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Starting with the graph of $f(x) = 3^x$, write the equation of the graph that results from reflecting $f(x)$ about the line $x=3$.

I thought that it would be $f(x) = 3^{-x-3}$ (aka shift it three units to the right and reflect it), but it's wrong.

The right answer is $f(x) = 3^{-x+6}$ but I just can't get to it!

An explained step by step would be appreciated so I can follow what is being done.

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your idea will work if you just carry it fully through. First shift three units to the left, so the line of reflection becomes the y axis, then flip, and finally remember to shift three units back to the right to put the center line back where it belongs.

(This gives the $f(6-x)$ solution you already know).

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I get it, thanks a ton!! – kubasub Sep 12 '11 at 20:37
What if I wanted to reflect it on the curve $ g \left( x \right) = x $? – Drazick Nov 8 '15 at 1:46

Replace $x$ with $6-x$. This works because if $x=3+t$, then $6-x=3-t$.

Or, in words: if $x$ is $t$ units to the right from $3$, then $6-x$ is $t$ units to the left from $3$.

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I see that in essence x is replaced with 6-x, but how would I go about determining that is what needs to be done? – kubasub Sep 12 '11 at 20:09
@Jakub, please see my edit. – Rasmus Sep 12 '11 at 20:11

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