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3 Exponential Functions

In this section we will look at what happens when you raise a positive number,

which is not equal to one, to a power.

simply a constant function f(x) = 1 since 1 to any power = 1.

The domain of an exponential function is the set of all real numbers.

What is the y-intercept? f(0) = 1

4 (2,4)

2 (1,2)

1

1 (-1, ) (0,1)

(-2, ) 2

4

-5 5

-2

Notice that the range of f is all positive numbers and that the graph is always

increasing. As x approaches negative infinity, the graph gets closer and closer to

the x-axis but never touches it. That means there is a horizontal asymptote at the

-4

x-axis or y = 0.

The graph of f(x) = 2x is typical of all exponential functions that have a base larger

than one.

What do you think the graph of 3x would look like? 5x? Graph them on the same

axes as 2x.

8 x

1

Ex. 3: Now let’s consider the graph of g(x) = .

2

6

4

Graph g(x).

(-1,2) 2

(0,1)

(1,1/2)

-10 -5 5 10

-2

The graph of g is always decreasing. As x approaches infinity, the graph gets

-4

closer and closer to the x-axis but never touches it. This means that the x-axis is a

horizontal asymptote or y = 0.

-6

The graph of g is typical of the graph of all exponential functions whose base is

between 0 and 1. -8

1. The domain is all real numbers.

2. The range is the set of all positive numbers.

3. There are no x-intercepts; the y-intercept is (0, 1).

4. The x-axis (y = 0) is a horizontal asymptote.

5. The graph is increasing if a > 1, decreasing if 0 < a < 1.

6. f is a one-to-one function.

7. The graph contains the points (0, 1) and (1, a).

8. The graph of f is smooth and continuous.

a>1 0<a<1

The exponential function with base e is of special interest. It has many

applications in nature.

The number e is approximately 2.7. Your calculator has an ex key on it.

________________________

Now that we know the basic exponential functions we will look at transformations

6

of exponential functions

4

a.) determine the graph from the following:

6

6

6

4 4

-5 5

4

2

2

-2

2

-5 5

-5 5 -4

-5 5

-2

-2

-2 -6

-4

-4

-4

-6

-6

-6

Ex. 6: Given graph of the function below, determine the function.

(2,16)

15

10

5

(1,4)

(0,1)

6 -20 -10 10 20

-5

4

Ex. 7: Given the graph of a function below, match the graph to one of the

following functions. -10

x

2

A. y = 2 E. y = -2x

-15

B. y = 2x – 1 F. y = 2-x

-5 5

C. y = -2-x G. y = 2x + 1

-2

D. y = 2x – 1 H. y = 2x + 1

-4

If au = av, then u = v. In other words, if the bases are the same and the sides are

equal then the exponents must be equal. This is a one-to-one property.

2 x1

1

25

5

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