# How do u prove that this is a one to one function

by demonelite123
Tags: function, prove
 P: 219 how do you prove that this is a one to one function algebraically? y = x^3 - 4x^2 + 2 this is what i've done so far: f(a) = f(b), a=/=b a^3 - 4a^2 +2 = b^3 - 4b^2 +2 a^3 - 4a^2 = b^3 - 4b^2 (subtract 2 from both sides) a^3 - b^3 - 4a^2 + 4b^2 = 0 (a - b)(a^2 + ab + b^2) - 4(a^2 - b^2) = 0 (a - b)(a^2 + ab + b^2) - 4(a + b)(a - b) = 0 (a - b)(a^2 + ab + b^2 - 4a - 4b) = 0 i have no idea what to do after this. i know there are probably easier ways of determining whether a function is one to one or not but my teacher wants us to do it this way.
 HW Helper P: 2,616 It isn't a one-to-one function to begin with, not unless you specify the function's domain.
P: 219
 Quote by Defennder It isn't a one-to-one function to begin with, not unless you specify the function's domain.
well all that you are given is that function and you have to determine if it is one to one or not. using the zero property i know that from the last step i left off from one of the solutions is a = b. now the other factor is (a^2 + ab + b^2 - 4a - 4b) = 0. i just want to know how to solve that portion if possible and find the solution so i can see whether the two solutions contradict the given statements f(a) = f(b), a=/=b or not.

 HW Helper P: 2,616 How do u prove that this is a one to one function I really don't see how your method works to show that it is not one-to-one by contradiction. Suppose that it is indeed one-to-one, then a=b and your equation says 0=0. What can you deduce? On the other hand, doing it algebraically means you have to solve some cubic equation by Cardano's method. I don't think that the problem is that complicated.
P: 219
 Quote by Defennder I really don't see how your method works to show that it is not one-to-one by contradiction. Suppose that it is indeed one-to-one, then a=b and your equation says 0=0. What can you deduce? On the other hand, doing it algebraically means you have to solve some cubic equation by Cardano's method. I don't think that the problem is that complicated.
can you show me how you would show that this function is one to one algebraically? besides graphing the function, this is the only method i was taught for determining whether functions are one to one or not. i have been using this method for all of my homework problems and this is the only problem where it seemingly doesn't work very well.
Math
Emeritus
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 39,568
 Quote by demonelite123 well all that you are given is that function and you have to determine if it is one to one or not. using the zero property i know that from the last step i left off from one of the solutions is a = b. now the other factor is (a^2 + ab + b^2 - 4a - 4b) = 0. i just want to know how to solve that portion if possible and find the solution so i can see whether the two solutions contradict the given statements f(a) = f(b), a=/=b or not.
You initially asked how to prove it WAS one to one. Now you are saying "determine IF it is one to one or not". Those are very different!

What are f(-1), f(0), and f(1)? What do they tell you?
P: 219
 Quote by HallsofIvy You initially asked how to prove it WAS one to one. Now you are saying "determine IF it is one to one or not". Those are very different! What are f(-1), f(0), and f(1)? What do they tell you?
well f(-1) = (-1)^3 - 4(-1)^2 + 2 = -3
f(0) = 0^3 - 4(0)^2 + 2 = 2
f(1) = 1^3 - 4(1)^2 + 2 = -1

i'm not sure what i should get from this.
 HW Helper P: 2,616 Well, what does that tell you about how many times the graph crosses the x-axis? And what does that in turn tell you about whether it's one-one?
P: 219
 Quote by Defennder Well, what does that tell you about how many times the graph crosses the x-axis? And what does that in turn tell you about whether it's one-one?
so it crosses the x axis 3 times? did you just pick 3 random points or something?
Math
Emeritus
 P: 916 To show that y is one to one, it is required to show that if y(x1) = y(x2), then x1 = x2 I think your $$x_{1}^3 - 4x_{1}^2 + 2 = x_{2}^3 - 4x_{2}^2 + 2$$ is correct. The so-called horizontal line test is a geometrical interpetation of what one to one means.