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10 Examples of Derivatives

September 19, 2023
written by Rida Mirza

Examples of Derivatives are a mathematical concept used to measure the rate of change of a function with respect to its independent variable.

They play a important role in calculus, physics, economics, and engineering, among other fields.

In this article, we will explore examples of derivatives and provide you with practical to illustrate their applications in mathematics and the real world.

Examples of derivatives

These are 10 examples of derivatives.

1: Calculating the Derivative of a Constant

Let’s start with a basic example. If we have a constant function, such as f(x) = 5, its derivative is zero. This is because the rate of change of a constant is constant, and the derivative captures this behavior.

2: Finding the Derivative of a Linear Function

In a linear function, like f(x) = 2x + 3, the derivative represents the slope of the line.

In this case, the derivative is a constant (2), indicating a constant rate of change.

3: Derivative of a Quadratic Function

For a quadratic function like f(x) = x^2, the derivative is 2x. This derivative describes how the function’s rate of change increases with x.

4: Derivative of an Exponential Function

Exponential functions, like f(x) = e^x, have derivatives equal to themselves. The derivative of f(x) = e^x is f'(x) = e^x, illustrating exponential growth.

5: Derivative of a Trigonometric Function

Trigonometric functions, such as f(x) = sin(x), have derivatives that involve other trigonometric functions.

For f(x) = sin(x), the derivative is f'(x) = cos(x), reflecting the phase shift.

6: Derivative of a Logarithmic Function

Logarithmic functions, like f(x) = ln(x), have derivatives that involve both the function and x.

The derivative of f(x) = ln(x) is f'(x) = 1/x, indicating a slow rate of change for large x values.

7: Implicit Differentiation

Implicit differentiation is used when equations cannot be explicitly solved for y.

For example, differentiating the equation x^2 + y^2 = 25 with respect to x involves both x and y derivatives.

8: Velocity and Acceleration as Derivatives

In physics, velocity is the derivative of displacement, and acceleration is the derivative of velocity.

These derivatives help describe motion and acceleration in the physical world.

9: Economics and Marginal Analysis

In economics, derivatives are used to analyze marginal cost, revenue, and profit.

The derivative of a profit function, for instance, helps determine the optimal production quantity.

10: Engineering Applications

Engineers use derivatives to analyze change in variables like temperature, pressure, and electrical current in various systems, helping optimize designs and processes.

Derivatives are a versatile mathematical tool with applications spanning across multiple fields. They allow us to understand the rate of change and provide valuable insights into real-world phenomena.

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