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Recall that a one-to-one function y = f(x) has an inverse function, x = f(y). Consider

the function y = f(x) = ax, a > 0, a ≠ 1, is one-to-one and hence has an inverse

function that is defined implicitly by the equation

x = ay, a > 0, a ≠1

function.

The logarithmic function to the base a, where a > 0 and a ≠ 1, is denoted by y = logax

(read as “y is the logarithm to the base a of x”) and is defined by

The domain of the logarithm function y = logax is x > 0, or in interval notation (0, ∞ ).

The range of the logarithm function is all real numbers.

When the base of the logarithm is base e, we have a special notation for it,

y = ln x, called the natural logarithm. This logarithm is used extensively in

engineering and mathematics.

When the base of the logarithm is 10, we call it the common logarithm and leave off

the base, log x, means log to the base of 10 of x.

e2.2 = M

log7 N = 6.5

Ex. 3: Find the exact value of each logarithm without using a calculator.

a.) log 3 9 b.) log 2 8

2

To find the domain of logarithmic functions, the argument (the expression after the

base) must be greater than zero. Set up that inequality and solve.

h(x) = log4(3 – x)

3–x>0

3 > x or x < 3 so the domain in interval notation is (- ∞ ,3).

Recall the graph of an exponential function y = ax, the domain is all reals, and the

range is y > 0. Also recall the relationship between the domain and range of inverse

functions. The inverse of the y = ax, is y = logax. So 8

6

4

x

Look at the graph of y = 2

and the graph of y = log2x 2

(1,2)

y=l og2x

to the right. Note that the graphs (0,1) (2,1)

are symmetric to the line y = x,

which is always true of inverse

-10 -5

(1,0)

5 10

functions.

Note the shape of a logarithm, -2

-4

the base is greater than 1. 8

-6

8

6

Graphing logarithmic functions:

6

-8

4

a>1 0<a<1 4

2

2

-10 -5 5 10

-5 5 10

-2

-2

-4

-4

-6

3

1. The domain is the set of positive real numbers; the range is all real numbers.

2. The x-intercept of the graph is (1, 0). There is no y-intercept.

3. The y-axis (x = 0) is a vertical asymptote of the graph.

4. A logarithmic function is decreasing if 0 < a < 1 and increasing if a >1.

5. The graph of f contains the points (1, 0), and (a, 1).

6. The graph is smooth and continuous, with no corners or gaps.

_____________________________

Once we know the basic logarithmic function, we will use transformations to graph

others.

Horizontal shifting is the only transformation that will move the vertical asymptote

off of the y-axis. So if you shift 3 to the left then your VA will be x = -3.

Ex. 5: Given g(x) = ln(x + 3), choose the correct graph and list the domain and

4

range in interval notation, and list the equation of the vertical asymptote.

6

g(x) = ln(x + 3) 4

-5 5

D: _____________ 2

-2

R: _____________ -5 5

4 2

-4

VA: __________ -2

2

-5 5

-6

-4

-2

-5 5

-6

-2 -4

-4 -6

-8

4

4 A. y = log2 (x)

B. y = - log2 (x)

2

C. y = log2 (1 – x)

D. y = - log2 (-x)

-5 5

E. y = log2 (-x)

-2

F. y = log2 (x – 1)

-4

G. y = log2 x + 1

H. y = 1 – log2 (x)

-6

Note: You must check your solutions to a logarithmic equation to be sure the value

is in the domain of the original equation!!! If it is not then it is an extraneous

solution that is to be discarded.

a) log3(3x – 2) = 2

b) e2x = 7

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