Category Archives: Applied Calculus

What is the Difference Between A Secant Line and a Tangent Line?

 

Many students struggle with slopes of tangent lines versus slopes of secant lines. In the example below, I find these slopes and use them to compute the equation of a tangent line and the equation of a secant line.

The secant line is the red line to the right that passes through two points on the curve. The tangent line is the green line that just grazes the curve at a point.

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