# Calculus/Rolle's Theorem

 ← Extreme Value Theorem Calculus Mean Value Theorem for Functions → Rolle's Theorem
Rolle's Theorem
If a function, $f(x)\$ , is continuous on the closed interval $[a,b]\$ , is differentiable on the open interval $(a,b)\$ , and $f(a)=f(b)\$ , then there exists at least one number c, in the interval $(a,b)\$ such that $f'(c)=0\ .$ Rolle's Theorem is important in proving the Mean Value Theorem.

## Examples

Example:

$f(x)=x^{2}-3x$ . Show that Rolle's Theorem holds true somewhere within this function. To do so, evaluate the x-intercepts and use those points as your interval.

Solution:

1: The question wishes for us to use the x-intercepts as the endpoints of our interval.

Factor the expression to obtain $x(x-3)=0$ . x = 0 and x = 3 are our two endpoints. We know that f(0) and f(3) are the same, thus that satisfies the first part of Rolle's theorem (f(a) = f(b)).

2: Now by Rolle's Theorem, we know that somewhere between these points, the slope will be zero. Where? Easy: Take the derivative.

$dy \over dx$  $=2x-3$

Thus, at $x=3/2$ , we have a spot with a slope of zero. We know that $3/2$  (or 1.5) is between 0 and 3. Thus, Rolle's Theorem is true for this (as it is for all cases). This was merely a demonstration.