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  • Determine the conditions for when a function has an inverse.
  • Use the horizontal line test to recognize when a function is one-to-one.
  • Find the inverse of a given function.
  • Draw the graph of an inverse function.
  • Evaluate inverse trigonometric functions.

An inverse function reverses the operation done by a particular function. In other words, whatever a function does, the inverse function undoes it. In this section, we define an inverse function formally and state the necessary conditions for an inverse function to exist. We examine how to find an inverse function and study the relationship between the graph of a function and the graph of its inverse. Then we apply these ideas to define and discuss properties of the inverse trigonometric functions.

Existence of an inverse function

We begin with an example. Given a function f and an output y = f ( x ) , we are often interested in finding what value or values x were mapped to y by f . For example, consider the function f ( x ) = x 3 + 4 . Since any output y = x 3 + 4 , we can solve this equation for x to find that the input is x = y 4 3 . This equation defines x as a function of y . Denoting this function as f −1 , and writing x = f −1 ( y ) = y 4 3 , we see that for any x in the domain of f , f −1 ( f ( x ) ) = f −1 ( x 3 + 4 ) = x . Thus, this new function, f −1 , “undid” what the original function f did. A function with this property is called the inverse function of the original function.

Definition

Given a function f with domain D and range R , its inverse function    (if it exists) is the function f −1 with domain R and range D such that f −1 ( y ) = x if f ( x ) = y . In other words, for a function f and its inverse f −1 ,

f −1 ( f ( x ) ) = x for all x in D , and f ( f −1 ( y ) ) = y for all y in R .

Note that f −1 is read as “f inverse.” Here, the −1 is not used as an exponent and f −1 ( x ) 1 / f ( x ) . [link] shows the relationship between the domain and range of f and the domain and range of f −1 .

An image of two bubbles. The first bubble is orange and has two labels: the top label is “Domain of f” and the bottom label is “Range of f inverse”. Within this bubble is the variable “x”. An orange arrow with the label “f” points from this bubble to the second bubble. The second bubble is blue and has two labels: the top label is “range of f” and the bottom label is “domain of f inverse”. Within this bubble is the variable “y”. A blue arrow with the label “f inverse” points from this bubble to the first bubble.
Given a function f and its inverse f −1 , f −1 ( y ) = x if and only if f ( x ) = y . The range of f becomes the domain of f −1 and the domain of f becomes the range of f −1 .

Recall that a function has exactly one output for each input. Therefore, to define an inverse function, we need to map each input to exactly one output. For example, let’s try to find the inverse function for f ( x ) = x 2 . Solving the equation y = x 2 for x , we arrive at the equation x = ± y . This equation does not describe x as a function of y because there are two solutions to this equation for every y > 0 . The problem with trying to find an inverse function for f ( x ) = x 2 is that two inputs are sent to the same output for each output y > 0 . The function f ( x ) = x 3 + 4 discussed earlier did not have this problem. For that function, each input was sent to a different output. A function that sends each input to a different output is called a one-to-one function.

Definition

We say a f is a one-to-one function    if f ( x 1 ) f ( x 2 ) when x 1 x 2 .

One way to determine whether a function is one-to-one is by looking at its graph. If a function is one-to-one, then no two inputs can be sent to the same output. Therefore, if we draw a horizontal line anywhere in the x y -plane, according to the horizontal line test    , it cannot intersect the graph more than once. We note that the horizontal line test is different from the vertical line test. The vertical line test determines whether a graph is the graph of a function. The horizontal line test determines whether a function is one-to-one ( [link] ).

Questions & Answers

find the domain and range of f(x)= 4x-7/x²-6x+8
Nick Reply
find the range of f(x)=(x+1)(x+4)
Jane Reply
-1, -4
Marcia
That's domain. The range is [-9/4,+infinity)
Jacob
If you're using calculus to find the range, you have to find the extrema through the first derivative test and then substitute the x-value for the extrema back into the original equation.
Jacob
Good morning,,, how are you
Harrieta Reply
d/dx{1/y - lny + X^3.Y^5}
mogomotsi Reply
How to identify domain and range
Umar Reply
hello
Akpevwe
He,,
Harrieta
hi
Dr
hello
velocity
I only talk to girls
Dr
women are smart then guys
Dr
Smarter
Adri
sorry
Dr
hi adri ana
Dr
:(
Shun
was up
Dr
hello
Adarsh
is it chatting app?.. I do not see any calculus here. lol
Adarsh
Find the arc length of the graph of f(x) = In (sinx) on the interval [Π/4, Π/2].
mukul Reply
Sand falling freely from a lorry form a conical shape whose height is always equal to one-third the radius of the base. a. How fast is the volume increasing when the radius of the base is (1m) and increasing at the rate of 1/4cm/sec Pls help me solve
ade
show that lim f(x) + lim g(x)=m+l
BARNABAS Reply
list the basic elementary differentials
Chio Reply
Differentiation and integration
Okikiola Reply
yes
Damien
proper definition of derivative
Syed Reply
the maximum rate of change of one variable with respect to another variable
Amdad
terms of an AP is 1/v and the vth term is 1/u show that the sum of uv terms is 1/2(uv+1)
Inembo Reply
what is calculus?
BISWAJIT Reply
calculus is math that studies the change in math, such as the rate and distance,
Tamarcus
what are the topics in calculus
Augustine
what is limit of a function?
Geoffrey Reply
what is x and how x=9.1 take?
Pravin Reply
what is f(x)
Inembo Reply
the function at x
Marc
also known as the y value so I could say y=2x or f(x)= 2x same thing just using functional notation your next question is what is dependent and independent variables. I am Dyslexic but know math and which is which confuses me. but one can vary the x value while y depends on which x you use. also
Marc
up domain and range
Marc
enjoy your work and good luck
Marc
I actually wanted to ask another questions on sets if u dont mind please?
Inembo
I have so many questions on set and I really love dis app I never believed u would reply
Inembo
Hmm go ahead and ask you got me curious too much conversation here
Adri
am sorry for disturbing I really want to know math that's why *I want to know the meaning of those symbols in sets* e.g n,U,A', etc pls I want to know it and how to solve its problems
Inembo
and how can i solve a question like dis *in a group of 40 students, 32 offer maths and 24 offer physics and 4 offer neither maths nor physics , how many offer both maths and physics*
Inembo
next questions what do dy mean by (A' n B^c)^c'
Inembo
The sets help you to define the function. The function is like a magic box where you put inside stuff(numbers or sets) and you get out the stuff but in different shapes (forms).
Adri
I dont understand what you wanna say by (A' n B^c)^c'
Adri
(A' n B (rise to the power of c)) all rise to the power of c
Inembo
Aaaahh
Adri
Ok so the set is formed by vectors and not numbers
Adri
A vector of length n
Adri
But you can make a set out of matrixes as well
Adri
I I don't even understand sets I wat to know d meaning of all d symbolsnon sets
Inembo
Wait what's your math level?
Adri
High-school?
Adri
yes
Inembo
am having big problem understanding sets more than other math topics
Inembo
So f:R->R means that the function takes real numbers and provides real numer. For ex. If f(x) =2x this means if you give to your function a real number like 2,it gives you also a real number 2times2=4
Adri
pls answer this question *in a group of 40 students, 32 offer maths and 24 offer physics and 4 offer neither maths nor physics , how many offer both maths and physics*
Inembo
If you have f:R^n->R^n you give to your function a vector of length n like (a1,a2,...an) where all a1,.. an are reals and gives you also a vector of length n... I don't know if i answering your question. Otherwise on YouTube you havr many videos where they explain it in a simple way
Adri
I would say 24
Adri
Offer both
Adri
Sorry 20
Adri
Actually you have 40 - 4 =36 who offer maths or physics or both.
Adri
I know its 20 but how to prove it
Inembo
You have 32+24=56who offer courses
Adri
56-36=20 who give both courses... I would say that
Adri
solution: In a question involving sets and Venn diagram, the sum of the members of set A + set B - the joint members of both set A and B + the members that are not in sets A or B = the total members of the set. In symbolic form n(A U B) = n(A) + n (B) - n (A and B) + n (A U B)'.
Mckenzie
In the case of sets A and B use the letters m and p to represent the sets and we have: n (M U P) = 40; n (M) = 24; n (P) = 32; n (M and P) = unknown; n (M U P)' = 4
Mckenzie
Now substitute the numerical values for the symbolic representation 40 = 24 + 32 - n(M and P) + 4 Now solve for the unknown using algebra: 40 = 24 + 32+ 4 - n(M and P) 40 = 60 - n(M and P) Add n(M and P), as well, subtract 40 from both sides of the equation to find the answer.
Mckenzie
40 - 40 + n(M and P) = 60 - 40 - n(M and P) + n(M and P) Solution: n(M and P) = 20
Mckenzie
thanks
Inembo
Simpler form: Add the sums of set M, set P and the complement of the union of sets M and P then subtract the number of students from the total.
Mckenzie
n(M and P) = (32 + 24 + 4) - 40 = 60 - 40 = 20
Mckenzie
Practice Key Terms 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Calculus volume 1. OpenStax CNX. Feb 05, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11964/1.2
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