The derivative of 3^{x} is equal to 3^{x} ln 3. Here ln 3 denotes the natural logarithm of 3, that is, ln 3 = log_{e} 3. In this post, we will find the derivative of 3 to the power x by the first principle of derivatives.

We first recall the first principle of derivatives. The derivative of a function f(x) by first principle is given by the limit below:

$\dfrac{d}{dx}(f(x))$ $=\lim\limits_{h \to 0} \dfrac{f(x+h)-f(x)}{h}$ $\cdots (I)$

## Derivative of 3^{x} from First Principle

To find the derivative of 3 to the x, we put f(x)=3^{x} in the above formula **(I)**. Then by the first principle, the derivative of 3^{x} is given by

$\dfrac{d}{dx}(3^x)=\lim\limits_{h \to 0} \dfrac{3^{x+h}-3^x}{h}$

$=\lim\limits_{h \to 0}\dfrac{3^x \cdot 3^h -3^x}{h}$, by the indices rule: a^{m+n} = a^{m} ⋅ a^{n}

$=\lim\limits_{h \to 0}\dfrac{3^x (3^h -1)}{h}$

$=3^x \lim\limits_{h \to 0}\dfrac{3^h -1}{h}$

$=3^x \log_e 3,$ here we have used the limit formula: $\lim\limits_{t \to 0} \dfrac{a^t-1}{t}$$=\log_e a$.

= 3^{x} ln 3

Thus, the derivative of 3^{x} is equal to 3^{x} ln 3 and this is obtained by the first principle of derivatives.

**Note**: From the derivative formula of a^{x}, we can obtain the derivative of 3^{x}. We know that $\dfrac{d}{dx}(a^x)=a^x \ln a$. Thus, the derivative of 3^{x} is equal to $\dfrac{d}{dx}(3^x)$ = 3^{x} ln 3.

**Question:** Find the derivative of 3^{2x}. That is, find $\dfrac{d}{dx}(3^{2x})$.

*Answer: *

Let z=2x. Then we have $\dfrac{dz}{dx}=2$. We will use the chain rule of derivatives. Thus, the derivative of 3^{2x} is given by

$\dfrac{d}{dx}(3^{2x})$ $=\dfrac{d}{dz}(3^z) \cdot \dfrac{dz}{dx}$

$=3^z \ln 3 \times 2$ as we have from the above that $\dfrac{d}{dx}(3^x)=3^x\ln 3$

$=2 \cdot 3^{2x}\ln 3$ as z=2x.

Thus, the derivative of 3^{2x} is equal to 2⋅ 3^{2x} ln 3.

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## FAQs

**Q1: What is the derivative of 3 ^{x}?**

**Answer:** The derivative of 3^{x} is 3^{x} log_{e}3.