Rolle’s Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem are fundamental results in calculus that relate to the behavior of continuous and differentiable functions. While they are closely related, they serve slightly different purposes. Below is a detailed comparison of the two theorems.

### Rolle’s Theorem

**Statement:**

If ( f ) is a real-valued function that satisfies the following conditions:

- ( f ) is continuous on the closed interval ([a, b]).
- ( f ) is differentiable on the open interval ((a, b)).
- ( f(a) = f(b) ).

Then there exists at least one number ( c ) in the interval ((a, b)) such that

[

f'(c) = 0.

]

**Interpretation:**

Rolle’s Theorem states that if a function is continuous and smooth (differentiable) on an interval and takes the same value at the endpoints, there must be at least one point within that interval where the tangent to the curve (the derivative) is horizontal (i.e., the slope is zero).

**Graphical Representation:**

Graphically, if the curve rises and then falls back to the same height (thus having the same value at ( a ) and ( b )), there must be a peak or trough somewhere between ( a ) and ( b ).

### Mean Value Theorem (MVT)

**Statement:**

If ( f ) is a real-valued function that satisfies the following conditions:

- ( f ) is continuous on the closed interval ([a, b]).
- ( f ) is differentiable on the open interval ((a, b)).

Then there exists at least one number ( c ) in the interval ((a, b)) such that

[

f'(c) = \frac{f(b) – f(a)}{b – a}.

]

**Interpretation:**

The Mean Value Theorem states that there is a point ( c ) in the interval where the instantaneous rate of change (the derivative) equals the average rate of change (the secant slope) over the interval from ( a ) to ( b ). In simpler terms, there is at least one point where the slope of the tangent to the curve is equal to the slope of the line connecting the endpoints.

**Graphical Representation:**

Graphically, if you draw a straight line connecting the points ((a, f(a))) and ((b, f(b))), the MVT guarantees that there will be at least one point ( c ) where the tangent to the curve is parallel to this straight line.

### Key Differences

**Conditions and Conclusions:****Rolle’s Theorem**: Requires ( f(a) = f(b) ); concludes that there is at least one ( c ) where ( f'(c) = 0 ).**Mean Value Theorem**: Requires conditions of continuity and differentiability; concludes that the derivative at some point ( c ) equals the average slope between ( a ) and ( b ).

**Implications:**- Rolle’s Theorem can be considered a special case of the Mean Value Theorem where the endpoints have equal function values.
- The MVT can provide more general information about the behavior of functions, showing how the average rate of change relates to instantaneous rates.

**Applications:**- Both theorems are used in proving other results in calculus and analysis, such as properties of monotonicity, concavity, and the behavior of functions on intervals.

### Summary

In summary, both Rolle’s Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem establish important links between a function’s average rate of change over an interval and its instantaneous rates at specific points. Rolle’s Theorem is a more specific variant applicable when the function has the same values at both endpoints, while the Mean Value Theorem applies to a broader set of cases with only continuity and differentiability conditions.