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Find the Second Derivative of the function, f.

**Set the Second Derivative Determine whether the
**

equal to zero and solve. Second Derivative is

undefined for any x-values.

**To determine if these numbers are If these numbers are NOT in the
**

potential Inflection Points, make domain of the original function, f, and

sure they are in the domain of the then stop here.

original function, f.

**Plot these numbers on a number line and test the
**

regions with the Second Derivative.

**A positive result A negative result
**

indicates the function is indicates the function is

Concave Up on that Concave Down on that

interval. interval.

**The function has an Inflection Point at any value where the sign changes
**

from positive to negative or negative to positive.

**Plug the x-value into the original function, f, to obtain the
**

y-coordinate of the Inflection Point.

and 2. −3) and (1. between −1 and 1. We then proceed as follows: f''(x) = 12x2 − 12 12x2 – 12 = 0 The Second Derivative is 12(x2 − 1) = 0 defined for all x-values. and finally. the graph is concave up for x values less that −1 and greater than 1. when we test 2 in the Second Derivative. 12(x− 1)(x + 1)= 0 x=1. we obtain 12(-2)2 – 12 = 36. Therefore. f(x) = x4 − 6x2 + 8x + 10 Plot these numbers on a number line and test the regions with the Second Derivative. (−1. 0. x = −1 Both 1 and −1 are in the domain of the original function. .Example 1: 4 2 Find all inflection points of the graph of f(x) = x − 6x + 8x +10. 13) are Inflection Points. and concave down between -1 and 1. when we test 0 in the Second Derivative. Concave Up Concave Down Concave Up −1 1 The function has Inflection Points at -1 and 1 since the concavity changes. How about −2. Let’s select a convenient number in the interval less than −1. Plug these two values into the original function to obtain the y-coordinates of the Inflection Points: f(−1)=(−1)4 − 6(−1)2 + 8(−1) + 10 = −3 f(1)=(1)4 − 6(1)2 + 8(1) + 10 = 13 So. we obtain 12(0)2 −12 = −12. and greater than 1. respectively? −2 0 2 −1 1 When we test −2 in the Second Derivative. we obtain 12(2)2−12 = 36. We know that f'(x) = 4x3 − 12x + 8.

the graph is concave up on both intervals Concave Up Concave Up 0 No change in concavity. . How about 1? -1 1 0 Now. we obtain 12(-1)2 = 12. Let’s select a convenient number in the interval less than zero. How about -1? Then we select a convenient number in the interval greater than zero. 0) is NOT an Inflection Point. We then proceed as follows: f''(x) = 12x2 The Second Derivative is 12x2= 0 defined for all x-values.Example 2: Find all inflection points of the graph of f(x) = x . X=0 0 is in the domain of the original function. Consequently. and 12(1)2 = 12 Since both results are positive. when we test -1 and 1 in the Second Derivative. f(x) = x4. (0. Plot this number on a number line and test the regions with the Second Derivative. 4 We know that f'(x) = 4x3.

f(x) = ? 1⁄3 + 2. the graph is concave up for all values less than 0 and concave down for all values greater than 0. Plug 0 into the original function to obtain the y-coordinates of the Inflection Point: f(0) = (0)1⁄3 + 2 = 2 So. Plot this number on a number line and test the regions with the Second Derivative. (0. . we obtain 9(−1)5⁄3 =9 −2 −2 and 9(1)5⁄3 = 9 Since the first result is positive and the second is negative. Let’s select a convenient number in the interval less than zero. 0 is in the domain of the original function. How about 1? -1 1 0 −2 2 Now. when we test -1 and 1 in the Second Derivative. How about -1? Then we select a convenient number in the interval greater than zero. We then proceed as follows: −2 −2 f''(x) = ? −5⁄3 = 9 9? 5⁄3 The Second Derivative is The Second Derivative is never 0. Concave Up Concave Down 0 The function has an Inflection Point at 0 since the concavity changes. 2) is an Inflection Point.Example 3: Find all inflection points of the graph of f(x) = ? 1⁄3 + 2. undefined when x = 0. ? We know that f'(x) = ? ?−?⁄? .

we obtain (−1)3 = −2 and (1)3 =2 Concave Down Concave Up 0 It is very tempting to conclude that since the graph is concave down for all x values less than 0. and in this problem. 1 Example 4: Find all inflection points of the graph of f(x) = . 1 0 is NOT in the domain of the original function. and concave up for all x values greater than 0. Therefore. Therefore. of itself. it was not. f. the fact that a change in concavity occurs is not. Let’s say you did perform the number line test: -1 1 0 2 2 If we test -1 and 1 in the Second Derivative. f(x) = ?. there are NO INFLECTION POINTS due to the fact that the original function. However. there is no Inflection Point. ? We know that f'(x) = -1x-2. You must make sure that the function is defined at the number. is not defined at 0. then 0 must be a point of inflection. We then proceed as follows: f''(x) = 2x-3 2 = ?3 The Second Derivative is The Second Derivative is never 0. . undefined when x = 0 . a guarantee that there is an Inflection Point.

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