Differential

Differential
Differential Dif`fer*en"tial, n. 1. (Math.) An increment, usually an indefinitely small one, which is given to a variable quantity. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

3. (Elec.) (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. [1913 Webster]

{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}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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• Differential — may refer to: Contents 1 Mathematics 2 Natural sciences and engineering 3 Social sciences 4 Medicine 5 …   Wikipedia

• differential — dif fer*en tial, a. [Cf. F. diff[ e]rentiel.] 1. Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a difference; discriminating; special; as, differential characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate. [1913 Webster] For whom he… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• differential — is a noun and adjective with several technical and general meanings. As an adjective it is used principally in combinations such as differential rates of interest, which are not just different rates of interest but rates based on quantifiable… …   Modern English usage

• differential — [dif΄ər en′shəl] adj. [ML differentialis < L differentia: see DIFFERENCE] 1. of, showing, or depending on a difference or differences [differential rates] 2. constituting or making a specific difference; distinguishing [differential qualities] …   English World dictionary

• Differential — Differential, eine unendlich kleine Aenderung einer stetig veränderlichen Größe x. Das Differential, das mit dx bezeichnet wird, besitzt dieselben Merkmale wie x, aber ein abstufbares Merkmal hat den Wert Null, z.B. Bogendifferential ist ein… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

• differential — I noun attribute, characteristic, constituting a difference, contrasting quality, delicate distinction, difference of degree, differentiating trait, distinction, distinctive feature, distinguishing feature, feature, gradation, grade, graduation,… …   Law dictionary

• Differential — (v. lat. Differentiale), 1) (Math.), s.u. Differentialrechnung; 2) Chemisches D., so v.w. Atom …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

• Differentiāl — in Verbindung mit einem Hauptwort bei Maschinen oder Maschinenteilen, Apparaten etc. oft angewendet (z. B. Differentialflaschenzug, Differentialpumpe etc.), um im allgemeinen die Wirkung zweier, in entgegengesetztem Sinne tätigen Einflüsse zu …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

• Differential... — Differentiāl... (neulat.) bedeutet bei Bezeichnungen maschineller Vorrichtungen, daß eine Hauptbewegung durch eine entgegengesetzte Bewegung geschwächt wird, so daß nur die Differenz beider Bewegungen zum Ausdruck kommt, z.B. Differentialgetriebe …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

• differential... — differential...,   Schreibvariante für differenzial …   Universal-Lexikon