Precalculus : Maximum and Minimum Problems

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Precalculus

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

 

 

The profit of a certain cellphone manufacturer can be represented by the function

where  is the profit in dollars and  is the production level in thousands of units.  How many units should be produced to maximize profit?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

We can determine the production level that maximizes profit by taking the derivative of our function.  This can be done using the power rule.

We then set this derivative equal to 0 and solve.

We can factor out our greatest common factor and then divide it out.

Next we can factor.

Therefore, we can solve

We remember that these production levels are in thousands of units.

However, a factory cannot produce negative cellphones, so the maximum profit is obtained when seven thousand units are produced.

Example Question #2 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

What is the critical point of . Is it a max or a minimum?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To find the critical points, we first take the first derivative using the Power Rule:

Therefore,

To find the critical point we need to set the derivative equal to zero and solve for x.

Doing so this gives the critical point at . To get the y value of the point plug x=0 back into the original equation.

 thus the point is .

Is it a max or min?

Take the second derivative

It is a minimum since the second derivative is positive.

Example Question #3 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

What is the critical point of  ? Is it a max or minimum?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To find the critical points, we first take the first derivative using the Power Rule.

.

Therefore,

From here we need to set the derivative equal to zero and solve to x.

The critical point occurs when . Now to get the y value of the point we will need to plug in x=0 into the original equation.

. This gives us a critical point at .

To find if it is a max or min, we take the second derivative

Since the second derivative is negative, it is a maximum.

Example Question #4 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

Determine whether if there is a maximum or minimum, and location of the point for:  

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Determine the derivative of this function.

Set the derivative function equal to zero and solve for .

Since the parabola has a positive coefficient for , the parabola will open upwards, and therefore will have a minimum.

Substitute back into the original function and find the y-value of the minimum.

The parabola has a minimum at the point .

Example Question #5 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

Find the coordinates of the relative maximum point of the function 

.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Let's find the first derivative to locate the relative maxima and minima.

Now we set it equal to zero to find the x values of these critical points.

So the equation is 0 where x is -2, 0, or 5. Now let's find the second derivative so that we know which of these locations are maxima and which are minima.

So the function has a relative maximum at x=-5.

So the function has a relative minimum at x=0.

So the function has a relative maximum at x=2.

Thus there is only one relative minimum in this function, and it occurs at x=0. We need to plug this into the original function to find the y-coordinate of the point.

So our point is (0,8).

Example Question #6 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

Find the -coordinates of the possible locations of the relative maxima and minimia of 

.

Possible Answers:

There are no critical points.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

We need to find out where the first derivative is equal to zero to find the locations of the possible maxima and minima.

 or .

Example Question #7 : Maximum And Minimum Problems

Without solving the problem, determine whether the function  will have relative maxima or minima and how many of each.

Possible Answers:

One relative maximum

No critical points

One relative minimum

One minimum and one maximum

Correct answer:

One relative minimum

Explanation:

We see that the function is a quadratic, so its graph will be a parabola. Thus, we know it will have only one relative max or min. Since the leading coefficient of  is a positive 6, we also know that the parabola opens upward. Hence, the relative extremum is a minimum.

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