Math 135 Business Calculus Spring 2009Class Notes
1.2 Algebraic Limits and Continuity
In the last section, we showed how we can evaluate limits numerically and graphically. However, thesemethods can be time consuming and are often not practical for ﬁnding the exact values of limits. Inthis section, we’ll see how to evaluate limits algebraically using the following principles.
LIMIT PRINCIPLES
If lim
x
→
a
f
(
x
) =
L
and lim
x
→
a
g
(
x
) =
M
, then we have the folowing:
1.1
lim
x
→
a
c
=
c
.(The limit of a constant is the constant.)
1.2
For any positive integer
n
,lim
x
→
a
£
f
(
x
)
§
n
=
h
lim
x
→
a
f
(
x
)
i
n
=
L
n
,
andlim
x
→
a
n
p
f
(
x
) =
n
q
lim
x
→
a
f
(
x
) =
n
√
L,
assuming that
L
≥
0 when
n
is even.(The limit of a power is the power of the limit, and the limit of a root is the root of the limit.)
1.3
lim
x
→
a
£
f
(
x
)
±
g
(
x
)
§
= lim
x
→
a
f
(
x
)
±
lim
x
→
a
g
(
x
) =
L
±
M
.(The limit of a sum or di
ﬀ
erence is the sum or the di
ﬀ
erence of the limits.)
1.4
lim
x
→
a
£
f
(
x
)
·
g
(
x
)
§
=
h
lim
x
→
a
f
(
x
)
i
·
h
lim
x
→
a
g
(
x
)
i
=
L
·
M
.(The limit of a product is the product of the limits.)
1.5
lim
x
→
a
g
(
x
)
f
(
x
)=lim
x
→
a
g
(
x
)lim
x
→
a
g
(
x
)=
M L
provided that
L
6
= 0.(The limit of a quotient is the quotient of the limits.)
1.6
lim
x
→
a
£
cf
(
x
)
§
=
c
·
lim
x
→
a
f
(
x
) =
c
˙
L
.(The limit of a constant times a function is the constant times the limit.)It is easy to see why these properties are true. For instance, if
f
(
x
) is close to
L
and
g
(
x
) is closeto
M
, it is reasonable to conclude that
f
(
x
) +
g
(
x
) is close to
L
+
M
. This gives us an intuitive basisfor believing that the limit of a sum is the sum of the limits.
EXAMPLE
Use the Limit Principles to ﬁnd lim
x
→
4
(
x
2
−
3
x
+ 7).
5