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Definition of Differential


  1. Relating to or indicating a difference; creating a difference; discriminating; special; as, differential characteristics; differential duties; a differential rate.
  2. Of or pertaining to a differential, or to differentials.
  3. Relating to differences of motion or leverage; producing effects by such differences; said of mechanism.
  4. An increment, usually an indefinitely small one, which is given to a variable quantity.
  5. A small difference in rates which competing railroad lines, in establishing a common tariff, allow one of their number to make, in order to get a fair share of the business. The lower rate is called a differential rate. Differentials are also sometimes granted to cities.
  6. One of two coils of conducting wire so related to one another or to a magnet or armature common to both, that one coil produces polar action contrary to that of the other.
  7. A form of conductor used for dividing and distributing the current to a series of electric lamps so as to maintain equal action in all.

Differential Quotations

I became an atheist because, as a graduate student studying quantum physics, life seemed to be reducible to second-order differential equations. Mathematics, chemistry and physics had it all. And I didn't see any need to go beyond that.
Francis Collins

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.
Alan Turing

As Darwin himself was at pains to point out, natural selection is all about differential survival within species, not between them.
Richard Dawkins

If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least conceded so much to our imperfect intellect that in order to predict little parts of it, we need not solve innumerable differential equations, but can use dice with fair success.
Max Born

We have the only cookbook in the world that has partial differential equations in it.
Nathan Myhrvold
More "Differential" Quotations

Differential Translations

differential in German is Differential-
differential in Spanish is diferencial
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