© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Second Derivatives and Beyond

Second Derivatives and Beyond

Topics

Introduction to Second Derivatives And Beyond - At A Glance:

When we take the derivative of a differentiable function f, we end with a new function '.
If this new function ' is differentiable, then we can take its derivative to find (f')', also known as " or the second derivative of f.

Sample Problem

If (x) = x2 + 4x, then we take its derivative once to find

'(x) = 2x + 4.

Since 2x + 4 is a differentiable function, we can take its derivative to find

"(x) = 2.

Sample Problem

If (x) = cos x then '(x) = -sin x. The second derivative of f is the derivative of -sin x, so
"(x) = -cos x.

Not all continuous functions are differentiable, and not all differentiable functions have second derivatives.

Example. Look at the piecewise-defined function

This function is continuous, since it is continuous on each of the pieces and since

It is also differentiable. We can take the derivative of each piece to find

This new function ' is the absolute value function. We could write

'(x) = | |.

We know that the absolute value function is not differentiable, which means we can't take another derivative here. The second derivative of f, also known as "(x), does not exist.

Exercise 1

Find the second derivative of the function.

(x) = sin x

Exercise 2

Find the second derivative of the function.

f(x) = 8x4 + 3x2 - 9x

Exercise 3

Find the second derivative of the function.

g(x) = x + 7

Exercise 4

Find the second derivative of the function.

g(x) = ln x

Exercise 5

Find the second derivative of the function.

h(x) = 2x

Exercise 6

For the function, either find the second derivative or determine that the second derivative does not exist.

f(x) = xex

Exercise 7

For the function, either find the second derivative or determine that the second derivative does not exist.

f(x) = 8

Exercise 8

For the function, either find the second derivative or determine that the second derivative does not exist.

f(x) = x(5/3)

Exercise 9

For the function, either find the second derivative or determine that the second derivative does not exist.

f(x) = |x|

Exercise 10

For the function, either find the second derivative or determine that the second derivative does not exist.

f(x) = ex

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top