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March 27, 2017

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How many critical points does the function:

(x+2)^5 * (x-3)^4

have?

How would I solve this quickly? The answer says something about an effect of multiplicity of the zeros of the function?

  • calculus - ,

    A critical point of a function within its domain is any point which is not differentiable or when its derivative is zero.

    Since
    f(x)=(x+2)^5 * (x-3)^4
    is a polynomial, its domain is (-∞,∞) and differentiable throughout.
    The only critical points are when the derivative is zero.
    f'(x)=0 =>
    4(x-3)^3(x+2)^5+5(x-3)^4(x+2)^4=0
    which factors to:
    (x-3)^3*(x+2)^4*(9*x-7)=0
    We see that
    x=3 (multiplicity 3)
    x=-2 (multiplicity 4)
    and
    x=7/9
    So there is a total of 3+4+1 = 8 critical points, out of which there are 3 distinct points.

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