Results 1 to 4 of 4

Math Help - Significance of Derivative?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Joined
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    32

    Significance of Derivative?

    Hi,

    I calculated the derivative of this parabola:

    Parabola: y = \frac{1}{4} x^2

    Derivative: \frac{dy}{dx} = \frac{1}{2} x

    So what exactly does this derivative mean? I'm going from one function to another, but what can I possibly deduce from the second function?

    Thanks.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
    Prove It's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11,547
    Thanks
    1418

    Re: Significance of Derivative?

    The derivative tells you the slope of your function at any point x.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  3. #3
    MHF Contributor Siron's Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 2011
    From
    Norway
    Posts
    1,250
    Thanks
    20

    Re: Significance of Derivative?

    If you have a straight line, the slope is equal in each point of the straight line. But if you have a curve the slope isn't equal in each point of the curve and so with derivatives you can determine the slope of the curve at any point. The reason for example if you calculate the first derivative to see where a given function increases/decreases (so you take f'(x)=0) is that when the slope is 0 that means the tangent line is parallel to the x-axis and this is only possible if you've a minimum or a maximum of the curve.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Joined
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    32

    Re: Significance of Derivative?

    I understand now, thanks!
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

Similar Math Help Forum Discussions

  1. level of significance??
    Posted in the Advanced Statistics Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 28th 2010, 09:47 AM
  2. Loss of significance
    Posted in the Calculus Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: September 20th 2009, 03:00 PM
  3. significance tests
    Posted in the Statistics Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: May 14th 2009, 07:02 AM
  4. significance level
    Posted in the Advanced Statistics Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: September 14th 2008, 10:19 PM
  5. Statistical Significance
    Posted in the Advanced Statistics Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: August 4th 2008, 02:07 AM

Search Tags


/mathhelpforum @mathhelpforum