# 2^x derivitive

by hackensack
Tags: derivitive
 P: 2 I need to find the derivitive of y=2^x using the definition of derivitive.
 PF Patron Sci Advisor Emeritus P: 16,094 What have you done so far? What does the definition of derivative say?
 PF Patron Sci Advisor Thanks Emeritus P: 38,428 This was also posted in the calculus section and there are about 10 replies there.
HW Helper
P: 9,371

## 2^x derivitive

I doubt this is a suitable problem for a novice. even showing convergence is tough. i will look at the other posted answers. there is a good reason people start from the integral definition of ln(x) to derive this result.
 PF Patron Sci Advisor Thanks Emeritus P: 38,428 If f(x)= ax, the f(x+h)= aa+x= axah so f(a+ h)- f(a)= ax(ah- 1). The derivative is lim (f(x+h)- f(x))/h= axlim {(ah-1)/h}. Notice that that is ax time a limit that is independent of x. That is, as long as the derivative exists, it is ax times a constant. The problem is showing that the lim{(ah-1)/h} EXISTS! And then showing that, if a= 2, that limit is ln(2). Showing that that limit exists is sufficiently non-trivial that many people (myself included), as mathwonk said, prefer to define ln(x) as the integral, from 1 to x of (1/t)dt. From that, it is possible to prove all properties of ln(x) including (trivially) that the derivative is 1/x. Defining ex as the inverse function of ln(x) leads to all the properties of ex (including the fact that it is some number to a power!), in particular that its derivative is ex itself and, from that, that the derivative of ax is (ln a) ax.
 P: 3 dunno if i'm missing the point here but... write y=2^x as y=exp(x.ln2) => y'=ln2.exp(x.ln2)
 Mentor P: 5,190 No, you did exactly what HallsofIvy was advocating, he was just pointing out that the question asked for it to be solved using the definition of a derivative, which makes things much harder. Easier to approach things from the other way, starting by defining the integral of 1/x.
 P: 5 "The derivative is lim (f(x+h)- f(x))/h= axlim {(ah-1)/h}. Notice that that is ax time a limit that is independent of x. That is, as long as the derivative exists, it is ax times a constant. The problem is showing that the lim{(ah-1)/h} EXISTS! And then showing that, if a= 2, that limit is ln(2)." tell me if i'm wrong, but it doesn't seems so hard to determine this limit.. (a^h-1)/h = (exp (h*ln(a) )-1) / h = ( 1 + h*ln(a) + o(h*ln(a)) - 1 ) / h h->0 = ln(a) + o(ln(a)) so lim (a^h-1)/h = ln(a) .......
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