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# “Teach A Level Maths”

## Vol. 2: A2 Core Modules

2: Inverse Functions

Module C3

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Functions
One-to-one and many-to-one functions
Consider the following graphs

y  x 1
3 y  sin x 

and

## Each value of x maps to Each value of x maps to

only one value of y . . . only one value of y . . .
and each y is mapped BUT many other x values
from only one x. map to that y.
Functions
One-to-one and many-to-one functions
Consider the following graphs

y  x 1
3 y  sin x 

and

y  x  1 is an example
3 y  sin x is an example

of a many-to-one
of a one-to-one function
function
Functions

y
1 y  4 x
x
and
Functions

## Other many-to-one functions are:

y  x2  3x  4 y  x3  3x 2  6x  8

## Here the many-to-one This is a many-to-one

function is two-to-one function even though it is
( except at one point ! ) one-to-one in some
parts.
It’s always called many-
to-one.
Functions
We’ve had one-to-one and many-to-one functions,
One-to-many relationships do exist BUT, by
definition, these are not functions.
e.g. y   x  1 , x 1
is one-to-many since it gives 2 values of y for
all x values greater than 1.
y   x 1
This is not a
function.
Functions cannot be
one-to-many.

## So, for a function, we are sure of the y-value for

each value of x. Here we are not sure.
Inverse Functions
SUMMARY
• A one-to-one function y  x3  1
maps each value of x to
one value of y and each
value of y is mapped
from only one x.
e.g. y  x 3  1
• A many-to-one y  sin x 
function maps each
x to one y but some
y-values will be
mapped from more
than one x.
e.g. y  sin x
Inverse Functions

## Suppose we want to find the value of y when x = 3 if

y  2x  4
We can easily see the answer is 10 but let’s write
out the steps using a flow chart.
We have 3 2 4
6 10
To find y for any x, we have
x 2 4 2x  4  y
2x
To find x for any y value, we reverse the process.
The reverse function “undoes” the effect of the
original and is called the inverse function.
The notation for the inverse of f ( x ) is f 1
( x)
Inverse Functions
Finding an inverse
e.g. 1 For f ( x )  2 x  4 , the flow chart is
 2 4
x 2x 2x  4
Reversing the process:
x4 2 4 x
x4
2
Tip: A useful check on Notice
the x is4we
that
to substitute
The inverse function is f ( x ) 
any number into the original function 2 and calculate y.
Check:
Then substitute this new value into the inverse. It
e.g. If x  5, f ( 5 )  2( 5)  4  14
should give the original number.
1 14  4
f (14)   5
2
Inverse Functions
The flow chart method of finding an inverse can
be slow and it doesn’t always work so we’ll now use
another method.
e.g. 1 Find the inverse of f ( x)  4  3 x
Solution:
Let y = the function: y  4  3x
Rearrange ( to find x ): 3x  4  y
4 y
x 
3
Swap x and y:
Inverse Functions
The flow chart method of finding an inverse can
be slow and it doesn’t always work so we’ll now use
another method.
e.g. 1 Find the inverse of f ( x)  4  3 x
Solution:
Let y = the function: y  4  3x
Rearrange ( to find x ): 3x  4  y
4 y
x 
3
Swap x and y: 4 x
y 
3
Inverse Functions
The flow chart method of finding an inverse can
be slow and it doesn’t always work so we’ll now use
another method.
e.g. 1 Find the inverse of f ( x)  4  3 x
Solution:
Let y = the function: y  4  3x
Rearrange ( to find x ): 3x  4  y
4 y
x 
3
Swap x and y: 4 x
y 
3
1 4 x
So, f ( x ) 
3
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1

## Notice that the domain excludes the value of x

that would make f ( x ) infinite.
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
There are 2 ways to rearrange to find x:

Either:
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
There are 2 ways to rearrange to find x:

Either: 3
x 1 
y
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
There are 2 ways to rearrange to find x:

Either: 3
x 1 
y
3
 x  1
y
Swap
3
x and y: y   1
x
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
There are 2 ways to rearrange to find x:

Either:
x 1 
3 or: y( x  1)  3
y
3
 x  1
y
Swap
3
x and y: y   1
x
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
There are 2 ways to rearrange to find x:

Either:
x 1 
3 or: y( x  1)  3
y  yx  y  3
3 yx  3  y
 x  1 
y 3 y
3  x
Swap x and y: y   1 y
x Swap x 3 x
y
and y: x
Inverse Functions

So, for 3
f ( x)  , x1
x 1
1 3 1 3 x
f ( x )   1 or f ( x) 
x x
Why are these the same?
ANS: x is a common denominator in the 2nd form
Inverse Functions

So, for 3
f ( x)  , x1
x 1
1 3 1 3 x
f ( x )   1 or f ( x) 
x x
The domain and range are:

x  0 and f 1 ( x )  1
Inverse Functions

## The inverse was 1 4 x

f ( x) 
3
1
Suppose we form the compound function f f ( x ).
1 1 4  (4  3 x )
f f ( x )  f ( f ( x )) 
3
4  4  3x

3
 f 1 f ( x )  x
Can you see why this is true for all functions that
have an inverse?
ANS: The inverse undoes what the function has done.
Inverse Functions

## The order in which we find the compound function

of a function and its inverse makes no difference.

## For all functions f ( x ) which have an inverse,

f 1 f ( x )  ff 1 ( x )  x
Inverse Functions
Exercise

## Find the inverses of the following functions:

1. f ( x)  5 x  4 , x  
1 See if you spot
2. f ( x)  , x  0 something special about
x
2
3. f ( x)  , x  5
x5
4. f ( x)  2  x , x  0 Also, for this, show
1
ff ( x)  x
Inverse Functions

Solution: 1. x
f ( x)  5 x  4 ,
Let y  5 x  4
Rearrange: y  4  Since
5 x the x-term is
y  4 positive I’m going to work
 from
x right to left.
5
x4
Swap x and y: y
5
1 x4
So, f ( x) 
5
Inverse Functions
1
Solution: 2. f ( x )  , x  0
x
1
Let y 
x
1 This is an example
Rearrange: x  of a self-inverse
y function.
1 1
Swap x and y: y  f ( x)  f ( x)
x
1
So, f 1 ( x )  , x 0
x
Inverse Functions
2
Solution: 3. f ( x)  , x  5
x5
2
Let y 
x5
2
Rearrange: x5
y
2
x  5
y
2
Swap x and y: y  5
x
1 2
So, f ( x )   5, x0
x
Inverse Functions

Solution 4. f ( x)  2  x , x  0
Let y  2 x
Rearrange:
x  2 y
x  (2  y ) 2

Swap x and y: y  (2  x ) 2
1
So, f ( x )  (2  x ) 2

ff 1 ( x )  f ( f 1 ( x ))  2  (2  x ) 2
 2  (2  x )  x
Inverse Functions
2x  3
e.g. 3 Find the inverse of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
The next example
Solution: is more difficult to 2x  3
rearrange
Let y = the function: y 
x 1
Rearrange:
Multiply by x – 1 : y(x  1)  2 x  3
Careful! We are trying to find x and it appears
twice in the equation.
Inverse Functions
2x  3
e.g. 3 Find the inverse of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 2x  3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
Rearrange:
Multiply by x – 1 : y(x  1)  2 x  3
Careful! We are trying to find x and it appears
twice in the equation.
We must get both x-terms on one side.
Inverse Functions
2x  3
e.g. 3 Find the inverse of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 2x  3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
Rearrange:
Multiply by x – 1 : y(x  1)  2 x  3
Remove brackets : yx  y  2 x  3
Collect x terms on one side: y x  2x  y  3
Remove the common factor: x ( y  2)  y  3
Divide by ( y – 2): y3
x 
y 2
Swap x and y:
Inverse Functions
2x  3
e.g. 3 Find the inverse of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 2x  3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
Rearrange:
Multiply by x – 1 : y(x  1)  2 x  3
Remove brackets : yx  y  2 x  3
Collect x terms on one side: y x  2x  y  3
Remove the common factor: x ( y  2)  y  3
Divide by ( y – 2): y3
x 
x3 y 2
Swap x and y: y 
x 2
x3
1
So, f ( x )  , x2
x2
Inverse Functions
SUMMARY

## To find an inverse function:

EITHER:
• Step 1: Let y = the function
• Step 2: Rearrange ( to find x )
• Step 3: Swap x and y
OR:
• Write the given function as a flow chart.

## • Reverse all the steps of the flow chart.

Inverse Functions
Inverse Functions

## The following slides contain repeats of

information on earlier slides, shown without
colour, so that they can be printed and
photocopied.
For most purposes the slides can be printed
as “Handouts” with up to 6 slides per sheet.
Inverse Functions
One-to-one and many-to-one functions
Consider the following graphs

y  x 1
3 y  sin x 

and

y  x  1 is an example
3 y  sin x is an example

of a many-to-one
of a one-to-one function
function
Inverse Functions
Finding an inverse
e.g. 1 For f ( x )  2 x  4 , the flow chart is

x 2 2x 4 2x  4
Reversing the process:
x4 2 4 x
x4
2
1 x4
The inverse function is f ( x ) 
2
Check: e.g. If x  5, f ( 5 )  2( 5)  4  14
1 14  4
f (14)   5
2
Inverse Functions
The flow chart method of finding an inverse can
be slow and it doesn’t always work so we’ll now use
another method.
e.g. 1 Find the inverse of f ( x)  4  3 x
Solution:
Let y = the function: y  4  3x
Rearrange ( to find x ): 3x  4  y
4 y
x 
3
Swap x and y: 4 x
y 
3
1 4 x
So, f ( x ) 
3
Inverse Functions
3
e.g. 2 Find the inverse function of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution: 3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
There are 2 ways to rearrange to find x:

Either:
x 1 
3 or: y( x  1)  3
y  yx  y  3
3 yx  3  y
 x  1 
y 3 y
3  x
Swap x and y: y   1 y
x Swap x 3 x
y
and y: x
Inverse Functions

So, for 3
f ( x)  , x1
x 1
1 3 1 3 x
f ( x)   1 or f ( x) 
x x
Inverse Functions
2x  3
e.g. 3 Find the inverse of f ( x )  , x1
x 1
Solution:
2x  3
Let y = the function: y
x 1
Rearrange:
Multiply by x – 1 : y(x  1)  2 x  3
Remove brackets : yx  y  2 x  3
Collect x terms on one side: y x  2x  y  3
Remove the common factor: x ( y  2)  y  3
Divide by ( y – 2): y3
x 
x3 y 2
Swap x and y: y 
x 2
x3
1
So, f ( x )  , x2
x2
Inverse Functions
SUMMARY

## To find an inverse function:

EITHER:
• Step 1: Let y = the function
• Step 2: Rearrange ( to find x )
• Step 3: Swap x and y
OR:
• Write the given function as a flow chart.