# higher order derivatives

Let the real function $f$ be defined and differentiable   on the open interval  $I$.  Then for every  $x\in I$,  there exists the value $f^{\prime}(x)$ as a certain real number.  This means that we have a new function  $\displaystyle x\mapsto f^{\prime}(x),$ (1)

the so-called derivative function of $f$; it is denoted by

 $f^{\prime}:\,I\to\mathbb{R}$

or simply $f^{\prime}$.

Forming the derivative function of a function is called differentiation, the corresponding verb is differentiate.

If the derivative function $f^{\prime}$ is differentiable on $I$, then we have again a new function, the derivative function of the derivative function of $f$, which is denoted by $f^{\prime\prime}$.  Then $f$ is said to be twice differentiable.  Formally,

 $f^{\prime\prime}(x)=\lim_{h\to 0}\frac{f^{\prime}(x+h)-f^{\prime}(x)}{h}\quad% \mathrm{for\,all\,}\,x\in I.$

The function  $x\mapsto f^{\prime\prime}(x)$  is called the or the second derivative of $f$.  Similarly, one can call (1) the of $f$.

Example.  The first derivative of  $x\mapsto x^{3}$  is  $x\mapsto 3x^{2}$  and the second derivative is  $x\mapsto 6x$,  since

 $\frac{d}{dx}(3x^{2})=2\cdot 3x^{2-1}=6x.$

If also $f^{\prime\prime}$ is a differentiable function, its derivative function is denoted by $f^{\prime\prime\prime}$ and called the of $f$, and so on.

Generally, $f$ can have the derivatives of first, second, third, …, $n$th order, where $n$ may be an arbitrarily big positive integer.  If $n$ is four or greater, the $n$th derivative of $f$ is usually denoted by $f^{(n)}$.  In , it’s sometimes convenient to think that the $0$th order derivative $f^{(0)}$ of $f$ is the function $f$ itself.

The phrase “$f$ is infinitely differentiable” means that $f$ has the derivatives of all .

 Title higher order derivatives Canonical name HigherOrderDerivatives Date of creation 2013-03-22 16:46:30 Last modified on 2013-03-22 16:46:30 Owner PrimeFan (13766) Last modified by PrimeFan (13766) Numerical id 7 Author PrimeFan (13766) Entry type Definition Classification msc 26B05 Classification msc 26A24 Related topic HigherOrderDerivativesOfSineAndCosine Related topic TaylorSeriesOfHyperbolicFunctions Defines derivative function Defines first derivative Defines second derivative Defines order of derivative Defines differentiation Defines differentiate Defines twice differentiable