1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Intuition for the second spatial derivative

  1. Apr 24, 2014 #1


    User Avatar

    Hello !

    Could you please give me some kind of intuition of the physical meaning of the second spatial derivative ?

    I see it all the time, but I have difficulty comprehending it to the same level I have done with the second time derivative.

    Thanks !
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper


    y' is how the slope of f(x) varies with x
    y'' is how the curvature of f(x) varies with x

    i.e. you have a landscape with a hill in it, then y'(x) is how steep the hill is, and y''(x) is how curvey it is.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted