Objectives: In this tutorial, we derive the formula for finding the slope
of a tangent line to a curve defined by an equation in polar coordinates. A couple of examples are worked to illustrate the use of this formula.
After working through these materials, the student should be able
- to find symbolically the slope of the tangent line to the graph of a polar
Theorem. Suppose that r = f(q) is a polar curve. The slope of the tangent line is given by
- Find slope of tangent line to r(q) = 2 + 3 cos(8q) at q = 3 p/4.
- Find slope of tangent line to r = sin(5q)
at q = p/3.