite function ,say $$f(x) = h(g(x))$$ It's defined as the derivative of the outside function times the derivative of the inner function or ...

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