Calculus 10th Edition

Published by Brooks Cole
ISBN 10: 1-28505-709-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-28505-709-5

Chapter 2 - Differentiation - 2.2 Exercises: 29


Rewrite: $x^{-\frac{1}{2}}$; Differentiate: $(-\frac{1}{2})(x^{-\frac{1}{2}-1})$; Simplify: $-\frac{1}{2x\sqrt x}$.

Work Step by Step

To simplify remember the index rule ($\frac{x^a}{x^b}=x^{a-b}$); hence the function becomes $x^{\frac{1}{2}-1}$ which is $x^{-\frac{1}{2}}$. To differentiate, just use the power rule to get $(-\frac{1}{2})(x^{-\frac{1}{2}-1})$. To simplify, use the index rule ($x^{-n}=\frac{1}{x^n}$). Then, since the power is an improper fraction, we rewrite $\sqrt{x^3}$ as $\sqrt{x^2x}$ which becomes $x\sqrt{x}$; hence, the final simplified derivative is $-\frac{1}{2x\sqrt x}$.
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