We derive the derivative of the natural exponential function.
The derivative of an exponential function is a constant times itself.
Unfortunately it is beyond the scope of this text to compute the limit However, we can look at some examples. Consider and :
While these tables don’t prove that we have a pattern, it turns out that Moreover, if you do more examples, choosing other values for the base , you will find that the limit varies directly with the value of : bigger , bigger limit; smaller , smaller limit. As we can already see, some of these limits will be less than and some larger than . Somewhere between and the limit will be exactly . This happens when We will define the number by this property in the next definition:
Hence is its own derivative. In other words, the slope of the plot of is the same as its height, or the same as its second coordinate. Said another way, the function goes through the point and has slope at that point, no matter what is.