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Topic 1:

Exponential and logarithmic


functions
Topic 1: Exponential and logarithmic functions

• Exponential functions
• Definition, properties, graph
• Compound interest
• Logarithmic functions
• Definition, properties, graph
• Exponential and logarithmic equations
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Introductory example
An amount of 1000 EUR is invested in a savings account yielding 3%
of compound interest each year.
Express the amount 𝐴 in the account in terms of the time 𝑡 (in years,
starting from the time of investment). 𝐴 = 1000 ∙ 1.03𝑡
When will the amount in the savings account be equal to 1500 euro?
Find 𝑡 such that 𝐴 = 1500.
1000 1.03  1500
t

1.03  1.5
t (divide by 1000 on both sides)

Exponential log(1.03t )  log(1.5) (take logarithm of both sides)


equation: unknown
is in the exponent t  log1.03  log1.5 (apply log 𝑎𝑟 = 𝑟 log 𝑎 )
log1.5
t  13.7...
Answer: After about 13.7 years, log1.03
the amount is equal to 1500 euro.
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Exponential equations
• An exponential equation is an equation in which the
unknown appears at least once in the exponent.
• To solve an exponential equation of the form 𝑎 ∙ 𝑏 𝑥 = 𝑐
(where 𝑎, 𝑏 and 𝑐 are positive numbers):
𝑐
o divide both sides by 𝑎: 𝑏 𝑥 =
𝑎
𝑐
o take the logarithm of both sides: log(𝑏 𝑥 ) = log
𝑎
𝑐
o apply rule for logarithm of a power: 𝑥 ∙ log 𝑏 = log
𝑎
𝑐
log 𝑎
o divide both sides by log 𝑏 : 𝑥 =
log 𝑏

• Example: solve for 𝑥


1.05𝑥 = 2.
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Introductory example
Ann invests an amount of 1000 EUR in a savings account yielding 3% of
compound interest each year. John invests 900 EUR in a savings account
yielding 3.5% of compound interest each year.
When will they have the same amount in their savings account?
𝐴 = 1000 ∙ 1.03𝑡 𝐽 = 900 ∙ 1.035𝑡 Find 𝑡 such that 𝐴 = 𝐽.
t

1000 1.03  900 1.035


t t  1.03 
log    log 0.9
1.03t 900  1.035 
  1.03 
t
1.035 1000 t  log    log 0.9
t  1.035 
 1.03 
  0.9
log 0.9
 t  21.7...
 1.035   1.03 
log  
Answer: It takes nearly 22 years before  1.035 
the two amounts are equal.
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Exponential equations
• An exponential equation is an equation in which the
unknown appears at least once in the exponent.
• To solve an exponential equation of the form 𝑎1 ∙ 𝑏1𝑥 = 𝑎2 ∙ 𝑏2𝑥
(where 𝑎1 , 𝑎2 , 𝑏1 and 𝑏2 are positive numbers):
𝑎2
o divide both sides by 𝑎1 : 𝑏1𝑥 = ∙ 𝑏2𝑥
𝑎1
𝑏1𝑥 𝑎2
o divide both sides by 𝑏2𝑥 : =
𝑏2𝑥 𝑎1
𝑏1 𝑥 𝑎2
o apply rule for quotient of powers: =
𝑏2 𝑎1

o apply the procedure for simple exponential equations (slide 4)

• Example: solve for 𝑥


3 ∙ 1.05𝑥 = 2 ∙ 1.08𝑥 .
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Exercise
Solve the following exponential equations:
1 𝑥
• 3∙ 2
+ 7 = 55
• 5 + 3 ∙ 4𝑥−1 = 12
1 𝑥
• 2∙ 3𝑥 −5∙
3
=0
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Logarithmic equations
• A logarithmic equation is an equation in which the unknown
appears in the base or as an argument of a logarithm.

• Example: 2 ∙ ln(𝑥 + 4) = 5 is a logarithmic equation.

• To solve logarithmic equations, use properties of


exponential and logarithmic functions and remember that:
o 𝑦 = log 𝑔 𝑥 ⇔ 𝑥 = 𝑔 𝑦
o log 𝑔 𝑚 = log 𝑔 𝑛 ⇔ 𝑚 = 𝑛
o 𝑏𝑚 = 𝑏𝑛 ⇔ 𝑚 = 𝑛
o 𝑏 log𝑏 𝑥 = 𝑥
o log 𝑏 (𝑏 𝑥 ) = 𝑥
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Exercise
Solve the following logarithmic equations:
2
a) log2 = 3 + log2x
𝑥
b) ln(2𝑥 − 1) = 3
c) log(5𝑥 + 1) = log(4𝑥 + 2)
d) e3ln𝑥 = 8
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In the course book


• The following section in the course book deal with the topic
in this slideshow
o 4.4 Logarithmic and Exponential Equations
• Most of the exercises to these sections are interesting as
well: some as technical finger exercises, some as word
problems.