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Odd/Even function query

  1. Oct 13, 2013 #1
    Hi all,

    Doing some odd/even functions questions and I've had a bit of a weird mind fart when trying to remember why we process the equations like we do.....It's probably real simple, but I just can't remember why we 'move' one of the signs to where it ends up....please bear with me (and don't laugh too much)....

    While determining if f(x) = (x^2 + 2)sin(x) = odd/even

    f(-x) = (-x^2 + 2)sin(-x)

    (-x^2 = x^2 and sin(-x) = -sin(x)

    therefore the next line should theoretically be

    f(-x) = (x^2 + 2)(-sin(x))

    but (after checking on wolfram and it's giving it as an odd function) I'm sure we need it to be =

    f(-x) = - (x^2 + 2)sin(x)

    thus making f(-x) = -f(x) and hence odd

    but for the life of me, I can't remember why we move the - sign infront of 'sin' to the beginning, making it - (x^2 + 2).
    Is it just for 'ease' or is there a specific reason? I can remember seeing it before, but like I said, I just can't remember 'why'.

    Any simple explanations out there would be appreciated...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2013 #2


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    f(-x) = (x^2 + 2)(-sin(x))=(x^2 + 2)*((-1)*sin(x))=(-1)*((x^2 + 2)*sin(x))=-(x^2 + 2)*sin(x)
  4. Oct 13, 2013 #3


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    You are probably entering the function into Wolfram incorrectly. (-x)^2 is NOT the same as -x^2!

    If x= 4, (-x)^2= (-4)^2= 16 but -x^2= -(4^2)= -16.
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