MIT grad shows how to find the derivative using the Power Rule, one of the derivative rules in calculus. It is a shortcut for taking derivatives of polynomial functions with powers of x. To skip ahead: 1) For HOW and WHEN to use the power rule, skip to time 0:22. 2) For how to use the power rule when you have a FRACTIONAL or NEGATIVE POWER, skip to 5:22. For my video on the other differentiation rules, PRODUCT RULE and QUOTIENT RULE, skip to https://youtu.be/QqF3i1pnyzU?t=456 Nancy formerly of mathbff explains the steps:
For how to differentiate using the formal LIMIT DEFINITION of the derivative instead, jump to https://youtu.be/-ktrtzYVk_I?t=628
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HOW and WHEN to use the POWER RULE: If the given equation is a polynomial, or just a power of x, then you can use the Power Rule. For a term that's just a power of x, such as x^4, you can get the derivative by bringing down the power to the front of the term as a coefficient and decreasing the x power by 1. For example, for x^4, the derivative is 4x^3. If you have many terms added or subtracted together, and if they are powers of x, you can use the Power Rule on each term (by the Sum and Difference Rules).
NOTE: The derivative of a constant, just a number, is always 0 (that is the Constant Rule). Also, if you have a term that is a constant multiplied in the front of the term, like 2x^3, you can keep the constant and differentiate the rest of the term (Constant Multiple Rule). In this example, you keep the 2 and take the derivative of x^3, which is 3x^2, so the derivative of the term 2x^3 is 2*3x^2, or 6x^2.
ANOTHER NOTE: You can use the same power rule method for fractional or negative powers, but be careful... for negative powers, it works as long as x is not 0, and for fractional/rational powers, if the power is less than 1, your derivative won't be defined at x = 0.
The derivative is a function that gives you the instantaneous rate of change at each point of another function. You can calculate the derivative with the definition of the derivative (using the limit, see https://youtu.be/-ktrtzYVk_I?t=628), but the fastest way to find the derivative is with shortcuts such as the Power Rule, Product Rule, and Quotient Rule.
For my video on the CHAIN RULE for finding derivatives, jump to https://youtu.be/H-ybCx8gt-8
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