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**“Teach A Level Maths” Vol. 2: A2 Core Modules**

7: Differentiating some Trig Functions © Christine Crisp

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**A reminder of the rules for differentiation developed so far!**

( I call these functions the simple ones. ) The chain rule ( for functions of a function ): where

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The trig functions are quite different in shape from either of the simple functions we’ve met so far, so the gradient functions won’t follow the same rules. We’ll start with and use degrees We only need the 1st quadrant as symmetry will then give us the rest of the gradient function.

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x x x x The function x x x x The gradient function

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**The gradient drops more slowly between and . . .**

x x The function x x The gradient function x x x The gradient drops more slowly between and x than between and

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x x The function x x The gradient function x x x x

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x x The function x x The gradient function x x x x

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**The gradient function looks like BUT we need a scale on**

The function The gradient function looks like BUT we need a scale on the axis. x We can estimate the gradient at x = 0 by using the tangent. So, the gradient is

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**The gradient function isn’t since not .**

The function x The gradient function isn’t since not So,

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**However, if we use radians:**

x It can be shown that this length . . . is exactly 1. x

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**From now on we will assume that x is in radians unless we are told otherwise.**

We have, Exercise Using radians sketch for Underneath the sketch, sketch the gradient function. Suggest an equation for the gradient graph.

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Solution: This is a reflection of in the x-axis so its equation is

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SUMMARY If x is in radians, N.B. We have not proved these results; just shown they look correct. We need a bit more theory before we can differentiate the trig function This is done in a later presentation.

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**Compound Trig Functions**

We can use the chain rule to differentiate trig functions of a function. e.g. 1 Find the gradient of at the point where N.B. We don’t need to put brackets round 3x. Solution: (a) First find the gradient function: Let N.B. Radians!

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e.g. 2 Differentiate What would you let u equal in this example? Solution: If we write as we can easily see that the inner function is So, let

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Exercise Differentiate the following with respect to x: 1. 2. Solutions: 1. Let

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2. 3. Let

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The following slides contain repeats of information on earlier slides, shown without colour, so that they can be printed and photocopied. For most purposes the slides can be printed as “Handouts” with up to 6 slides per sheet.

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**A reminder of the rules for differentiation developed so far!**

The chain rule ( for functions of a function ): where ( I call these functions the simple ones. )

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SUMMARY If x is in radians,

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**Compound Trig Functions**

We can use the chain rule to differentiate trig functions of a function. Solution: (a) First find the gradient function: e.g. 1 Find the gradient of at the point where Let N.B. We don’t need to put brackets round 3x. N.B. Radians!

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e.g. 2 Differentiate If we write as we can easily see that the inner function is So, let Solution:

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