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DERIVATIVES OF EXPONENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

(top)

We'll divide our study of the derivatives of exponential functions into two parts: where
the base is e, and where the base is something else.

1. Derivative of ex:
Explanation
We'll use the definition of derivative:
=

by the definition of derivative

by the multiplication rule for exponents

by factoring out ex

by the constant rule for limits (since ex is constant with respect to h)

We now need to evaluate


e=

. To do this, we'll go back for a moment to the definition of e:


by definition
Note the equivalence of these two forms by observing that in both
cases the exponent aproaches and the x-term within the parentheses
approaches 0.

Thus,
Substitutng this back in, we get:

by substitution

by subistitution

by the power rule of exponents

simplification

simplification
x

=e

by evaluating the limit with the constant rule

Note that this means by the chain rule,