Calculus AB and Calculus BC
CHAPTER 4 Applications of Differential Calculus
C. INCREASING AND DECREASING FUNCTIONS
CASE I. FUNCTIONS WITH CONTINUOUS DERIVATIVES.
A function y = f (x) is said to be on an interval if for all a and b in the interval such that a < b, To find intervals over which f (x) that is, over which the curve analyze the signs of the derivative to determine where
For what values of x is f (x) = x4 − 4x3, increasing? decreasing?
SOLUTION: f ′(x) = 4x3 − 12x2 = 4x2 (x − 3).
With critical values at x = 0 and x = 3, we analyze the signs of f ′ in three intervals:
The derivative changes sign only at x = 3. Thus,
if x < 3 f ′(x) ≤ 0 and f is decreasing;
if x > 3 f ′(x) > 0 and f is increasing.
Note that f is decreasing at x = 0 even though f ′(0) = 0. (See Figure N4–5.)
CASE II. FUNCTIONS WHOSE DERIVATIVES HAVE DISCONTINUITIES.
Here we proceed as in Case I, but also consider intervals bounded by any points of discontinuity of f or f ′.
For what values of x is increasing? decreasing?
We note that neither f nor f ′ is defined at x = −1; furthermore, f ′(x) never equals zero. We need therefore examine only the signs of f ′(x) when x < −1 and when x > −1.
When x < −1, f ′(x) < 0; when x > −1, f ′(x) < 0. Therefore, f decreases on both intervals. The curve is a hyperbola whose center is at the point (−1,0).