# THE MEAN VALUE THEOREM FOR INTEGRALS

The Mean Value Theorem for Integrals states that a continuous function on a closed interval takes on its average value at the same point in that interval. The theorem guarantees that if f(x) is continuous, a point c exists in an interval [a, b] such that the value of the function at c is equal to the average value of f(x) over [a, b]. We state this theorem mathematically with the help of the formula for the average value of a function that we presented at the end of the preceding section.

If f(x) is continuous over an interval [a, b], then there is at least one point c ∈ [a, b] such that

Using this theorem, we can find the value of x in the interval [a, b], where f(x) attains its average value.

Example 1 :

Find the average value of the function f(x) = 2x + 6 over the interval [0, 7] and find c such that f(c) equals the average value of the function over [0, 7].

Solution :

Average value of the function :

Set the average value equal to f(c) and solve for c.

f(c) = 13

2c + 6 = 13

2c = 7

c = 3.5

Example 2 :

Find the average value of the function f(x) = ˣ⁄₂ over the interval [0, 6] and find c such that f(c) equals the average value of the function over [0, 6].

Solution :

Average value of the function :

Set the average value equal to f(c) and solve for c.

f(c) = 1.5

ᶜ⁄₂ = 1.5

c = 3

Example 3 :

Find the average value of the function f(x) = x2 over the interval [0, 3] and find c such that f(c) equals the average value of the function over [0, 3].

Solution :

Average value of the function :

Set the average value equal to f(c) and solve for c.

f(c) = 3

c2 = 3

±√3

≈ -1.732 or 1.732

-1.732  [0, 3]  and  1.732  [0, 3]

Thus,

≈ 1.732

Example 4 :

Find the value of x, where the function f(x) = 2x + 3 attains its average value over the interval [0, 5].

Solution :

Let c be the value of x, where the function f(x) attains its average value over the interval [0, 5].

2c + 3 = 8

2c = 5

c = 2.5  [0, 5]

The given function attains its average value at x = 2.5 over the interval [0, 5].

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