# Differentiation Section 2: Applications of differentiation

These notes contain sub-sections on:    Turning points Second derivatives Maximum and minimum problems

Turning Points
Points on a curve where the tangent is horizontal are called stationary points, or turning points. dy At these points, the gradient of the curve is zero, so = 0. dx Stationary points are classified into three different types: Local maximum The gradient is positive to the left, zero at the point, and negative to the right.

Local minimum The gradient is positive to the left, zero at the point, and negative to the right.

Stationary point of inflection The gradient goes from positive to zero to positive

or negative to zero to negative.

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and sketch the curve. So the stationary points are (1. When y = 0. investigate their nature. y = 0. Example 1 Find the stationary points on the curve y = 3x  x3. Solution y = 3x  x3 dy = 3  3x2. 2) is a local maximum The curve crosses the y axis when x = 0. Step 5: Find where the curve cuts the axes © MEI. When x = 1. Step 3: Calculate the ycoordinates for these values of x (called the stationary values). When x = 0. dx    3  3x2 = 0 3 = 3x2 x2 = 1 x =  1 or 1 Step 1: Differentiate the function. 03/04/07 2/7 .  2) is a local minimum and (1. Step 4: Use a table to investigate the sign of dy dx for values of x either side of the stationary values x dy dx -2 -9 -ve -1 0 0 3 +ve 1 0 2 -9 -ve So ( 1. It crosses the xaxis when y = 0. 2) and (1.see later. Step 2: Solve dy dx 0 When x = 1. 3x  x3 = 0  x(3  x2) = 0. y = 3×(1)  (1)3 = 3  (1) = 2. 2). you can either:   Test the value of the derivative either side of the stationary point.To distinguish between these. y = 3×1  13 = 2. or Use the second derivative test .

Make sure your sketch includes the coordinates of the intercepts and the turning points. 03/04/07 3/7 . Step 6: Sketch the curve. Second Derivatives If you differentiate a derivative. 2) 0 3 x You may like to look at the PowerPoint animation of this example. (1. For extra practice in finding stationary points. you get the second derivative. dx 2 For some more examples. then check your answer and look at the graph. the first derivative is the second derivative is written dy dx (you say: “dee y by dee x”) and d2 y dx 2 (you say: “dee two y by dee x squared”) Example 3 Given that y = 3x  x3. If you start with an equation for y in terms of x. 2) y  3 (1. 3 and  3 . x = 0. find Solution y = 3x  x3 dy  = 3  3x2 dx d2 y  = 6x dx 2 d2 y . try to find and identify the stationary points yourself. © MEI. use the Flash resources Stationary points on quadratic curves and Stationary points on cubic curves. look at the Flash resource Second derivatives. For each problem.