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Rate of change

  1. Jun 15, 2005 #1
    how do you calculate the rate of change in a graph?? is it just the gradient??
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2005 #2


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    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.

  4. Jun 15, 2005 #3
    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.
  5. Jun 15, 2005 #4


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    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".
  6. Jun 15, 2005 #5
    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.
  7. Jun 16, 2005 #6
    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: Jun 16, 2005
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