# Partial Derivative notation

1. Feb 7, 2009

### Reedeegi

What does the notation $$\partial$$ $$\beta$$D$$\alpha$$
mean? I came across it in General Relativity, so I think it's the set of all partial derivatives of the vector function, i.e.
$$\partial$$0D1, $$\partial$$0D$$2$$

and so on... but I'm not entirely sure.

2. Feb 7, 2009

### cristo

Staff Emeritus
If you mean $\partial_{\beta}D^{\alpha}$, then it is short hand for $$\frac{\partial D^{\alpha}}{\partial x^{\beta}}$$

3. Feb 7, 2009

### slider142

Depending on the context, it can also mean boundary. What is the context?

4. Feb 8, 2009

### HallsofIvy

Since Reedeegi said it was from General Relativity I suspect the context is as cristo assumed and it is the "outer derivative" of the vector- the tensor represented by array in which the "$\alpha\beta$" component is the derivative of the $\alpha[/itiex] component of D with respect to [itex]x^\beta$- which is, of course, just what cristo said.