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Application of Derivative: Verify Lines are Parallel

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The slope of a line in the plane is defined as the rise over the run, m = Δyx.

In mathematics, the slope or gradient of a line describes its steepness, incline, or grade. A higher slope value indicates a steeper incline.

The slope is (in the simplest of terms) the measurement of a line, and is defined as the ratio of the "rise" divided by the "run" between two points on a line, or in other words, the ratio of the altitude change to the horizontal distance between any two points on the line. Given two points (x1,y1) and (x2,y2) on a line, the slope m of the line is

Through differential calculus, one can calculate the slope of the tangent line to a curve at a point.

The concept of slope applies directly to grades or gradients in geography and civil engineering. Through trigonometry, the grade m of a road is related to its angle of incline θ by







In calculus, a branch of mathematics, the derivative is a measure of how a function changes as its input changes. Loosely speaking, a derivative can be thought of as how much one quantity is changing in response to changes in some other quantity; for example, the derivative of the position of a moving object with respect to time is the object's instantaneous velocity (conversely, integrating a car's velocity over time yields the distance traveled).

The derivative of a function at a chosen input value describes the best linear approximation of the function near that input value. For a real-valued function of a single real variable, the derivative at a point equals the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function at that point. In higher dimensions, the derivative of a function at a point is a linear transformation called the linearization. A closely related notion is the differential of a function.

The process of finding a derivative is called differentiation.


Computing the derivative

The derivative of a function can, in principle, be computed from the definition by considering the difference quotient, and computing its limit. In practice, once the derivatives of a few simple functions are known, the derivatives of other functions are more easily computed using rules for obtaining derivatives of more complicated functions from simpler ones.


Derivatives of elementary functions

Most derivative computations eventually require taking the derivative of some common functions. The following incomplete list gives some of the most frequently used functions of a single real variable and their derivatives.

       Derivatives of powers: if

where r is any real number, then

wherever this function is defined. For example, if f(x) = x1 / 4, then

and the derivative function is defined only for positive x, not for x = 0. When r = 0, this rule implies that f′(x) is zero for x ≠ 0, which is almost the constant rule.

  Constant rule:if ƒ(x) is constant, then

(Our solved example in mathguru.com uses this concept)




The above explanation is copied from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and is remixed as allowed under the Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.