x frequently point the reader (through active links in the .pdf version of the text) to applets that are relevant for key ideas under consideration. • Summary of Key Ideas. Each section concludes with a summary of the key ideas encoun tered in the preceding section; this summary normally reflects responses to the motivating questions that began the section. How to Use this Text This text may be used as a standalone textbook for a standard first semester college calculus course or as a supplement to a more traditional text. Chapters 14 address the typical topics for differential calculus. (Four additional chapters for second semester integral calculus are forthcom ing.) Electronically Because students and instructors alike have access to the book in .pdf format, there are several advantages to the text over a traditional print text. One is that the text may be projected on a screen in the classroom (or even better, on a whiteboard) and the instructor may reference ideas in the text directly, add comments or notation or features to graphs, and indeed write right on the text itself. Students can do likewise, choosing to print only whatever portions of the text are needed for them. In addition, the electronic version of the text includes live html links to java applets, so student and instructor alike may follow those links to additional resources that lie outside the text itself. Finally, students can have access to a copy of the text anywhere they have a computer, either by downloading the .pdf to their local machine or by the instructor posting the text on a course web site. Activities Workbook Each section of the text has a preview activity and at least three inclass activities embedded in the discussion. As it is the expectation that students will complete all of these activities, it is ideal for them to have room to work on them adjacent to the problem statements themselves. As a separate document, we have compiled a workbook of activities that includes only the individual activity prompts, along with space provided for students to write their responses. This workbook is the one printing expense that students will almost certainly have to undertake, and is available along with the text itself at http://faculty.gvsu.edu/boelkinm/Home/Download.html. There are also options in the source files for compiling the activities workbook with hints for each activity, or even full solutions. These options can be engaged at the instructor’s discretion, or upon request to the author. xi Community of Users Because this text is free and opensource, we hope that as people use the text, they will con tribute corrections, suggestions, and new material. At this time, the best way to communicate such feedback is by email to Matt Boelkins at [email protected]. We have also started the blog http://opencalculus.wordpress.com/, at which we will post feedback received by email as well as other points of discussion, to which readers may post additional comments and feedback. Contributors The following people have generously contributed to the development or improvement of the text. Contributing authors have written drafts of at least one chapter of the text; contributing editors have offered significant feedback that includes information about typographical errors or suggestions to improve the exposition. Contributing Authors: David Austin GVSU Steven Schlicker GVSU Contributing Editors: David Austin GVSU Marcia Frobish GVSU Ray Rosentrater Westmont College Luis Sanjuan Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Ávila, Spain Steven Schlicker GVSU Robert Talbert GVSU Sue Van Hattum Contra Costa College Acknowledgments This text began as my sabbatical project in the winter semester of 2012, during which I wrote the preponderance of the materials for the first four chapters. For the sabbatical leave, I am indebted to Grand Valley State University for its support of the project and the time to write, as well as to my colleagues in the Department of Mathematics and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their endorsement of the project as a valuable undertaking. The beautiful fullcolor .eps graphics in the text are only possible because of David Austin of GVSU and Bill Casselman of the University of British Columbia. Building on their collective long standing efforts to develop tools for high quality mathematical graphics, David wrote a library of Python routines that build on Bill’s PiScript program (available via http://gvsu.edu/s/bi), and David’s routines are so easy to use that even I could generate graphics like the professionals that he and Bill are. I am deeply grateful to them both. Over my more than 15 years at GVSU, many of my colleagues have shared with me ideas and xii resources for teaching calculus. I am particularly indebted to David Austin, Will Dickinson, Paul Fishback, Jon Hodge, and Steve Schlicker for their contributions that improved my teaching of and thinking about calculus, including materials that I have modified and used over many different semesters with students. Parts of these ideas can be found throughout this text. In addition, Will Dickinson and Steve Schlicker provided me access to a large number of their electronic notes and activities from teaching of differential and integral calculus, and those ideas and materials have similarly impacted my work and writing in positive ways, with some of their problems and approaches finding parallel presentation here. Shelly Smith of GVSU and Matt Delong of Taylor University both provided extensive com ments on the first few chapters of early drafts, feedback that was immensely helpful in improving the text. As more and more people use the text, I am grateful to everyone who reads, edits, and uses this book, and hence contributes to its improvement through ongoing discussion. Any and all remaining errors or inconsistencies are mine. I will gladly take reader and user feedback to correct them, along with other suggestions to improve the text. Matt Boelkins, Allendale, MI, December 2013 Chapter 1 Understanding the Derivative 1.1 How do we measure velocity? Motivating Questions In this section, we strive to understand the ideas generated by the following important questions: • How is the average velocity of a moving object connected to the values of its position func tion? • How do we interpret the average velocity of an object geometrically with regard to the graph of its position function? • How is the notion of instantaneous velocity connected to average velocity? Introduction Calculus can be viewed broadly as the study of change. A natural and important question to ask about any changing quantity is “how fast is the quantity changing?” It turns out that in order to make the answer to this question precise, substantial mathematics is required. We begin with a familiar problem: a ball being tossed straight up in the air from an initial height. From this elementary scenario, we will ask questions about how the ball is moving. These questions will lead us to begin investigating ideas that will be central throughout our study of differential calculus and that have wideranging consequences. In a great deal of our thinking about calculus, we will be wellserved by remembering this first example and asking ourselves how the various (sometimes abstract) ideas we are considering are related to the simple act of tossing a ball straight up in the air. Preview Activity 1.1. Suppose that the height s of a ball (in feet) at time t (in seconds) is given by the formula s(t) = 64 − 16(t − 1)2 . 1 2 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? (a) Construct an accurate graph of y = s(t) on the time interval 0 ≤ t ≤ 3. Label at least six distinct points on the graph, including the three points that correspond to when the ball was released, when the ball reaches its highest point, and when the ball lands. (b) In everyday language, describe the behavior of the ball on the time interval 0 < t < 1 and on time interval 1 < t < 3. What occurs at the instant t = 1? (c) Consider the expression s(1) − s(0.5) AV[0.5,1] = . 1 − 0.5 Compute the value of AV[0.5,1] . What does this value measure geometrically? What does this value measure physically? In particular, what are the units on AV[0.5,1] ? ./ Position and average velocity Any moving object has a position that can be considered a function of time. When this motion is along a straight line, the position is given by a single variable, and we usually let this position be denoted by s(t), which reflects the fact that position is a function of time. For example, we might view s(t) as telling the mile marker of a car traveling on a straight highway at time t in hours; similarly, the function s described in Preview Activity 1.1 is a position function, where position is measured vertically relative to the ground. Not only does such a moving object have a position associated with its motion, but on any time interval, the object has an average velocity. Think, for example, about driving from one location to another: the vehicle travels some number of miles over a certain time interval (measured in hours), from which we can compute the vehicle’s average velocity. In this situation, average velocity is the number of miles traveled divided by the time elapsed, which of course is given in miles per hour. Similarly, the calculation of A[0.5,1] in Preview Activity 1.1 found the average velocity of the ball on the time interval [0.5, 1], measured in feet per second. In general, we make the following definition: for an object moving in a straight line whose position at time t is given by the function s(t), the average velocity of the object on the interval from t = a to t = b, denoted AV[a,b] , is given by the formula s(b) − s(a) AV[a,b] = . b−a Note well: the units on AV[a,b] are “units of s per unit of t,” such as “miles per hour” or “feet per second.” Activity 1.1. The following questions concern the position function given by s(t) = 64 − 16(t − 1)2 , which is the same function considered in Preview Activity 1.1. 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? 3 (a) Compute the average velocity of the ball on each of the following time intervals: [0.4, 0.8], [0.7, 0.8], [0.79, 0.8], [0.799, 0.8], [0.8, 1.2], [0.8, 0.9], [0.8, 0.81], [0.8, 0.801]. Include units for each value. (b) On the provided graph in Figure 1.1, sketch the line that passes through the points A = (0.4, s(0.4)) and B = (0.8, s(0.8)). What is the meaning of the slope of this line? In light of this meaning, what is a geometric way to interpret each of the values computed in the preceding question? (c) Use a graphing utility to plot the graph of s(t) = 64−16(t−1)2 on an interval containing the value t = 0.8. Then, zoom in repeatedly on the point (0.8, s(0.8)). What do you observe about how the graph appears as you view it more and more closely? (d) What do you conjecture is the velocity of the ball at the instant t = 0.8? Why? feet s 64 B A 56 48 sec 0.4 0.8 1.2 Figure 1.1: A partial plot of s(t) = 64 − 16(t − 1)2 . C Instantaneous Velocity Whether driving a car, riding a bike, or throwing a ball, we have an intuitive sense that any moving object has a velocity at any given moment – a number that measures how fast the object is moving right now. For instance, a car’s speedometer tells the driver what appears to be the car’s velocity at any given instant. In fact, the posted velocity on a speedometer is really an average velocity that is computed over a very small time interval (by computing how many revolutions the tires have undergone to compute distance traveled), since velocity fundamentally comes from considering a change in position divided by a change in time. But if we let the time interval over which average velocity is computed become shorter and shorter, then we can progress from average velocity to instantaneous velocity. 4 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? Informally, we define the instantaneous velocity of a moving object at time t = a to be the value that the average velocity approaches as we take smaller and smaller intervals of time containing t = a to compute the average velocity. We will develop a more formal definition of this momentar ily, one that will end up being the foundation of much of our work in first semester calculus. For now, it is fine to think of instantaneous velocity this way: take average velocities on smaller and smaller time intervals, and if those average velocities approach a single number, then that number will be the instantaneous velocity at that point. Activity 1.2. Each of the following questions concern s(t) = 64 − 16(t − 1)2 , the position function from Preview Activity 1.1. (a) Compute the average velocity of the ball on the time interval [1.5, 2]. What is different between this value and the average velocity on the interval [0, 0.5]? (b) Use appropriate computing technology to estimate the instantaneous velocity of the ball at t = 1.5. Likewise, estimate the instantaneous velocity of the ball at t = 2. Which value is greater? (c) How is the sign of the instantaneous velocity of the ball related to its behavior at a given point in time? That is, what does positive instantaneous velocity tell you the ball is doing? Negative instantaneous velocity? (d) Without doing any computations, what do you expect to be the instantaneous velocity of the ball at t = 1? Why? C At this point we have started to see a close connection between average velocity and instanta neous velocity, as well as how each is connected not only to the physical behavior of the moving object but also to the geometric behavior of the graph of the position function. In order to make the link between average and instantaneous velocity more formal, we will introduce the notion of limit in Section 1.2. As a preview of that concept, we look at a way to consider the limiting value of average velocity through the introduction of a parameter. Note that if we desire to know the instantaneous velocity at t = a of a moving object with position function s, we are interested in computing average velocities on the interval [a, b] for smaller and smaller intervals. One way to visualize this is to think of the value b as being b = a + h, where h is a small number that is allowed to vary. Thus, we observe that the average velocity of the object on the interval [a, a + h] is s(a + h) − s(a) AV[a,a+h] = , h with the denominator being simply h because (a + h) − a = h. Initially, it is fine to think of h being a small positive real number; but it is important to note that we allow h to be a small negative number, too, as this enables us to investigate the average velocity of the moving object on intervals prior to t = a, as well as following t = a. When h < 0, AV[a,a+h] measures the average velocity on the interval [a + h, a]. 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? 5 To attempt to find the instantaneous velocity at t = a, we investigate what happens as the value of h approaches zero. We consider this further in the following example. Example 1.1. For a falling ball whose position function is given by s(t) = 16 − 16t2 (where s is measured in feet and t in seconds), find an expression for the average velocity of the ball on a time interval of the form [0.5, 0.5 + h] where −0.5 < h < 0.5 and h 6= 0. Use this expression to compute the average velocity on [0.5, 0.75] and [0.4, 0.5], as well as to make a conjecture about the instantaneous velocity at t = 0.5. Solution. We make the assumptions that −0.5 < h < 0.5 and h 6= 0 because h cannot be zero (otherwise there is no interval on which to compute average velocity) and because the function only makes sense on the time interval 0 ≤ t ≤ 1, as this is the duration of time during which the ball is falling. Observe that we want to compute and simplify s(0.5 + h) − s(0.5) AV[0.5,0.5+h] = . (0.5 + h) − 0.5 The most unusual part of this computation is finding s(0.5 + h). To do so, we follow the rule that defines the function s. In particular, since s(t) = 16 − 16t2 , we see that s(0.5 + h) = 16 − 16(0.5 + h)2 = 16 − 16(0.25 + h + h2 ) = 16 − 4 − 16h − 16h2 = 12 − 16h − 16h2 . Now, returning to our computation of the average velocity, we find that s(0.5 + h) − s(0.5) AV[0.5,0.5+h] = (0.5 + h) − 0.5 (12 − 16h − 16h2 ) − (16 − 16(0.5)2 ) = 0.5 + h − 0.5 12 − 16h − 16h2 − 12 = h −16h − 16h2 = . h At this point, we note two things: first, the expression for average velocity clearly depends on h, which it must, since as h changes the average velocity will change. Further, we note that since h can never equal zero, we may further simplify the most recent expression. Removing the common factor of h from the numerator and denominator, it follows that AV[0.5,0.5+h] = −16 − 16h. 6 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? Now, for any small positive or negative value of h, we can compute the average velocity. For instance, to obtain the average velocity on [0.5, 0.75], we let h = 0.25, and the average velocity is −16 − 16(0.25) = −20 ft/sec. To get the average velocity on [0.4, 0.5], we let h = −0.1, which tells us the average velocity is −16 − 16(−0.1) = −14.4 ft/sec. Moreover, we can even explore what happens to AV[0.5,0.5+h] as h gets closer and closer to zero. As h approaches zero, −16h will also approach zero, and thus it appears that the instantaneous velocity of the ball at t = 0.5 should be −16 ft/sec. Activity 1.3. For the function given by s(t) = 64 − 16(t − 1)2 from Preview Activity 1.1, find the most simplified expression you can for the average velocity of the ball on the interval [2, 2 + h]. Use your result to compute the average velocity on [1.5, 2] and to estimate the instantaneous velocity at t = 2. Finally, compare your earlier work in Activity 1.1. C Summary In this section, we encountered the following important ideas: • The average velocity on [a, b] can be viewed geometrically as the slope of the line between the points (a, s(a)) and (b, s(b)) on the graph of y = s(t), as shown in Figure 1.2. s s(b)−s(a) m= b−a (b, s(b)) (a, s(a)) t Figure 1.2: The graph of position function s together with the line through (a, s(a)) and (b, s(b)) whose slope is m = s(b)−s(a) b−a . The line’s slope is the average rate of change of s on the interval [a, b]. • Given a moving object whose position at time t is given by a function s, the average velocity of the object on the time interval [a, b] is given by AV[a,b] = s(b)−s(a) b−a . Viewing the interval 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? 7 [a, b] as having the form [a, a + h], we equivalently compute average velocity by the formula AV[a,a+h] = s(a+h)−s(a) h . • The instantaneous velocity of a moving object at a fixed time is estimated by considering aver age velocities on shorter and shorter time intervals that contain the instant of interest. Exercises 1. A bungee jumper dives from a tower at time t = 0. Her height h (measured in feet) at time t (in seconds) is given by the graph in Figure 1.3. 200 s 150 100 50 t 5 10 15 20 Figure 1.3: A bungee jumper’s height function. In this problem, you may base your answers on estimates from the graph or use the fact that the jumper’s height function is given by s(t) = 100 cos(0.75t) · e−0.2t + 100. (a) What is the change in vertical position of the bungee jumper between t = 0 and t = 15? (b) Estimate the jumper’s average velocity on each of the following time intervals: [0, 15], [0, 2], [1, 6], and [8, 10]. Include units on your answers. (c) On what time interval(s) do you think the bungee jumper achieves her greatest average velocity? Why? (d) Estimate the jumper’s instantaneous velocity at t = 5. Show your work and explain your reasoning, and include units on your answer. (e) Among the average and instantaneous velocities you computed in earlier questions, which are positive and which are negative? What does negative velocity indicate? 2. A diver leaps from a 3 meter springboard. His feet leave the board at time t = 0, he reaches his maximum height of 4.5 m at t = 1.1 seconds, and enters the water at t = 2.45. Once in the water, the diver coasts to the bottom of the pool (depth 3.5 m), touches bottom at t = 7, rests for one second, and then pushes off the bottom. From there he coasts to the surface, and takes his first breath at t = 13. 8 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? (a) Let s(t) denote the function that gives the height of the diver’s feet (in meters) above the water at time t. (Note that the “height” of the bottom of the pool is −3.5 meters.) Sketch a carefully labeled graph of s(t) on the provided axes in Figure 1.4. Include scale and units on the vertical axis. Be as detailed as possible. s v t t 2 4 6 8 10 12 2 4 6 8 10 12 Figure 1.4: Axes for plotting s(t) in part (a) and v(t) in part (c) of the diver problem. (b) Based on your graph in (a), what is the average velocity of the diver between t = 2.45 and t = 7? Is his average velocity the same on every time interval within [2.45, 7]? (c) Let the function v(t) represent the instantaneous vertical velocity of the diver at time t (i.e. the speed at which the height function s(t) is changing; note that velocity in the upward direction is positive, while the velocity of a falling object is negative). Based on your understanding of the diver’s behavior, as well as your graph of the position function, sketch a carefully labeled graph of v(t) on the axes provided in Figure 1.4. In clude scale and units on the vertical axis. Write several sentences that explain how you constructed your graph, discussing when you expect v(t) to be zero, positive, negative, relatively large, and relatively small. (d) Is there a connection between the two graphs that you can describe? What can you say about the velocity graph when the height function is increasing? decreasing? Make as many observations as you can. 3. According to the U.S. census, the population of the city of Grand Rapids, MI, was 181,843 in 1980; 189,126 in 1990; and 197,800 in 2000. (a) Between 1980 and 2000, by how many people did the population of Grand Rapids grow? (b) In an average year between 1980 and 2000, by how many people did the population of Grand Rapids grow? (c) Just like we can find the average velocity of a moving body by computing change in position over change in time, we can compute the average rate of change of any function 1.1. HOW DO WE MEASURE VELOCITY? 9 f . In particular, the average rate of change of a function f over an interval [a, b] is the quotient f (b) − f (a) . b−a f (b)−f (a) What does the quantity b−a measure on the graph of y = f (x) over the interval [a, b]? (d) Let P (t) represent the population of Grand Rapids at time t, where t is measured in years from January 1, 1980. What is the average rate of change of P on the interval t = 0 to t = 20? What are the units on this quantity? (e) If we assume the the population of Grand Rapids is growing at a rate of approximately 4% per decade, we can model the population function with the formula P (t) = 181843(1.04)t/10 . Use this formula to compute the average rate of change of the population on the inter vals [5, 10], [5, 9], [5, 8], [5, 7], and [5, 6]. (f) How fast do you think the population of Grand Rapids was changing on January 1, 1985? Said differently, at what rate do you think people were being added to the popu lation of Grand Rapids as of January 1, 1985? How many additional people should the city have expected in the following year? Why? 10 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT 1.2 The notion of limit Motivating Questions In this section, we strive to understand the ideas generated by the following important questions: • What is the mathematical notion of limit and what role do limits play in the study of func tions? • What is the meaning of the notation lim f (x) = L? x→a • How do we go about determining the value of the limit of a function at a point? • How does the notion of limit allow us to move from average velocity to instantaneous velocity? Introduction Functions are at the heart of mathematics: a function is a process or rule that associates each individual input to exactly one corresponding output. Students learn in courses prior to calculus that there are many different ways to represent functions, including through formulas, graphs, tables, and even words. For example, the squaring function can be thought of in any of these ways. In words, the squaring function takes any real number x and computes its square. The formulaic and graphical representations go hand in hand, as y = f (x) = x2 is one of the simplest curves to graph. Finally, we can also partially represent this function through a table of values, essentially by listing some of the ordered pairs that lie on the curve, such as (−2, 4), (−1, 1), (0, 0), (1, 1), and (2, 4). Functions are especially important in calculus because they often model important phenomena – the location of a moving object at a given time, the rate at which an automobile is consuming gasoline at a certain velocity, the reaction of a patient to the size of a dose of a drug – and calculus can be used to study how these output quantities change in response to changes in the input variable. Moreover, thinking about concepts like average and instantaneous velocity leads us naturally from an initial function to a related, sometimes more complicated function. As one example of this, think about the falling ball whose position function is given by s(t) = 64 − 16t2 and the average velocity of the ball on the interval [1, x]. Observe that s(x) − s(1) (64 − 16x2 ) − (64 − 16) 16 − 16x2 AV[1,x] = = = . x−1 x−1 x−1 Now, two things are essential to note: this average velocity depends on x (indeed, AV[1,x] is a function of x), and our most focused interest in this function occurs near x = 1, which is where the 2 function is not defined. Said differently, the function g(x) = 16−16x x−1 tells us the average velocity of the ball on the interval from t = 1 to t = x, and if we are interested in the instantaneous velocity of the ball when t = 1, we’d like to know what happens to g(x) as x gets closer and closer to 1. At the same time, g(1) is not defined, because it leads to the quotient 0/0. 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT 11 This is where the idea of limits comes in. By using a limit, we’ll be able to allow x to get arbitrarily close, but not equal, to 1 and fully understand the behavior of g(x) near this value. We’ll develop key language, notation, and conceptual understanding in what follows, but for now we consider a preliminary activity that uses the graphical interpretation of a function to explore points on a graph where interesting behavior occurs. Preview Activity 1.2. Suppose that g is the function given by the graph below. Use the graph to answer each of the following questions. (a) Determine the values g(−2), g(−1), g(0), g(1), and g(2), if defined. If the function value is not defined, explain what feature of the graph tells you this. (b) For each of the values a = −1, a = 0, and a = 2, complete the following sentence: “As x gets closer and closer (but not equal) to a, g(x) gets as close as we want to .” (c) What happens as x gets closer and closer (but not equal) to a = 1? Does the function g(x) get as close as we would like to a single value? g 3 2 1 2 1 1 2 3 1 Figure 1.5: Graph of y = g(x) for Preview Activity 1.2. ./ The Notion of Limit Limits can be thought of as a way to study the tendency or trend of a function as the input variable approaches a fixed value, or even as the input variable increases or decreases without bound. We put off the study of the latter idea until further along in the course when we will have some helpful calculus tools for understanding the end behavior of functions. Here, we focus on what it means to say that “a function f has limit L as x approaches a.” To begin, we think about a recent example. In Preview Activity 1.2, you saw that for the given function g, as x gets closer and closer (but not equal) to 0, g(x) gets as close as we want to the value 4. At first, this may feel counterintuitive, 12 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT because the value of g(0) is 1, not 4. By their very definition, limits regard the behavior of a function arbitrarily close to a fixed input, but the value of the function at the fixed input does not matter. More formally1 , we say the following. Definition 1.1. Given a function f , a fixed input x = a, and a real number L, we say that f has limit L as x approaches a, and write lim f (x) = L x→a provided that we can make f (x) as close to L as we like by taking x sufficiently close (but not equal) to a. If we cannot make f (x) as close to a single value as we would like as x approaches a, then we say that f does not have a limit as x approaches a. For the function g pictured in Figure 1.5, we can make the following observations: lim g(x) = 3, lim g(x) = 4, and lim g(x) = 1, x→−1 x→0 x→2 but g does not have a limit as x → 1. When working graphically, it suffices to ask if the function approaches a single value from each side of the fixed input, while understanding that the function value right at the fixed input is irrelevant. This reasoning explains the values of the first three stated limits. In a situation such as the jump in the graph of g at x = 1, the issue is that if we approach x = 1 from the left, the function values tend to get as close to 3 as we’d like, but if we approach x = 1 from the right, the function values get as close to 2 as we’d like, and there is no single number that all of these function values approach. This is why the limit of g does not exist at x = 1. For any function f , there are typically three ways to answer the question “does f have a limit at x = a, and if so, what is the limit?” The first is to reason graphically as we have just done with the example from Preview Activity 1.2. If we have a formula for f (x), there are two additional possibilities: (1) evaluate the function at a sequence of inputs that approach a on either side, typically using some sort of computing technology, and ask if the sequence of outputs seems to approach a single value; (2) use the algebraic form of the function to understand the trend in its output as the input values approach a. The first approach only produces an approximation of the value of the limit, while the latter can often be used to determine the limit exactly. The following example demonstrates both of these approaches, while also using the graphs of the respective functions to help confirm our conclusions. Example 1.2. For each of the following functions, we’d like to know whether or not the function has a limit at the stated avalues. Use both numerical and algebraic approaches to investigate and, if possible, estimate or determine the value of the limit. Compare the results with a careful graph of the function on an interval containing the points of interest. 1 What follows here is not what mathematicians consider the formal definition of a limit. To be completely precise, it is necessary to quantify both what it means to say “as close to L as we like” and “sufficiently close to a.” That can be accomplished through what is traditionally called the epsilondelta definition of limits. The definition presented here is sufficient for the purposes of this text. 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT 13 4 − x2 (a) f (x) = ; a = −1, a = −2 x+2 π (b) g(x) = sin ; a = 3, a = 0 x Solution. We first construct a graph of f along with tables of values near a = −1 and a = −2. x f (x) x f (x) 0.9 2.9 1.9 3.9 f 0.99 2.99 1.99 3.99 5 0.999 2.999 1.999 3.999 0.9999 2.9999 1.9999 3.9999 1.1 3.1 2.1 4.1 3 1.01 3.01 2.01 4.01 1.001 3.001 2.001 4.001 1 1.0001 3.0001 2.0001 4.0001 3 1 1 4 − x2 Figure 1.6: Tables and graph for f (x) = . x+2 From the left table, it appears that we can make f as close as we want to 3 by taking x suf ficiently close to −1, which suggests that lim f (x) = 3. This is also consistent with the graph x→−1 of f . To see this a bit more rigorously and from an algebraic point of view, consider the formula 2 for f : f (x) = 4−x x+2 . The numerator and denominator are each polynomial functions, which are among the most wellbehaved functions that exist. Formally, such functions are continuous2 , which means that the limit of the function at any point is equal to its function value. Here, it follows that as x → −1, (4 − x2 ) → (4 − (−1)2 ) = 3, and (x + 2) → (−1 + 2) = 1, so as x → −1, the numerator 3 of f tends to 3 and the denominator tends to 1, hence lim f (x) = = 3. x→−1 1 The situation is more complicated when x → −2, due in part to the fact that f (−2) is not defined. If we attempt to use a similar algebraic argument regarding the numerator and denomi nator, we observe that as x → −2, (4 − x2 ) → (4 − (−2)2 ) = 0, and (x + 2) → (−2 + 2) = 0, so as x → −2, the numerator of f tends to 0 and the denominator tends to 0. We call 0/0 an indeterminate form and will revisit several important issues surrounding such quantities later in the course. For now, we simply observe that this tells us there is somehow more work to do. From the table and the graph, it appears that f should have a limit of 4 at x = −2. To see algebraically why this is the 2 See Section 1.7 for more on the notion of continuity. 14 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT case, let’s work directly with the form of f (x). Observe that 4 − x2 lim f (x) = lim x→−2 x→−2 x + 2 (2 − x)(2 + x) = lim . x→−2 x+2 At this point, it is important to observe that since we are taking the limit as x → −2, we are considering x values that are close, but not equal, to −2. Since we never actually allow x to equal −2, the quotient 2+x x+2 has value 1 for every possible value of x. Thus, we can simplify the most recent expression above, and now find that lim f (x) = lim 2 − x. x→−2 x→−2 Because 2 − x is simply a linear function, this limit is now easy to determine, and its value clearly is 4. Thus, from several points of view we’ve seen that lim f (x) = 4. x→−2 Next we turn to the function g, and construct two tables and a graph. x g(x) x g(x) 2.9 0.84864 0.1 0 2.99 0.86428 0.01 0 2 2.999 0.86585 0.001 0 g 2.9999 0.86601 0.0001 0 3.1 0.88351 0.1 0 3 1 1 3 3.01 0.86777 0.01 0 3.001 0.86620 0.001 0 2 3.0001 0.86604 0.0001 0 π Figure 1.7: Tables and graph for g(x) = sin . x First, as x → 3, it appears from the data (and the graph) that the function is approaching approximately 0.866025. To be precise, we have to use the fact that πx → π3 , and thus we find √ 3 that g(x) = sin( πx ) → sin( π3 ) as x → 3. The exact value of sin( π3 ) is 2 , which is approximately 0.8660254038. Thus, we see that √ 3 lim g(x) = . x→3 2 As x → 0, we observe that πx does not behave in an elementary way. When x is positive and approaching zero, we are dividing by smaller and smaller positive values, and πx increases without bound. When x is negative and approaching zero, πx decreases without bound. In this sense, as we get close to x = 0, the inputs to the sine function are growing rapidly, and this leadsto wild oscillations in the graph of g. It is an instructive exercise to plot the function g(x) = sin πx with a 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT 15 graphing utility and then zoom in on x = 0. Doing so shows that the function never settles down to a single value near the origin and suggests that g does not have a limit at x = 0. How do we reconcile this with the righthand table above, which seems to suggest that the limit of g as x approaches 0 may in fact be 0? Here we need to recognize that the data misleads us because of the special nature of the sequence {0.1, 0.01, 0.001, . . .}: when we evaluate g(10−k ), we get g(10−k ) = sin 10π−k = sin(10k π) = 0 for each positive integer value of k. But if we take a different sequence of values approaching zero, say {0.3, 0.03, 0.003, . . .}, then we find that π k √ −k 10 π 3 g(3 · 10 ) = sin = sin = ≈ 0.866025. 3 · 10−k 3 2 √ That sequence of data would suggest that the value of the limit is 23 . Clearly the function cannot have two different values for the limit, and this shows that g has no limit as x → 0. An important lesson to take from Example 1.2 is that tables can be misleading when determin ing the value of a limit. While a table of values is useful for investigating the possible value of a limit, we should also use other tools to confirm the value, if we think the table suggests the limit exists. Activity 1.4. Estimate the value of each of the following limits by constructing appropriate tables of values. Then determine the exact value of the limit by using algebra to simplify the function. Finally, plot each function on an appropriate interval to check your result visually. x2 − 1 (a) lim x→1 x − 1 (2 + x)3 − 8 (b) lim x→0 x √ x+1−1 (c) lim x→0 x C This concludes a rather lengthy introduction to the notion of limits. It is important to remem ber that our primary motivation for considering limits of functions comes from our interest in studying the rate of change of a function. To that end, we close this section by revisiting our previous work with average and instantaneous velocity and highlighting the role that limits play. Instantaneous Velocity Suppose that we have a moving object whose position at time t is given by a function s. We know that the average velocity of the object on the time interval [a, b] is AV[a,b] = s(b)−s(a) b−a . We define the 16 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT instantaneous velocity at a to be the limit of average velocity as b approaches a. Note particularly that as b → a, the length of the time interval gets shorter and shorter (while always including a). In Section 1.3, we will introduce a helpful shorthand notation to represent the instantaneous rate of change. For now, we will write IVt=a for the instantaneous velocity at t = a, and thus s(b) − s(a) IVt=a = lim AV[a,b] = lim . b→a b→a b−a Equivalently, if we think of the changing value b as being of the form b = a + h, where h is some small number, then we may instead write s(a + h) − s(a) IVt=a = lim AV[a,a+h] = lim . h→0 h→0 h Again, the most important idea here is that to compute instantaneous velocity, we take a limit of average velocities as the time interval shrinks. Two different activities offer the opportunity to investigate these ideas and the role of limits further. Activity 1.5. Consider a moving object whose position function is given by s(t) = t2 , where s is measured in meters and t is measured in minutes. (a) Determine the most simplified expression for the average velocity of the object on the interval [3, 3 + h], where h > 0. (b) Determine the average velocity of the object on the interval [3, 3.2]. Include units on your answer. (c) Determine the instantaneous velocity of the object when t = 3. Include units on your answer. C The closing activity of this section asks you to make some connections among average velocity, instantaneous velocity, and slopes of certain lines. Activity 1.6. For the moving object whose position s at time t is given by the graph below, answer each of the following questions. Assume that s is measured in feet and t is measured in seconds. (a) Use the graph to estimate the average velocity of the object on each of the following intervals: [0.5, 1], [1.5, 2.5], [0, 5]. Draw each line whose slope represents the average velocity you seek. (b) How could you use average velocities or slopes of lines to estimate the instantaneous velocity of the object at a fixed time? (c) Use the graph to estimate the instantaneous velocity of the object when t = 2. Should this instantaneous velocity at t = 2 be greater or less than the average velocity on [1.5, 2.5] that you computed in (a)? Why? 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT 17 5 s 3 1 t 1 3 5 Figure 1.8: Plot of the position function y = s(t) in Activity 1.6. C Summary In this section, we encountered the following important ideas: • Limits enable us to examine trends in function behavior near a specific point. In particular, taking a limit at a given point asks if the function values nearby tend to approach a particular fixed value. • When we write lim f (x) = L, we read this as saying “the limit of f as x approaches a is L,” and x→a this means that we can make the value of f (x) as close to L as we want by taking x sufficiently close (but not equal) to a. • If we desire to know lim f (x) for a given value of a and a known function f , we can estimate x→a this value from the graph of f or by generating a table of function values that result from a sequence of xvalues that are closer and closer to a. If we want the exact value of the limit, we need to work with the function algebraically and see if we can use familiar properties of known, basic functions to understand how different parts of the formula for f change as x → a. • The instantaneous velocity of a moving object at a fixed time is found by taking the limit of average velocities of the object over shorter and shorter time intervals that all contain the time of interest. Exercises 16 − x4 1. Consider the function whose formula is f (x) = . x2 − 4 (a) What is the domain of f ? 18 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT (b) Use a sequence of values of x near a = 2 to estimate the value of lim f (x), if you think x→2 the limit exists. If you think the limit doesn’t exist, explain why. 4 (c) Use algebra to simplify the expression 16−xx2 −4 and hence work to evaluate limx→2 f (x) exactly, if it exists, or to explain how your work shows the limit fails to exist. Discuss how your findings compare to your results in (b). (d) True or false: f (2) = −8. Why? 4 (e) True or false: 16−x x2 −4 = −4 − x2 . Why? How is this equality connected to your work above with the function f ? (f) Based on all of your work above, construct an accurate, labeled graph of y = f (x) on the interval [1, 3], and write a sentence that explains what you now know about 16 − x4 lim 2 . x→2 x − 4 x + 3 2. Let g(x) = − . x+3 (a) What is the domain of g? (b) Use a sequence of values near a = −3 to estimate the value of limx→−3 g(x), if you think the limit exists. If you think the limit doesn’t exist, explain why. (c) Use algebra to simplify the expression x+3 x+3 and hence work to evaluate limx→−3 g(x) exactly, if it exists, or to explain how your work shows the limit fails to exist. Discuss how your findings compare to your results in (b). (Hint: a = a whenever a ≥ 0, but a = −a whenever a < 0.) (d) True or false: g(−3) = −1. Why? (e) True or false: − x+3 x+3 = −1. Why? How is this equality connected to your work above with the function g? (f) Based on all of your work above, construct an accurate, labeled graph of y = g(x) on the interval [−4, −2], and write a sentence that explains what you now know about lim g(x). x→−3 3. For each of the following prompts, sketch a graph on the provided axes of a function that has the stated properties. (a) y = f (x) such that • f (−2) = 2 and lim f (x) = 1 x→−2 • f (−1) = 3 and lim f (x) = 3 x→−1 • f (1) is not defined and lim f (x) = 0 x→1 • f (2) = 1 and lim f (x) does not exist. x→2 1.2. THE NOTION OF LIMIT 19 (b) y = g(x) such that • g(−2) = 3, g(−1) = −1, g(1) = −2, and g(2) = 3 • At x = −2, −1, 1 and 2, g has a limit, and its limit equals the value of the function at that point. • g(0) is not defined and lim g(x) does not exist. x→0 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Figure 1.9: Axes for plotting y = f (x) in (a) and y = g(x) in (b). 4. A bungee jumper dives from a tower at time t = 0. Her height s in feet at time t in seconds is given by s(t) = 100 cos(0.75t) · e−0.2t + 100. (a) Write an expression for the average velocity of the bungee jumper on the interval [1, 1 + h]. (b) Use computing technology to estimate the value of the limit as h → 0 of the quantity you found in (a). (c) What is the meaning of the value of the limit in (b)? What are its units? 20 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT 1.3 The derivative of a function at a point Motivating Questions In this section, we strive to understand the ideas generated by the following important questions: • How is the average rate of change of a function on a given interval defined, and what does this quantity measure? • How is the instantaneous rate of change of a function at a particular point defined? How is the instantaneous rate of change linked to average rate of change? • What is the derivative of a function at a given point? What does this derivative value measure? How do we interpret the derivative value graphically? • How are limits used formally in the computation of derivatives? Introduction An idea that sits at the foundations of calculus is the instantaneous rate of change of a function. This rate of change is always considered with respect to change in the input variable, often at a particular fixed input value. This is a generalization of the notion of instantaneous velocity and essentially allows us to consider the question “how do we measure how fast a particular function is changing at a given point?” When the original function represents the position of a moving object, this instantaneous rate of change is precisely velocity, and might be measured in units such as feet per second. But in other contexts, instantaneous rate of change could measure the number of cells added to a bacteria culture per day, the number of additional gallons of gasoline consumed by going one mile per additional mile per hour in a car’s velocity, or the number of dollars added to a mortgage payment for each percentage increase in interest rate. Regardless of the presence of a physical or practical interpretation of a function, the instantaneous rate of change may also be interpreted geometrically in connection to the function’s graph, and this connection is also foundational to many of the main ideas in calculus. In what follows, we will introduce terminology and notation that makes it easier to talk about the instantaneous rate of change of a function at a point. In addition, just as instantaneous velocity is defined in terms of average velocity, the more general instantaneous rate of change will be connected to the more general average rate of change. Recall that for a moving object with position function s, its average velocity on the time interval t = a to t = a + h is given by the quotient s(a + h) − s(a) AV[a,a+h] = . h In a similar way, we make the following definition for an arbitrary function y = f (x). Definition 1.2. For a function f , the average rate of change of f on the interval [a, a + h] is given by 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT 21 the value f (a + h) − f (a) AV[a,a+h] = . h Equivalently, if we want to consider the average rate of change of f on [a, b], we compute f (b) − f (a) AV[a,b] = . b−a It is essential to understand how the average rate of change of f on an interval is connected to its graph. Preview Activity 1.3. Suppose that f is the function given by the graph below and that a and a+h are the input values as labeled on the xaxis. Use the graph in Figure 1.10 to answer the following questions. y f x a a+h Figure 1.10: Plot of y = f (x) for Preview Activity 1.3. (a) Locate and label the points (a, f (a)) and (a + h, f (a + h)) on the graph. (b) Construct a right triangle whose hypotenuse is the line segment from (a, f (a)) to (a + h, f (a + h)). What are the lengths of the respective legs of this triangle? (c) What is the slope of the line that connects the points (a, f (a)) and (a + h, f (a + h))? (d) Write a meaningful sentence that explains how the average rate of change of the function on a given interval and the slope of a related line are connected. ./ 22 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT The Derivative of a Function at a Point Just as we defined instantaneous velocity in terms of average velocity, we now define the instanta neous rate of change of a function at a point in terms of the average rate of change of the function f over related intervals. In addition, we give a special name to “the instantaneous rate of change of f at a,” calling this quantity “the derivative of f at a,” with this value being represented by the shorthand notation f 0 (a). Specifically, we make the following definition. Definition 1.3. Let f be a function and x = a a value in the function’s domain. We define the derivative of f with respect to x evaluated at x = a, denoted f 0 (a), by the formula f (a + h) − f (a) f 0 (a) = lim , h→0 h provided this limit exists. Aloud, we read the symbol f 0 (a) as either “f prime at a” or “the derivative of f evaluated at x = a.” Much of the next several chapters will be devoted to understanding, computing, applying, and interpreting derivatives. For now, we make the following important notes. • The derivative of f at the value x = a is defined as the limit of the average rate of change of f on the interval [a, a + h] as h → 0. It is possible for this limit not to exist, so not every function has a derivative at every point. • We say that a function that has a derivative at x = a is differentiable at x = a. • The derivative is a generalization of the instantaneous velocity of a position function: when y = s(t) is a position function of a moving body, s0 (a) tells us the instantaneous velocity of the body at time t = a. • Because the units on f (a+h)−f h (a) are “units of f per unit of x,” the derivative has these very same units. For instance, if s measures position in feet and t measures time in seconds, the units on s0 (a) are feet per second. • Because the quantity f (a+h)−f h (a) represents the slope of the line through (a, f (a)) and (a + h, f (a + h)), when we compute the derivative we are taking the limit of a collection of slopes of lines, and thus the derivative itself represents the slope of a particularly important line. While all of the above ideas are important and we will add depth and perspective to them through additional time and study, for now it is most essential to recognize how the derivative of a function at a given value represents the slope of a certain line. Thus, we expand upon the last bullet item above. As we move from an average rate of change to an instantaneous one, we can think of one point as “sliding towards” another. In particular, provided the function has a derivative at (a, f (a)), the 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT 23 point (a + h, f (a + h)) will approach (a, f (a)) as h → 0. Because this process of taking a limit is a dynamic one, it can be helpful to use computing technology to visualize what the limit is accomplishing. While there are many different options3 , one of the best is a java applet in which the user is able to control the point that is moving. See the examples referenced in the footnote here, or consider building your own, perhaps using the fantastic free program Geogebra4 . In Figure 1.11, we provide a sequence of figures with several different lines through the points (a, f (a)) and (a + h, f (a + h)) that are generated by different values of h. These lines (shown in the first three figures in magenta), are often called secant lines to the curve y = f (x). A secant line to a curve is simply a line that passes through two points that lie on the curve. For each such line, the slope of the secant line is m = f (a+h)−f h (a) , where the value of h depends on the location of the point we choose. We can see in the diagram how, as h → 0, the secant lines start to approach a single line that passes through the point (a, f (a)). In the situation where the limit of the slopes of the secant lines exists, we say that the resulting value is the slope of the tangent line to the curve. This tangent line (shown in the rightmost figure in green) to the graph of y = f (x) at the point (a, f (a)) is the line through (a, f (a)) whose slope is m = f 0 (a). y y y y f f f f x x x x a a a a Figure 1.11: A sequence of secant lines approaching the tangent line to f at (a, f (a)). As we will see in subsequent study, the existence of the tangent line at x = a is connected to whether or not the function f looks like a straight line when viewed up close at (a, f (a)), which can also be seen in Figure 1.12, where we combine the four graphs in Figure 1.11 into the single one on the left, and then we zoom in on the box centered at (a, f (a)), with that view expanded on the right (with two of the secant lines omitted). Note how the tangent line sits relative to the curve y = f (x) at (a, f (a)) and how closely it resembles the curve near x = a. At this time, it is most important to note that f 0 (a), the instantaneous rate of change of f with respect to x at x = a, also measures the slope of the tangent line to the curve y = f (x) at (a, f (a)). The following example demonstrates several key ideas involving the derivative of a function. 3 For a helpful collection of java applets, consider the work of David Austin of Grand Valley State Univer sity at http://gvsu.edu/s/5r, and the particularly relevant example at http://gvsu.edu/s/5s. For ap plets that have been built in Geogebra, a nice example is the work of Marc Renault of Shippensburg University at http://gvsu.edu/s/5p, with the example at http://gvsu.edu/s/5q being especially fitting for our work in this section. There are scores of other examples posted by other authors on the internet. 4 Available for free download from http://geogebra.org. 24 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT y f x a Figure 1.12: A sequence of secant lines approaching the tangent line to f at (a, f (a)). At right, we zoom in on the point (a, f (a)). The slope of the tangent line (in green) to f at (a, f (a)) is given by f 0 (a). Example 1.3. For the function given by f (x) = x − x2 , use the limit definition of the derivative to compute f 0 (2). In addition, discuss the meaning of this value and draw a labeled graph that supports your explanation. Solution. From the limit definition, we know that f (2 + h) − f (2) f 0 (2) = lim . h→0 h Now we use the rule for f , and observe that f (2) = 2 − 22 = −2 and f (2 + h) = (2 + h) − (2 + h)2 . Substituting these values into the limit definition, we have that (2 + h) − (2 + h)2 − (−2) f 0 (2) = lim . h→0 h Observe that with h in the denominator and our desire to let h → 0, we have to wait to take the limit (that is, we wait to actually let h approach 0). Thus, we do additional algebra. Expanding and distributing in the numerator, 2 + h − 4 − 4h − h2 + 2 f 0 (2) = lim . h→0 h Combining like terms, we have −3h − h2 f 0 (2) = lim . h→0 h Next, we observe that there is a common factor of h in both the numerator and denominator, which allows us to simplify and find that f 0 (2) = lim (−3 − h). h→0 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT 25 m = f ′ (2) 1 2 2 4 y = x − x2 Figure 1.13: The tangent line to y = x − x2 at the point (2, −2). Finally, we are able to take the limit as h → 0, and thus conclude that f 0 (2) = −3. Now, we know that f 0 (2) represents the slope of the tangent line to the curve y = x − x2 at the point (2, −2); f 0 (2) is also the instantaneous rate of change of f at the point (2, −2). Graphing both the function and the line through (2, −2) with slope m = f 0 (2) = −3, we indeed see that by calculating the derivative, we have found the slope of the tangent line at this point, as shown in Figure 1.3. The following activities will help you explore a variety of key ideas related to derivatives. Activity 1.7. Consider the function f whose formula is f (x) = 3 − 2x. (a) What familiar type of function is f ? What can you say about the slope of f at every value of x? (b) Compute the average rate of change of f on the intervals [1, 4], [3, 7], and [5, 5 + h]; simplify each result as much as possible. What do you notice about these quantities? (c) Use the limit definition of the derivative to compute the exact instantaneous rate of change of f with respect to x at the value a = 1. That is, compute f 0 (1) using the limit definition. Show your work. Is your result surprising? (d) Without √ doing any additional computations, what are the values of f 0 (2), f 0 (π), and f 0 (− 2)? Why? 26 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT C Activity 1.8. A water balloon is tossed vertically in the air from a window. The balloon’s height in feet at time t in seconds after being launched is given by s(t) = −16t2 + 16t + 32. Use this function to respond to each of the following questions. (a) Sketch an accurate, labeled graph of s on the axes provided in Figure 1.14. You should be able to do this without using computing technology. y 32 16 t 1 2 Figure 1.14: Axes for plotting y = s(t) in Activity 1.8. (b) Compute the average rate of change of s on the time interval [1, 2]. Include units on your answer and write one sentence to explain the meaning of the value you found. (c) Use the limit definition to compute the instantaneous rate of change of s with respect to time, t, at the instant a = 1. Show your work using proper notation, include units on your answer, and write one sentence to explain the meaning of the value you found. (d) On your graph in (a), sketch two lines: one whose slope represents the average rate of change of s on [1, 2], the other whose slope represents the instantaneous rate of change of s at the instant a = 1. Label each line clearly. (e) For what values of a do you expect s0 (a) to be positive? Why? Answer the same ques tions when “positive” is replaced by “negative” and “zero.” C Activity 1.9. A rapidly growing city in Arizona has its population P at time t, where t is the number of decades after the year 2010, modeled by the formula P (t) = 25000et/5 . Use this function to respond to the following questions. (a) Sketch an accurate graph of P for t = 0 to t = 5 on the axes provided in Figure 1.15. Label the scale on the axes carefully. 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT 27 y t Figure 1.15: Axes for plotting y = P (t) in Activity 1.9. (b) Compute the average rate of change of P between 2030 and 2050. Include units on your answer and write one sentence to explain the meaning (in everyday language) of the value you found. (c) Use the limit definition to write an expression for the instantaneous rate of change of P with respect to time, t, at the instant a = 2. Explain why this limit is difficult to evaluate exactly. (d) Estimate the limit in (c) for the instantaneous rate of change of P at the instant a = 2 by using several small h values. Once you have determined an accurate estimate of P 0 (2), include units on your answer, and write one sentence (using everyday language) to explain the meaning of the value you found. (e) On your graph above, sketch two lines: one whose slope represents the average rate of change of P on [2, 4], the other whose slope represents the instantaneous rate of change of P at the instant a = 2. (f) In a carefullyworded sentence, describe the behavior of P 0 (a) as a increases in value. What does this reflect about the behavior of the given function P ? C Summary In this section, we encountered the following important ideas: f (b) − f (a) • The average rate of change of a function f on the interval [a, b] is . The units on the b−a average rate of change are units of f per unit of x, and the numerical value of the average rate of change represents the slope of the secant line between the points (a, f (a)) and (b, f (b)) on the graph of y = f (x). If we view the interval as being [a, a + h] instead of [a, b], the meaning is f (a + h) − f (a) still the same, but the average rate of change is now computed by . h 28 1.3. THE DERIVATIVE OF A FUNCTION AT A POINT • The instantaneous rate of change with respect to x of a function f at a value x = a is denoted f 0 (a) (read “the derivative of f evaluated at a” or “f prime at a”) and is defined by the formula f (a + h) − f (a) f 0 (a) = lim , h→0 h provided the limit exists. Note particularly that the instantaneous rate of change at x = a is the limit of the average rate of change on [a, a + h] as h → 0. • Provided the derivative f 0 (a) exists, its value tells us the instantaneous rate of change of f with respect to x at x = a, which geometrically is the slope of the tangent line to the curve y = f (x) at the point (a, f (a)). We even say that f 0 (a) is the slope of the curve y = f (x) at the point (a, f (a)). • Limits are the link between average rate of change and instantaneous rate of change: they allow us to move from the rate of change over an interval to the rate of change at a single point. Exercises 1. Consider the graph of y = f (x) provided in Figure 1.16. (a) On the graph of y = f (x), sketch and label the following quantities: • the secant line to y = f (x) on the interval [−3, −1] and the secant line to y = f (x) on the interval [0, 2]. • the tangent line to y = f (x) at x = −3 and the tangent line to y = f (x) at x = 0. y f 4 x 4 4 4 Figure 1.16: Plot of y = f (x). (b) What is the approximate value of the average rate of change of f on [−3, −1]? On [0, 2]? How are these values related to your work in (a)? (c) What is the approximate value of the instantaneous rate of change of f at x = −3? At x = 0? How are these values related to your work in (a)?
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