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In calculus, the general Leibniz rule,[1] named after Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, generalizes the product rule (which is also known as "Leibniz's rule"). It states that if and are -times differentiable functions, then the product is also -times differentiable and its th derivative is given by

where is the binomial coefficient and .

This can be proved by using the product rule and mathematical induction (see proof below).


Second derivativeEdit

In case  :


The binomial coefficients can be deduced thanks to the Pascal's triangle.

More than two factorsEdit

The formula can be generalized to the product of m differentiable functions f1,...,fm.


where the sum extends over all m-tuples (k1,...,km) of non-negative integers with   and


are the multinomial coefficients. This is akin to the multinomial formula from algebra.


Multivariable calculusEdit

With the multi-index notation for partial derivatives of functions of several variables, the Leibniz rule states more generally:


This formula can be used to derive a formula that computes the symbol of the composition of differential operators. In fact, let P and Q be differential operators (with coefficients that are differentiable sufficiently many times) and  . Since R is also a differential operator, the symbol of R is given by:


A direct computation now gives:


This formula is usually known as the Leibniz formula. It is used to define the composition in the space of symbols, thereby inducing the ring structure.

See alsoEdit