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Exact and Inexact Differential!

  • Thread starter FourierX
  • Start date
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.


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)


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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