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Finding the Equation of a Line Tangent to a Function

There is no particular reason for this post. I’m just going to solve a math problem. Why? Because I think it’s fun. Here is the problem.

Find the equation of the lines that pass through the point (-1,-4) and are tangent to the function f(x) = 3x².

That’s it. That’s the problem. Here’s the plan. I’m going to solve this particular problem and then show you a cool way to do it with python (for fun).

So, let’s break down the question. First, what does this even mean? Well, there will be a line…

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Rhett Allain

Rhett Allain

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. WIRED blogger.