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# Millennia Institute Mathematics Department Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

## (A) Exponential Functions

(B) Logarithmic Functions

## Exponential functions: y aebx c d

Critical features: axial intercepts and horizontal asymptote y = d

## Worked Example 1 (Sketching exponential functions)

Sketch, on separate diagrams, the graphs of y e x and y e x .
Solution
y ex y e x

O O
Characteristics: Characteristics:
As x gets larger, y gets larger and tends to As x gets larger, y gets smaller and tends to zero.
infinity.

## Both the graphs of y e x and y e x

lie above the x-axis,
are reflections of each other about the y-axis,
intersect the y-axis at the point 0,1 ,
have y 0 (x-axis) as their asymptote.

Note:
The standard form exponential graph has only one horizontal asymptote.
Exponential functions include bases other than e. For example, y 5x , y 2x3 .
The asymptote is found by observing the behaviour of the graph as x or x . As
x or x , ebxc 0 . Hence, the horizontal asymptote is y = d.

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Millennia Institute Mathematics Department Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
2017 PU1 H2 Mathematics

## Worked Example 2 (Identifying asymptotes in exponential functions)

State the equation of the asymptote for the following exponential functions.
(a) y 4 37 x (b) y 9e2 x 7 3 (c) y 6e3 x
Solution
(a) y4 (b) y 3 (c) y0

## Worked Example 3 (Sketching exponential functions)

Sketch y 4e3 x , stating clearly the coordinates of axial intercepts and equations of asymptotes
(if any).
Solution
Steps Working
Find axial intercepts.
To find x-intercept, let y 0 . x-intercept: when y 0 , e3 x 0 (NA)
no x-intercept
To find y-intercept, let x 0 . y-intercept: when x 0 , y 4e0
y4
y intercept 0, 4
Find asymptote by letting x . Horizontal asymptote: y 0
Sketch the graph using GC.

## Note: GC cannot show asymptote(s) and

makes exponential graphs APPEAR to touch
the asymptote. This is WRONG. Never
blindly copy graphs from the GC. Rely on

all critical features found in the previous steps. y 4e3 x

## Note: Graph MUST APPROACH the

asymptote BUT NEVER TOUCH it!
x
y=0

Note: Recall that an asymptote is a line which the curve approaches as the curve tends to
positive or negative infinity.

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Millennia Institute Mathematics Department Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
2017 PU1 H2 Mathematics

## Practice 4 (Sketching exponential functions)

Sketch, on separate diagrams, the graphs of each of the following equations.
(a) y e4 x , (b) y 3 e2 x 3 , (c) y e x c , where c is a constant,
(d) y 5e3 x , (e) y 3x 2 , (f) y ke x 2 , where k is a positive constant.
Solution
(a) y e4 x (b) y 3 e 2 x 3
y y

(0,1) yx = 3
3
x (0, 3 e )
y=0 O x
O 3 ln 3
,0
2

y y

## (0, ec ) y=0 (0,5)

y=0 O x O x

(e) y 3x 2 (f) y ke x 2

y y

(0,3)
y=2 (0, ke 2 )
x
x y=0 O
O

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Millennia Institute Mathematics Department Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
2017 PU1 H2 Mathematics

## (B) Logarithmic Functions

Logarithmic functions: y a ln bx c d
c
Critical features: axial intercepts and vertical asymptote x
b

Note:
The graph of y a ln bx c d is only defined for bx c 0 .
The standard form logarithmic graph has only one vertical asymptote.
The vertical asymptote is found by equating the expression in the ln( ) to 0, i.e. letting
bx c 0 .

## Worked Example 5 (Sketching logarithmic functions)

(a) Sketch the graph of y = ln x, where x > 0.
Solution
Characteristics:
y
y ln x lies on the right of the y-axis
intersects the x-axis at the point (1, 0)
has x = 0 (y-axis) as its asymptote
(1, 0)
O x undefined for x 0,
negative (i.e. below the x-axis) for 0 < x < 1,
positive (i.e. above the x-axis) for x > 1.
x=0

## (b) Sketch the graph of y = ln (x), where x < 0.

Solution
y Characteristics:
lies on the left of the y-axis
y ln x
intersects the x-axis at the point (1, 0)
has x = 0 (y-axis) as its asymptote
(1, 0) O
x undefined for x 0,
negative (i.e. below the x-axis) for 1 < x < 0,
positive (i.e. above the x-axis) for x < 1.
x=0

## Worked Example 6 (Identifying asymptotes in logarithmic functions)

State the equation of the asymptote for the following logarithmic functions.
(a) y 4ln x (b) y 6 2ln( x 7) (c) y 3ln( x c) 14 , where c is a constant
Solution
(a) x 0 (b) x 7 (c) xc

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Millennia Institute Mathematics Department Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
2017 PU1 H2 Mathematics

## Worked Example 7 (Sketching logarithmic functions)

Sketch the graph of y ln( x 2) 3, stating clearly the exact coordinates of axial intercepts
and equation(s) of asymptote(s) if any.
Solution
Steps Working
Find axial intercepts. x-intercept: when y 0 , ln( x 2) 3
To find x-intercept, let y 0 . x 2 e3
x e3 2
x intercept : (e3 2,0)
y-intercept: when x 0 ,
To find y-intercept, let x 0 . y ln(2) 3 (NA)
no y-intercept
Find asymptote by equating expression in ln( ) Vertical asymptote: x 2 0 x 2
to 0.
Sketch the graph using GC.

## Note: GC cannot show asymptote(s) and

makes logarithmic graphs appear truncated.
This is WRONG. Never blindly copy graphs
from the GC. Rely on your knowledge.

all critical features found in the previous steps.
y ln( x 2) 3
Note: Graph MUST APPROACH the
asymptote BUT NEVER TOUCH it!
x

x=2

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Millennia Institute Mathematics Department Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
2017 PU1 H2 Mathematics

## Practice 8 (Sketching logarithmic functions)

Sketch, on separate diagrams, the curves (i) y ln 3x , (ii) y ln(3x 1) , stating the
coordinates of any x-intercepts and the equations of any asymptotes.
Solution

## (i) Asymptote for y ln 3x :

y x 0 (i.e. y-axis).
y ln 3x x-intercept:
Let 3x = 1.
1
O x x
1 3
,0
3
x0

## (ii) y Asymptote for y = ln(3x+1):

1
Let 3x +1 = 0, hence x .
3
y ln 3x 1 x-intercept:
x
0, 0 Let 3x +1 = 1, hence x = 0.

1
x
3

## Practice 9 (Sketching logarithmic functions)

1
Sketch, on separate diagrams, the curves (i) y ln x , (ii) y ln( x 3) , indicating the
2
coordinates of points of intersection with the axes and the equations of any asymptotes.
Solution
(i) (ii)

O O

x 3