What's the PROOF of the Directional Derivative of a 3-variable function?

DuF(x,y,z)=(Fx,Fy,Fz).(U1,U2,U3) where U=(U1,U2,U3) is a unit vector.

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- Nov 9th 2009, 06:31 AMPhysicStuPROOF of the Directional Derivative
What's the PROOF of the Directional Derivative of a 3-variable function?

DuF(x,y,z)=(Fx,Fy,Fz).(U1,U2,U3) where U=(U1,U2,U3) is a unit vector. - Nov 9th 2009, 06:58 AMHallsofIvy
Assuming that F

**is**differentiable at the given point, then it can be approximated by the linear function . (That follows from the definition of "differentiable at a point")

The line through , in the direction of , is given by the parametric equations , , .

To find the derivative of F in the direction U, replace x, y, and z with those in the approximation for F, to get , a linear function of t with derivative equal to its slope, .