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# LIMITS AND

CONTINUITY
Anis S.Nurrohkayati,ST,.MT
Faculty of Engineering
Mulawarman University
OBJECTIVES

## Know what left limits, right limits, and limits are

Know how to compute simple limits
Know what it means for a function to be continuous
Know how sin() and cos() behave as 0.

TECH OF MATH 2
What is a limit?

## The word limit is used in everyday conversation to describe the

ultimate behavior of something, as in the limit of ones endurance or
the limit of ones patience.

## In mathematics, the word limit has a similar but more precise

meaning.

A limit is what happens when you get closer and closer to a point
without actually reaching it.

TECH OF MATH 3
Limits

## Given a function f(x), if x approaching 3 causes the function to take

values approaching (or equalling) some particular number, such as 10,
then we will call 10 the limit of the function and write
lim = 10 ; 3 10
3

In practice, the two simplest ways we can approach 3 are from the left
or from the right.
For example, the numbers 2.9, 2.99, 2.999, ... approach 3 from the left,
which we denote by x3 , and the numbers 3.1, 3.01, 3.001, ...
approach 3 from the right, denoted by x3 +. Such limits are called
one-sided limits.

TECH OF MATH 4
Example:

2 1
Example: If () = then 1 is undefined. However, as 1,
1
2, so lim = 2 .
1
x 0 .9 .99 .999 .9999 3
f(x) 1 1.9 1.99 1.999 1.9999 2
1
f(x) 0
-1
-2
-3
-4
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4
x

TECH OF MATH 5
Table Method And Direct
Substitution Method

lim x 3
?
x2
because as x gets closer and closer to 2, x cubed gets closer and closer
to 8. (using table on next slide)
Can use a table to find a limit.
X 1.8 1.9 1.99 1.99999 2 2.00001 2.001 2.1 2.2

## y 5.832 6.859 7.8805 7.9998 8.0001 8.012 9.261 10.648

TECH OF MATH 6
In the previous example it was fairly evident that the limit was 8, because when we
replaced x with 2
(using direct substitution) the function had a value of 8. This is not always as evident.
Find the limit below.
x 2x 3
2
lim
x 1 x 1

TECH OF MATH 7
Left Limit and Right Limit

Consider () = . 0 is undefined. As 0 ,

() = 1

## x -1 -.1 -.01 -.001 -.0001 4

f(x) -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 3
2
As 0+ , () = 1 1
f(x) 0
x 1 .1 .01 .001 .0001 -1
f(x) 1 1 1 1 1 -2
-3
-4
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4
x
We write this as lim = 1 , lim+ () = 1
0 TECH OF MATH 0 8
Limit Definition Summary

## We say that lim = if as

We say that lim+ = if as +

If lim = lim+ = (i.e. it doesnt matter

which side x approaches a from) then we say that
lim =

TECH OF MATH 9
Nonexistence of Limits

## Limits can fail to exist in several ways

1. lim or lim+ may not exist.

1
Example: sin oscillates rapidly between 0 and 1 as
1
+
0 (or 0 ). Thus, lim+ sin DNE (does not exist)
0
1
Example: gets larger and larger as 0+ . We write this
1
as lim+ =
0
2. lim and lim+ may both exist but have

different values. Ex: = near = 0
||
TECH OF MATH 10
Computing Limits

To compute lim :

If nothing special happens at = , just compute .
Example: lim (3 1) = 5
2
0
If plugging in = gives , factors can often be
0
cancelled when .
Example:
2 4 (2)(+2)
lim ( ) = lim ( ) = lim ( + 2) = 4
2 2 2 2 2

TECH OF MATH 11
Computing Limits (cont.)

+ 2 2
Useful trick: = =
+ +
+11
Example: What is lim ?
0
+11 +11 +1+1
lim = lim
0 0 +1+1
1 1
= lim = lim =
0 ( + 1 + 1) 0 ( + 1 + 1) 2

TECH OF MATH 12
Limits at Infinity

## We can also consider what happens when or . Example:

1 1
Consider = = 1 . As x (or ), 1. We write

1
this as lim =1

TECH OF MATH 13
Computing Limits at

General strategy : figure out the largest terms and ignore everything
else
3 2 2
Example: If = , as only the 3 in the
4 2 +2 5
3
numerator and the 4 2 will really matter, so lim =
4

TECH OF MATH 14
Growth Rates as

Examples:

lim =0

2
lim 100 =
5

TECH OF MATH 15
Limit Laws

## If lim = L and lim = then:

lim ( + ()) = L + M

lim ( ()) = L M

lim ( ()) = LM

()
lim ( ) = (if 0)
()
Etc.

TECH OF MATH 16
Continuity

## Definition: is continuous at a if both and lim exist

and are equal.
Note: Polynomials are always continuous everywhere. Most
functions we will be working with are continuous almost
everywhere.

TECH OF MATH 17
Discontinuous functions

## may fail to be continuous at = because:

1. lim or does not exist.

Example: If = then lim does not exist.
0
2 1
Example: If = then 1 is undefined.
1
2. lim or both exist but have different values.

Example: If = then lim = 1 but 1 = 0
1

TECH OF MATH 18
Two Trigonometric Limits

## How do sin() and cos() behave as 0?

Consider lim . We cant cancel and directly, but if we think about it
0

x
1
sin(x) 1
x x
x sin(x)

As 0, looks more and more like , so lim = 1.
0

TECH OF MATH 19
Two Trigonometric Limits (cont.)

## How about cos()? Clearly, lim = 1, but consider

0
1
lim .
0
1 (1 )(1+ ) 2 ()
lim = lim = lim =
0 0 (1+ ) 0 (1+ )

lim lim =0
0 0 1+
2
In fact, for small x, 1 .
2

TECH OF MATH 20
TECH OF MATH 21