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Current time:0:00Total duration:9:17

Worked example: Derivative of cos³(x) using the chain rule

AP.CALC:
FUN‑3 (EU)
,
FUN‑3.C (LO)
,
FUN‑3.C.1 (EK)

Video transcript

let's say we have the function f of X which is equal to cosine of X to the third power which we could also write like this cosine of X to the third power and we are interested in figuring out what f prime of X is going to be equal to so we want to figure out F prime of X and as we will see the chain rule is going to be very useful here and what I'm going to do is I'm going to first just apply the chain rule and then maybe dig into a little bit too to make sure we draw the connection between what we're doing here and then what you might see and maybe some of your calculus textbooks that explain the chain rule so if we have a function that is defined as essentially a composite function notice this this expression right here we are taking something to the third power it isn't just an X that we're taking the third power we are taking a cosine of X to the third power so we're taking a function you could view it this way we're taking the function cosine of X and then we're inputting it into another function that takes it to the third power so let me put it this way if you viewed if you say look we could take an X we put it into one function and that is that first function is cosine of X so first we evaluate the cosine and so that's going to produce cosine of X cosine of X and then we're going to input it into a function that just takes things to the third power so it just takes things to the third power and so what are you going to end up with well you're going to end up with what are you taking to the third power you're taking cosine of X cosine of X to the third power this this is a composite function you could view this you could view this as the function let's call this blue one the function V and let's call this the function u and so if we're taking X and into u this is U of X and then if we're taking u of X into the input or as the input into the function V then this output right over here this is going to be viii of well what was inputted V of U of X V of U of X or another way of writing it I'm going to write it multiple ways that's the same thing as V of cosine of X V of cosine of X and so V whatever you input into it it just takes it to the third power if you were to write V of X it would be X to the third power so the chain rule tells us or the chain rule is what our brain should say hey it's it becomes applicable if we're going to take the derivative of a function that can be expressed as a composite function like this so just to be clear we can write f of X f of X is equal to V of U of X I know I'm essentially saying the same thing over and over again but I'm saying in slightly different ways because the first time you learned this it can be a little bit hard to to grok or really deeply understand so I'm going to try to write it in different ways and the chain rule tells us that if you have a situation like this then the derivative F prime of X and this is something that you will see in your textbooks well this is going to be the derivative of this whole thing with respect to U of X so we could write that as V prime of U of X V prime of U of x times the derivative of u with respect to x times u prime of X this right over here this is one expression of the chain rule and so how do we evaluate it in this case let me color code it in a similar way so the V function this outer thing that just takes things to the third power I'll put in blue so f prime of X another way of expressing it and I'll use it with more of the differential notation you could view this as the derivative of well I'll write it a couple of different ways you could view it as the derivative of V the derivative of V with respect to U and we get the colors right the derivative of V with respect to u that's what this thing is right over here times the derivative of U with respect to X so times the derivative of U with respect to X and just to make clear so you're familiar with the different notations you'll see in different textbooks this is this right over here just using different notations and this is this right over here so let's actually evaluate these things you're probably tired of just talking in the abstract so this is going to be equal to this is going to be equal to and I'm going to write it out again this is the derivative instead of just writing V and u I'm going to write it let me write it this way this is going to be I keep wanting using the wrong colors this is going to be the derivative of I'm going to leave some space times the derivative of something else with respect to something else so we're going to first take the derivative of V well V is cosine of X to the third power cosine of X we're gonna take the derivative of that with respect to U which is just cosine of X and we're to multiply that times the derivative of U which is cosine of X with respect to X with respect to X so this one we have good we've we've seen this before we know that the derivative with respect to X of cosine of X cosine use it on that same color the derivative of cosine of X well that's equal to negative sine of X so this one right over here that is negative sine of X you might be more familiar with seeing the derivative operator this way but in theory you won't see this as often but this helps my brain really grok what we're doing we're taking the derivative of cosine of X with respect to X well that's going to be negative sine of X well what about taking the derivative of cosine of X to the third power with respect to cosine of X what is this thing over here mean well if I was taking the derivative if I was taking the derivative of let me write it this way if I was taking the derivative of X to the third power X to the third power with respect to X if it was like that well this is just going to be and let me put some brackets here to make it a little bit clearer if I'm taking the derivative of that that is going to be that is going to be we bring the exponent out front it's going to be 3 3 times X 3 times X to the second power 3 times X to the second power so the general notion here is if I'm taking the derivative of something whatever this something happens to be let me just in a new color it could be I'm doing the derivative of orange circle to the third power with respect to orange circle well that's just going to be 3 times orange or yellow circle let me make it an actual orange circle so the derivative of orange circle to the third power with respect to orange circle that's going to be three times the orange circle squared so if I'm taking the derivative of cosine of X to the third power with respect to cosine of X well that's just going to be this is just going to be three times cosine of X cosine of X to the second power to the second power notice we're just one way to think about I'm taking the derivative of this outside function with respect to the inside so I would do the same thing as taking the derivative of X to the third power but instead of an X I have a cosine of X so instead of it being 3x squared it is three cosine of x squared and then the chain rule says if we want to finally get the drivet with respect to X we then take the derivative of cosine of X with respect to X now that's a big mouthful but we are at the homestretch we've then we've now figured out the derivative it's going to be this times this so let's see that's going to be negative three negative three times sine of X x times cosine squared of X and I know that was kind of a long way of saying it I'm trying to explain the chain rule at the same time but once you get the hang of it you're just going to say all right well let me take the dirt negative of the the outside of something to the third power with respect to the inside let me just treat that cosine of X like as if it was an X well that's going to be if I did that that's going to be three cosine squared of X so that's that part and that part and then let me take the derivative of the inside with respect to X well that is negative sine of X