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Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

Using Properties of Logarithms


fullscreen
Exercise
Simplify the expression
using the properties of logarithms.
Show Solution
Solution
The Quotient Property of Logarithms states that the following is true for logarithms.
In our expression the first two terms and the last two terms both are a difference of two logarithms with the same base. We can use the Quotient Property of Logarithms to rewrite each pair into a logarithm of a quotient.
This expression is a sum of two logarithms with the same base. We can write them into a logarithm of a product using the Product Property of Logarithms.
Let's continue simplifying this expression.

1
Thus, the expression equals 1.

Rule

Change of Base Formula

The Change of Base Formula allows the logarithm of an arbitrary base to be rewritten as the quotient of two logarithms with another base.
With many calculators it is only possible to evaluate the common and the natural logarithm. The Change of Base Formula can then be used to evaluate logarithms of other bases.

Method

Solving an Exponential Equation using Logarithms

An exponential equation can be solved by applying logarithms and using the Power Property of Logarithms. Consider the following equation.

1

Apply the logarithm
First, the equation is rewritten by applying a logarithm on both sides.

2

Rewrite using the Power Property of Logarithms
By using the Power Property of Logarithms, powers can be rewritten into a product.

3

Solve the resulting equation
After the power has been rewritten into a product, the unknown variable x can be isolated using inverse operations. Here, x gets isolated on the left-hand side when both sides of the equation are divided by
By using a calculator, an approximate value of x can be calculated. Here,
fullscreen
Exercise
Solve the equation
using the common logarithm. State the answer with three significant digits.
Show Solution
Solution
The given equation can be solved by applying the on both sides. Since many calculators are limited to only the common and the natural logarithms, it is often not possible to use We can solve it anyway. Let's begin by applying the common logarithm on both sides.
The Power Property of Logarithms gives us the relationship With this we can rewrite the left-hand side of the equation.
We can now solve the equation for x by dividing both sides of the equation with
The solution to the equation is

Rule

Inverse Properties of Logarithms

A logarithmic function is by definition the inverse of an exponential function This means that their function composition results in the identity function.

The fact that a logarithm and a power with the same base undo each other is what is known as the inverse properties of logarithms.

They also hold true for the common logarithm and the natural logarithm.

These properties together with other properties of logarithms permit to simplify logarithmic expressions and to solve equations involving logarithms and powers. Some particular examples are shown below.

fullscreen
Exercise
Solve the equation
using the inverse properties of logarithms.
Show Solution
Solution
The inverse properties of logarithms tell us that a logarithm and a power with the same base undo each other.
On the left-hand side, we can identify as being the logarithm with base e and as the logarithm with base 10. Thus, we can simplify the factors and using the inverse properties of logarithms.
To simplify the remaining two logarithms, we first need to rewrite their arguments.
Again, we can use the the inverse properties of logarithms to simplify the equation.
We now need to isolate x on the left-hand side to find the solution.
33x=2
We have solved the equation, and its solution is


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