







Notation for the second derivative 
20120206 

From Shafira: In all math textbooks, it is written that d/dx ( d/dx) (y)= d2y/dx2. Why do they write it as d2y/dx2, not as d2y/d2x2? Answered by Robert Dawson. 





Painting a dome 
20091030 

From Jessica: A hemispherical dome with a radius of 50 ft will be given a coat of paint .01 inch thick.
The Contractor for the job wants to estimate the number of gallons of paint needed.
Use a differential to obtain an estimate (231 cubic inches/gallon) HINT: Approximate the change
in volume of hemisphere corresponding to increase of .01 inch in the radius. Answered by Robert Dawson. 





The period of a simple pendulum 
20070310 

From Melissa: The period of a simple pendulum of length L feet is given by: T=2pi(sqrt(L/g))seconds. It is assumed that g, the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of the earth, is 32 feet per second per second. If the pendulum is a clock that keeps good time when L=4 feet, how much time will the clock gain in 24 hours if the length of the pendulum is decreased to 3.97 feet? (Use differentials and evaluate the necessary derivative at L=4 feet.) Answer is in seconds. Melissa Answered by Penny Nom. 

