Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Leibniz derivative notation

  1. Mar 9, 2013 #1
    is there an algebraic meaning to expressing the derivative of a function

    as (d^2)y/(dx)^2 in the liebniz way
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2013 #2

    I think that's what you're asking?
  4. Mar 10, 2013 #3
    yes, I see that now. Does the d^2 mean something? or just signifiy second derivative, i can see how the dx squared would be like acceleration is seconds^-2
  5. Mar 10, 2013 #4
    If you multiple the d out on top you get d2y and if you multiply the bottom you get dx2
  6. Mar 10, 2013 #5
    but the d squared is not an exponent, its a derivative...are they the same?
  7. Mar 10, 2013 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    They are certainly not the same; don't think of them as exponents or fractions at all it is very misleading. It is just notation to relay the fact that you have acted the operator [itex]\frac{\mathrm{d} }{\mathrm{d} x}[/itex] on [itex]f[/itex] at [itex]x\in \mathbb{R}[/itex] twice.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook