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Error when working with a derivative

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  • Subject: [mg104947] Error when working with a derivative
  • From: Vicent <vginer at>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 01:57:05 -0500 (EST)


This is my first message to the list.

I work with Mathematica 7.0.0 on Windows.

I work with a multiple-variable function, say "MuVaF", and I want to
define a function which is the partial derivative with respect to one
of the variables. I tried with this:

    MuVaF[ex_, ey_] := ex^2 + ey^2 + ex*ey + ex + ey

Then, if I try to derivate it with respect to "ex":

    D[MuVaF[ex, ey], ex]

I get this:

    1 + 2 ex + ey

Which sound OK to me. But if I try this:

    DerivMuVaF[ex_, ey_] := D[MuVaF[ex, ey], ex]

And then this (trying to evaluate the function for a given point):

    DerivMuVaF[1, 2]

I get an error message:

    General::ivar: 1 is not a valid variable. >>

I think that's because Mathematica is understanding I am trying to
perform the derivative on "1"; it is expecting to get a variable and I
am giving a number instead. So, what's the right way to tell
Mathematica I want to work with the derivative function of a
previously defined function??

I guess the answer should be easy, but I haven't been able to find it
out by my own.  :-(

Thank you in advance for your answers!

Vicent Giner-Bosch

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