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# Basic Derivatives

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## The Math Center

Definition Of A Derivative
The derivative of a function at a point
x=a, can be interpreted in several
different ways:

f ( x + h) − f ( x )
► Algebraically, lim
the
h →0 h
► Geometrically as the slope of the
x = a of at
tangent line to the graph
► Functionally as the instantaneous
f (x) ofx = a at
rate of change
Applications of Derivatives

## ► Finding the instantaneous velocity of an object at a

precise moment in time
► Finding the instantaneous rate of change of a
function
► Finding the slope of the tangent to the graph of a
function

dy
* NOTE: the derivative symbol can be written as or f ' ( x) or y '
dx
Basic Derivative Formulas
Power Rule
► If f ( x ) = x n , where n is a constant, then
n −1
f ' ( x ) = nx
Constant Rule
► If f ( x ) = c , where c is a constant, then
f ' ( x) = 0
Power Rule
► If f ( x) = cx , where c is a constant, then
f ' ( x) = c
More basic derivative
formulas
Logarithm Rule
d u'
If f (u ) = ln u , then [ln u ] =
du u

Exponential Rule
d u
If f (u ) = u
e , then [ e ] = u ' e u

du
Examples
Differentiate:

f ( x) = x 4

Solution:
Following the Power Rule,
we can now calculate the derivative.
f ( x) = x 4
4−1
f ' ( x) = 4 x
f ' ( x) = 4 x 3
Examples (cont.)
Differentiate:

f ( x) = 10
Solution:
Following the Constant Rule, we can now
calculate the derivative.

f ' ( x) = 0
Examples (cont.)
Differentiate:

f ( x) = 5 x
Solution:
Following the Power Rule, we can now calculate the
derivative.
f ( x) = 5 x

## f ' ( x) = 5(1) x1−1 f ' ( x) = 5 x 0

f ' ( x) = 5
Examples (cont.)
Differentiate:

f ( x) = ln x
Solution:
Following the Logarithm Rule, we can now
calculate the derivative.

f ( x) = ln x u=
x =1
u’
1
f ' ( x) =
x
Examples (cont.)
Differentiate:

f ( x) = e 2x

Solution:
Following the Exponential Rule, we can now
calculate the derivative.

f ( x) = e 2x
u = 2x
u '= 2
f ' ( x ) = 2e 2x
Questions???