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Chapter 5

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

In This Chapter

Simplifying, solving, and graphing exponential functions

Checking all the ins and outs of logarithms

Working through equations with exponents and logs

Conquering a growth and decay example problem

If someone presented you with the choice of taking \$1 million right now or taking one penny with the stipulation that the penny would double every day for 30 days, which would you choose? Most people would take the million without even thinking about it, and it would surely surprise them that the other plan is the better offer. Take a look: On the first day, you have only a penny, and you feel like you’ve been duped. But by the last day, you have \$5,368,709.12! As you can see, doubling something (in this case, your money) makes it get big pretty fast. This idea is the basic concept behind an exponential function. Bet we have your attention now, don’t we?

In this chapter, we cover two unique types of functions from pre-calc: the exponential and the logarithm. These functions can be graphed, solved, or simplified just like any ...

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