The Tangent Line Problem

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How do you find the slope of the tangent line to a function at a point Q when you only have that one point? This Demonstration shows that a secant line can be used to approximate the tangent line. The secant line PQ connects the point of tangency to another point P on the graph of the function. As the distance between the two points decreases, the secant line becomes closer to the tangent line.

Contributed by: Samuel Leung and Michael Largey (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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