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Questions tagged [derivatives]

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

122
votes
2answers
60k views

Discontinuous derivative. [duplicate]

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 real-...
221
votes
1answer
14k 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 "...
40
votes
6answers
31k views

Proving that $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f'(x) = 0$ when $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f(x)$ and $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f'(x)$ exist

I've been trying to solve the following problem: Suppose that $f$ and $f'$ are continuous functions on $\mathbb{R}$, and that $\displaystyle\lim_{x\to\infty}f(x)$ and $\displaystyle\lim_{x\to\...
107
votes
9answers
15k views

Proof that $C\exp(x)$ is the only set of functions for which $f(x) = f'(x)$

I was wondering the following. And I probably know the answer already: NO. Is there another number with similar properties as $e$? So that the derivative of $\exp(x)$ is the same as the function ...
103
votes
8answers
58k views

Why is the derivative of a circle's area its perimeter (and similarly for spheres)?

When differentiated with respect to $r$, the derivative of $\pi r^2$ is $2 \pi r$, which is the circumference of a circle. Similarly, when the formula for a sphere's volume $\frac{4}{3} \pi r^3$ is ...
9
votes
6answers
683 views

Are the any non-trivial functions where $f(x)=f'(x)$ not of the form $Ae^x$

This may seem like a silly question, but I just wanted to check. I know there are proofs that if $f(x)=f'(x)$ then $f(x)=Ae^x$. But can we 'invent' another function that obeys $f(x)=f'(x)$ which is ...
17
votes
5answers
15k 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 $e^...
42
votes
10answers
27k 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
37k views

Second derivative “formula derivation”

I've been trying to understand how the second order derivative "formula" works: $$\lim_{h\to0} \frac{f(x+h) - 2f(x) + f(x-h)}{h^2}$$ So, the rate of change of the rate of change for an arbitrary ...
9
votes
5answers
908 views

The derivative of $e^x$ using the definition of derivative as a limit and the definition $e^x = \lim_{n\to\infty}(1+x/n)^n$, without L'Hôpital's rule

Let's define $$ e^x := \lim_{n\to\infty}\left(1+\frac{x} {n}\right)^n, \forall x\in\Bbb R $$ and $$ \frac{d} {dx} f(x) := \lim_{\Delta x\to0} \frac{f(x+\Delta x) - f(x)} {\Delta x} $$ Prove that $...
6
votes
2answers
21k views

Show that the function $g(x) = x^2 \sin(\frac{1}{x}) ,(g(0) = 0)$ is everywhere differentiable and that $g′(0) = 0$

Show that the function $g(x) = x^2 \sin\left(\frac{1}{x}\right) ,(g(0) = 0)$ is everywhere differentiable and that $g′(0) = 0$.
27
votes
6answers
13k 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 $\...
79
votes
3answers
21k views

Construct a function which is continuous in $[1,5]$ but not differentiable at $2, 3, 4$

Construct a function which is continuous in $[1,5]$ but not differentiable at $2, 3, 4$. This question is just after the definition of differentiation and the theorem that if $f$ is finitely ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Show that, for all $n > 1: \frac{1}{n + 1} < \log(1 + \frac1n) < \frac1n.$ [duplicate]

I'm learning calculus, specifically derivatives and applications of MVT, and need help with the following exercice: Show that, for all $n > 1$ $$\frac{1}{n + 1} < \log(1 + \frac1n) < \...
80
votes
9answers
109k views

What is the Jacobian matrix?

What is the Jacobian matrix? What are its applications? What is its physical and geometrical meaning? Can someone please explain with examples?
9
votes
3answers
25k views

Differentiability of $f(x) = x^2 \sin{\frac{1}{x}}$ and $f'$

Let $f(x) = x^2 \sin{\frac{1}{x}}$ for $x\neq 0$ and $f(0) =0$. (a) Use the basic properties of the derivative, and the Chain Rule to show that $f$ is differentiable at each $a\neq 0$ and ...
29
votes
6answers
46k views

Using the Limit definition to find the derivative of $e^x$

I was wondering how we could use the limit definition $$ \lim_{h \rightarrow 0} \frac{f(x+h)-f(x)}{h}$$ to find the derivative of $e^x$, I get to a point where I do not know how to simplify the ...
5
votes
2answers
384 views

Prove that $\sum_{k=0}^n a_k x^k = 0$ has at least $1$ real root if $\sum_{k=0}^n \frac{a_k}{k+1} = 0$

Knowing that $$ \frac{a_0}{1} + \frac{a_1}{2} + \frac{a_2}{3} +\cdots + \frac{a_n}{n+1} =0$$ Prove that $$ a_0 + a_1x + a_2x^2 + \cdots + a_nx^n = 0$$ has at least one real solution. I suspect that ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

“Strong” derivative of a monotone function

It is well known that if a function $f\colon \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ is monotone then $f'$ exists almost everywhere. Is it true that if $f$ is monotone then there exists (edit: I mean exists a....
13
votes
2answers
13k views

Differentiability implies continuity - A question about the proof

I have a question, to aid my understanding, about the proof that differentiabiility implies continutity. Differentiability Definition When we say a function is differentiable at $x_0$, we mean that ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

Solve $\sum nx^n$

I am trying to find a closed form solution for $\sum_{n\ge0} nx^n\text{, where }\lvert x \rvert<1$. This solution makes sense to me: $\sum_{n\ge0} x^n=(1-x)^{-1} \\ \frac{d}{d x} \sum_{n\ge0} x^n ...
51
votes
5answers
6k views

When not to treat dy/dx as a fraction in single-variable calculus?

While I do know that $\frac{dy}{dx}$ isn't a fraction and shouldn't be treated as such, in many situations, doing things like multiplying both sides by $dx$ and integrating, cancelling terms, doing ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Every closed subset $E\subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$ is the zero point set of a smooth function

In Walter Rudin's Principles of mathematical analysis Exercise 5.21, it is proved that for any closed subset $E\subseteq \mathbb{R}$, there exists a smooth function $f$ on $\mathbb{R}$ such that $E=\{...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

question about the limit $\lim_{h\to0}\frac{\arcsin(x+h)-\arcsin(x)}{h}$

Because $\sin'(x)=\cos(x)$ we can prove that $\arcsin'(x)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}$. but, by definition we have $$\arcsin'(x)=\lim_{h\to0}\frac{\arcsin(x+h)-\arcsin(x)}{h}\tag{1}$$ therefore, $$\lim_{h\...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Trapezoid rule error analysis

How can I prove that the max error of the trapezoid rule for the integral $\int_{a}^{b}{f(x)\, \mathrm{d}x} $ is: $$\Delta=-\frac{1}{12n^2}f''(c)(b-a)^3 \text{for } c \in (a,b) \ ?$$ I know that to ...
6
votes
3answers
673 views

Failure of differential notation

Through the informal use of differentials, the product rule can be "proved" by writing $$d(fg) = (f + df)(g + dg) - fg = df\,g + f\,dg + df\,dg.$$ Neglecting the product of two differentials, we ...
44
votes
10answers
8k views

How is the derivative truly, literally the “best linear approximation” near a point?

I've read many times that the derivative of a function $f(x)$ for a certain $x$ is the best linear approximation of the function for values near $x$. I always thought it was meant in a hand-waving ...
52
votes
11answers
16k views

Which of the numbers $1, 2^{1/2}, 3^{1/3}, 4^{1/4}, 5^{1/5}, 6^{1/6} , 7^{1/7}$ is largest, and how to find out without calculator?

$1, 2^{1/2}, 3^{1/3}, 4^{1/4}, 5^{1/5}, 6^{1/6} , 7^{1/7}$. I got this question in an Application of Derivatives test. I think log might be used here to compare the values, but even then the values ...
28
votes
9answers
9k views

When can we not treat differentials as fractions? And when is it perfectly OK?

I am a first year calculus student so I would prefer if answers remained in Layman's terms. It is common knowledge and seems to me a mantra that I keep hearing over and over again to "not treat ...
21
votes
3answers
27k views

Derivative of a function with respect to another function. [duplicate]

I want to calculate the derivative of a function with respect to, not a variable, but respect to another function. For example: $$g(x)=2f(x)+x+\log[f(x)]$$ I want to compute $$\frac{\mathrm dg(x)}{\...
2
votes
1answer
319 views

Show that if $\lim_{x\to a}f'(x) = A$ then $f'(a)$ exists and equals A [duplicate]

I ran across this problem in my Analysis class and can't seem to come up with a good solution. Here's the question: Show that if $\lim_{x\to a}f'(x) = A$ then $f'(a)$ exists and equals $A$. $f$ is ...
67
votes
7answers
9k views

$100$-th derivative of the function $f(x)=e^{x}\cos(x)$

I've got this task I'm not able to solve. So i need to find the 100-th derivative of $$f(x)=e^{x}\cos(x)$$ where $x=\pi$. I've tried using Leibniz's formula but it got me nowhere, induction doesn't ...
47
votes
17answers
13k views

Why does the derivative of sine only work for radians?

I'm still struggling to understand why the derivative of sine only works for radians. I had always thought that radians and degrees were both arbitrary units of measurement, and just now I'm ...
15
votes
8answers
13k views

Derivative of the nuclear norm with respect to its argument

The nuclear norm is defined in the following way $$\|X\|_*=\mathrm{tr} \left(\sqrt{X^T X} \right)$$ I'm trying to take the derivative of the nuclear norm with respect to its argument $$\frac{\...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the formula for nth derivative of arcsin x, arctan x, sec x and tan x?

Are there formulae for the nth derivatives of the following functions? 1) arcsin x 2) arctan x 3) sec x, and 4) tan x Thanks.
17
votes
2answers
11k views

Interchanging the order of differentiation and summation

Can the order of a differentiation and summation be interchanged, and if so, what is the basis of the justification for this? e.g. is $\frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}x}\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}f_n(x)$ equal ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Exponential of a function times derivative

Exponential of a derivative $e^{a\partial}$ is simply a shift operator, i.e. \begin{equation} e^{a\partial}f(x)=f(a+x) \end{equation} This can be easily verified from a Taylor series \begin{equation} ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Derivative (or differential) of symmetric square root of a matrix

Let A be a square, symmetric, positive-definite matrix. Let S be its symmetric square root found by a singular value decomposition. Let vech() be the half-vectorization operator. Is there a ...
3
votes
3answers
30k views

Derivative of an even function is odd and vice versa

This is the question: "Show that the derivative of an even function is odd and that the derivative of an odd function is even. (Write the equation that says f is even, and differentiate both sides, ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

second derivative of the inverse function

I know that the derivative of the inverse function of $f(x)$ is $g'(y) = \frac{1}{f'(x)}$ But how to derive the formula for the second derivative of g(y) knowing that $\left[\frac{1}{f(x)}\right]' = -\...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Quotient of two smooth functions is smooth

Let $f:\mathbb R\to \mathbb R$ be a $C^\infty$-smooth function. Suppose that $f^{(k)}(0)=0$ for $k=0,\dots,n-1$. Prove that the function $g(x)=f(x)/x^n$ extends to a $C^\infty$-smooth function on $\...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Partial derivative confusion.

I don't understand partial derivatives. Here's an example that nails down my confusion: Suppose we have some variables $x$, $p$, and $q$ with $p=x^2$ and $q=e^x$. Then $$\frac{\partial q}{\partial p} ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Closed form for $n$th derivative of exponential of $f$

What is the closed form for: $$\frac{\partial^n}{\partial x^n}\exp(f(x))=\exp(f(x))\cdot[????]$$
11
votes
2answers
8k views

$f$ not differentiable at $(0,0)$ but all directional derivatives exist

Consider the function : $$f: \mathbb{R}^2 \rightarrow \mathbb{R} , (x,y) \mapsto \begin{cases} 0 & \text{for } (x,y)=(0,0) \\ \frac{x^3}{x^2+y^2} & \text{for } (x,y) \neq (0,...
21
votes
2answers
7k views

A convex function is differentiable at all but countably many points

Let $f:\Bbb R\to\Bbb R$ be a convex function. Then $f$ is differentiable at all but countably many points. It is clear that a convex function can be non-differentiable at countably many points, for ...
14
votes
6answers
126k views

Finding the Derivative of |x| using the Limit Definition

Please Help me derive the derivative of the absolute value of x using the following limit definition. $$\lim_{\Delta x\rightarrow 0}\frac{f(x+\Delta x)-f(x)}{\Delta x} $$ I have no idea as to how to ...
15
votes
4answers
31k views

Derivative of Quadratic Form

For the Quadratic Form $X^TAX; X\in\mathbb{R}^n, A\in\mathbb{R}^{n \times n}$ (which simplifies to $\Sigma_{i=0}^n\Sigma_{j=0}^nA_{ij}x_ix_j$), I tried to take the derivative wrt. X ($\Delta_X X^TAX$) ...
11
votes
2answers
693 views

Proving that if $|f''(x)| \le A$ then $|f'(x)| \le A/2$

Suppose that $f(x)$ is differentiable on $[0,1]$ and $f(0) = f(1) = 0$. It is also known that $|f''(x)| \le A$ for every $x \in (0,1)$. Prove that $|f'(x)| \le A/2$ for every $x \in [0,1]$. I'll ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

A continuously differentiable map is locally Lipschitz

Let $f:\mathbb R^d \to \mathbb R^m$ be a map of class $C^1$. That is, $f$ is continuous and its derivative exists and is also continuous. Why is $f$ locally Lipschitz? Remark Such $f$ will not be ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Continuous function with linear directional derivatives=>Total differentiability?

As in the title: If $f\colon\mathbb{R}^n\to\mathbb{R}$ is continuous in $x$ and has directional derivatives $\partial_vf(x)=L(v)\,\forall v\in\mathbb{R}^n$, where $L$ is linear, does this imply that $...