# Applications of Derivatives: Optimization

Applications of Derivatives: Optimization

Example 3: Find the largest rectangle which will fit within a circle with a 4 inch

What are we trying to optimize?

Maximize the area of the rectangle, A.

What are we solving for?

The dimensions of the rectangle, x and y.

NEED SKETCH.

What is the equation of the area of the rectangle?

A = xy

Is there another equation we can use to get y in terms of x? (Hint: use the sketch.)

NEED SKETCH.

x2 + y2 = 82

So y = (64 – x2)1/2

A = x(64 – x2)1/2

Take the derivative using the Product Rule and the Chain Rule:

dA/dx  = x * 1/2 (64 – x2)-1/2(-2x) + (1) * (64 – x2)1/2

dA/dx  = -x2 /(64 – x2)1/2 +  (64 – x2)1/2

0 = -x2 /(64 – x2)1/2 +   (64 – x2)1/2

This can be simplified by multiplying the equation by (64 – x2)1/2

Then: 0 = -x2 + (64 – x2)

0 = -2x2 + 64

x = 321/2 = 5.66inches

y = 321/2 = 5.66inches

Another way to do this problem is with implicit differentiation:

Instead of solving for y, leave it as x2 + y2 = 64.

Now take the derivative of A= xy with respect to x:

dA/dx = x * dy/dx + (1) * y

dA/dx = x dy/dx + y

Now take the derivative of x2 + y2 = 64 with respect to x and solve for dy/dx:

2x + 2y * dy/dx = 0

dy/dx = -2x/2y = -x/y

Plug this into the equation for dA/dx and set it equal to zero:

dA/dx = x (-x/y) + y

0 = -x2 + y2

x = y

Plug this into x2 + y2 = 64 to get

x = 321/2 = 5.66inches

y = 321/2 = 5.66inches