The differential element or just differential of a quantity refers to an infinitesimal change in said quantity, and is defined as the limit of a change in quantity as the change approaches zero.

Differentials are useful in the definitions of both derivatives and integrals; for example, the derivative of with respect to is defined as

When transforming coordinates, the value of a differential element is computed using the determinant of the Jacobian matrix.

Formulae for differential elements

Line elements

Area elements

Surface elements

Volume elements

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