`f(x) = x^4 - 2x^3 + x + 1, [-1,3]` Use a graphing utility to graph the function and find the absolute extrema of the function on the given interval.

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gsarora17 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

`f(x)=x^4-2x^3+x+1`

`f'(x)=4x^3-6x^2+1`

Now to find the absolute extrema of the function, that is continuous on a closed interval, we have to find the critical numbers that are in the interval and evaluate the function at the endpoints and at the critical numbers.

Now to find the critical numbers, solve for x for f'(x)=0.

`4x^3-6x^2+1=0`

`(2x-1)(2x^2-2x-1)=0`

`2x-1=0`

`x=1/2`

`2x^2-2x-1=0`

`x=(2+-sqrt(4+8))/4`

`x=(1+-sqrt(3))/2`

Now let us evaluate the function at the critical numbers and at the end points of the interval(-1,3) ,

`f(-1)=(-1)^4-2(-1)^3+(-1)+1`

`f(-1)=1+2=3`

`f(3)=3^4-2*3^3+3+1=31`

`f(1/2)=(1/2)^4-2*(1/2)^3+(1/2)+1=21/16`

`f((1+sqrt(3))/2)=3/4` 

`f((1-sqrt(3))/2)=3/4`

So, Absolute maximum=31 at x=3

Absolute minimum =3/4 at x=`(1+-sqrt(3))/2`

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gsarora17 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Graph is attached