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Student Support Forum: 'Representing Derivatives of Special Functions' topicStudent Support Forum > General > "Representing Derivatives of Special Functions"

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10/17/11 12:04pm

When I try to get Mathematica to give me the derivatives of two special functions, Abs[x] and Sign[x], via D[Abs[x],x] and D[Sign[x],x], what I get in return are Derivative[1][Abs][x] and Derivative[1][Sign][x], respectively. What I would have liked to see is each derivative in terms of other functions. Is there a way to get Mathematica to return 2*DiracDelta[x] for D[Sign[x],x] (as seen on Furthermore, does a general method exist for getting Mathematica to try to represent such abstract functions in terms of more tractable ones?

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