Antidifferentiation is the process of, given a function \(f(x)\), finding another function \(F(x)\) whose derivative is the given function, \(\frac{d}{dx} F(x) = F^\prime(x) = f(x)\). Antidifferentiation and the antiderivative are part of a larger process called integration.

Formally, the antiderivative of \(f(x)\) is the set of functions \(F(x) + C\) such that

\[\frac{d}{dx}[F(x) + C] = f(x)\]

where \(C\) is what’s called the constant of integration. This can be restated as follows: if two functions \(F(x)\) and \(G(x)\) have the same derivative \(f(x)\), then \(F(x)\) and \(G(x)\) differ by at most a constant \(F(x) = G(x) + C\). If \(F(x)\) is an antiderivative of a function \(f(x)\), we write

\[\int f(x)dx = F(x) + C\]

meaning that the “antiderivative of \(f(x)\), with respect to \(x\), is the set of functions \(F(x) + C\)”. This expression is called an indefinite integral.

Differentiation (and the derivative) is how you find the rate of change of a function at a given point. Antidifferentiation, or integration, (and the antiderivative) is how you go from a derivative back to the function it came from.

As an example, if you determine that the marginal cost, \(C^\prime\), of producing the \(x\)th unit of a product is given by \(C^\prime(x) = x^3 - 2x\), then you can “antidifferentiate” to find the total cost (which is the orginal function).

from sympy import *
from import x

marginal_cost = x ** 3 - 2 * x
cost = integrate(marginal_cost, x)
## x**4/4 - x**2

sympy doesn’t return the constant of integration, which is how the indefinite integral looks like in its complete form.

\(C\) may be of interest in some applications in which we may specify a point that is a solution of the antiderivative, such point is called an initial condition.

Height of a Thrown Object

A rock is thrown directly upward with an initial velocity of 50 ft/sec from an initial height of 10 ft. The velocity of this rock is modeled by \(v(t) = -31t + 50\), where \(t\) is in secondsm \(v\) in feet per second, and \(t = 0\) represents the moment the rock is released.

  1. Determine a distance function \(h\) as a function of \(t\).
  2. Determine the height and the velocity of the rock after 3 sec.
from import t
C = symbols("C")

velocity = -32 * t + 50
height = integrate(velocity, t) + C
## C - 16*t**2 + 50*t

The constant of integration \(C\) can be determined by using the initial conditions; we know that the initial height is 10 ft when \(t = 0\).

equation = Eq(10, height)
## Eq(10, C - 16*t**2 + 50*t)
constant = solve(equation, C)[0].evalf(subs={t:0})
## -46.0000000000000
height.evalf(subs={t:3, C:constant})
## 16.0000000000000

Change in Population

The rate of change of the population of Phoenix, Arizona, is modelled by the exponential function \(P^\prime(t) = 11.7e^{0.026t}\), where \(t\) is the number of years since 1960 and \(P^\prime(t)\) is in thousands of people per year. In 1980, Phoenix had a population of 790,000.

  1. Find the population model \(P(t)\).
  2. Estimate the population in 2012.
from math import e

dPdt = 11.7 * e **(0.026 * t)
integ = integrate(dPdt, t) + C
## 450.0*2.71828182845905**(0.026*t) + C
initial_conditions = Eq(790, integ)
## Eq(790, 450.0*2.71828182845905**(0.026*t) + C)
constant = solve(initial_conditions, C)[0].evalf(subs={t:20})
## 33.0875576355005
time_delta = 2012 - 1960

population = integ.subs(C, constant)
## 450.0*2.71828182845905**(0.026*t) + 33.0875576355005
## 1772.40420342536