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Mathematics 2

Multivariate
Calculus: Small
Changes

Functions of Several Variables

In the first lecture we introduced functions which depended on more


than one variable.
We were introduced to the concept of a partial derivative, e.g. if z(x,y)
then we can differentiate z w.r.t. x OR y.
z ( x, y ) 2 xy 2 y cos( x) e y
z
2 y 2 y sin( x )
x
y
z
4
xy

cos(
x
)

Today well look at how functions of several variables are affected by


changes to one or more of the independent variables

Volume of a Cone

To illustrate the content of todays lecture


consider the volume of a cone. The formula for
the volume of a cone is given opposite.
Clearly the volume depends on the height of the
cone (h) and the base radius (r) so we could
write V(h,r).
Three questions we might want to ask ourselves
could be:
1.

2.
3.

For a given size of cone, what would the change


in V be for given actual changes in r and h
What would the relative change in V be for given
relative changes in r and h?
What would be the rate of change of V for a
given rate of change of r and h?

1 2
V r h
3
h

Derivation from First Principles

Let us define the change in r, h and V to be r,


h and V respectively.
Thus r r + r, h h + h and V V + V.
So doing it the long way:
V+V = 1/3(r + r)2(h + h)

1 2
V r h
3
h

= 1/3(r2 + 2rr + r2)(h + h)


1/3(r2 + 2rr)(h + h)
1/3(r2h + 2rhr + r2h + 2rrh)
1/3r2h + 2/3rhr + 1/3r2h

Thus V 2/3rhr + 1/3r2h


Can you spot anything in this formula?

V 2
rh
r 3
V 1 2
r
h 3

Small Increments

We have V 2/3rhr + 1/3r2h which is


actually:

V
V
V
r
h
r
h

In general if we have a function of two


variables, z(x,y) and we make small changes to
the independent variables, the change to the
dependent variable is given by:

z
z
z x y
x
y
5

1 2
V r h
3
h

V 2
rh
r 3
V 1 2
r
h 3

Example 1

Suppose we have a cone with base radius 7 cm and height 12 cm.


Find the approximate increase in volume when r increases by 0.1 cm
and h decreases by 0.4 cm.

2
Vr rh
3

We have

So

So the change in the volume is a

V
V
V
r
h
r
h

and

1 2
Vh r
3

2
1 2
rhr r h
3
3

Example 2

pr 4
V
8l

If r increases by 5%, p decreases by 2% and l increases by 3%


find the percentage change in V.
Here we have:
V
V
V
V
V
p
r

l
p
r

Here the changes are percentages (they are not absolute changes)
We have r = 0.05r, p = -0.02p, l = 0.03l, = 0

The flow of slurry along a pipe, V, is given by:

Example 2 (cont)

Thus we have

V 4pr

8l
r
V r 4

p 8l
pr 4
V

2
8

l
l
3

V
V
V
0.02 p
0.05r
0.03l
p
r
l

r 4
4pr 3
pr 4
V
0.02 p
0.05r
0.03l
2
8l
8l
8l
pr 4
pr 4
pr 4
V 0.02
0.2
0.03
8l
8l
8l

Rates of change

What if the independent variables in our function are


themselves changing at a particular rate?
They themselves are functions of time!

We want to obtain a formula which will give us the rate


of change of the dependent variable with respect to
time as follows:
z
z
z x y
x
y

Divide
by t
9

z z x z y

t x t y t
Let t
0

dz z dx z dy

dt x dt y dt

Example 3
For the function h(x, z) = cos(x) + xz3 it is known that x is
increasing at 0.5 ms-1 and z is increasing at 0.1 ms-1. Find the
rate of change of h

x
h

10

sin( x ) z
3 xz 2

dh h dx h dz

dt x dt z dt

Example 4
The force F (N) between two electric charges
with magnitudes q and Q (Coulombs)
separated by a distance r (m)
is given by
kqQ
F

r2

where k is a constant. Determine the


maximum percentage error in calculating F if
q is measured to an accuracy of 1%, Q to
3% and r to 2%.

11

Example 4 continued
kQ
kq
kqQ
F 2 q 2 Q 2 3 r
r
r
r

F q Q
r

2
F
q
Q
r
F q Q
r
Max

2
F
q
Q
r

kqQ
F 2
r
F kQ
2
q r
F kq
2
Q r
F
kqQ
2 3
r
r

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