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Curve Sketching with Derivatives?

  • Thread starter Delber
  • Start date
19
0
1. Homework Statement
I am given the following function:

[tex]f(x)=\frac{2x^2}{x-1}[/tex]

The question asks to find the critical points and classify each using the second derivative.

2. Homework Equations



3. The Attempt at a Solution
I got the derivative of f(x) to be:
[tex]f'(x)=\frac{2x^2-4x}{(x-1)^2}[/tex]
So the critical points are when x=0, x=1, and x=2.

Here's where I'm stuck. I don't know what it means when it asks to classify each using the second derivative.
If it helps, the second derivative is:

[tex] f''(x)=\frac{-8x^2+12x-4}{(x-1)^4}[/tex]
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

334
0
What it means is that you can use the second derivative to determine if there is either a local minimum or local maximum or asymptote. For example, if f'(x)=0 and f''(x) is positive, you know that there is a local minimum.
 
63
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Second derivative determines concavity or convexity of a function. A function whose second derivative is everywhere positive is increasing at an increasing rate. This makes it convex downward, or just concave. On the other hand, a negative second derivative indicates a convex upward. When the 2nd derivative is zero, this is an inflection point.
 

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