• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products via PF Here!

Rate of change

  • Thread starter flo123
  • Start date
8
0
how do you calculate the rate of change in a graph?? is it just the gradient??
 

dextercioby

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
12,949
531
Since your "rate of change" sounds terribly vague,i'll assume that it means "the change in <<y>> corresponding to an infinitesimal change in <<x>>",which means the derivative of the function at a specific point.

Daniel.
 
2,208
1
dextercioby said:
Since your "rate of change" sounds terribly vague,i'll assume that it means "the change in <<y>> corresponding to an infinitesimal change in <<x>>",which means the derivative of the function at a specific point.

Daniel.
Usually a premise, whether assumed or not, is followed by a conclusion. You didn't address his question :rofl:

The rate of change at a point on a graph is the slope or gradient at that given point. For linear graphs of form [itex] y = mx + b [/itex] the gradient is constant throughout the graph, for others calculus is used to find the rate of change.
 

HallsofIvy

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
41,709
876
whozum said:
Usually a premise, whether assumed or not, is followed by a conclusion. You didn't address his question :rofl:
Yes, he did when he said "which means the derivative of the function at a specific point." "Derivative" is what us Yanks call the "gradient".
 
2,208
1
HallsofIvy said:
Yes, he did when he said "which means the derivative of the function at a specific point." "Derivative" is what us Yanks call the "gradient".
In that case, its a run-on sentence :biggrin:, and thats why it doesn't make immediate sense.

I was taught math in the US and I've only heard gradient when it comes to vector fields. This is the only place I've heard gradient used instead of slope or derivative.
 
8
0
Thanks for the replies, sorry it has caused tension in this debate about my vague question, the derivative of an equation is the gradient simple really... and its a her not a he

plus what other answers other than the change in y and x, could there be on a graph??
 
Last edited:

Related Threads for: Rate of change

Replies
4
Views
907
  • Posted
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
826
  • Posted
Replies
1
Views
6K
  • Posted
Replies
4
Views
11K
  • Posted
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
942

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top