# Are the following two derivatives same?

sgsawant
1. fxy
2. fyx

Are the above 2 derivatives equal, in general. Please explain if you know the answer.

Regards,

-sgsawant

Yes, in general if these two derivatives exist and are continuous, then they are equal. This is called "equality of mixed partial derivatives". I have also seen it called Clairaut's theorem, although supposedly it was first proved by Euler (like so much of the rest of mathematics).

As long as $f_{xy}$ and $f_{yx}$ are continuous in some neighborhood of a point, then, at that point, they are equal.
Let U in R^2 be open, $f:U\to\matbb{R}$ partial differentiable w.r.t. both variables, and $D_1f$ partial differentiable w.r.t the second variable. Suppose further that (x,y) is in V, and $D_2D_1f$ is continuous at (x,y). Then $D_2f$ is partial differentiable w.r.t the first variable at (x,y), and
$$D_1D_2f(x,y)=D_2D_1f(x,y)$$.
i.e. we only need $D_2D_1f$ to exist and be continuous at some point in the interioir, this already implies that $D_1D_2f$ exists at that point and the two are equal.