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Total vs. Partial Derivatives

  1. Nov 8, 2004 #1
    Is there some underlying difference between the two types of derivatives?Other than the obvious that one is used on single variable functions, while the other is for multivariable functions. I'm asking because my classical professor mentioned something about knowing the difference between the two and how it was important for using the Hamiltonian and getting the equations of motion. I haven't taken a calculas class in about 5 years, and I don't remember any discussion on other differences. Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2004 #2


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    Consider that it is possible to calculate the total derivative of a function of several variables.
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