The Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

Minimum Value Problem

Date: 14 Jul 1995 19:38:23 -0400
From: Paul Twynam
Subject: Minimum Value Problem


Can you help me with a math problem?  I need to find the minimum 
value of E for E = be^(-ar) - dr^(-6) where b, a, d are constants and r is 
the variable.  The problem is solving the equation E'=0.  Can it be done 
algebraically or is a numerical method required?  I would appreciate your 

Paul Twynam 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date: 14 Jul 1995 20:58:28 -0400
From: Dr. Ken
Subject: Re: Minimum Value Problem

Hello there!

Yup, you're right.  Even our computer (which runs Mathematica) says "The
equations appear to involve transcendental functions in an essentially
non-algebraic way."  So I think your best bet is to do it numerically for
the specific a, b, and d.  Sorry we couldn't be more help.

Associated Topics:
High School Calculus

Search the Dr. Math Library:

Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.