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# St Joseph’s Institution

Independent Learning : Differentiation (November/December Holiday 2008)
Name: ( ) Class: Date:

## Objective of this study :

To enable you to familiarize yourself with the basic techniques of
differentiation for various types of functions.

## • At the end of each section, complete

(a) the written exercise (Ex I – IV is compulsory; Ex V is optional),
(b) the Skills Checklist on Page 17,
(c) the Journal on Page18.
Your Journal should reflect your thoughts, concerns and learning experiences as you proceed
questions which you may consider:
o What have I learnt about myself and the way I learn through this experience?
o What would I do differently if given the chance?
o How will my experience change the way I study in the future?
o How does what I have learned apply to other areas in my life?
o Describe a moment of failure/success/indecision/doubt/humour/frustration.

• At the end of this study, detach the Skills Checklist and Journal and submit them together with the
written exercises to your Additional Mathematics tutor during Term 1 Week 1 (2009).

Resources …

The main resource for this study is your textbook (Chapter 14: Differentiation). Use it to
fill in the various rules of differentiation on page 5. You should also refer to it for more
worked examples where necessary.

## • Go to http://www.intmath.com for an additional on-line resource.

Download the ‘LiveMath’ plug-in to experiment with the interactive tools found in
the website.
• Other on-line resources are also available, indicated by this symbol
Some examples in these websites involve the differentiation of trigonometrical,
exponential and logarithmic functions, which are not covered in this handout but will
be covered later by your A. Maths tutors. You may refer to Chapters 17 and 18 of

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Introduction
Suppose the function y = f(x) represents the equation of a curve. Graphically, we may find the gradient
at any point on the curve by drawing a tangent at that point and finding the gradient of the tangent.

An alternative method is to find the gradient function of y = f(x). The gradient function is denoted by
dy
or f ’(x) and describes how the gradient changes as x varies.
dx

dy
The process of obtaining the gradient function, , of a given function y = f(x) is called
dx
dy
differentiation. The function is also known as the 1st derivative of y with respect to (w.r.t.) x.
dx
This is one of the main areas of study in the branch of mathematics known as Calculus.

## In the following sections, the basic techniques of differentiation will be covered.

Master these basic techniques as they are very important and will be used
extensively in the study of calculus in Terms 1 and 2 (2009).

You also need to have a good grasp of algebraic manipulation and the Laws of
Indices. You MUST do additional revision and practice on these topics if you
have forgotten about them, either by referring to your Sec 1 & 2 textbook / notes
or the Independent Learning activities for these topics (Algebra using MS Excel
(Sec 1); Indices using MS Excel (Sec 2)).

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Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
Limits & Calculus
Calculus was invented by Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 – 1716)
at the end of the 17th century, but the rigorous development of calculus is credited to Augustin Louis
Cauchy (1789 – 1857).

http://library.thinkquest.org/C0110248/calculus/history1.htm
http://www.intmath.com/Calculus/Calculus-intro.php

In general, calculus is a branch of mathematics studying the rate of change of quantities (which can be
interpreted as slopes of curves), and the length, area and volume of objects. It is sometimes
d
divided into differential calculus (concerned with derivatives f(x) ) and integral calculus
dx
(concerned with integrals ∫ f(x) dx ).

In this activity, you will be learning the basics in differential calculus (or differentiation). The formal
definition of the gradient of a curve at a particular point involves limits, hence many people consider
‘limits’ as the most fundamental concept of calculus.

What is a Limit?
Consider the function f(x).
As x approaches the value a, the value which f(x) approaches is written as

lim f(x)
x→ a
The above limit exists only if it has a defined value, say L. In this case, we say that “the limit of f(x) as x
approaches a, is L”.
If the calculated limit approaches infinity, it does not exist.

## The Gradient of a Curve

The gradient of a curve y = f(x) is defined as the gradient of the tangent of the curve at a particular
point, the tangent being the line which cuts the graph at exactly one point.

y
Consider two points A (a, f(a)) and B (b, f(b)) on the curve y = f(x). y = f(x)

## The gradient of the chord AB is B

f(b)
δy f (b) −f ( a )
= δ y
δx b −a
A
f(a)
δ x
O x
a b

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Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
As B moves towards A (we say B tends towards A), the gradient becomes
δy f (b) −f ( a )
lim = lim
δ x→ 0 δ x δ x→ 0 b −a

## Since b = a + δ x and δ x is tending to zero,

δy f ( a +δx ) −f ( a )
lim = lim
δ x→ 0 δ x δ x→ 0 δx

lim δy =
dy
or f’(x) or
d
f(x)
δ x→ δx dx dx
0

## There is also an explanation of this definition at the following website:

http://www.calculus-help.com/funstuff/tutorials/derivatives/deriv01.html
(* here, ∆ x is used in place of δ x.)

However, as the study of limits is not included in the syllabus, you do not need to know about finding the
derivatives from first principles, i.e. by using limits, hence it will not be included in this activity. It is
more important for you to master the basic techniques of differentiation, the rules of which can be derived
from first principles.

If you are keen to learn more about limits and how it is related to differentiation, you may visit
the following websites:
HTTP://WWW.CALCULUS-HELP.COM/FUNSTUFF/PHOBE.HTML (* see Chapter 1)
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0110248/calculus/limdifit.htm
http://www.themathpage.com/ACALC/derivative.htm (* see Lessons 2 and 5)

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Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
(I) Derivatives of Polynomials
The following rules are important, know them very well.

You may also visit the following websites to view more explanation and examples:
http://www.calculus-help.com/funstuff/tutorials/derivatives/deriv02.html
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0110248/calculus/difnintro.htm
http://www.themathpage.com/ACALC/derivative.htm (* see Lesson 6)

## RULE 1 The derivative of any constant is 0.

ie. if y = c, where c is a constant, then
dy
= 0
dx

dy
Eg: If y = 3, then = 0. 
dx

THINK: If a straight line has the equation y = c (where c is a constant), what is the

## RULE 2 In general, if y = x n , then

dy
=
dx

dy
Eg: If y = x6, then = 6x5. 
dx

d
dx
( )
ax n =

## ie., we “take out” the constant a, then differentiate xn using Rule 2.

dy
Eg: If y = 2x4, then = 2(4x3) = 8x3. 
dx

RULE 4 For polynomials of the form y = axm + bxn , the derivative is obtained by differentiating each
term separately using Rules 1 – 3, ie.
d
dx
( )
ax m + bx n =

## where a, b, m and n are constants.

Eg: If y = 5 + 7x3 − 2x4, then
dy
= 7(3x2) − 2(4x3) = 21x2 − 8x3. (Each term is differentiated separately and 
dx

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Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
Go through the following examples and identify the rule(s) used.

Example 1
2x 2 + 4x
Differentiate y = with respect to x.
x

Solution
1 3 1
Write y = (2x2 + 4x)( x − 2 ) = 2 x 2 + 4 x 2 (remember Laws of Indices?)

dy 3 1 1 1
Then, = 2  ( x 2 ) + 4  ( x− 2 )
dx 2 2
1 1
= 3 x 2 + 2 x− 2
2
= 3 x + (simplify)
x
3x + 2
=
x

Example 2

5x 2 − 2 x + 1
If f(x) = , find the value of f ’(x) when x = 4.
3x

Solution
1 1

Write f(x) = 5 x
2
1 = 5 x − 2 x 2 + 1 x −1
2x 2
− + 3 3 3
3x 3x 3x
3
Then, f ’(x) = 5 − 2  1 − 1
 −  x 2 + (− 1) x
−2
3 3 2 3
3

= 5 + 1 x 2 − 1 x−2 (simplify)
3 3 3
5 1 1
= 3 + −
3
3x 2 . (express with positive indices)
3x 2

5 1 1
+ −
∴ f ’(4) = 3 3
3( 4 2 ) (substitute x = 4)
3 ( ) 42
5 1 1
+ −
= 3 3
3(16)
3 22( ) 2

5 1 1 11
= 3 + 3

48 = 1 
3( 2 ) 16

## Page 6 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
EXERCISE I
1. Differentiate the following with respect to x.
5 3
(a) y = 2x3 + 5x2 − 4x + 9 (b) y = 2 x 2 − 4 x 2 − 6x + 8

## 6 1 (Hint: Express x as a power of

(c) y = − +3 (d) y = 6x2 − 6 x
x 3
x x, see Example 1)

## 6 4 x 3 − 5 x − 3 (Hint: Simply the algebraic fraction

(e) y = 4x2 x − (f) y =
x 2x as in Example 2)
6x 2 − x + 2 3x 2 + x − 1
(g) y = (h) y =
2x x

dy
2. Find for the following functions of x. (Hint: Expand/simplify the functions first)
dx
(a) y = (x + 1)(2x − 1) (b) y = 4x2(3 − x )
(1 − x )( 4 x − 1)
(c) y =
x

## 3. Find the value of f ’(x) at the given value of x.

3
(a) f(x) = 6x − , x = −1 (b) f(x) = 3x − 4 x , x=4
x

3 1 18 1
1. (a) 6x2 + 10x − 4 (b) 5 −6 −6 (c) − +
x2 x2 x 4
x2
3 3 3 3
(d) 12x − (e) 10 2 + 3 (f) 4x +
x x 2x 2
x 2

1
1 1 9 2 1 1
(g) 3 + 3 − (h) x + +
4x 2 x2 2 1 3
2x 2 2x 2
1
3 5 1
2. (a) 4x + 1 (b) 24x − 10 x 2 (c) − 6x 2 + 1
+ 3
2x 2
2x 2
3. (a) 9 (b) 2

## Page 7 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
(II) Derivatives of Functions of a Function
(Composite Functions)
Suppose y = (x2 + 5)4.

## First you must recognise that this is a composite function:

If f(x) = x4 and g(x) = x2 + 5, then y = fg(x) = fg(x)).

To differentiate composite functions such as the above, we make use of the Chain Rule which states that
dy dy dz
= ×
dx dz dx

The following shows how the Chain Rule is applied to differentiate y = (x2 + 5)4.

y = (x2 + 5)4.

## ∴ y = z4…………………………… Hence y = f(g(x)) = f(z)

dy
= 4 z 3 …………………………...
dz Differentiate y w.r.t. z using the rules
described in the previous section.
dz
= 2 x ……………………………
dx Then, differentiate z w.r.t. x

dy dy dz
= × = 4 z 3 × 2 x = 8 xz 3 ….
dx dz dx dy dz dy
Finally multiply and to get
dz dx dx
(Chain Rule).

dy Replace z by x2 + 5
∴ = 8 x( x 2 + 5) 3
dx

## *** Do not expand (x2 + 5)4 using Binomial Theorem !!

You may also visit the following website to view more explanation and examples:
http://www.calculus-help.com/funstuff/tutorials/derivatives/deriv05.html

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Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
Example 1
Differentiate y = 4x 2 − x with respect to x.

Solution

(4x )
1
2
Write y = 4x 2 − x = − x 2

dy 1
( )
1

Then, = 4x 2 − x 2
(8x − 1) (Chain Rule)
dx 2
8x − 1
= (simplify) 
2 4x 2 − x

Example 2
4
Differentiate y = 3 with respect to x.
(2 x − 1) 2

Solution

Write y = 4(2x3 − 1) 2 .
dy − d
Then, = 4(−2) (2x3 − 1) 3 ⋅ (2x3 − 1) (Chain Rule)
dx dx

= − 8(2x3 − 1) 3(3)(2x2)

−3 − 48 x 2
= −48x2(2x3 − 1) = (simplify) 
( 2 x 3 − 1) 3

EXERCISE II
Differentiate the following with respect to x.
(a) y = (1 − 4x)10 (b) y = (x + 2)5 (c) y = (1 − x + x2)3
2 3
(d) y = 2 (e) y = (f) y= x2 − x +1
(6 x + 5) (3 − 4 x) 3

1
( )
1
3
(g) y =  1
1 − 
(h) y=2 x + 2 2

 x

− 24 x
(a) − 40(1 − 4x)9 (b) 5(x + 2)4 (c) y = 3(2x − 1)(1 − x + x2)2 (d)
(6 x 2 + 5) 2

## Page 9 of 18 Prepared by:

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− 3
36 2x − 1
4
(e) (f) (g)  1 (h)
(3 − 4 x ) 4 2 x2 − x + 1 x 2 1 − 
 x
1
2 x ( x + 2)
(III) Derivatives Of Products
Suppose u and v are two functions of x. To find the derivative of their product uv
(eg. uv = (x2 + 1)(2x3 − 3x + 4) ), we use the Product Rule:
d du dv
( uv ) = v + u
dx dx dx

In other words:
(2nd function × derivative of 1st function) + (1st function × derivative of 2nd function)

You may also visit the following website to view more explanation and examples:
http://www.calculus-help.com/funstuff/tutorials/derivatives/deriv03.html

Example 1
Differentiate y = (x2 + 1)(x + 3)4 with respect to x.

Solution

First, you must recognize that y is a product of two functions (x2 + 1) and (x + 3)4.
Using the product rule,
dy d d 2
= (x2 + 1) (x + 3)4 + (x + 3)4 (x + 1)
dx dx dx
= (x2 + 1)[4(x + 3)3(1)] + (x + 3)4(2x)
= 2(x + 3)3[2(x2 + 1) + x(x +3)] (factorise)
= 2(x + 3)3[2x2 + 2 + x2 +3x]
= 2(x + 3)3[3x2 + 3x + 2] (simplify) 

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
Example 2

## Differentiate y = (4x − 1) 3x 2 + 1 with respect to x.

Solution

( )
1
Write y = (4x − 1) 3x 2 + 1 2

Then,
dy
( ) ( )
1 d d 1
= 3x 2 + 1 ⋅ (4x − 1) + (4x − 1) ⋅ 2 (Product Rule)
dx 3 x + 1
2 2
dx dx

( ) 1
( )
1 1
= 3x 2 + 1 2 (4) + (4x − 1)   3 x 2 + 1 − 2 (6x) (Chain Rule)
2
12 x 2 − 3 x
= 4 3x 2
+1 +
3x 2 + 1
2
4
 3x 2 + 1 
 + 12 x 2 − 3 x
=   (common denominator)
3x 2 + 1

( )
4 3 x 2 + 1 + 12 x 2 − 3 x
= (simplify)
3x 2 + 1

12 x 2 + 4 + 12 x 2 − 3 x
=
3x 2 + 1

24 x 2 − 3 x + 4
= 
3x 2 + 1

## Page 11 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
Exercise III
Differentiate the following with respect to x using the Product Rule and/or Chain Rule :
(a) y = (x + 3)(2x − 5) (b) y = (2x3 − 3x + 4)(3x − 1)
(c) y = (2 x 2 + 3)(1 − x) (d) y = (x2 − 3x + 4)(1 − 2x)4

## (e) y = (x + 1)4(1 − 2x)3 (f) y= x (2 − x ) 2

(g) y = (2x − 3) 5 x

3
3
(a) 4x + 1 (b) 24x − 6x − 18x + 15
3 2
(c) − 5x 2 + 4x − 1
2x 2
(d) (1 − 2x)3(−12x2 + 32x − 35) (e) −2(x + 1)3(1 − 2x)2(7x + 1)
1
3 2 2 5 ( 2 x −3)
(f) x + 1 − 4 (g) 2 5x +
2 x2
2 x

## Page 12 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
(IV) Derivatives of Quotients
u
Suppose u and v are two functions of x. To find the derivative of their quotient
v
u x2 + 1
(eg. = ), we use the Quotient Rule:
v 2x 3 − 3x + 4

du dv
v −u
d  u dx dx
 =
dx  v  v2

x2 + 1
Note: We can find the derivative of by expressing it as a product
2 x 3 − 3x + 4
(x 2
)(
+1 2 x 3 − 3 x + 4 ) −1
and applying Product Rule.

However, this approach is strongly discouraged. You are advised to use the Quotient Rule, as
doing so will free you from a lot of tedious algebraic manipulation which would follow from the
use of the Product Rule.

You may also visit the following website to view more explanation and examples:
http://www.calculus-help.com/funstuff/tutorials/derivatives/deriv04.html

Example 1
x 2 − 4x + 5
Differentiate y = with respect to x.
2 − 3x 2

Solution
d 2 d
dy (2 − 3x 2 ) ( x − 4 x + 5) − ( x 2 − 4 x + 5) (2 − 3 x 2 )
= dx dx (Quotient Rule)
dx 2 2
(2 − 3x )

( 2 − 3 x 2 )( 2 x − 4) − ( x 2 − 4 x + 5)( −6 x)
=
(2 − 3x 2 ) 2

( 4 x − 8 − 6 x 3 + 12 x 2 ) − ( −6 x 3 + 24 x 2 − 30 x )
= (simplify the numerator)
(2 − 3x 2 ) 2

− 12 x 2 + 34 x − 8
= 
(2 − 3 x 2 ) 2

## Page 13 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
Example 2
x dy
If y = , find at the point where x = 4.
1 +x dx

Solution
1
x2
Write y =
1 + x

1 −1 1
(1 + x )  x 2 − x 2 (1)
dy 2
dx (1 + x ) 2
Then, = (Quotient Rule)
(1 + x) 1

1
− x2
= 2x 2 (simplify the numerator)
(1 + x) 2
1 1
(1 + x) − 2 x 2 ⋅ x 2
1
=
2x 2
(1 + x) 2
(1 + x) − 2 x 1 − x
= 1 = .
2 x (1 + x)
2 2 2 x (1 + x) 2

## ∴ when x = 4, the value of the derivative is

dy 1 −4 −3 3
= = 2 = − 
dx 2 4 (1 + 4) 2 2( 2)( 5 ) 100

## Page 14 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
EXERCISE IV
1. Differentiate the following with respect to x, simplifying your answers where necessary.
5x 2x 2 + x + 1 1 − x2
(a) y = 2 x +1 (b) y = (c) y =
1 − 2x 1 + x2

1 − 2x 2 1 −4 x 5x
(d) y = 3 (e) y = (f) y =
1 −x x +1 1− x2

3x 2 dy
2. If y = 2 , find at the point where x = 1.
1 − 4x dx

d  2 x −1  k
3. Find the value of k for which dx  x + 4  = .
  ( x + 4) 2

6x 3 − 2x 2 + 9
4. Differentiate with respect to x.
5x 2

x2
5. Find the values of x for which the gradient of the curve y = is zero.
2 x −1

5 3 + 4x − 4x 2 4x

1. (a)
( 2 x +1) 2
(b)
(1 − 2 x ) 2
(c)
(1 + x ) 2 2

− 2 x 4 + 3x 2 − 4 x 2 x −3 5

(1 − x )
(d) (e) (f)
3 2 ( x +1) 2
1 −4 x (1 − x 2 ) 1 − x 2

2 18 6
2. 3. k=9 4. − 3
+
3 5x 5
5. x = 0 or x = 1

EXERCISE V (OPTIONAL)
1 − x dy
1. Calculate the x-coordinates of the points on the curve y = 2 for which = 0.
x +3 dx
[Ans: x = 3 or x = − 1]

1
2. Given that f(x) = 1 + x , where x ≥ 0, show that f ’(x) = .
4 x + x x

3. A curve defined by y = (x − a) x −b , for x ≥ b, where a and b are constants, cuts the x-axis at
dy
A where x = b + 1. Show that = 1 at the point A.
dx

## Page 15 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
If you would like to explore this topic further, you may
attempt the following questions (Optional).
You may need to refer to Chapters 17 and 18 of your textbook

## 1. Differentiate the following with respect to x.

−3 2
+1
(a) ex (b) e2x (c) e 3x
(d) sin x (e) cos x (f) tan x

2π 
(g) tan (2x − 3) (h) sin  − 2 x  (i) x2 cos(3x + 1)
2 

## (j) ln x (k) ln (5x2 + 2)3 (l) 3x3 ln (5 − 2x)

d
2. Find the value of k for which (2x − sin 2x) = k sin 2 x.
dx

e 2x3
3. Differentiate with respect to x, .
x  4

−3 2
+1
1. (a) ex (b) 2e2x (c) 6x e 3 x (d) cos x

1. (e) −sin x (f) sec2 x (g) 2 sec2 (2x − 3) (h) −2 sin ( π−4 x )

1 30 x
1. (i) 2x cos (3x + 1) − 3x2 sin (3x + 1) (j) (k)
x 5x + 2

6x2 ( 2 x + 7 )e 2 x +3
1. (l) 9x2 ln (5 − 2x) − 2. k=4 3.
5 −2x ( x + 4) 2

FINALLY ...
• Complete the on-line survey on this activity as soon as you complete it.
• Prepare for a test on differentiation in Term 1 Week 2 (2009).

## Page 16 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
St Joseph’s Institution
Independent Learning : Differentiation (Skills Checklist)
Name: ( ) Class: Date:

Skills Ye N
s o
(I) Differentiation of Polynomials

## (a) I know how to apply Rules 1 – 4 to differentiate polynomials.

(b) On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 – least confident, 10 – most confident), my
confidence level in the section is ______.

## (a) I recognise the form of the type of functions which should be

differentiated using the Chain Rule.
(b) I know how to apply Chain Rule to differentiate composite
functions of the form y = g(f(x)).
(c) On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 – least confident, 10 – most confident), my
confidence level in the section is ______.

## (a) I recognise the form of the type of functions which should be

differentiated using the Product Rule.
(b) I know how to apply Product Rule to differentiate functions of the
form y = u(x)⋅ v(x).
(c) On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 – least confident, 10 – most confident), my
confidence level in the section is ______.

## (a) I recognise the form of the type of functions which should be

differentiated using the Quotient Rule.
(b) I know how to apply Quotient Rule to differentiate functions of
u (x )
the form y = .
v (x )
(c) On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 – least confident, 10 – most confident), my
confidence level in the section is ______.

In General …

## (a) I know how to apply a combination of the basic techniques of

differentiation covered in Sections (1) – (IV) where necessary.
(b) I am able to perform algebraic manipulations to simplify my working
and arrive at the final answers given in the Exercises (I) – (IV).
(c) I am able to apply Laws of Indices to simplify my working and arrive at
the final answers given in the Exercises (I) – (IV).

## Page 17 of 18 Prepared by:

Mrs Sng-Chew S Y
This should reflect your thoughts, concerns and learning experiences as you
proceed with the independent study. By writing the Journal, you will get to know
yourself better. This will enable you to be more effective in your learning.