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Section 6.3

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. Ex. 1: Find the approximate value of e3.2. Round to 3 decimal places. An exponential function is a function of the form f(x) = ax, where a is a positive real number (a > 0) and a ≠ 1. If a = 1, then f is 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. Ex. 2: Let us consider the exponential function f(x) = 2x. What is the y-intercept? f(0) = 1 Find f(1) = 2 f(-1) = 1/2 f(2) = 4 f(-2) = 1/4

**Graph f showing all the points.
**

4

(2,4)

2

(1,2) (0,1)

(-2,

-5

1 4

)

(-1,

1 2

)

5

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 x-axis or y = 0.

-4

-2

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.
**

1 Ex. 3: Now let’s consider the graph of g(x) = . 2

6 8

x

Find g(0) = 1

4

g(1) = 1/2

g(-1) = 2

Graph g(x).

(-1,2)

2

(0,1) (1,1/2)

-1 0 -5 5 10

-2

Notice again that the range of g is all positive numbers, y > 0. The graph of g is always decreasing. As x approaches infinity, the graph gets closer and closer to the x-axis but never touches it. This means that the x-axis is a horizontal asymptote or y = 0. The graph of g is typical of the graph of all exponential functions whose base is between 0 and 1.

-4 -6 -8

Characteristics of the Graph of an Exponential Function f(x) = ax. 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. Ex. 4: Now let’s graph f(x) = ex.

________________________

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

6

**Ex. 5: Given f(x) = ex + 3 a.) determine the graph from the following:
**

6

6

4

2

4

6

4

-5

4

5

2

2

-2

2

-5

5

-5

5

-5 5

-4

-2

-2

-4

-2

-6

**b.) Determine the domain. Write in interval notation.
**

-4

-4

-6

-6

c.) Determine the range. Write in interval notation.

-6

d.) List the equation of the horizontal asymptote:

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

15

(2,16)

10

5

(1,4) (0,1)

6

-20

-10

10

20

-5

**Ex. 7: Given the graph of a function below, match the graph to one of the following functions. -10 x A. y = 2 E. y = -2x
**

2

4

B. y = 2x – 1

-5 5

F. y = 2-x G. y = 2x + 1 H. y = 2x + 1

-15

C. y = -2-x

-2

D. y = 2x – 1

-4

Solving exponential equations with the same base. 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. Ex. 8: Solve the exponential equation. Give exact answer.

1 5

2 x1

25

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