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This module describes notation for functions.

Function notation

Functions are represented in math by parentheses. When you write f ( x ) size 12{f \( x \) } {} you indicate that the variable f size 12{f} {} is a function of—or depends on—the variable x size 12{x} {} .

For instance, suppose f ( x ) = x 2 + 3x size 12{f \( x \) =x rSup { size 8{2} } +3x} {} . This means that f is a function that takes whatever you give it, and squares it, and multiplies it by 3, and adds those two quantities.

7 10 x y a dog x-squared plus 3x Gearbox f ( 7 ) = 7 2 + 3 ( 7 ) = 70 f ( 10 ) = 10 2 + 3 ( 10 ) = 130 f ( x ) = x 2 + 3x f ( y ) = y 2 + 3y f ( dog ) = ( dog ) 2 + 3 ( dog ) ( *not in the domain )

The notation f ( 7 ) size 12{f \( 7 \) } {} means “plug the number 7 into the function f size 12{f} {} .” It does not indicate that you are multiplying f size 12{f} {} times 7. To evaluate f ( 7 ) size 12{f \( 7 \) } {} you take the function f ( x ) size 12{f \( x \) } {} and replace all occurrences of the variable x with the number 7. If this function is given a 7 it will come out with a 70.

If we write f ( y ) = y 2 + 3y size 12{f \( y \) =y rSup { size 8{2} } +3y} {} we have not specified a different function . Remember, the function is not the variables or the numbers, it is the process. f ( y ) = y 2 + 3y size 12{f \( y \) =y rSup { size 8{2} } +3y} {} also means “whatever number comes in, square it, multiply it by 3, and add those two quantities.” So it is a different way of writing the same function.

Just as many students expect all variables to be named x size 12{x} {} , many students—and an unfortunate number of parents—expect all functions to be named f size 12{f} {} . The correct rule is that—whenever possible— functions, like variables, should be named descriptively . For instance, if Alice makes $100/day, we might write:

  • Let m equal the amount of money Alice has made (measured in dollars)
  • Let t equal the amount of time Alice has worked (measured in days)
  • Then, m ( t ) = 100 t size 12{m \( t \) ="100"t} {}

This last equation should be read “ m size 12{m} {} is a function of t size 12{t} {} (or m size 12{m} {} depends on t size 12{t} {} ). Given any value of the variable t size 12{t} {} , you can multiply it by 100 to find the corresponding value of the variable m size 12{m} {} .”

Of course, this is a very simple function! While simple examples are helpful to illustrate the concept, it is important to realize that very complicated functions are also used to model real world relationships. For instance, in Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, if an object is going very fast, its mass is multiplied by 1 1 v 2 9 10 16 size 12{ { {1} over { sqrt {1 - { {v rSup { size 8{2} } } over {9 cdot "10" rSup { size 8{"16"} } } } } } } } {} . While this can look extremely intimidating, it is just another function. The speed v size 12{v} {} is the independent variable, and the mass m size 12{m} {} is dependent. Given any speed v size 12{v} {} you can determine how much the mass m size 12{m} {} is multiplied by.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how to synthesize TiO2 nanoparticles by chemical methods
Zubear
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Math 1508 (lecture) readings in precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Aug 24, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11354/1.1
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