2.
8 Rolles Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem (MVT)
I. Rolles Theorem: Let f be continuous on [a,b] and diffable on (a,b)
If f(a)=f(b) then there is at least one c in (a,b) such that f(c)=0.
f(a)=f(b)
a b
Examples:
Find the two xintercepts of
( )
2
3 2 f x x x = + and show that
( ) ' 0 f x = at some
point between the two intercepts.
Work:
Step 1:
2
0 3 2 x x = +
( ) 2 0 f =
( )( ) 0 2 1 x x =
( ) 1 0 f =
2 1 x x = =
( ) ( ) 2, 0 1, 0
Step 2:
Realize that f is continuous on [1,2] because it is a polynomial,
Step 3:
And f is diffable on (1,2) because it is a polynomial.
Step 4:
( ) ' 2 3 f x x =
0 2 3 x =
3
2
x =
See ( )
3 3
' 0 and 1, 2
2 2
f
 
= e

\ .
*********************************************************************************************
Let
( )
4 2
2 f x x x = , find all of the values for c in (2,2) such that
( ) ' 0 f c = .
Work:
( )
3
' 4 4 f x x x =
( )
2
0 4 1 x x =
( )( ) 0 4 1 1 x x x = +
0, 1,1 x = (all values for x are in the interval (2,2))
*********************************************************************************************
II. The Mean Value Theorem (MVT): If f is continuous on
 
, a b and diffable on
( ) , a b then there exists at least one c
in
( ) , a b such that ( )
( ) ( )
'
f b f a
f c
b a
. (represents the slope of the sec line)
f(b)
f(b)f(a)
f(a)
ba
a b
Example:
( )
4
5 f x
x
= find all
( ) 1, 4 ce that satisfy the MVT.
Work:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 4 1
4 1
1
4 1 4 1
f b f a f f
b a
= = =
Next take the derivative:
( )
2
' 0 4 1 f x x
=
( )
2
4
' f x
x
=
Then set the derivative equal to the slope of the sec line.
( ) ' 1 f x =
2
4
1
x
=
2
4 x =
x = + 2 (2 is not in our interval so we have to throw out the negative answer.)
**********************************************************************************************
Example:
( )
3
1
4
x
f x = + find all
( ) 0, 2 ce that satisfy the MVT.
Work:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 2 0
3 1 2
1
2 0 2 0 2
f b f a f f
b a
= = = =
( )
2
3
'
4
f x x =
2
3
1
4
x =
2
4
3
x = =
2
3
x =
2
1.15
3
c = ~
(Toss out negative since it is not in (0,2))