Find Derivatives of Polar Equations with the TI-83 Plus

You can use the TI-83 Plus graphing calculator to find derivatives of polar equations. To find the derivative of a polar equation at a specified value of

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follow these steps:

  1. Graph the polar equation in a viewing window that contains the specified value of

    image1.png

    To get a viewing window containing the specified value of

    image2.png

    that value must be between

    image3.png

    and

    image4.png
  2. Set the Format menu to ExprOn and CoordOn.

  3. Press [2nd][TRACE] to access the Calculate menu.

  4. Press [2] or [3] to respectively select the dy/dx or

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    option.

  5. If necessary, repeatedly press

    image6.png

    until the appropriate polar equation appears at the top of the screen.

  6. Enter the specified value of

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    To do so, use the keypad to enter the value of

    image8.png

    As you use the keypad,

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    = replaces the coordinates of the cursor location appearing at the bottom of the screen in the previous step. The number you key in is placed after

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    =. If you make a mistake when entering your number, press [CLEAR] and re-enter the number.

    If you’re interested only in finding the slope of the curve in a general area of the graph — instead of at a specific value of

    image11.png

    then just use the

    image12.png

    and

    image13.png

    to move the cursor to the desired location on the graph (instead of entering a value of

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  7. Press [ENTER].

    After pressing [ENTER], the derivative is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

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