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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

who was the first nanotechnologist
Lizzy Reply
technologist's thinker father is Richard Feynman but the literature first user scientist Nario Tagunichi.
Norio Taniguchi
I need help
anyone have book of Abdel Salam Hamdy Makhlouf book in pdf Fundamentals of Nanoparticles: Classifications, Synthesis
Naeem Reply
what happen with The nano material on The deep space.?
pedro Reply
It could change the whole space science.
the characteristics of nano materials can be studied by solving which equation?
sibaram Reply
plz answer fast
synthesis of nano materials by chemical reaction taking place in aqueous solvents under high temperature and pressure is call?
hydrothermal synthesis
how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
STM - Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
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Source:  OpenStax, Advanced algebra ii: conceptual explanations. OpenStax CNX. May 04, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10624/1.15
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