You are on page 1of 16

3.

What exactly are logarithms?

Logarithms can be helpful in putting very large (or very small) numbers on a human-friendly scale.

For example, on the pH scale 

Ammonia, which has a pH of 12, is 11 higher than
battery acid, which has a pH of 1…

But Ammonia is one hundred billion times as alkaline!

 

Every increase of 1 on the pH scale means a tenfold increase in the alkalinity of a substance. (Similarly, every
decrease of one means a tenfold increase in the acidity) The pH scale (and others – such as the Richter scale,
or Decibel scale), are examples of logarithmic scales. Teaser – more on those in section 4.8!

Orders of magnitude
The difference between large numbers can A “trick” we can use is to write these numbers in terms
be hard to comprehend. of inputs, that, is, as a power base 10.
10 000 Ten Thousand 4 Since 10 4 = 10 000
These inputs are called logarithms.
1 000 000 One Million 6 Since 10 6 = 1 million
IE - The logarithm, base 10,
1 000 000 000 000 One Trillion 12 Since 10 12 = 1 trillion
of one million is 6
1 000 000 000 000 000 One Quadrillion 15 Since 10 15 = 1 Quadrillion

Pt. on graph Corresponding

of & \$% pt. on graph of R %
inverse
Exploration #1

3, The graph of R % \$% is shown:

2,
1 Use the graph to
1, complete the
0,  table on the left.

1,
2 Sketch the graph
2, of the inverse on
3, the same grid on
the right 
4,

4 Determine the equation of the inverse function 3 Indicate the domain and range of each function:
R % Inverse

D:

R:

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

In an exponential function, the input ( ) is the & ?% input

output (value of (exponent)
exponent, and the output ( ) is the value of the power term) base
some base to the power of .
U & VWX? % input (value of
In a logarithmic function the input ( ) is value of the the power term)
power, and the output ( ) is exponent. output (the base
exponent)

Exploration #2
Logarithmic Form Exponential Form Value of &
Converting between Logarithmic and
Exponential form STO 8 2U 8
Since 2 8
1 Complete the table on the right by converting STO 9
each logarithmic form to exponential form
STO! 1000
2 Re-write each of the following in
1
logarithmic form STO
16
1
(a) 5 125 (b) 64
8 STO 0.01

STO 5

Solution: When converting to log form… STO The log is equal

to the exponent
base
What the power term is equal to

Next, think: The logarithm is an exponent The exponent goes here

STO 3
VWX %
So, the “125” must go here
VWX, '\$0

Convert each of the following to logarithmic form:

1 1
(a) 44 (b) (c) 10 0.01
64 2

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

A logarithm that is base 10 is called the common log. With common logs, we do not need to
indicate the base. VWX'/ '// is the same as VWX'// No base specified – that
means base 10!
ENRICHMENT: A logarithm that is base “Y” is called the natural log.
VWXZ % is the same as V- %
The natural log is written
V- , and the base is “Z”
*“e” is an irrational mathematical constant, equal to approximately 2.718, that
has many applications in exponential growth. The base “e” and the natural log
base '/
are studied in Math 31.
To get “e” on your calculator, key in:
has two log buttons: base “Z”

To evaluate a logarithm or solve for an unknown value in a log expression, we convert to exponential form.

Worked Examples Solve each for : (a) STO 243 (b) STO!/ 4

What the log is equal to (logs are exponents)

Solution: Convert each to exponential
form…
base What the power term is equal to
1
2
Next, write the constant in 34 3 % 0
base 3, and set exps equal 2 % '*

The default base for logarithms on your

calculator is base 10, the common logarithm '/\$ '//

For other bases, your

0
calculator may have a \$
'
“LOGBASE” function. '*
\$

If your calculator does not have LOGBASE, you’ll have

to use the change of base identity.
Jump ahead to page 179 to see how to do this!

Class Example 3.32 Converting to Exponential Form

Determine the unknown value for each (Try without using the LOG function of your calculator):
1
(a) STO (b) STO 5 (c) STO[ 81 4 (d) STO 512
125

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

Class Example 3.33 Evaluating Logarithms

Without using the LOG function of your calculator - evaluate each of the following logarithms.
1 (c) STO 0.001
(a) STO (b) STO! 9 (d) STO 9 27
32

The example above included three noteworthy logarithms:

STO[ 1 / STO[ ' STO[ -
/ ' -
Since 1 Since Since

Class Example 3.34 Evaluating Logarithms – Exam Style question

\
A student is using an algebraic approach to solve the equation STO! 8 4 .
 Exam
Style
C
One of his steps is to write the linear equation , where C represents the two-digit
3
numerator and , , C, ∈ E.

NR The values of , , and C, are, respectively,

____, ____, and ____.

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

The Change of Base Identity

Exploration #3
1 Fill in the blanks – evaluate each of the following logarithms by converting to exponential form:
Think: \$0* ? \$ \$0* ?
Think: '* \$0* ? STO 256 STO 256
STO 256 STO 256
(a) i STO! 256 ii iii
STO 16 STO 16
STO 16 STO 16
Think: '* ? \$ '* ?
iv Compare your results from i, ii, and iii above

Think: ) *0*' ?
STO 6561
STO 6561
(b) i STO6 6561 ii
STO 9
STO 9
iv Compare your results from i and ii above

0 '\$0 ?

2 Fill in the blanks: i STO 125

STO 125 S 125

Use your calculator to determine the value of: ii iii
STO 5 S 5
A reminder that natural logs, which are heavily used in Math 31, are not part of the curriculum for this course.

3 Fill in the blanks: i STO 32 Evaluate using your calculator

STO 32 S 32
Use your calculator to determine the value of: ii iii
STO 2 S 2
iv Compare your results from i, ii, and iii above

The Change of Base Identity shows how any logarithm of any VWX< ]
VWX? ]
base ?, can be written using any other base <. VWX< ?
STO 32
One consequence of this is that we can evaluate any logarithm on our calculator, by expressing as
common logs. (base 10) This is particularly handy if your calculator does not have LOGBASE!
For example, VWX\$ \$ can be Evaluate in base 10, using change of base.
found by converting to base 10: Note you could also use S 32 + S 2 .
You get the same result using LOGBASE!

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

Graphs of Logarithmic Functions

We already saw how the graph of logarithmic function is the inverse of an exponential function.
 The inverse of the exponential function & ?% is % ?& , which can be written & VWX? %

The domain of & VWX? % is restricted, as you can’t take the log of zero or negatives.

This is asking: 2 0 ? And this is: 2 4 ?

Neither is possible – domain is {%|% = /, % ∈ ℝ}

We should be familiar with the graph of & VWX? %, when = 1 and when 0 > > 1.

4
; =1
Graph of the exponential, and
corresponding logarithmic function,
for a base greater than one
 Range is { | = 0, ∈ ℝ}
Domain is { ∈ ℝ}
& VWX? % ; =1 - Graph rises from left to right
Horizontal Asymptote that is, U
0, 1 - Graph appears to “flatten out” as
at 0 ( -axis) get’s larger and larger but will
', / continue rising forever.

Vertical Asymptote
at 0 ( -axis)

 Domain is {%|% = /, % ∈ ℝ}
Range is {& ∈ ℝ}

4
;0> >1

Horizontal Reflection Graph for when the base is

of graph of 4; = 1
between 0 and 1.

0, 1

', /

0> >1

Graph is a Vertical Reflection

of the graph of & VWX? % ; = 1

 Domain is still {%|% = /, % ∈ ℝ}

Range is {& ∈ ℝ}

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

We can explore the graphs described above using our graphing calculators, with
bases of 2 and ½:

24 4
Calculator lies: It appears that the
1 log graph “starts” here, in fact it’s a
& VWX\$ % 2 resolution issue – there is a vertical
asymptote at 0.
(So graph continues “up” forever!)

Range is {& ∈ ℝ}
& VWX'⁄\$ %

VWX %
Recall you can enter this using the change of base identity, & … If you don’t have LOGBASE on your calc!
VWX \$

Note: We can also graph these on desmos.com:

This is the graph of & VWX\$ % .
(There you can enter
function in “x=” form) (On DESMOS we can enter the simpler
form of the INVERSE, % \$& )

We’d get the same

graphs inputting this:

Note: Key in “shift” … “dash”

to enter the base 2

Worked Example For the function R % VWX \$% 8 , state the domain, range, and coordinates
of any intercepts, and asymptote. Sketch the graph.

Solution: For domain: 3

For &-intercept, substitute 0: V.A. at
N STO \$% 8 2
STO 2 / 8 3
What’s being logged must be R % VWX \$% 8
STO 3 Think: 3 3? greater than zero
/, '
1 2 83=0
0, 1 2 = 3 ', /

{%|% = /\$, % ∈ ℝ}
For %-intercept, substitute 0:
/ STO 2 8 3
The domain also defines the V.A:
3 2 8 3 Convert to exponential form
V.A at % /\$
1 2 83
2 2
1 Range is {& ∈ ℝ}
(for all log functions)
1, 0

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

Consider the function X % VWX\$ 0 \$% . Use an algebraic process

to determine the:
(i) domain, (ii) range, (iii) asymptote, (iv) coordinates of any intercepts
(exact values, for the -intercept express as a logarithm)
f

Class Example 3.36 Analyzing a Logarithmic Function

A function is defined by R % \$ % *.
(a) Determine the equation of the simplified inverse function, N !

(b) Determine the domain, asymptote, -intercept, and -intercept

of N ! . Sketch.

3.3 Practice Questions

1. Express each in exponential form:

1
(a) STO 6 1 (b) STO 4 (c) STO6 3 0.5
625

2. Express each in logarithmic form:

(a) 25 125 (b) 10 0.001 (c) 8! 8

3. Evaluate each: Try without using a log button your calculator!

(a) STO 16 (b) STO 10 000 (c) STO 3

(g) STO5 1 (h) STO!/ 9

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

4. Determine the value of for each: Try without using a log button your calculator!
(a) STO 256 (b) STO 2 (c) STO! 4

1
(d) STO4 4 (e) STO4 0.125 3 (f) STO6 3 27
81

5. Solve each of the following: Once again, try without using your calc, or at least not using the log button!
(a) 10 4 4 (c) STO4 4⁄3
1 000 000 (b) 2 4 32 1/2

1 8
(d) STO# (e) STO # 2/3 (f) STO
16 ! 32

Practice Questions answers from previous page

1. (a) 6! 6 (b) 5 1⁄625 (c) 9 .
3 2. (a) STO 125 3/2 (b) STO0.001 3 (c) STO# 8 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 4 (c) 6 (d) 1/2 (e) 3 (f) 7/2 (g) 0 (h) 2

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

6. Solve each of the following: Once again, try without using your calc, or at least not using the log button!
1 1 27
(a) STO (b) STO4 5 (c) STO4 3
125 32 64

1
(d) STO! 10 (e) STO4 25 2 (f) STO4 2
16

3 1 \
(g) STO (h) STO (i) STO 8 16
2 6 2

` 5 7
(j) STO 125 (k) STO6 (l) STO# 4
2 2
Express in the form

Practice Questions answers from previous page

4. (a) 4 (b) 1/25 (c) 1/2 (d) 3 (e) 2 (f) 5/4
5. (a) 3 (b) 3⁄4 (c) 9/16 (d) 4/3 (e) 25/4 (f) 7/2

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

7. Solve each of the following: Once again, try without using your calc, or at least not using the log button!
1 4
(a) STO# (b) STO4 16
3 3

8. For the function R % VWX % 8 0 , provide a detailed sketch, and indicate the domain, range,
asymptote, and coordinates of any intercepts. Use an algebraic process to determine the graph characteristics,
where applicable state in exact values only.

' 0
Exam The points b \$, and a ,, lie 5
9.  Style
\$ \$
on the graph of & VWX? %, as 1 a ,
2
b 2,
shown on the right. 2

Practice Questions answers from previous page

6. (a) 3 (b) 1/2 (c) 3/4 (d) 1/2 (e) 1/5 (f) 4
(g) 8 (h) 3⁄2 (i) 13/6 (j) 3/2 (k) 243 (l) 2!5

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

10.
 Exam
Style The function & VWX? 0% ';0> > 1 , has a domain of:

A. { | = 4, ∈ ℝ}

B. { | = 4/5, ∈ ℝ}

C. { | > 4, ∈ ℝ}

D. { | > 4/5, ∈ ℝ}

11. NR The value of the expression VWX \$ ( 8 VWX' \$7 8 VWX '// , correct to the nearest
'/
)
tenth, is _____. Once again - Try without using the log button calculator!

 Exam
Style
A.
U
B.
U\
C.
D. U

Practice Questions answers from previous page

7. (a) 2 (b) 8
V.A. at % 0/
8. D: { | = 5/3, ∈ ℝ} R: { ∈ ℝ} R %
VA at 5/3 −int 4/3, 0 −int 0, STO 5 

9. 32 ,/

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

14. Match each of the listed functions with its graph number. State the domain of each function in the second column.

  
 

 

15. The graph of R % shown is obtained by horizontally translating

the function & VWX? %. Determine the equation of R % .

 Exam
Style
A. STOc
2

B. STO d C

C. STOc 2

C
D. STOd
2

Practice Questions answers from previous page

10. D 11. 10.5 12. 3 13. B

Chapter 4 – Radical and Rational Functions

17. For each of the following functions, determine the inverse function, and state the domain and
range of N !
(a) 54 (b) 34 8 1

1 4 4
(c) 3 (d) 2 5 3
2

18. State the domain, and algebraically determine the and -intercepts for each of the following functions:
27
(a) STO 84 (b) STO! (c) STO 2 81
3

Practice Questions answers from previous page

14. First column (top to bottom): 
Second column (top to bottom): { | = 5, ∈ ℝ}  { | = 3, ∈ ℝ}  { | = 3, ∈ ℝ}  { | = 3, ∈ ℝ}
15. STO 82 16. D

3.3 The Logarithmic Function

19. The logarithmic form of the equation <\$ ?, where = 1, is:

A. STO 2
 Exam
Style
d

B. STOd 2
3

C. STO[ 3 2

D. STO 2

' %
20. For the function R % 8 '\$, provide a detailed sketch of the inverse function, and indicate
the domain, range, asymptote, and coordinates of any intercepts of the inverse. Use an algebraic process to
determine the graph characteristics.

!
17. (a) N STO ; D: { | = 0, ∈ ℝ} R: { ∈ ℝ}  This is also the range for (b), (c) and (d)
(b) N !
STO 1 ; D: { | = 1, ∈ ℝ}
4
(c) STOe ; D: { | = 0, ∈ ℝ}
F
4
(d) STO ; D: { | = 3, ∈ ℝ}

18. (a) D: { | = 4, ∈ ℝ} -int: 3, 0 -int: 0, 2

(b) D: { | > 27, ∈ ℝ} -int: 24, 0 -int: 0, 2
(c) D: { | = 2, ∈ ℝ} -int: 2.25, 0 -int: n/a

' 12
19. B & R % V.A at N
! ! 4
20. N STO!⁄ ; D: { | > 12, ∈ ℝ} R: { ∈ ℝ} Here’s both !
N
graphs 
V.A at 12 -int: 8, 0 -int: 0, 1
0, 1 8, 0