Implicit functions

Implicit functions are mathematical expressions where the dependent variable is not isolated but embedded within a relationship, often alongside the independent variable. Unlike explicit functions, where the dependent variable is given directly as a function of the independent variable, implicit functions require techniques such as differentiation to analyse further. Mastering implicit functions is crucial for higher-level calculus and solving complex equations in various scientific fields.

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    Definition of Implicit Functions

    Implicit functions are a concept in mathematics where a function's definition is not given directly (or explicitly), but rather through an equation involving the variables of the function.

    Understanding Implicit Functions

    Implicit functions are defined by an equation that relates multiple variables without solving explicitly for one variable in terms of the other. For example, the equation \[ F(x, y) = 0 \] defines y implicitly as a function of x through the relation given by F. This means y is not isolated on one side of the equation.

    Implicit Function: An implicit function is defined by an equation involving two or more variables, where the relationship is not expressed explicitly for any single variable. For example, the circle equation \(x^2 + y^2 = r^2\) defines y implicitly as a function of x and vice versa.

    To understand implicit functions, consider the following simple cases and their explicit and implicit forms:

    Example: Suppose we have the equation of a circle \[ x^2 + y^2 - r^2 = 0 \] This is an implicit function because y is not explicitly isolated. To express y explicitly, one would need to solve for y: \[ y = \pm \sqrt{r^2 - x^2} \]

    Implicit functions are often used when it's either difficult or impossible to solve a variable explicitly.

    Implicit functions don't usually provide an easy form for differentiation directly. However, through a process called implicit differentiation, derivatives of implicit functions can be found. This technique is crucial when dealing with equations where variables are intertwined and cannot be separated easily.

    Example: Consider the implicitly defined function: \[ x^2 + y^2 = 1 \] To find \( \frac{dy}{dx} \) implicitly, you differentiate both sides of the equation with respect to x: \[ \frac{d}{dx}(x^2 + y^2) = \frac{d}{dx}(1) \] \[ 2x + 2y \frac{dy}{dx} = 0 \] Solving for \( \frac{dy}{dx} \): \[ \frac{dy}{dx} = -\frac{x}{y} \]

    A deeper dive into implicit functions reveals their essential use in many areas of mathematics and engineering. They are particularly useful when dealing with higher-dimensional geometries and constraints that cannot be expressed in a straightforward manner. Implicit functions also show up in optimisation problems and in the study of dynamical systems, where multiple variables affect each other but are challenging to isolate.

    Implicit Function Theorem

    The Implicit Function Theorem is a fundamental result in calculus that provides conditions under which a relation defines a function implicitly. This theorem is essential for understanding how variables are interrelated in complex equations.

    Implicit Function Theorem: The Implicit Function Theorem states that if the equation \(F(x, y) = 0\) holds and certain conditions are met, then there exists a function \(y = f(x)\) that solves this equation in terms of x locally around a point. These conditions include that F is continuously differentiable and that the partial derivative \( \frac{\partial F}{\partial y} \) is non-zero.

    Applications of Implicit Function Theorem

    The Implicit Function Theorem is powerful and has widespread applications in various fields of mathematics and science. Here are some key places where it is utilised:

    • Economics: To determine equilibrium points in economic models where demand and supply functions are implicitly related.
    • Physics: In mechanical systems, where constraints are defined implicitly by equations of motion.
    • Engineering: To solve complex systems of equations arising from circuit analysis or system optimisation.

    Example: Suppose you have an equation that defines an ellipse: \[ F(x, y) = x^2 + 2y^2 - 1 = 0 \] To apply the Implicit Function Theorem, you need the partial derivatives: \[ \frac{\partial F}{\partial x} = 2x \] \[ \frac{\partial F}{\partial y} = 4y \] For the theorem to apply, \( \frac{\partial F}{\partial y} \) must be non-zero. At the point \((1, 0)\), \( \frac{\partial F}{\partial y} = 0 \), so the theorem does not guarantee a function y in terms of x. Try point \((0, 1/\sqrt{2})\), \( \frac{\partial F}{\partial y} = 2\sqrt{2} \), so y can be expressed as a function of x locally.

    A more in-depth look into the Implicit Function Theorem reveals its use in higher dimensions and in solving differential equations. For instance, in multivariable calculus, it helps discuss level surfaces, manifolds, and smooth curves. It extends to determine the existence and uniqueness of solutions to systems of differential equations by examining the Jacobian matrix of partial derivatives. The theorem is fundamental in nonlinear analysis and critical points theory, providing a framework for analysing bifurcations and stability of solutions to equations. Its utility is hence paramount in advanced mathematics, particularly in fields requiring an understanding of relationships between variables in complex systems.

    Techniques for Solving Implicit Functions

    When dealing with implicit functions, it is often necessary to use specific techniques to solve or analyse them.

    Step-by-Step Techniques

    Here are common step-by-step techniques used to solve implicit functions:

    Mastering these techniques can greatly aid in working with complex functions and equations.

    • Implicit Differentiation: Differentiate both sides of the equation with respect to x, treating y as a function of x. Then solve for \( \frac{dy}{dx} \).
    • Using Implicit Function Theorem: Verify that the conditions of the theorem are satisfied to express one variable as a function of another locally.
    • Substitution Method: Substitute an appropriate value or algebraic expression to simplify the implicit equation and solve for the variables.

    Example: Consider the implicitly defined function: \[ x^2y + e^y = 1 \] To find \( \frac{dy}{dx} \) using implicit differentiation, follow these steps:1. Differentiate both sides with respect to x: \[ 2xy + x^2 \frac{dy}{dx} + e^y \frac{dy}{dx} = 0 \]2. Factor out \( \frac{dy}{dx} \): \[ x^2 \frac{dy}{dx} + e^y \frac{dy}{dx} = -2xy \] \[ \frac{dy}{dx}(x^2 + e^y) = -2xy \]3. Solve for \( \frac{dy}{dx} \): \[ \frac{dy}{dx} = \frac{-2xy}{x^2 + e^y} \] This gives you the derivative of y with respect to x implicitly.

    For a more detailed approach, consider higher-order derivatives or applying partial derivatives. Usually, the procedure is extended to determine higher-order derivative terms implicitly. More advanced techniques include handling multiple implicit functions within a system of equations and using Jacobian matrices, which are especially useful in multidimensional functions.

    Another powerful technique is solving systems of implicit functions. Suppose you have two implicit functions: \[ F(x, y) = 0 \] \[ G(x, y) = 0 \] Finding a solution then requires handling both equations simultaneously, which could involve methods such as substitution or using matrix operations.

    Example: Consider two implicitly defined functions: \[ u(x, y) = x^2 + y^2 - 1 = 0 \] \[ v(x, y) = x^3 - y = 0 \] To solve this system, you can use substitution. From the second equation: \[ y = x^3 \] Substitute \( y = x^3 \) into the first equation: \[ x^2 + (x^3)^2 - 1 = 0 \] \[ x^2 + x^6 - 1 = 0 \] This simplifies to a polynomial equation in terms of x, which can be solved using standard algebraic techniques. Once x is found, substitute back into \( y = x^3 \) to get y.

    Differentiation of Implicit Functions

    Differentiation of implicit functions is a method used to find the derivative of functions that are not defined explicitly but rather implicitly through an equation involving multiple variables.

    Derivative of Implicit Function

    In implicit differentiation, you differentiate both sides of the given equation with respect to one variable while treating other relevant variables as functions of that variable. This technique is particularly useful when dealing with functions defined by relations like \( F(x, y) = 0 \).

    Example: Consider the implicitly defined function: \[ x^2 + y^2 = 25 \] To find \( \frac{dy}{dx} \) implicitly, you differentiate both sides of the equation with respect to x: \[ \frac{d}{dx}(x^2 + y^2) = \frac{d}{dx}(25) \] \[ 2x + 2y \frac{dy}{dx} = 0 \] Solving for \( \frac{dy}{dx} \): \[ \frac{dy}{dx} = -\frac{x}{y} \] This gives the slope of the tangent line to the circle at any point (x, y) on the circle.

    A deeper exploration into implicit differentiation reveals its utility in more complex problems, such as finding higher-order derivatives or analysing the behaviour of implicitly defined curves. For example, if you need to find the second derivative, \( \frac{d^2 y}{dx^2} \), you would first find \( \frac{dy}{dx} \) and then differentiate it once more with respect to x, taking into account the product and chain rules.

    Partial Derivatives of Implicit Functions

    Partial derivatives of implicit functions require differentiating implicitly with respect to more than one variable. Given an implicit function defined by \( F(x, y) = 0 \), you can find the partial derivatives \( \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} \) by treating the other variable as a constant.

    Example: Consider the implicitly defined function: \[ x^2y + e^y = 1 \] To find \( \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} \) implicitly, follow these steps: 1. Differentiate the equation with respect to x, treating y as a function of x: \[ 2xy + x^2 \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} + e^y \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} = 0 \] 2. Factor out \( \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} \): \[ 2xy + \left( x^2 + e^y \right) \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} = 0 \] \[ \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} \left( x^2 + e^y \right) = -2xy \] 3. Solve for \( \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} \): \[ \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} = \frac{-2xy}{x^2 + e^y} \] This is the partial derivative of y with respect to x.

    Higher-order partial derivatives can provide information on the concavity and behaviour of the implicitly defined function.

    In more advanced mathematics, partial derivatives of implicit functions are crucial in various applications, including optimisation problems and multiple integral calculations. The concept extends to multidimensional functions, where the Jacobian matrix, consisting of partial derivatives, plays a vital role. This matrix helps in understanding the local linear approximation of functions and is utilised in more complex analyses, such as determining critical points and stability in dynamical systems.

    Implicit functions - Key takeaways

    • Definition of Implicit Functions: An implicit function is defined by an equation involving two or more variables, where the relationship is not expressed explicitly for any single variable. For example, the circle equation \(x^2 + y^2 = r^2\) defines y implicitly as a function of x and vice versa.
    • Implicit Function Theorem: Provides conditions under which a relation defines a function implicitly. It states that if \(F(x, y) = 0\) holds and certain conditions are met, like continuous differentiability and non-zero partial derivative \( \frac{\partial F}{\partial y} \), then there exists a function \(y = f(x)\) locally.
    • Differentiation of Implicit Functions: Implicit differentiation involves finding the derivative of implicit functions by differentiating both sides of the equation with respect to one variable and solving for the derivative, such as \( \frac{dy}{dx} \).
    • Partial Derivatives of Implicit Functions: Involves differentiating implicitly with respect to more than one variable. For example, given \(F(x, y) = 0\), find \( \frac{\partial y}{\partial x} \) by treating other relevant variables as constants.
    • Techniques for Solving Implicit Functions: Includes methods like implicit differentiation, applying the Implicit Function Theorem, and substitution to handle implicit equations. These methods aid in solving or analysing complex functions.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Implicit functions
    What is an implicit function?
    An implicit function is defined by an equation involving both dependent and independent variables, without being explicitly solved for one variable in terms of others. Instead of y = f(x), an implicit function is often given in the form F(x, y) = 0.
    How do you differentiate an implicit function?
    To differentiate an implicit function, apply implicit differentiation by differentiating both sides of the equation with respect to the independent variable, treating the dependent variable as a function of the independent variable. Then, solve for the derivative of the dependent variable.
    What is the implicit function theorem?
    The implicit function theorem states that if a function \\( F(x, y) \\) defined in a neighbourhood of a point \\((a, b)\\) is continuously differentiable and satisfies \\( F(a, b) = 0 \\) with \\( \\frac{\\partial F}{\\partial y} eq 0 \\) at \\((a, b)\\), then there exists a function \\( y = f(x) \\) such that \\( F(x, f(x)) = 0 \\) locally around \\((a, b)\\).
    Why are implicit functions important?
    Implicit functions are important because they allow the representation of complex relationships between variables that are not easily expressed as explicit functions. They enable the study of curves, surfaces, and higher-dimensional objects in multiple fields, including physics and engineering. Implicit functions are also pivotal in solving inverse problems and optimising multivariable systems.
    How do you solve an implicit function equation?
    To solve an implicit function equation, use the implicit function theorem to locally express one variable as a function of others. Alternatively, apply numerical methods such as Newton-Raphson to find roots. For symbolic manipulation, differentiate implicitly to find relationships between variables.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    What are implicit functions in mathematics?

    Consider the equation \(x^2 + y^2 - r^2 = 0\). What does this equation define?

    How can you find the derivative \(\frac{dy}{dx}\) for the equation \(x^2 + y^2 = 1\)?

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