Derivative of x^3 by First Principle, Power Rule

The derivative of x^3 is equal to 3x^2. The function x3 denotes the cube of x. In this post, we will find the derivative of x cube by different methods; for example, by the power rule, by the limit definition of derivatives.

Derivative of x^3

Derivative of x3 by Power Rule

To find the derivative of x cube, we will use the power rule of derivatives. The power rule is about the derivative of xn and the rule is given below.


Putting n=3 in the above rule, we will obtain the derivative of x3.  Hence, it follows that

$\dfrac{d}{dx}$(x3) = 3x3-1 = 3x2.

So the derivative of x3 by the power rule of derivatives is 3x2.

You can read: Derivative of 1/root(x)

Derivative of root x + 1 by root x

Next, we will find out the derivative of x3 from first principle, that is, using the limit definition of derivatives.

Derivative of x3 by First Principle

Recall the first principle of derivatives: The derivative of a function f(x) by first principle is given as follows.

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

Let $f(x)=x^3$

So the derivative of x cube by the first principle is equal to

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

$=\lim\limits_{h \to 0} \dfrac{x^3+3x^2h+3xh^2+h^3-x^3}{h}$ using the algebraic identity $(a+b)^3$ $ = a^3+3a^2b+3ab^2+b^3$.

$=\lim\limits_{h \to 0} \dfrac{3x^2h+3xh^2+h^3}{h}$

$=\lim\limits_{h \to 0} \dfrac{h(3x^2+3xh+h^2)}{h}$

$=\lim\limits_{h \to 0} [3x^2+3xh+h^2]$

$=3x^2+3x \cdot 0+0^2$

= 3x2+0 = 3x2.

Hence, the derivative of x^3 by first principle is 3x2.

Also Read:

Derivative of x | Derivative of x2

Derivative of 1/x2 | Derivative of 1/(1+x2)

Question 1: Find the derivative of $(\sin x)^3$


Let z=sin x. So we have $\frac{dz}{dx}$ = cos x.

Then by the chain rule of derivatives, the derivative of sinx cube is equal to

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

$=3z^2 \cdot \cos x$

$=3\sin^2 x \cos x$ as z=sin x.

Thus, the derivative of (sin x)^3 is equal to 3sin2x cosx.

More Reading: Find the derivative of 2x


Q1: What is the derivative of x3?

Answer: The derivative of x cube is equal to 3x2.

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