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More on Differentiation


Maple knows how to take many derivatives. Its main commands for doing this are D and diff. D is designed to differentiate functions, whereas diff is for differentiating expressions. However, if proper notation is used, diff can also be used with functions. To review the difference between a function and an expression, check the two examples below. The f statement defines a function, the g statement defines an expression.
> f:=x->x^2+7*x+5;
> g:=x^3-5*x+8;
Here are some examples that show how D and diff work. Check the difference between these two commands.
> D(f)(x);
> diff(g,x);
> diff(f(x),x);
See what happens when the function or expression notations are used incorrectly.
> diff(g(x),x);
> diff(f,x);
After the last four examples, you should be convinced that proper notation is very important in doing derivatives in Maple. Maple can also do higher derivatives. Check these commands. Again, pay attention to the difference between expressions and functions.
> diff(g,x,x);
> diff(g,x,x,x);
> (D@@2)(f)(x);
> (D@@3)(f)(x);
If you want to evaluate the higher derivative at a specific value of x, you can use the following
> (D@@2)(f)(2);
> subs(x=3,diff(g,x));
Suppose you wanted to find the equation of the tangent line to the graph of f(x) at the point x = 5. This can be done in Maple using the point-slope form of a line as shown below. It is not necessary to label the command tanline; but giving the line a name makes it can easy to call it up if it is needed later.
> tanline := D(f)(5)*(x-5)+f(5);
More information on D and diff can be obtained through Maple help screens.

Implicit Differentiaition

The implicitdiff command can be used to find derivatives of implicitly defined functions. The syntax is as follows
> f:=x^2*y^2+y^3=0;
> implicitdiff(f,y,x);
where f is an equation, y is the dependent variable and x is the independent variable. Thus the command as just stated would compute $\frac{dy}{dx}$. If f is given as an expression Maple will assume the implicit equation is f = 0. Check the results of the following commands.
> g:=x^2+y^3=1;
> implicitdiff(g,y,x);
Second derivatives can also be taken with implicitdiff. The following command computes $\displaystyle \frac{d^2y}{dx^2}$.
> implicitdiff(g,y,x,x);
Maple also has a command for plotting implicitly defined functions. It is in the package plots which must be called before using the command.
> with(plots):
> implicitplot(x^2-y^2=1,x=-3..3,y=-3..3);
Suppose you want to find the equation of the line tangent to the graph of $f$ defined implicitly. For instance, find the equation of the line tangent to $f=x^2*y^2+y^3=0$ at the point $(1,-1)$. You can use the point-slope form of a line in implicit form to get the equation of the tangent line. The Maple commands below show how this can be done.
> f:=x^2*y^2+y^3=0;
> m:=subs({x=1,y=-1},implicitdiff(f,y,x));
> tanline := y-(-1)=m*(x-1);
> implicitplot({f,tanline},x=0..2,y=-3..0);

Sometimes you want the value of a derivative, but first have to find the coordinates of the point. More than likely, you will have to use the solve or fsolve command for this. However, to get the fsolve command to give you the solution you want, you often have to specify a range for the variable. Plotting the graph of a relation can be a big help in this task. For instance, if you wanted the slope of $f$ as in the previous example at $x=1$ and $y$ is negative, but the $y$ value is not given, then you would first need to solve for $y$ by substituting the $x$ value into $f$ and then solve for $y$. See how this is done below.

> f:=x^2*y^2+y^3=0;
> solve(subs(x=1,f),y);


  1. Evaluate the fourth derivative of $f(x) = \sin(x) \cos(x^2)$, at $\displaystyle x = \frac{2\pi}{3}$ using function notation and
    1. the D command.
    2. the diff command.
    Show the derivative each time and then evaluate the derivative at the given point.

  2. Given the implicit relation $x^3y^2-xy=1$,
    1. Plot the relation over the interval $-5 \leq x \leq 5$ and $-5 \leq y \leq 5$.
    2. Find all $y$ values when $\displaystyle x=\frac{3}{4}$.
    3. Find the equation of the line tangent to the graph at the point where $\displaystyle x=\frac{3}{4}$ and $y$ is negative.
    4. Plot the relation and the tangent line on the same graph over the interval $0 \leq x \leq 2$ and $-10 \leq y \leq 0$.

  3. Consider the graph of the ellipse defined implicitly by the equation $x^2-xy+y^2=9$. Find the equations of the tangent lines to this curve at the two points where it intersects the x-axis. Supply a plot of the ellipse and the two tangent lines on one graph.

next up previous
Next: About this document ... Up: lab_template Previous: lab_template
Dina J. Solitro-Rassias