Activity: Generalized Leibniz Notation

Static Fields 2023 (6 years)
This short small group activity introduces students to the Leibniz notation used for partial derivatives in thermodynamics; unlike standard Leibniz notation, this notation explicitly specifies constant variables. Students are guided in linking the variables from a contextless Leibniz-notation partial derivative to their proper variable categories.
What students learn
  • Leibniz notation is learned or refreshed
  • Explicit denotation of constant variables (the modified Leibniz notation used in thermodynamics is unique in this way)
  • Media
    • activity_media/LeibnizActivity.xlsx
    • activity_media/LeibnizActivityBLANK.png
    • activity_media/LeibnizActivitySOLN.png
  1. In the middle column below, list each variable in the box connected to the description of the role of the variable.

  2. If \(a=c^3+7bc-5b^2\), find \[\left(\frac{\partial a}{\partial b}\right)_c\]
  3. For the same equation, find \[\left(\frac{\partial b}{\partial c}\right)_a\]

Author Information
Corinne Manogue and Ian Founds
Learning Outcomes