Definition of Differential. Meaning of Differential. Synonyms of Differential
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Definition of Differential
DifferentialDifferential Dif`fer*en"tial, n.
1. (Math.) An increment, usually an indefinitely small one,
which is given to a variable quantity.
Note: According to the more modern writers upon the
differential and integral calculus, if two or more
quantities are dependent on each other, and subject to
increments of value, their differentials need not be
small, but are any quantities whose ratios to each
other are the limits to which the ratios of the
increments approximate, as these increments are reduced
nearer and nearer to zero.
2. A small difference in rates which competing railroad
lines, in establishing a common tariff, allow one of their
number to make, in order to get a fair share of the
business. The lower rate is called a differential rate.
Differentials are also sometimes granted to cities.
(a) One of two coils of conducting wire so related to one
another or to a magnet or armature common to both,
that one coil produces polar action contrary to that
of the other.
(b) A form of conductor used for dividing and distributing
the current to a series of electric lamps so as to
maintain equal action in all. --Knight.
Partial differential (Math.), the differential of a
function of two or more variables, when only one of the
variables receives an increment.
Total differential (Math.), the differential of a function
of two or more variables, when each of the variables
receives an increment. The total differential of the
function is the sum of all the partial differentials.
Meaning of Differential from wikipedia
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