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3.9

Differentials

Equation of the Tangent Line and Linear Approximation

http://www.analyzemath.com/calculus/applications/linear_approximations.html

http://www.jcmiras.net/jcm/item/81/

AP Calculus – Mrs. Shak

Objectives

Be able to define the equation of a tangent line of f(x) at x = c Understand the concept of a tangent line approximation (or linear approximation).

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**Equation of Tangent Line
**

How to define an equation of a line at a point?

y − y1 = m( x − x1 )

SO, the equation for the tangent line at the point (c, f(c)) is given by

y − f (c) = f '(c)( x − c)

The tangent line approximation (or linear approximation) of f at c is:

y = f (c) + f '(c)( x − c)

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**Example 1 – Using a Tangent Line Approximation
**

Find the tangent line approximation of f(x) = 1 + sin x at the point (0, 1).Then compare the y-values of the tangent line with those of f(x) on an open interval containing x = 0. Solution: 1) Calculate Derivative: f’(x) = f’(0) = 2) Now, calculate equation of tangent line using pt-slope:

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Example 1 – Solution

cont'd

Notice that the closer x is to 0, the better the approximation is.

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AP Question – 1969 AP Calculus AB/BC The approximate value of y = 4 + sin x at x = 0.12, obtained from the tangent to the graph at x = 0 is

(A) 2.00 (B) 2.03 (C) 2.06 (D) 2.12 (E) 2.24 Solution:

Answer = B

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AP Question – 1997 AP Calculus AB #14 Let f be a differentiable function such that f(3)=2 and f’(3) = 5. If the tangent line to the graph of f at x = 3 is used to find an approximation to a zero of f, that approximation is

(A) 0.4 Solution: (B) 0.5 (C) 2.6 (D) 3.4 (E) 5.5

Answer = C

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Differentials

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Differentials

When the tangent line to the graph of f at the point (c, f(c)) y = f(c) + f'(c)(x – c) is used as an approximation of the graph of f, the quantity x – c is called the change in x, and is denoted by ∆x, as shown in Figure 3.66.

Figure 3.66

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Differentials

When ∆x is small, the change in y (i.e. ∆y) can be approximated as shown.

∆y = f(c + ∆x) – f(c) ≈ f'(c)∆x

∆x is denoted by dx -> called differential of x. f'(x)dx is denoted by dy -> called differential of y.

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**Example 2 – Comparing ∆y and dy
**

Let y = x2. Find dy when x = 1 and dx = 0.01. Compare this value with ∆y for x = 1 and ∆x = 0.01. Solution: Because y = f(x) = x2, you have f'(x) = 2x, and the differential dy is given by dy = f'(x)dx = f'(1)(0.01) = 2(0.01) = 0.02. Now, using ∆x = 0.01, the change in y is ∆y = f(x + ∆x) – f(x) = f(1.01) – f(1) = (1.01)2 – 12 = 0.0201.

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Example 2 – Solution

cont'd

Figure 3.67 shows the geometric comparison of dy and ∆y.

Figure 3.67

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Calculating Differentials

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Calculating Differentials

Each of the differentiation rules can be written in differential form.

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Example 4 – Finding Differentials

The notation in Example 4 is called the Leibniz notation for derivatives and differentials, named after the German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

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Calculating Differentials

Differentials can be used to approximate function values. To do this for the function given by y = f(x), use the formula

which is derived from the approximation ∆y = f(x + ∆x) – f(x) ≈ dy. The key to using this formula is to choose a value for x that makes the calculations easier.

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**Example 7 – Approximating Function Values
**

Use differentials to approximate Solution: Using

you can write

Now, choosing x = 16 and dx = 0.5, you obtain the following approximation.

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Example 7 – Solution

The tangent line approximation to line

cont'd

at x = 16 is the

For x-values near 16, the graphs of f and g are close together, as shown in Figure 3.69.

Figure 3.69

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