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Return to book index Chapter 8 : Exponents and Exponential Functions
8.7 Exponential Decay Functions

8.7 Problem Solving Help

Help for Exercises 50-52 on page 487

Before you attempt to graph the exponential functions in Exercises 50-52, you might want to modify your viewing window. Since the values of a and b are positive, each of these functions will have range values that are strictly positive. Change your viewing window so that . After you instruct the calculator to graph the lines, carefully watch the screen. The first equation that you entered should be graphed first, followed by the second, and so on. Most graphing calculators have a trace key that, when activated, displays the x and y values of the function being traced on the screen. Use the up/down arrows to jump from one graph to the next. If there are any areas that are particularly hard to see, modify the viewing window to give yourself a better view.

In each of these exercises you are asked to discuss how changes to the value of a and b affect the graph of y= abx. In your answers, you can use phrases such as "increases at a faster rate" and "decreases at a faster rate." Also, comment on differences and similarities with respect to each graph's y-intercept.