Questions on the evaluation of derivatives or problems involving derivatives (for example, use of the mean value theorem).

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105
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5answers
2k views

Why can't differentiability be generalized as nicely as continuity?

The question: Can we define differentiable functions between (some class of) sets, "without $\Bbb R$"* so that it Reduces to the traditional definition when desired? Has the same use in at least ...
99
votes
1answer
5k views

How discontinuous can a derivative be?

There is a well-known result in elementary analysis due to Darboux which says if $f$ is a differentiable function then $f'$ satisfies the intermediate value property. To my knowledge, not many ...
84
votes
6answers
9k views

What did Alan Turing mean when he said he didn't fully understand dy/dx?

Alan Turing's notebook has recently been sold at an auction house in London. In it he says this: Written out: The Leibniz notation $\frac{\mathrm{d}y}{\mathrm{d}x}$ I find extremely difficult ...
66
votes
7answers
2k views

Does L'Hôpital's work the other way?

Hello fellows, As referred in Wikipedia (see the specified criteria there), L'Hôpital's rule says, $$ \lim_{x\to c}\frac{f(x)}{g(x)}=\lim_{x\to c}\frac{f'(x)}{g'(x)} $$ As $$ \lim_{x\to ...
50
votes
1answer
1k views

Thurston's 37th way of thinking about the derivative

In Thurston's superb essay On proof and progress in mathematics, he makes this observation: Of course there is always another subtlety to be gleaned, but I would like to at least think that I ...
44
votes
1answer
1k views

The $100$th derivative of $(x^2 + 1)/(x^3 - x)$

I am reading a collection of problems by the Russian mathematician Vladimir Arnol'd, titled A Mathematical Trivium. I am taking a stab at this one: Calculate the $100$th derivative of the function ...
37
votes
3answers
2k views

Why, although these functions have the same derivative, do they not differ by a constant?

I calculated the derivative of $\arctan\left(\frac{1+x}{1-x}\right)$ to be $\frac{1}{1+x^2}$. This is the same as $(\arctan)'$. Why is there no $c$ that satisfies $\arctan\left(\frac{1+x}{1-x}\right) ...
32
votes
7answers
9k views

What function can be differentiated twice, but not 3 times?

In complex analysis class professor said that in complex analysis if a function is differentiable once, it can be differentiated infinite number of times. In real analysis there are cases where a ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

Function whose third derivative is itself.

I'm looking for a function $f$, whose third derivative is $f$ itself, while the first derivative isn't. Is there any such function? Which one(s)? If not, how can we prove that there is none? Notes: ...
30
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it necessary that every function is a derivative of some function?

I thought about this a lot and consulted a lot of people but everyone had contradicting answers. I am a high school student. please help.
30
votes
1answer
683 views

How to show that $f'(x)<2f(x)$

I would appreciate if somebody could help me with the following problem: Q: Let $f(x),f'(x),f''(x),f'''(x)>0$ , $f'''(x)$ is a continuous function and $f'''(x)<f(x)$ on $\mathbb{R}$ then ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there ways of finding the $n$-th derivative of a function without computing the $(n-1)$-th derivative?

Say we have a function $f(x)$ that is infinitely differentiable at some point. Is it possible to find $f^{(n)}(x)$ without having to find first $f^{(n-1)}(x)$? If so, does it take less effort than ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

Uses of $\lim \limits_{h\to 0} \frac{f(x+h)-f(x-h)}{2h}$

I have been wondering whether the following limit is being used somehow, as a variation of the derivative: $$\lim_{h\to 0} \frac{f(x+h)-f(x-h)}{2h} .$$ Edit: I know that this limit is defined in ...
24
votes
1answer
395 views

Function's analytic continuation is its own derivative

This is the question we were asked at the university by our professor for complex analysis. Not as an exam, but as a challenge. I don't think he knew the answer himself. Find a nontrivial example of ...
23
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there any function which grows 'slower' than its derivative?

Does a function $f: \mathbb{R} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ such that $f'(x) > f(x) > 0$ exist? Intuitively, I think it can't exist. I've tried finding the answer using the definition of ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Why do we require radians in calculus?

I think this is just something I've grown used to but can't remember any proof. When differentiating and integrating with trigonometric functions, we require angles to be taken in radians. Why does ...
21
votes
5answers
13k views

What exactly is the difference between a derivative and a total derivative?

I am not too grounded in differentiation but today, I was posed with a supposedly easy question $w = f(x,y) = x^2 + y^2$ where $x = r\sin\theta $ and $y = r\cos\theta$ requiring the solution to ...
21
votes
5answers
901 views

Geometric interpretation of mixed partial derivatives?

I'm looking for a geometric interpretation of this theorem: My book doesn't give any kind of explanation of it. Again, I'm not looking for a proof - I'm looking for a geometric interpretation. ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Proof derivative equals zero?

I know this must be wrong, but I am confused as to where the mathematical fallacy lies. Here is the 'proof': $$f '(x) = \lim_{ h\to0}\frac{f(x+h)-f(x)}{h}$$ L'Hôpital's Rule (The previous limit was ...
20
votes
2answers
434 views

When does $(uv)'=u'v'?$ [duplicate]

In any calculus course, one of the first thing we learn is that $(uv)'=u'v+v'u$ rather than the what I've written in the title. This got me wondering: when is this dream product rule true? There are ...
20
votes
1answer
455 views

Derivative of the Meijer G-function with respect to one of its parameters

Are there any approaches that allow to find a derivative of the Meijer G-function with respect to one of its parameters in a closed form (or at least numerically with a high precision and in ...
20
votes
1answer
781 views

$n^{th}$ derivative of a tetration function

I stumbled upon this very peculiar function last summer, namely: $f(x)=x^{x^{x^{...^{x}}}}$, where there is a number $n$ of $x$'s in the exponent, I tried to find the derivative for the function and I ...
19
votes
4answers
10k views

Discontinuous derivative.

Could someone give an example of a ‘very’ discontinuous derivative? I myself can only come up with examples where the derivative is discontinuous at only one point. I am assuming the function is ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a differentiable function on $(-2, 4)$ always integrable on $[-2, 4]$?

So my question is, say I have a function that is differentiable on $(-2, 4)$. Is it always integrable on $[-2, 4]$? I know that if $f$ is diff on $(-2, 4)$, then it is continuous on $(-2, 4)$. And I ...
19
votes
2answers
500 views

Ramanujan style nested differential Equation

So I was exploring some math the other day... and I came across the following neat identity: Given $y$ is a function of $x$ ($y(x)$) and $$ y = 1 + \frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}x} \left(1 + ...
18
votes
8answers
265 views

Intuitively, why should the coefficient of the derivative of $x^n$ be $n$?

I am able to differentiate $x^n$ with respect to $x$ from first principles using the definition of differentiation. Also it seems natural that the gradient of a finite polynomial will be one order ...
18
votes
2answers
665 views

What is the derivative of ${}^xx$

How would one find: $$\frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dx}{}^xx?$$ where ${}^ba$ is defined by $${}^ba\stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\underbrace{ a^{a^{\cdot^{\cdot^{\cdot^a}}}}}_{\text{$b$ times}}$$ Work so ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Differentiating $y=x^{2}$

I am reading in a book about differentiating, but I am confused with one of the steps he takes. We start with: $$ \begin{align} y &= x^{2} \\ y + \mathrm{d}y &= (x + \mathrm{d}x)^2 \\ y + ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Any ideas on how I can prove this expression?

I don't have a lot of places to turn because i am still in high school. So please bear with me as i had to create some notation. In order to understand my notation you must observe this identity for ...
17
votes
2answers
864 views

A functional equation with no solution

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\to (0,\infty)$ be a differentiable function satisfying $$f(f(x))=f^\prime(x)$$for each $x$. Show no such function exists. I got this problem in an exam. I haven't done anything ...
17
votes
1answer
468 views

Is there any meaning to an “infinite derivative”?

I've been thinking about this: say you have an infinitely differentiable function. Then you can form a sequence $f(x), f'(x), f''(x), \cdots, f^{(n)}(x), \cdots$ and attempt to take its limit. For ...
16
votes
1answer
515 views

“Converse” of Taylor's theorem

Let $f:(a,b)\to\mathbb R$. We know that for every $c\in(a,b)$ we can write $f(t)=\sum_{i=0}^k a_i(c)(t-c)^i+o\left((t-c)^k\right)$ and $\forall i$ $a_i(c)$ is continuous (with respect to $c$). Can we ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

$\int^{1}_{0} f^{-1} = 1 - \int^1_0 f$

One more from hard to believe facts, which I'm curious why are true. Let $f : [0,1] \rightarrow [0,1] $ is a continuous, monotonically increasing and surjective function Then $$\int^{1}_{0} f^{-1} ...
15
votes
4answers
478 views

Derivative of ${x^{x^2}}$

Studying past exam problems for my exam in ~$4$ weeks, and I came across this derivative as one of the questions. I actually have no idea how to solve it. $$\frac{d}{dx} (x^{x^2})$$ Using the chain ...
15
votes
3answers
284 views

Finding $f'(0)$ when $f(x)=\int\limits_0^x\sin\left(\frac{1}{t}\right)dt$

I need to show that $f'(0)=0$ for $$ f(x)=\int\limits_0^x\sin\left(\frac{1}{t}\right)dt $$ But fundamental theorem of calculus is unapplicable here. What should I do?
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Fractional Derivative Implications/Meaning?

I've recently been studying the concept of taking fractional derivatives and antiderivatives, and this question has come to mind: If a first derivative, in Cartesian coordinates, is representative of ...
15
votes
4answers
296 views

Find $f''(x)$ if $f\circ f'(x) = 4x^2 + 3$

Can you tell me the solution of this question? If: $f\circ f'(x)=4 x^2 +3$ then what is $f''(x)$? This was a question in math test which I just took yesterday. One function satisfying the ...
14
votes
3answers
452 views

Calculate:$y'$ for $y = x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{.^{.^{.^{\infty}}}}}}}}$ and $y = \sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+…\infty}}}}$

(1) If $y = x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{.^{.^{.^{\infty}}}}}}}}$ (2) If $y = \sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+\sqrt{x+....\infty}}}}$ then find $y'$ in both cases (3)If $ y= ...
14
votes
1answer
578 views

Inverse of a bijection f is equal to its derivative

Does there exist a differentiable bijection $f: \mathbb{R} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ such that $f'(x) = f^{-1}(x)$ ?
14
votes
1answer
342 views

How to calclulate a derivate of a hypergeometric function w.r.t. one of its parameters?

Is it possible to take a derivative of a hypergeometric function w.r.t. one of its parameters and express it in a closed form? I am particularly interested in this case: ...
14
votes
2answers
427 views

Prove ${\large\int}_0^1\frac{\ln(1+8x)}{x^{2/3}\,(1-x)^{2/3}\,(1+8x)^{1/3}}dx=\frac{\ln3}{\pi\sqrt3}\Gamma^3\!\left(\tfrac13\right)$

Here is one more numerically discovered conjecture that I was not able to prove, and asking you for help: ...
14
votes
1answer
177 views

What's the minimal structure needed to define a notion of derivative?

I know that, for example, to define a limit all you need is the notion of "closeness" generated by a topology; and to define an integral you need a measure function and a sigma-algebra on which it is ...
14
votes
1answer
412 views

Definition of the nth derivative? [First post]

If the definition of the derivative is $$ f^\prime(x) = \lim_{\Delta x \to 0} \dfrac{f(x+\Delta x) - f(x)}{\Delta x} $$ Would it make sense that the nth derivative would be (I know that the 'n' in ...
14
votes
0answers
389 views

Divergence of the Derivative of the Prime Counting Function

On the one hand, the Prime Counting Function $\pi_0(x)$ maybe be written $$ \pi_0(x) = \operatorname{R}(x^1) - \sum_{\rho}\operatorname{R}(x^{\rho}) \tag{1} $$ with $ \operatorname{R}(z) = ...
13
votes
8answers
10k views

Continuous versus differentiable

A function is "differentiable" if it has a derivative. A function is "continuous" if it has no sudden jumps in it. Until today, I thought these were merely two equivalent definitions of the same ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Differentiating an Inner Product

If $(V, \langle \cdot, \cdot \rangle)$ is a finite-dimensional inner product space and $f,g : \mathbb{R} \longrightarrow V$ are differentiable functions, a straightforward calculation with components ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

If a function has a finite limit at infinity, does that imply its derivative goes to zero?

I've been thinking about this problem: Let $f: (a, +\infty) \to \mathbb{R}$ be a differentiable function such that $\lim\limits_{x \to +\infty} f(x) = L < \infty$. Then must it be the case that ...
13
votes
3answers
635 views

FoxTrot Bill Amend Problems

So I found this on the Wolfram website today: So I was wondering about how one might be able to (if possible) solve those four problems by hand. Here are the problems, $\LaTeX$ed: $ \lim_{x \to ...
13
votes
2answers
229 views

How prove that there exists $\xi\in(a,b)$ with $f'(\xi)=\frac{f(\xi)-f(a)}{b-a}$

Let $f(x)$ be continuous on $[a,b]$, differentiable on $(a,b)$, and with some $c\in(a,b)$ such that $f'(c)=0$. Show: There exists $\xi\in(a,b)$ such that $$ f'(\xi)=\dfrac{f(\xi)-f(a)}{b-a} $$ ...
13
votes
6answers
139 views

Why does $n$-time differentiation of product have the same structure as raising sum to $n$th power?

A formula for differentiating a product is well known: $$(ab)'=a'b+ab'.$$ At first sight it doesn't resemble anything interesting. But what if we differentiate twice? We'll get ...