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

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88
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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 ...
63
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 ...
45
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 ...
41
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 ...
31
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
2k 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
672 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
2k 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
347 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 ...
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
407 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
432 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
618 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
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 ...
18
votes
8answers
245 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
5answers
504 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. ...
18
votes
2answers
618 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
459 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 + ...
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 + ...
16
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
807 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
495 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
8k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
469 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
282 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
1answer
359 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 ...
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
265 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
443 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
259 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
3answers
458 views

$\nabla \cdot \color{green}{(\mathbf{F} {\times} \mathbf{G})} $ with Einstein Summation Notation [Stewart P1068 16.5.27]

$\nabla \cdot \color{green}{(\mathbf{F} {\times} \mathbf{G})} = \partial_h\color{green}{\epsilon_{hij}F_iG_j}$ $ = \epsilon_{hij}\partial_h[F_iG_j]$ $ = \color{purple}{\epsilon_{hij}G_j\partial_hF_i} ...
14
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
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
2answers
226 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
3answers
778 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
400 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: ...
13
votes
6answers
123 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
359 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) = ...
12
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
345 views

The closed form of $\lim_{x\to\frac{4}{3}}\frac{\partial}{\partial x}\left[\,_2{\rm{F}}_1\left(\frac{1}{3},1;x;-1\right)\right]$

Do you think the following limit might have a closed form? Some hints or clues? $$\lim_{x\to\frac{4}{3}}\frac{\partial}{\partial x}\left[\,_2{\rm{F}}_1\left(\frac{1}{3},1;x;-1\right)\right]$$
12
votes
2answers
331 views

Finding the derivative of $x\uparrow\uparrow n$

I am trying to find a general derivative for the function: $f(x)=x^{x^{x^{...^{x}}}}$however to do that I must find $f^{\prime }$ and $f^{\prime \prime}$...etc. I am now trying to write down a general ...
12
votes
3answers
577 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Proving that $\lim\limits_{x \to 0}\frac{e^x-1}{x} = 1$

I was messing around with the definition of the derivative, trying to work out the formulas for the common functions using limits. I hit a roadblock, however, while trying to find the derivative of ...
12
votes
3answers
296 views

Simplified form for $\frac{\operatorname d^n}{\operatorname dx^n}\left(\frac{x}{e^x-1}\right)$?

I have found the following formula: $$\frac{\operatorname d^n}{\operatorname ...
12
votes
2answers
509 views

Derivative of $x^{x^{\cdot^{\cdot}}}$?

The infinite tetration is defined as $$f(x)=x^{x^{\cdot^{\cdot}}}$$ This function is defined for $e^{-e} \leq x \leq e^{e-1}$. (Wikipedia image) Can one determine the derivative of this function? ...
12
votes
2answers
116 views

Second derivative of $f(f(\cdots f(x)\cdots )?$

For convenience, let's write $f_n(x)=f(f(\cdots f(x)\cdots )$ where $f$ is iterated $n$ times. Suppose: $$f(0)=0,\quad f'(0)=\alpha,\quad f''(0)=\beta$$ What is $f''_n(0)?$ I've found ...
12
votes
1answer
228 views

Zeroes of derivatives of high order

The problem is following. Let $f:(-1,1)\to [-1,1]$ has $n$ derivatives. Prove that there exists a number $\alpha_n$ (independent from $f$) such that condition $|f'(0)|\geq \alpha_n$ implies that ...