Exponential function

From Example Problems
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The exponential function is one of the most important functions in mathematics. It is written as exp(x) or ex, where e is the base of the natural logarithm.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9c/Exp.png

The exponential function is nearly flat (climbing slowly) for negative x's, and climbs quickly for positive x's.

As a function of the real variable x, the graph of ex is always positive (above the x axis) and increasing (viewed left-to-right). It never touches the x axis, although it gets arbitrarily close to it (thus, the x axis is a horizontal asymptote to the graph). Its inverse function, the natural logarithm, ln(x), is defined for all positive x.

Sometimes, especially in the sciences, the term exponential function is reserved for functions of the form kax, where a, called the base, is any positive real number. This article will focus initially on the exponential function with base e.

In general, the variable x can be any real or complex number, or even an entirely different kind of mathematical object; see the formal definition below.

Properties

Using the natural logarithm, one can define more general exponential functions. The function

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, a^x=e^{x \ln a}}

defined for all a > 0, and all real numbers x, is called the exponential function with base a.

Note that the equation above holds for a = e, since

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, e^{x \ln e}=e^{x\left(1\right)}=e^x.}

Exponential functions "translate between addition and multiplication" as is expressed in the following exponential laws:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, a^0 = 1}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, a^1 = a}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, a^{x + y} = a^x a^y}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, a^{x y} = \left( a^x \right)^y}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, {1 \over a^x} = \left({1 \over a}\right)^x = a^{-x}}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, a^x b^x = (a b)^x}

These are valid for all positive real numbers a and b and all real numbers x and y. Expressions involving fractions and roots can often be simplified using exponential notation because:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {1 \over a} = a^{-1}}

and, for any a > 0, real number b, and integer n > 1:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt[n]{a^b} = \left(\sqrt[n]{a}\right)^b = a^{b/n}}

For any real constant c holds:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f'(0)=\lim_{h \to 0}\frac{e^{ch}-1}{h}=c}

for Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f(x)=e^{ch}}

Derivatives and differential equations

The importance of exponential functions in mathematics and the sciences stems mainly from properties of their derivatives. In particular,

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {d \over dx} e^x = e^x}

That is, ex is its own derivative, a property unique among real-valued functions of a real variable. Other ways of saying the same thing include:

  • The slope of the graph at any point is the height of the function at that point.
  • The rate of increase of the function at x is equal to the value of the function at x.
  • The function solves the differential equation y′ = y.
  • exp is a fixed point of derivative as a functional

In fact, many differential equations give rise to exponential functions, including the Schrödinger equation and the Laplace's equation as well as the equations for simple harmonic motion.

For exponential functions with other bases:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {d \over dx} a^x = (\ln a) a^x}

Thus any exponential function is a constant multiple of its own derivative.

If a variable's growth or decay rate is proportional to its size — as is the case in unlimited population growth (see Malthusian catastrophe), continuously compounded interest, or radioactive decay — then the variable can be written as a constant times an exponential function of time.

Furthermore for any differentiable function f(x) holds:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {d \over dx} e^{f(x)} = f'(x)e^{f(x)}}

Formal definition

The exponential function ex can be defined in two equivalent ways, as an infinite series:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle e^x = \sum_{n = 0}^{\infty} {x^n \over n!} = 1 + x + {x^2 \over 2!} + {x^3 \over 3!} + {x^4 \over 4!} + \cdots}

or as the limit of a sequence:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle e^x = \lim_{n \to \infty} \left( 1 + {x \over n} \right)^n} .

In these definitions, Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle n!} stands for the factorial of n, and x can be any real number, complex number, element of a Banach algebra (for example, a square matrix), or member of the field of p-adic numbers.

For further explanation of these definitions and a proof of their equivalence, see the article Definitions of the exponential function.

Numerical value

To obtain the numerical value of the exponential function. The infinite series can be rewritten as :

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle e^x = {1 \over 0!} + x \, \left( {1 \over 1!} + x \, \left( {1 \over 2!} + x \, \left( {1 \over 3!} + \cdots \right)\right)\right)}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle = 1 + {x \over 1} \left(1 + {x \over 2} \left(1 + {x \over 3} \left(1 + \cdots \right)\right)\right)}

This expression will converge quickly if we can ensure that x is less than one.

To ensure this, we can use the following identity.

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle e^x\,} Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle =e^{z+f}\,}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle = e^z \times \left[ {1 \over 0!} + f \, \left( {1 \over 1!} + f \, \left( {1 \over 2!} + f \, \left( {1 \over 3!} + \cdots \right)\right)\right)\right]}
  • Where Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle z} is the integer part of Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x}
  • Where Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f} is the fractional part of Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x}
  • Hence, Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f} is a always less than 1 and Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f} and Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle z} add up to Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x} .

The value of the constant e^z can be calculated beforehand by multiplying e with itself z times.

On the complex plane

When considered as a function defined on the complex plane, the exponential function retains the important properties

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, e^{z + w} = e^z e^w}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, e^0 = 1}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, e^z \ne 0}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, {d \over dz} e^z = e^z}

for all z and w.

It is a holomorphic function which is periodic with imaginary period Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle 2 \pi i} and can be written as

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, e^{a + bi} = e^a (\cos b + i \sin b)}

where a and b are real values. This formula connects the exponential function with the trigonometric functions and to the hyperbolic functions. Thus we see that all elementary functions except for the polynomials spring from the exponential function in one way or another.

See also Euler's formula.

Extending the natural logarithm to complex arguments yields a multi-valued function, ln(z). We can then define a more general exponentiation:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \!\, z^w = e^{w \ln z}}

for all complex numbers z and w. This is also a multi-valued function. The above stated exponential laws remain true if interpreted properly as statements about multi-valued functions.

The exponential function maps any line in the complex plane to a logarithmic spiral in the complex plane with the center at the origin. This can be seen by noting that the case of a line parallel with the real or imaginary axis maps to a line or circle.

Matrices and Banach algebras

The definition of the exponential function given above can be used verbatim for every Banach algebra, and in particular for square matrices (in which case the function is called the matrix exponential). In this case we have

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ e^{x + y} = e^x e^y \mbox{ if } xy = yx}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ e^0 = 1}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ e^x} is invertible with inverse Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ e^{-x}}
the derivative of Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ e^x} at the point Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ x} is that linear map which sends Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ u} to Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ ue^x} .

In the context of non-commutative Banach algebras, such as algebras of matrices or operators on Banach or Hilbert spaces, the exponential function is often considered as a function of a real argument:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ f(t) = e^{t A}}

where A is a fixed element of the algebra and t is any real number. This function has the important properties

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ f(s + t) = f(s) f(t)}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ f(0) = 1}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \ f'(t) = A f(t)}

On Lie algebras

The "exponential map" sending a Lie algebra to the Lie group that gave rise to it shares the above properties, which explains the terminology. In fact, since R is the Lie algebra of the Lie group of all positive real numbers with multiplication, the ordinary exponential function for real arguments is a special case of the Lie algebra situation. Similarly, since the Lie algebra M(n, R) of all square real matrices belongs to the Lie group of all invertible square matrices, the exponential function for square matrices is a special case of the Lie algebra exponential map.

Double exponential function

The term double exponential function can have two meanings:

  • a function with two exponential terms, with different exponents
  • a function f(x)=a^a^x; this grows even faster than an exponential function; for example, if a=10: f(-1)=1.26, f(0)=10, f(1)=1e10, f(2)=1e100=googol, f(3)=1e1000, ..., f(100)=googolplex.

Compare the super-exponential function, which grows even faster.

See also

External links

da:Eksponentialfunktion de:Exponentialfunktion es:Función exponencial fr:Exponentielle ko:지수함수 io:Exponentala he:פונקציה מעריכית nl:Exponentiële functie ja:指数関数 pl:Funkcja wykładnicza pt:Função exponencial ru:Показательная функция su:Fungsi éksponénsial fi:Eksponenttifunktio zh:指数函数