# Thread: Have I shown that one real number solution exists?

1. ## Have I shown that one real number solution exists?

Show that there is exactly one real number $x$ for which $e^x + x = 5$. Find the integer part of this number. State any theorems you use in your solution.

My attempt:

$e^x+x-5 = 0$

$f(0) = 1-5 = -4$

$f(2) \approx 7+2-5 = 4$

By the intermediate value theorem, the continuous function crosses the x axis. The function is always increasing, therefore it crosses the x axis only once.

Is there an algebraic way for finding the integer part? I just subbed 1 into the original equation and got an answer < 5 then subbed in 2 and got an answer > 5 and deduced that x must be 1.something $\therefore$ the integer part is 1.

2. ## Re: Have I shown that one real number solution exists?

Originally Posted by terrorsquid
Show that there is exactly one real number $x$ for which $e^x + x = 5$. Find the integer part of this number. State any theorems you use in your solution.

My attempt:

$e^x+x-5 = 0$

$f(0) = 1-5 = -4$

$f(2) \approx 7+2-5 = 4$

By the intermediate value theorem, the continuous function crosses the x axis. The function is always increasing, therefore it crosses the x axis only once.

Is there an algebraic way for finding the integer part? I just subbed 1 into the original equation and got an answer < 5 then subbed in 2 and got an answer > 5 and deduced that x must be 1.something $\therefore$ the integer part is 1.
You haven't shown yet that there's EXACTLY one solution though...

3. ## Re: Have I shown that one real number solution exists?

Where did you demonstrate "only increasing"?

Define "algebraic". Iterative techniques are required.

4. ## Re: Have I shown that one real number solution exists?

$f'(x) = e^x + 1$ which is positive for any value of x, therefore it is always increasing. Is that sufficient?

Originally I just noticed that the function was basically a shifted version of the e^x function and deemed it as always increasing Not very thorough.

5. ## Re: Have I shown that one real number solution exists?

he's left out some steps, but if you accept that the function is always increasing, then there must be exactly one zero.

@terrorsquid: it would be prudent to show that f'(x) > 0, for all x (EDIT: i didn't see your latest post).