Page images



[ocr errors][merged small]

Art. 1. In the Doctrine of Fluxions, magnitudes or quantities of all kinds are considered, not as made up of a number of small parts, but as generated by continued motion, by means of which they increase or decrease. As, a line by the motion of a point; a surface by the notion of a line; and a solid by the motion of a surface. So likewise, time may be considered as represented by a line, increasing uniformly by the motion of a point. And quantities of all kinds whatever, which are capable of increase and decrease, may in like manner be represented by geometrical magnitudes, conceived to be generated by motion.

2. Any quantity thus generated, and variable, is called ą Fluent, or a Flowing Quantity. And the rate or proportion according to which any flowing quantity increases, at any position or instant, is the Fluxion of the said quantity, at that position or instant; and it is proportional to the magnitude by which the flowing quantity would be uniformly increased in a given time, with the generating celerity uniformly continued during that time.

3. The small quantities that are actually generated, produced, or described, in any small given time, and by any continued motion, either uniform or variable, are called Increments.

4. Hence, if the motion of increase be uniform, by which increments are generated, the increments will in that case be proportional, or equal, to the measures of the fluxions: but if the motion of increase be accelerated, the increment so generated, in a given finite time, will exceed the fluxion : and if it be a decreasing motion, the increment, so generated, will be less than the fluxion. But if the time be indefinitely small, so that the motion be considered as uniform for that instant; then these nascent increments will always be proportional, or equal, to the fluxions, and may be substituted instead of them, in any calculation,



[ocr errors]

5. To illustrate these definitions : Suppose a point m be conceived to move from the position A, and to generate a line AP, A


P by a motion any how regulated; and suppose the celerity of the point m, at any position P, to be such, as would, if from thence it should become or continue uniform, be sufficient to cause the point to describe, or pass uniformly over, the distance Pp, in the given time allowed for the Auxion : then will the said line pp represent the fluxion of the fluent, or flowing line, AP, at that position. 6. Again, suppose the right

Q_9_c line mn to move, from the position AB, continually parallel to itself, with any continued motion, so as to generate the fluent or A

NI D flowing rectangle ABQP, while the point m describes the line AP: also, let the distance Pp be taken, as before, to express the fluxion of the line or base AP; and complete the rectangle P29p. Then, like as PP is the fluxion of the line AP, so is Pq the fluxion of the flowing parallelogram AQ; both these fluxions, or increments, being uniformly described in the same time. 7. In like manner, if the solid


R r AERP be conceived to be gene

C rated by the plane PQR, moving ІВ

QI q from the position ABE, always parallel to itself, along the line sD; and if pp denote the fluxion A of the line. Ar: Then, like as the rectangle PQgp, or PQ x Pp, denotes the fluxion of the flowing rectangle ABQP, so also shall the fluxion of the variable solid, or prism ABERQP, be denoted by the prism PQRrgp, or the plane PR X pp. And, in both these last two cases, it appears that the fluxion of the generated rectangle, or prism, is equal to the product of the generating line, or plane, drawn into the fluxion of the line along which it moves.

8. Hitherto the generating line, or plane, has been considered as of a constant and invariable magnitude; in which case the fluent, or quantity generated, is a rectangle, or a prism, the former being described by the motion of a line, and the latter by the motion of a plane. So, in like manner are other figures, whether plane or solid, conceived to be de. scribed by the motion of a Variable Magnitude, whether it be a line or a plane. Thus, let a variable line pe be carried by a parallel motion along AP; or while a point p is carried along, and describes the line AP, suppose another point


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

a to be carried by a motion perpendicular to the former, and to describe the line PQ: let pq be another position of PQ, indefinitely near to the former; and draw or parallel to AP. Now in this case there are several fluents, or flowing quantities, with their respective fluxions: namely, the line or fluent AP, the fluxion of which is pp or er; the line or fluent PQ, the fluxion of which is rq; the curve or oblique line AQ, described by the oblique motion of the point' e, the Auxion of which is eq; and lastly, the surface APQ, described by the variable line PQ, the fluxion of which is the rectangle perp, or PQ x Pp. In the same manner may ar solid be conceived to be described, by the motion of a variable plane parallel to itself, substituting the variable plane for the variable line; in which case the fluxion of the solid, at any position, is represented by the variable plane, at that position, drawn into the fluxion of the line along which it is carried,

9. Hence then it follows in general, that the fluxion of any figure, whether plane or solid, 'at any position, is equal to the section of it, at that position, drawn into the fluxion of the axis, or line along which the variable section is supe posed to be perpendicularly carried; that is, the fluxion of the figure app, is equal to the plane PQ x Pp, when that figure is a solid, or to the ordinate PQ x Pp, when the figure is a surface.

10. It also follows from the same premises, that in any curve, or oblique line AQ, whose absciss is ap, and ordinate is PQ, the fluxions of these three form a small right-angled plane triangle gar; for er = pp is the fluxion of the absciss AP, qr the fluxion of the ordinate PQ, and gg the fluxion of the curve or right line AQ. And consequently that, in any çurve,

square of the fluxion of the curve, is equal to the


sum of the squares of the fuxions of the absciss and ordinate, when these two are at right angles to each other.

11. From the premises it also appears, that contemporaneous fluents, or quantities that flow or increase together, which are always in a constant ratio to each other, have their fuxions also in the same constant ratio, at every position. For, let AP and BQ be two contemporaneous fluents, described in the same

P time by the motion of the points p and

А Р the contemporaneous positions be. ing P, Q, and poq; and let Ap be to


Q 1 BQ, or Ap to Bg, constantly in the ra. tio of 1 to n. Then

is n X AP = BQ,

and n X AP = B; therefore, by subtraction, n x PP = 29; that is, the fluxion PP : fluxion Q9 :: 1:n, the same as the fluent AP : fluent BQ ::1:ń; or, the fluxions and fluents are in the same constant ratio.

But if the ratio of the fluents be variable, so will that of the fluxions be also, though not in the same variable ratio with the former, at every position.


12. To apply the foregoing principles to the determination of the fluxions of algebraic quantities, by means of which those of all other kinds are assigned, it will be necessary first to premise the notation commonly used in this science, with some observations. As, first, that the final letters of the alphabet x, y, x, u, &c, are used to denote variable or flow: ing quantities; and the initial letters a, b, c, d, &c, to denote constant or invariable one's : Thus, the variable base' AP of the flowing rectangular figure ABQP, in art. 6, may be represented by *; and the invariable altitude po, by a: also, the variable base or absciss AP, of the figures in art. 8, may be represented by *, the variable ordinate PQ, by y; and the variable curve or line AQ, by z.

Secondly, that the fluxion of a quantity denoted by a single letter, is represented by the same letter with a point over it: Thus, the fluxion of x is expressed by *, the fluxion of y by j, and the fluxion of z by ż. As to the fluxions of constant or invariable quantities, as of a, b, c, &c, they are equal to nothing, because they do not flow or change their magnitude. VOL. II.


Thirdly, ya

Thirdly, that the increments of variable or flowing quantities, are also denoted by the same letters with a small' over them: Thus, the increments of x, y, z, are x', ý',

e x', y', 2. 13. From these notations, and the foregoing principles, the quantities, and their fluxions, there considered, will be denoted as below. Thus, in all the foregoing figures, put

the variable or flowing line : AP =*,
in art. 6, the constant line

in art. 8, the variable ordinate PQ = y,
also, the variable line or curve

AQ = 2:
Then shall the several Auxions be thus represented, namely,

á = Pp the fluxion of the line AP,
ai = Pb9p the flusion of ABQP in art. 6,

Porp the fluxion of ape in art. 8,
ż = 99 = v** + j') the fluxion of AQ; and
ai = Pr the fluxion of the solid in art: 7, if a denote

the constant generating plane PQR ; also, nx = BQ in the figure to art. 11, and

na = Qq the fluxion of the same. 14. The principles and notation being now laid down, we may proceed to the practice and rules of this doctrine; which consists of two principal parts, called the Direct and Inverse Method of Fluxions; namely, the direct method, which consists in finding the fluxion of any proposed fluent or flowing quantity; and the inverse method, which consists in finding the fluent of any proposed fluxion. As to the former of these two problems, it can always be determined, and that in finite algebraic terms; but the latter, or finding of fluents, can only be effected in some certain cases, except by means of infinite series.-First then, of


To find the Fluxion of the Product or Rectangle of two Variable

Quantities. 15. Let ARQP, = xy, be the flowing or variable rectangle, generated RI by two lines PQ and Rg, moving always perpendicularto each other, from the positions Ar and AP; denoting the one by x, and the other by y; supposing * and y to be so related, that the curve line AQ may always pass through the intersection Q of those lines, or the opposite angle of the rectangle.


« PreviousContinue »