Maths: Partial Differentiation
posted by Claire on .
1) If x = rcos theta and y = r sin theta, show that partial r / partial x = cos theta and find partial theta / partial x.
2) If z = sin theta.sin phi.sin gamma, and z is calculated for the values theta = 30degrees, phi = 45 degrees and gamma = 60degrees, find approximately the change in the value of z if each of the angles theta and gamma is increased by the same small angle alpha degrees, and phi is decreased by 1/2 alpha degrees.
Can someone please show me how to work these out?

1) change your equations to
r^2 = x^2 + y^2
2r dr/dx = 2x
dr/dx = x/r = cos theta
cos theta = x/r
Now partially differentiate with respect to x.
sin theta d theta/dx = 1/r
dtheta/dx = 1/(r sin theta) = 1/x
I had to use d for the slanted Greek partial symbol above
2) Assume alpha is very small and use
dz = (partialz/dtheta)*alpha + (partialz/dphi)*alpha/2 + (partialz/dgamma)*alpha
dz is the "total differential" increase in z.