find absolute maximum of function f(x)= e^(-x)/(1+x^2)

(a)1

(b)2

(3)e^-1

(d)e^-1/2

(e)none

2.find minimum value of function f(x)=xlnx

(a)-e

(b)-1

(c)-1/e

(d)e^1/e

(e)none

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- Oct 31st 2006, 11:05 AMbobby77extrema points
find absolute maximum of function f(x)= e^(-x)/(1+x^2)

(a)1

(b)2

(3)e^-1

(d)e^-1/2

(e)none

2.find minimum value of function f(x)=xlnx

(a)-e

(b)-1

(c)-1/e

(d)e^1/e

(e)none - Oct 31st 2006, 11:26 AMtopsquark
Note: One of the nicest things to do is to graph the function, if you have that option available. A simple look at the graph will tell you that the answer is e). Failing that possibility:

by the product rule.

We need to find where this is zero.

We only need to numerator to be 0, so:

Divide both sides by (which is never 0):

Now solve for x:

Thus x = -1. (Note: this value of x does NOT make the denominator 0.)

Now, the point (-1, f(-1)) is merely a critical point. It may be a max or a min and it may only be local. It may also be an inflection point. We need to check all these possibilities.

First comment: The function f(x) has no vertical asymptotes.

A reasonable check on whether the critical point is a local or absolute maximum (in the absence of vertical asymptotes) is to take the limit of the function as x goes to positive and negative infinity to see if it "blows up" or "blows down."

Since your function goes to infinity as x approaches to negative infinity, your critical point could only possibly be a local max at best. (As it happens, x = -1 is actually an inflection point, not a local max or min.)

Thus the function has no absolute maximum.

-Dan - Oct 31st 2006, 11:39 AMtopsquark
I suppose I should finish the problem, even though we have enough information to answer the question.

How do we determine that x = -1 provides an inflection point?

The next step to go to is the second derivative test. The first derivative of f(x) is:

So

If f''(x) > 0 at x = -1 then x = -1 represents a local minimum for the function.

If f''(x) < 0 at x = -1 then x = -1 represents a local maximum for the function.

If f''(x) = 0 at x = -1 then x = -1 represents an inflection point of the function.

Since f''(-1) = 0, x = -1 is an inflection point.

-Dan - Oct 31st 2006, 11:41 AMCaptainBlack
- Oct 31st 2006, 11:41 AMtopsquark
I suppose I should finish the problem, even though we have enough information to answer the question.

How do we determine that x = -1 provides an inflection point?

The next step to go to is the second derivative test. The first derivative of f(x) is:

So

If f''(x) > 0 at x = -1 then x = -1 represents a local minimum for the function.

If f''(x) < 0 at x = -1 then x = -1 represents a local maximum for the function.

If f''(x) = 0 at x = -1 then x = -1 represents an inflection point of the function.

Since f''(-1) = 0, x = -1 is an inflection point.

-Dan - Oct 31st 2006, 11:49 AMCaptainBlack