Find two numbers whose difference is 5 and the product is the least possible.

2 Answers | Add Yours

thilina-g's profile pic

thilina-g | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Let the larger number of two numbers be x. Then the other number is `(x-5)`

The product of the two numbers is `y = x(x-5)` .

We should find x such that y is a minimum. To find that we can use differentiation. Let's first find the first derivative and find the extremee points of y and check for the sign of second derivative to check for the minimum.

`y = x(x-5)`

`y = x^2-5x`

`(dy)/(dx) = 2x-5`

For maxima and minima `(dy)/(dx) = 0`

`2x-5 = 0`

`x = 5/2`

`(d^2y)/(dx^2) = 2`

This is always positive. Therefore at `x = 5/2` .

Therefore the two numbers are `2.5` and `(5-2.5)` which is `-2.5` .


The answer is 2.5 and -2.5. The lowest product is -6.25


aminahali's profile pic

aminahali | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

-4 & 1

The difference between them is 5 and from what I have worked out it is the pair of numbers with the smallest possible product.


We’ve answered 318,051 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question