Sunday, June 28, 2015

[AM_20150620DFFPPR] Differentiation of Powers from First Principles

Question
Introduction
     This question was posted to a Facebook forum for Secondary School and Junior College mathematics (the equivalent of grade 7 and above).  Most students, except a few enthusiastic ones or maybe some from “integrated programme” schools, will not bother with differentiation from first principles.  However, mathematical formulas are true because mathematicians took the trouble to critically analyse them and show that they always work, not because they are found in the textbook, nor because the teacher says so.

Solution



Remarks
     The answer to the original problem just falls out by letting  p = 17  and  q = 19.
     Some people suggested using Binomial Expansion for rational powers.  I feel that this is not from first principles, since Binomial Expansion relies on differentiation, which relies on first principles.

Suitable Levels
GCE ‘O’ Level Additional Mathematics
* college level calculus
AP Calculus
* other syllabuses that involve differentiation from first principles, or anyone who is interested





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