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Math Help - Need help with something in a fuction

  1. #1
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    Need help with something in a fuction

    (Note: When I say delta, I mean the little triangle thing usually meaning change, I can't find the HTML code for it.)

    Alright, I have a the function f(x) = x^2+3x-1

    I then need to evaluate for f(x+deltax). I know that then should look something like x^2+3x-1 + deltax^2+3x-1.

    Please verify that is essentially what should happen, and then help me understand what exactly I am supposed to do with the delta in front of the "x" value.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithiux View Post
    Alright, I have a the function f(x) = x^2+3x-1

    I then need to evaluate for f(x+deltax). I know that then should look something like x^2+3x-1 + deltax^2+3x-1.
    f(x+\Delta x)=(x+\Delta x)^2+3(x+\Delta x)-1

    Can you take it from there?
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  3. #3
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    Sorry, I r stoopid.

    I'd gotten that far in my head as far as setting it up, but I'm not sure what to do with the delta. I'm not sure what is supposed to change.
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  4. #4
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithiux View Post
    Sorry, I r stoopid.

    I'd gotten that far in my head as far as setting it up, but I'm not sure what to do with the delta. I'm not sure what is supposed to change.
    You are not stupid. Stop that! You simply don't have a lot of experience.

    Try thinking of \Delta x as a single variable, not two symbols.

    So for example
    (x + \Delta x)^2
    is the same kind of thing as
    (a + b)^2 = a^2 + 2ab + b^2
    where
    a = x \text{ and }b = \Delta x

    So
    (x + \Delta x)^2 = x^2 + 2x(\Delta x) + ( \Delta x)^2

    -Dan
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  5. #5
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    Ooooh, so to evaluate the delta, it would need to be an equation of some sort, and as such I just treat it as if it were an x or y or something like that. Cool, thanks.
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  6. #6
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithiux View Post
    Ooooh, so to evaluate the delta, it would need to be an equation of some sort, and as such I just treat it as if it were an x or y or something like that. Cool, thanks.
    A \Delta usually (not always) indicates the difference in some value. For example
    \Delta x = x_{final} - x_{initial}
    in Physics. But the point here is that \Delta x is just a number.

    -Dan
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  7. #7
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    Yeah, that was my problem. I was thinking of it in a Physics frame-of-mind.
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