Got Homework?
Connect with other students for help. It's a free community.
Here's the question you clicked on:
 0 viewing
daperkins
Group Title
Ok, so a secant line is one that touches a curve at two points. Still not sure the significance of a tangent line.
 2 years ago
 2 years ago
daperkins Group Title
Ok, so a secant line is one that touches a curve at two points. Still not sure the significance of a tangent line.
 2 years ago
 2 years ago

This Question is Closed

FreeTrader Group TitleBest ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.2
If you keep moving one of the points on the curve closer and closer to the other fixed point, then the slope of the secant lines converges onto the tangent line. The tangent line is the instantaneous slope of the fixed point on the curve.
 2 years ago

daperkins Group TitleBest ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0
I think I get it, somewhat. I'll keep hammering away. Thanks!
 2 years ago

FreeTrader Group TitleBest ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.2
daperkins, when you do the worked example in section 1, you will have the opportunity to check out the secant approximation mathlet tool located at http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/1801scsinglevariablecalculusfall2010/partadefinitionandbasicrules/session1introductiontoderivatives/SecantApproximation.html which will provide a visual way to see the secant lines and the tangent line, and how they interact.
 2 years ago

FabianMontescu Group TitleBest ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0
The way I like thinking about this is the following: you can only define a secant and a tangent in the neighborhood of a point in a function. Around a small interval in that neighborhood, a tangent will touch the function once and a secant will touch the function more than once. Therefore, lines that are tangents to a function on a given point may be secants (or not touch the function anymore) on other points. I hope that helps!
 2 years ago
See more questions >>>
Your question is ready. Sign up for free to start getting answers.
spraguer
(Moderator)
5
→ View Detailed Profile
is replying to Can someone tell me what button the professor is hitting...
23
 Teamwork 19 Teammate
 Problem Solving 19 Hero
 Engagement 19 Mad Hatter
 You have blocked this person.
 ✔ You're a fan Checking fan status...
Thanks for being so helpful in mathematics. If you are getting quality help, make sure you spread the word about OpenStudy.