# The Derivative of e^x^2

The derivative of e^x^2 is 2xe^x^2

## How to calculate the derivative of e^x^2

The chain rule is useful for finding the derivative of a function which could have been differentiated had it been in x, but it is in the form of another expression which could also be differentiated if it stood on its own.

In this case:

• We know how to differentiate ex (the answer is ex)
• We know how to differentiate x2 (the answer is 2x)

Because e^x^2 is a function which is a combination of ex and x2, it means we can perform the differentiation of e to the x2 by making use of the chain rule.

#### Using the chain rule to find the derivative of e^x^2

Although the function ex2 contains no parenthesis, we can still view it as a composite function (a function of a function).

If we add parenthesis around the exponent, we get e(x2).

Now the function is in the form of the standard exponential function ex, except it does not have x as an exponent, instead the exponent is another function of x (x2).

Let’s call the function in the exponent g(x), which means:

g(x) = x2

From this it follows that:

ex2 = eg(x)

Let’s set f(x) = ex.

Then, because g(x) = x2, the function ex2 can be written as a composite function of f(x) and g(x).

f(x) = ex

f(g(x)) = eg(x) (but g(x) = x2)

Therefore, f(g(x)) = ex2

Let’s define this composite function as F(x):

F(x) = f(g(x)) = ex2

We can now find the derivative of F(x) = e^x^2, F'(x), by making use of the chain rule.

The Chain Rule:
For two differentiable functions f(x) and g(x)

If F(x) = f(g(x))

Then the derivative of F(x) is F'(x) = f’(g(x)).g’(x)

Now we can just plug f(x) and g(x) into the chain rule to find the derivative of e to the x squared.

How to find the derivative of e^x^2 using the Chain Rule:

Using the chain rule, the derivative of e^x^2 is 2xe^x^2

Finally, just a note on syntax and notation: the exponential function e^x^2 is sometimes written in the forms shown below (the derivative of each is as per the calculations above). Just be aware that not all of the forms below are mathematically correct.

## The Second Derivative of e^x^2

To calculate the second derivative of a function, you just differentiate the first derivative.

From above, we found that the first derivative of e^x^2 = 2xex2. So to find the second derivative of e^x^2, we just need to differentiate 2xex2

We can use the chain rule in combination with the product rule for differentiation to calculate the derivative of 2xex2 and get an answer of 4x2ex2 + 2ex2

The second derivative of e^x^2 = 4x2ex2 + 2ex2