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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Fractional Derivatives and Integrals: What Are They Needed For?

1
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia
2
Faculty “Information Technologies and Applied Mathematics”, Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), Moscow 125993, Russia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mathematics 2020, 8(2), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/math8020164
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 22 January 2020 / Published: 25 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fractional Integrals and Derivatives: “True” versus “False”)
The question raised in the title of the article is not philosophical. We do not expect general answers of the form “to describe the reality surrounding us”. The question should actually be formulated as a mathematical problem of applied mathematics, a task for new research. This question should be answered in mathematically rigorous statements about the interrelations between the properties of the operator’s kernels and the types of phenomena. This article is devoted to a discussion of the question of what is fractional operator from the point of view of not pure mathematics, but applied mathematics. The imposed restrictions on the kernel of the fractional operator should actually be divided by types of phenomena, in addition to the principles of self-consistency of mathematical theory. In applications of fractional calculus, we have a fundamental question about conditions of kernels of fractional operator of non-integer orders that allow us to describe a particular type of phenomenon. It is necessary to obtain exact correspondences between sets of properties of kernel and type of phenomena. In this paper, we discuss the properties of kernels of fractional operators to distinguish the following types of phenomena: fading memory (forgetting) and power-law frequency dispersion, spatial non-locality and power-law spatial dispersion, distributed lag (time delay), distributed scaling (dilation), depreciation, and aging. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractional calculus; fractional derivative; translation operator; distributed lag; time delay; scaling; dilation; memory; depreciation; probability distribution fractional calculus; fractional derivative; translation operator; distributed lag; time delay; scaling; dilation; memory; depreciation; probability distribution
MDPI and ACS Style

Tarasov, V.E.; Tarasova, S.S. Fractional Derivatives and Integrals: What Are They Needed For? Mathematics 2020, 8, 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/math8020164

AMA Style

Tarasov VE, Tarasova SS. Fractional Derivatives and Integrals: What Are They Needed For? Mathematics. 2020; 8(2):164. https://doi.org/10.3390/math8020164

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tarasov, Vasily E.; Tarasova, Svetlana S. 2020. "Fractional Derivatives and Integrals: What Are They Needed For?" Mathematics 8, no. 2: 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/math8020164

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