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Section 2.9 Linear Approximations and Differentials Math 1231: Single-Variable Calculus

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Linear Approximation Use the tangent line at (a, f(a)) as an approximation to the curve y = f(x) when x is near a. An equation of this tangent line is y = f(a) + f ’ (a)(x-a) and the approximation f(x) ≈ f(a) + f ’ (a)(x-a) is called the linear approximation or tangent line approximation of f at a. The linear function L(x) = f(a) + f ’ (a)(x-a) is called the linearization of f at a.

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Examples

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Asymptotical Identity sin(x) ≈ x cos(x) ≈ 1 When x is close to 0.

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Differentials dy = f’(x) dx

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