# Steiner's problem

Steiner's problem is the problem of finding the maximum of the function

$f(x)=x^{1/x}.\,$[1]

It is named after Jakob Steiner.

The maximum is at $x=e$, where e denotes the base of natural logarithms. One can determine that by solving the equivalent problem of maximizing

$g(x)=\ln f(x) = \frac{\ln x}{x}.$

The derivative of $g$ can be calculated to be

$g'(x)= \frac{1-\ln x}{x^2}.$

It follows that $g'(x)$ is positive for $0 and negative for $x>e$, which implies that $g(x)$ (and therefore $f(x)$) increases for $0 and decreases for $x>e.$ Thus, $x=e$ is the unique global maximum of $f(x).$

## References

1. ^ Eric W. Weisstein. "Steiner's Problem". MathWorld. Retrieved December 8, 2010.