Sometimes in calculus, equations can’t be solved easily since x and y don’t explicitly define y as a function x.
In such cases, we imply that a function y= f(x)to satisfy the given equation. In short words this is implicit differentiation, giving you the ability to find the derivative of y with respect to x without solving the given equation for y.
Let’s look at an example problem solved that implements this concept.
Solved: Implicit Differentiation Problem
This problem has a few stages which we have to consider. First thing we have to do is perform implicit differentiation to determine the following using the given equation:
From there, we can determine the equation of the tangent line and then determine the equation of the normal line. So let’s break it down each part of the problem step by step:
Differentiating both sides with respect to x:
Now we need to apply the product rule:
This is the derivative of the first function times the derivative of the second function.
Now differentiating the second function:
3) Now let’s solve this equation for dy/dx. Since the dy/dx terms are both negative, we can move them to the right of the equation.
4) We can now factor out dy/dx on the right:
Taking cos(y) as common factor in both the sides,
Eliminating cosine terms in both the sides,
*We can also simplify to get the tangent line y=2π and m=0 using point-slope form:
6) If the tangent line is a horizontal line and we know that the regular line is a vertical line. The vertical line passing through (0,22π) must be x=0.
Therefore our final answer is:
We can also look at it graphically:
This was one example of how you can apply implicit differentiation in calculus. If you’re struggling with it- keep practicing. Or better yet, take a look at a high quality survival guide for your textbook along with on demand help with solutions.