# 拐点

Plot of y = x3 with an inflection point at (0,0), which is also a stationary point.

Plot of y = x3 with an inflection point at (0,0), which is also a stationary point.

y = x3 的函数图像，(0,0)是其拐点 ，也是驻点

In differential calculus and differential geometry, an inflection point, point of inflection, flex, or inflection (British English: inflexion) is a point on a smooth plane curve at which the curvature changes sign. In particular, in the case of the graph of a function, it is a point where the function changes from being concave (concave downward) to convex (concave upward), or vice versa.

For example, if the curve is the graph of a function y = f(x), of differentiability class C2, an inflection point of the curve is where f'', the second derivative of f, vanishes (f'' = 0) and changes its sign at the point (from positive to negative or from negative to positive). A point where the second derivative vanishes but does not change its sign is sometimes called a point of undulation or undulation point.

In algebraic geometry an inflection point is defined slightly more generally, as a regular point where the tangent meets the curve to order at least 3, and an undulation point or hyperflex is defined as a point where the tangent meets the curve to order at least 4.

In algebraic geometry an inflection point is defined slightly more generally, as a regular point where the tangent meets the curve to order at least 3, and an undulation point or hyperflex is defined as a point where the tangent meets the curve to order at least 4.

## Definition

Inflection points in differential geometry are the points of the curve where the curvature changes its sign.

For example, the graph of the differentiable function has an inflection point at (x, f(x)) if and only if its first derivative, f', has an isolated extremum at x. (This is not the same as saying that f has an extremum). That is, in some neighborhood, x is the one and only point at which f' has a (local) minimum or maximum. If all extrema of f' are isolated, then an inflection point is a point on the graph of f at which the tangent crosses the curve.

A falling point of inflection is an inflection point where the derivative is negative on both sides of the point; in other words, it is an inflection point near which the function is decreasing. A rising point of inflection is a point where the derivative is positive on both sides of the point; in other words, it is an inflection point near which the function is increasing.

For an algebraic curve, a non singular point is an inflection point if and only if the intersection number of the tangent line and the curve (at the point of tangency) is greater than 2.

The principal result is that the set of the inflection points of an algebraic curve coincides with the intersection set of the curve with the Hessian curve.

For a smooth curve given by parametric equations, a point is an inflection point if its signed curvature changes from plus to minus or from minus to plus, i.e., changes sign.

For a smooth curve which is a graph of a twice differentiable function, an inflection point is a point on the graph at which the second derivative has an isolated zero and changes sign.

Plot of f(x) = sin(2x) from −模板:Pi/4 to 5模板:Pi/4; the second derivative is f[[:模板:]](x) = –4sin(2x), and its sign is thus the opposite of the sign of f. Tangent is blue where the curve is convex (above its own tangent), green where concave (below its tangent), and red at inflection points: 0, 模板:Pi/2 and 模板:Pi

Plot of f(x)=sin(2x) from −π/4 to 5π/4; the second derivative is f"(x)=–4sin(2x), and its sign is thus the opposite of the sign of f. Tangent is blue where the curve is convex (above its own tangent), green where concave (below its tangent), and red at inflection points: 0, π/2 and π.

f(x)=sin(2x)−π/4 到 5π/4 的函数图像。该函数二阶导数为 f"(x)=–4sin(2x)，和 f 符号相反。曲线为凸时（函数在切线上方）切线颜色为蓝色，曲线为凹时（函数在切线下方）切线颜色为绿色，拐点颜色为红色：0，π/2 和 π。

## A necessary but not sufficient condition

If the second derivative, f"模板:''(x) exists at x0, and x0 is an inflection point for f, then f模板:''(x0) = 0, but this condition is not sufficient for having a point of inflection, even if derivatives of any order exist. In this case, one also needs the lowest-order (above the second) non-zero derivative to be of odd order (third, fifth, etc.). If the lowest-order non-zero derivative is of even order, the point is not a point of inflection, but an undulation point. However, in algebraic geometry, both inflection points and undulation points are usually called inflection points. An example of an undulation point is x = 0 for the function f given by f(x) = x4.

In the preceding assertions, it is assumed that f has some higher-order non-zero derivative at x, which is not necessarily the case. If it is the case, the condition that the first nonzero derivative has an odd order implies that the sign of f模板:'(x) is the same on either side of x in a neighborhood of x. If this sign is positive, the point is a rising point of inflection; if it is negative, the point is a falling point of inflection.

Inflection points sufficient conditions:

1) A sufficient existence condition for a point of inflection is:

1）第一充分条件：

If f(x) is k times continuously differentiable in a certain neighborhood of a point x with k odd and k ≥ 3, while f(n)(x0) = 0 for n = 2, …, k − 1 and f(k)(x0) ≠ 0 then f(x) has a point of inflection at x0.

2) Another sufficient existence condition requires f模板:''(x + ε) and f模板:''(x − ε) to have opposite signs in the neighborhood of x (Bronshtein and Semendyayev 2004, p. 231).

2) Another sufficient existence condition requires (x + ε)}} and (x − ε)}} to have opposite signs in the neighborhood of x (Bronshtein and Semendyayev 2004, p. 231).

2）第二充分条件：f''(x + ε) 和 f'' (x − ε) 在 x 邻域符号相反。（见《数学手册》2004版第231页）

## Categorization of points of inflection

y = x4x has a 2nd derivative of zero at point (0,0), but it is not an inflection point because the fourth derivative is the first higher order non-zero derivative (the third derivative is zero as well).
y=x4–x has a 2nd derivative of zero at point (0,0), but it is not an inflection point because the fourth derivative is the first higher order non-zero derivative (the third derivative is zero as well).


y=x4 – x在点 (0,0) 处二阶导数为0，但 (0,0) 不是拐点，因为其四阶导数是一阶非零导数（三阶导数也是零）。

Points of inflection can also be categorized according to whether f模板:'(x) is zero or nonzero.

• if f模板:'(x) is zero, the point is a stationary point of inflection
• 若 f"(x)=0，该点为驻点拐点。
• if f模板:'(x) is not zero, the point is a non-stationary point of inflection
• 若 f"(x)≠0，该点为非驻点拐点。

A stationary point of inflection is not a local extremum. More generally, in the context of functions of several real variables, a stationary point that is not a local extremum is called a saddle point.

An example of a stationary point of inflection is the point (0, 0) on the graph of y = x3. The tangent is the x-axis, which cuts the graph at this point.

An example of a non-stationary point of inflection is the point (0, 0) on the graph of y = x3 + ax, for any nonzero a. The tangent at the origin is the line y = ax, which cuts the graph at this point.

## Functions with discontinuities

Some functions change concavity without having points of inflection. Instead, they can change concavity around vertical asymptotes or discontinuities. For example, the function $\displaystyle{ x\mapsto \frac1x }$ is concave for negative x and convex for positive x, but it has no points of inflection because 0 is not in the domain of the function.

Some functions change concavity without having points of inflection. Instead, they can change concavity around vertical asymptotes or discontinuities. For example, the function $\displaystyle{ x\mapsto \frac1x }$ is concave for negative and convex for positive , but it has no points of inflection because 0 is not in the domain of the function.

• Ogee, an architectural form with an inflection point S形曲线，具有一个拐点的建筑型式曲线
• Vertex (curve), a local minimum or maximum of curvature顶点，曲线的局部最小或局部最大值点

1. Stewart, James (2015). Calculus (8 ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning. pp. 281. ISBN 978-1-285-74062-1.
2. Problems in mathematical analysis. Baranenkov, G. S.. Moscow: Mir Publishers. 1976 . ISBN 5030009434. OCLC 21598952.
3. Bronshtein; Semendyayev (2004). Handbook of Mathematics (4th ed.). Berlin: Springer. p. 231. ISBN 3-540-43491-7.
4. "Point of inflection". encyclopediaofmath.org.

## Sources

Category:Differential calculus

Category:Curves

Category:Analytic geometry

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