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Homework Help: Exact and Inexact Differential!

  1. Feb 19, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Is (x2 -y)dx + xdy = dF an exact differential ?

    dF = path dependant ( i.e. d has a line strikethrough it as h in planck's constant.)

    2. Relevant equations

    (x2 -y)dx + xdy = dF

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I don't know what exact and inexact differentials are. Please help me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi FourierX! :smile:

    Exact differential means that the left hand side is exactly d(something), for example y2cosxdx + 2ysinxdy is an exact differential because it is d(y2sinx)
  4. Feb 19, 2009 #3


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    Gold Member

    Mdx + Ndy = f(x) is exact only when this condition is met [tex]\frac{\partial M}{\partial y} = \frac{\partial N}{\partial x} [/tex] (It has to be EXACTLY equal...no minus signs allowed etc..)
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