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Derivative of quotient with same variables on top and bottom

  1. Apr 30, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    how do i go about finding the partial derivative wrt m?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    i started by rearranging it to the form a=g.(M-m)(M+m)^-1, i used the chain rule to find the derivative of (M+m)^-1 to be -(M+m)^-2 but i'm not sure where to go from there or even if that was the right approach to take. any help?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2008 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    I don't see why you would have a problem with this. Would you be able to find the derivative, with respect to x, of (x- m)/(x+ m) if m were a constant? What about (M-x)/(M+ x) if M is a constant? It's exactly the same thing.

    You can write (M-m)(M+m)-1 and use the chain rule together with the product rule or you can keep it as (M-m)/(M+m) and use the quotient rule.
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