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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
Contents
3.1 Rational Indices 3.2 Logarithmic Functions 3.3 Graphs of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions 3.4 Applications of Logarithms

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.1 Rational Indices
A. Radicals
n For a positive integer n, if x = y , then x is and n th root of y, denoted by the radical n y .

However, if n is even and y > 0, then x = + n y or − n y is the solution of the equation xn = y. But in this chapter, we shall only consider the positive value of x. If x n = y , then x = n y . Remarks:
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For n = 2, we call x the square root of y. For n = 3, we call x the cube root of y.

1.

2

y is usually written as

y.

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.1 Rational Indices
B. Rational Indices
The laws of indices are also true for rational indices. For y ≠ 0 , we define the rational indices as follows: y =n y y = (n y ) m = n y m where m, n are integers and n > 0.
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m n 1 n

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.1 Rational Indices
C. Using the Laws of Indices to Solve Equations
For equation x = b where b is a non-zero constant, p and q are integers with q q ≠ 0 , we take the power of p on both sides,
p q q p q p q p
p q

(x ) = b x
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p q × q p

=b

x=b

q p

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3.2 Logarithmic Functions
A. Introduction to Common Logarithm
If a number y can be expressed in the form ax, where a > 0 and a ≠ 1 , then x is called the logarithm of the number y to the base a. It is denoted by x = log a y.

If y = a x , then log a y = x, where a > 0 and a ≠ 1.
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Notes : 1. • 1.

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.2 Logarithmic Functions
If y ≤ 0 , then log a y is undefined. When a = 10 (thus base 10), we write log x for log10 x. This is called the common logarithm. By the definition of logarithm and the laws of indices, we can obtain the following results directly. (a) (b)
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1 = 10 0 , 10 = 101 , 100 = 10 2 , 0.1 = 10 −1 , 0.01 = 10 −2 ,

∴ ∴ ∴ ∴

log1 = 0 log10 = 1 log100 = 2 log 0.1 = −1

(c) (d) (e)

∴ log 0.01 = −2

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3.2 Logarithmic Functions
B. Basic Properties of Logarithmic Functions
The function f ( x) = log x , for x > 0 is called a logarithmic function. Properties of Logarithmic functions:

For M, N > 0, 1. log(MN ) = log M + log N 2. log
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M = log M − log N N

n 3. log M = n log M

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3.2 Logarithmic Functions
C. Using Logarithms to Solve Equations (a) Logarithmic Equations
Logarithmic equations are the equations containing the logarithm of one or more variables. For example, log x = 2 is a logarithmic equation. In order to solve these kinds of equations, we need to use the definition and the properties of logarithm.
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For example, if log x = 2, then x = 10 2 = 100

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.2 Logarithmic Functions
(b) Exponential Equations
Exponential equations are the equations in the form ax = b, where a and b are non-zero constants and a ≠ 1. For such equations, we take logarithm on both sides and reduce the exponential equation to a linear equation, that is, log a x = log b x log a = log b
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x=

log b log a

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.2 Logarithmic Functions
D. Other Types of Logarithmic Functions
For bases other than 10, such as the function f ( x) = log a x for x > 0, a > 0 and a ≠ 1, they are also called logarithmic functions. The logarithmic functions with different bases still have the following properties:

1. 3.
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log a a = 1 log a ( MN ) = log a M + log a N log a M n = n log a M

2. log a 1 = 0 4. log a M = log a M − log a N N

5.

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.3 Graphs of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
A. Graphs of Exponential Functions
For a > 0 and a ≠ 1 , a function y = ax is called exponential function, where a is the base and x is the exponent.
x −x The following diagram shows the graph of y = 2 and y = 2 for –3 ≤ x ≤ 3.

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Fig. 3.2

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.3 Graphs of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
Properties of the graph of exponential function:

Fig. 3.2 • • Content • 4. y = ax and y = a–x are reflectionally symmetric about the y-axis. The graph does not cut the x-axis (that is y > 0 for all values of x). The y-intercept is 1. For the graph of y = ax, (a) if a > 1, then y increases as x increases; (b) if 0 < a < 1, then y decreases as x increases.

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.3 Graphs of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
B. Graphs of Logarithmic Functions
Fig. 3.5 shows the graph of y = log x.

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Fig. 3.5

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.3 Graphs of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
The function f (x) = 10x is called the inverse function of the common logarithmic function f (x) = log x. Properties of the graph of logarithmic function:

1. •

The function is undefined for x ≤ 0. For the graph of y = log x, (a) (b) x-intercept is 1; it does not have y-intercept; y increases as x increases.

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(c)

Fig. 3.5

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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.4 Applications of Logarithms
A. Transforming Data from Exponential Form to Linear Form
We can actually transform data from exponential form to linear form. Suppose y = kxn, where k > 0 and n ≠ 0. Taking logarithm on both sides, we have log y = log(kx n ) log y = log k + n log x Y = a + bX ,
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which is a linear function with Y = log y, X = log x, a = log k and b = n.

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1.

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.4 Applications of Logarithms
B. Applications of Logarithms in Real-life Problems
Loudness of Sound Decibel (dB) is the unit for measuring the loudness L of sound, which is defined as L = 10 log I , I0

where I is the intensity of sound and I0 is the threshold of hearing for a normal person.
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Notes: I0 is the minimum audible sound intensity which is about 10−12 W/m2.

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1.

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

3.4 Applications of Logarithms
Richter Scale The Richter scale (R) is a scale for measuring the magnitude of an earthquake. It is calculated from the energy E released from an earthquake and is given by the following formula, log E = 4.8 + 1.5R where E is measured in joules (J).
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