Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 31

Critical and Inection Points

1 Finding and Clas- sifying Critical Points

A critical point is a point on the graph where the tangent slope is horizontal, (0) or vertical, (). or not dened like the minimum of y = |x|.

4 3 2 1 0 -4 -2 2 x 4
4
3
2
1
0
-4
-2
2
x
4

Some people call critical points stationary points or ex- trema but we will always call them critical points. First what’s so special about critical points? Why are they criti- cal? They are critical because they could be maximum or minimum points. If the tangent slope at a

2

point is horizontal, that is, y 0 = 0, then the curve has one of four shapes near that critical point.

You can see that the rst two situations are a maximum and minimum respectively. The bottom two situations are

3

neither, they are just places on the graph with a horizontal tangent slope. If the tangent slope at the critical point is vertical, that is, y 0 = , then there are four possible shapes near the critical point.

The top two are called

4

cusps. The rst one has a critical point that is a maxi- mum and has a vertical tangent slope. The second is a min- imum and also has a vertical tangent slope. The bottom two are just critical points where the tangent slope is vertical. They are neither maximum nor minimum. Ok, let’s do the rst part of this activity, nd the critical points. All we have to do is take the derivative of the function in question and see

5

what x 0 s make the tangent slope 0 or . That is, set the derivative equal to zero, or see where the derivative is undened. By undened we usually mean the denominator of a fraction is zero. Let’s do some examples to esh this out.

Example

Q?

Find the critical

points of the function y =

2x 3 9x 2 + 12x + 6.

  • A. Take the derivative

6

of the function to get

y 0 = 6x 2 18x + 12

Now, the derivative or tangent slope function is a polynomial so y 0 is never going to be . Set y 0 = 0 and solve.

0=6x 2 18x + 12 = 6(x 1)(x 2)

Therefore at the points where x = 1 and x = 2 the tangent slope is horizontal. This gives us the x-values of the two critical points. What are the y-values? We get the y-values by plugging the x-values into

7

the original equation, y =

2x 3 9x 2 + 12x + 6. Thus the two

critical points are (1, 11) and

(2, 10).

Now notice the graph of the function from Example and spot the critical points.

14 12 10 8 6 0 0.5 1 1.5 x 2 2.5 3
14
12
10
8
6
0
0.5
1
1.5
x
2
2.5
3

Example

Q?

Find the critical

8

points of the function

2

3

y = x 2 2x

3

1

2

  • A. Take the derivative

1

0

y = x 2 x

1

2

and then factor out the “x to the lowest power”, in our case, .

x

1

2

y = x 2 h x

0

1

1

2

1 i

=

h

x

  • 1
    2 1 i

1

  • x 2

We can see that if x = 0, then the denominator of the above fraction would be zero, but x = 0 is a dened point on the

9

graph. Plug x = 0 into the original equation and see that the graph goes through the origin. We conclude that at the critical point where x = 0 we have a vertical tangent slope. To check for horizontal tangent slopes we set y 0 = 0 and solve. Note that for a fraction to be zero, the top part must be

10

zero.

0

h x

y =

h x

0

=

 
 

1

0

= x

2

 

1

1 = x

2

x = 1

 

4

3

  • 1
    2 1 i

 

1

x

2

  • 1
    2 1 i

 

1

x

2

1

Therefore (1,

) is a critical

point where the tangent slope is horizontal.

When we look at the graph of the function from Example we can see the critical points

but we also notice that there

11

are no points where the x- values are negative. Why?

1 0.5 0 -1 1 x 2 3 4 -0.5 -1
1
0.5
0
-1
1
x
2
3
4
-0.5
-1

Because the domain of the function is [0, ). Look back to the beginning of the term to refresh your recollection of range and domains. Ok, now we can nd critical points. The next step is to classify them. We need to know whether a critical point

12

is a local maximum local minimum or neither

To do this we will draw a slope line. This is an important illustrative tool. After the slope line is drawn we will use the First Derivative Test to classify the critical points. There is a Second Derivative Test that we will learn later

Example

Q?

Classify the critical

13

points of the function y =

2x 3 9x 2 + 12x + 6

1.1 First Derivative Test

After we draw the slope line we can use these patterns to classify the critical points / - \ indicates a maximum

• \ - / indicates a minimum

14

• \| / indicates a cusp that’s a minimum

/ | \ indicates a cusp that’s a maximum

/-/ indicates a critical point that is neither a maximum nor a minimum

• \ - \ indicates a critical point that is neither a maximum

15

nor a minimum

/ | / indicates a critical point that is neither a maximum nor a minimum

nor a minimum • / | / indicates a critical point that is neither a maximum

• \|\ indicates a critical point that is neither a maximum nor a minimum

16

Steps for drawing a Slope Line

1. Find all the critical points of the function.

  • 2. Draw a number line with the critical points on it and their slopes represented above, ei- ther as a horizontal or vertical line.

  • 3. Pick test points ( x-values ) in between the critical points and plug them into the rst derivative to tell if the tangent slope is positive or negative in that interval.

17

  • 4. Add those slopes to the num- ber line to represent the tan- gent slopes in the intervals

  • 5. Use the First derivative test to classify the critical points. This concept of a slope line can answer many questions concerning a particular func- tion. We have already used it to classify critical point with the First Derivative Test. We can also use the slope line to nd intervals of increase or decrease, that is, intervals

18

where the graph is increasing or decreasing respectively.

Example

Q?

Find the intervals

of increase and decrease of the

function y = 2x 3 9x 2 + 12x + 6

from Example .

Another benet of the slope line is that we get a rough idea of the shape of the graph. The slope line shown in Example implies the curve increases until x = 1 where it reaches a peak and drops down until

x = 2 where it bottoms out

19

and increases continually after x = 2. This implication is conrmed by the actual graph shown after Example .

Local versus Global

We use the terms local and global to describe maximum or minimum points. All max- imum or minimum points are local maximums or minimums respectively. They are the highest (or lowest) spot on the graph in their immediate vicin- ity. The highest point on the

20

whole graph is the global max- imum. Likewise, the lowest point on the whole graph is the global minimum.

2 Concavity and Points of Inection

The rst derivative is the tan- gent slope formula, the second derivative is the concavity for- mula. Concavity is the bend in the curve. Positive concav- ity or concave up occurs when

y 00 > 0 and negative concav-

21

ity or concave down occurs when y 00 < 0. There can be any combination of slope and concavity. Positive concavity with posi- tive slope, y 00 > 0, y 0 > 0

Positive concavity with neg- ative slope, y 00 > 0, y 0 < 0

ity or concave down occurs when y < 0 . There can be any combination of

Negative concavity with positive slope, y 00 < 0, y 0 > 0

ity or concave down occurs when y < 0 . There can be any combination of

22

Negative concavity with negative slope, y 00 < 0, y 0 < 0

• Negative concavity with negative slope, A good way to remember the difference between pos- itive

A good way to remember the difference between pos- itive concavity and negative concavity is this cheesy child’s drawing.

• Negative concavity with negative slope, A good way to remember the difference between pos- itive

Anyway, just like when we drew the slope line, we draw a concavity line. The steps

23

to make it are similar to the slope line. Get the second derivative of the function and nd the x-values that make y 00 zero or undened and mark those points on your concavity line. These points are called possible points of inection. Use test points on either sides of these possible points of inection to determine the concavity of the intervals. Wait you say. What’s an inection point?

Denition 1 An inection point is

24

a point on the graph where the concavity changes from concave up to concave down or from con- cave down to concave up.

So a possible point of in-

ection still has to prove itself to be a point of inection by having different concavities on either side of it.

Example

Q?

Find the intervals

of positive concavity and the intervals of negative concavity

25

of the function

y =

x

5

20

4

x

12 + 7x

and any inection points.

A.

We can see the concavity in the graph of the function from Example .

100 50 0 -4 -2 2 x 4 -50 -100
100
50
0
-4
-2
2
x
4
-50
-100

Oh, I promised we would learn the Second Deriva-

tive Test, eh. Here it is, as

26

promised. A point on a curve with a horizontal tangent slope and negative concavity must be a maximum.

promised. A point on a curve with a horizontal tangent slope and negative concavity must be

Likewise a point with a horizontal tangent slope and positive concavity must be a minimum.

promised. A point on a curve with a horizontal tangent slope and negative concavity must be

This thinking forms the

basis for the second derivative

27

test. First nd the critical points, then test them with the:

2.1 Second Derivative Test

To test a critical point x = a, y 0 (a)=0 to classify it as a maximum or a minimum:

If y 00 (a) < 0 then x = a is a

maximum point

If y 00 (a) > 0 then x = a is a

minimum point

That’s it. This test is used frequently in economics. So

28

now we have two ways to classify critical points. My personal favorite is the First Derivative Test. It’s much better. You only have to take one derivative. Notice the Second Derivative Test is only good for critical points where the slope is horizontal and there is no conclusion to be made when y 00 (a)=0. Then what? You have to do the First Derivative Test anyway. Also, you can get so much more information from the

29

slope line than you can with the Second Derivative Test. I’ll show you an example of the inferior Second Derivative Test just for completeness.

Example

Q?

Find and classify

the critical points of the curve

y = x 4 2x 2 + 3.

Homework Section 2.10

#10, 13, 14 - 18, 21, 22 Submit 10, 16, 22

Section 3.4 Submit 26

#25 - 29

30

Section 3.5 Section 3.6 Submit 4, 6, 10

#49, 50 #3 - 12

31