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Derivative question

  • Thread starter Mejiera
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  • #1
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Homework Statement




when you are finding the slope of a fuction at a point, you are finding the slope of that point with respect to what?

I dont understand how the square root function at point x = 4 slope is 1/4 shouldnt its slope be 1/2. please explain

Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
Mentor
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6,559

Homework Statement




when you are finding the slope of a fuction at a point, you are finding the slope of that point with respect to what?

I dont understand how the square root function at point x = 4 slope is 1/4 shouldnt its slope be 1/2. please explain

Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

Slope is defined as rise/run, or delta_y/delta_x.

How do you mathematically find the slope of the function SQRT(x) at any given point? Show us the math of taking the derivative of SQRT(x) and plug in x=4. What answer do you get? (Please show your work)
 
  • #3
33,173
4,858

Homework Statement




when you are finding the slope of a fuction at a point, you are finding the slope of that point with respect to what?

I dont understand how the square root function at point x = 4 slope is 1/4 shouldnt its slope be 1/2. please explain

Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

Let f(x) = x1/2
Then f'(x) = (1/2)/x1/2
f'(4) = ?

The slope is relative to the horizontal axis.
 
  • #4
15
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Thank you Berkeman and Mark. I was making a silly mistake in assuming that a slope of a curve is costant throught the entire function. I researched on the difinition the derivative and it made me understand that 1/4 is not the slope of the entire curve, 1/4 is just the slope of a single point on the curve. Thanks again for the replies.
 
  • #5
33,173
4,858
Thank you Berkeman and Mark. I was making a silly mistake in assuming that a slope of a curve is costant throught the entire function. I researched on the difinition the derivative and it made me understand that 1/4 is not the slope of the entire curve, 1/4 is just the slope of a single point on the curve. Thanks again for the replies.
More precisely, the 1/4 is the slope of the tangent line to the curve at a single point on the curve. It doesn't make sense to talk about the slope of a point.
 
  • #6
15
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True
 

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