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Vector Functions

3.1 Relations and Functions We begin with a review of the idea of a function. Suppose A and B are sets. The Cartesian product A × B of these sets is the collection of all ordered pairs (a ,b) such that a ∈ A and b ∈ B . A relation R is simply a subset of A × B . The domain of R is the set dom R = {a ∈ A:( a , b) ∈ R} . In case A = B and the domain of R is all of A, we call R a relation on A. A relation R ⊂ A × B such that (a ,b) ∈ R and (a , c) ∈ R only if b = c is called a function. In other words, if R is a function, and a ∈ dom R , there is exactly one ordered pair (a ,b) ∈ R . The second “coordinate” b is thus uniquely determined by a. It is usually denoted R (a ) . If R ⊂ A × B is a relation, the inverse of R is the relation R −1 ⊂ B × A defined by R −1 = {(b, a ):( a, b) ∈ R} . Example Let A be the set of all people who have ever lived and let S ⊂ A × A be the relation defined by S = {( a, b): b is the mother of a} . The S is a relation on A, and is, in fact, a function. The relation S −1 is not a function, and domS −1 ≠ A . The fact that f ⊂ A × B is a function with dom f = A is frequently indicated by writing f : A → B , and we say f is a function from A to B. Very often a function f is defined by specifying the domain, and giving a recipe for finding f(a). Thus we may define the function f from the interval [0,1] to the real numbers by f ( x) = x 2 . This says that f is the collection of all ordered pairs ( x , x 2 ) in which x ∈[01] . ,

Exercises

3.1

If f is a function. −1 b)If y ∈ dom f . 2. Let A be the set of all Georgia Tech students. Is W a function? Is W −1 a function? Explain. is it necessarily true that f ∩ g is a function? Prove your answer. municipalities.2 Vector Functions Our interest now will be focused on functions f : X → Y in which Y is a set of vectors. These are called vector functions. 3. let b be the function b = {( x . and c(Kentucky). Suppose f ⊂ X × Y and g ⊂ X × Y . Suppose f : X → Y is a function and the inverse f a)What is f −1 −1 6. b): b is the weight (in pounds) of a} . or sometimes. As the drama unfolds. Y as in Exercise 2. Let X be the entire real line and let the function f be defined by f (t ) = ti + t 2 j . and let B be the set of real numbers. y ): y is the largest city in x} . we shall be solely interested in the special case in which X is a “nice” set of real numbers. 4. Let X be set of all states of the U. ( f ( x )) ? Explain.2 . such as an interval. Define the relation W ⊂ A × B by W = {( a. a)What is b(South Carolina)? b)What is b(California)? c)Let f = c ∩ b . S. It should be reasonably clear that if we place the tail of 3. what is f ( f −1 ( y )) ? Explain. y ): y is the capital of x} . is it necessarily true that f ∪ g is a function? Prove your answer. Suppose f ⊂ X × Y and g ⊂ X × Y .1. Find dom f.. vector-valued functions. 3. and find c(Nevada). we shall see that such functions provide just the right tool for describing curves in space. and let Y be the set of all U. Let’s begin with a simple example. Define the relation c ⊂ X × Y by c = {(x . If f and g are both functions. With X . Explain why c is a function. where c is the function defined in Exercise 2. is also a function. Initially. 5. c(Missouri). S.

. Here’s a computer drawn picture: 3. a representative of f (t ) ) at the origin. we see the circle described by cos ti + sin tj . the nose will lie on the curve y = x 2 . the nose moves around the circle once. The nose of g thus always lies on the circle of radius one centered at the origin. Let’s draw another.f (t ) (actually. The function f is called a vector description of the curve. The picture was drawn by Maple. The real usefulness of vector descriptions is most evident when we consider curves in space. as t varies over the reals. in fact. What is the curve described by this function? First.). How about the curve described by the vector function g (t ) = cos t i + sin t j + sin(2 t ) k ? This one is just a bit more exciting. As t increases. This time. what curve is followed by the nose of f(t)? Notice first that if we look down on this curve from someplace up the positive third axis (In other words.3 . let g (t ) = cos t i + sin t j for 0 ≤ t ≤ 4π . for all t ≥ 0 . a right circular helix. we run around this circle and the third component of our position increases linearly. Let f (t ) = cos ti + sin tj + t k . k is pointing directly at us. we have | g(t )| = 1. as t varies from 0 to 2π. the nose traces out the circle again. the nose traces out this curve. or more precisely. Now. It’s not difficult to see that. Let’s look at another example. Convince yourself now that this curve looks like this: This curve is called a helix. and as t varies on from 2π to 4π. note that for all t. In fact.

). the curve described by the vector function r(t ) = f (t ) i + g (t ) j + h( t ) k is equivalently described by the equations x = f (t ) y = g (t ) z = h(t ) These are called parametric equations of the curve (The variable t is called the parameter. the graph of which is the given curve.”) Observe that in giving a vector description. Sketch or otherwise describe the curve given by f (t ) = ti + t 3 k for −1 ≤ t ≤ 3 .] 3. and z. Assuming the axes are labeled x. Exercises 7 .(This time we put the axes where they are “supposed to be. y. 8 .4 . [Hint: Find an equation in x and y. we are in effect specifying the three coordinates of points on the curves as ordinary real valued functions defined on a subset of the reals. Sketch or otherwise describe the curve given by f (t ) = (2t − 3) i + ( 3t + 1) j .

Find an equation in x g (t ) = 3 cos ti + 4 sin tj .-2) in the direction of the vector v = i − j + 2k . 14.1.1.5).4. 10. where a = 2 i − j + 3k and b = i + 3 j − 5k .5 . Find a vector function for the straight line passing through the point (1. b)Find a vector equation for the graph of x = y 3 + 2 y 2 + y + 5. 18.5. 17. Sketch or otherwise describe the curve given by c( t ) = cos ti + sin t j + 7 k . 3. b)Find a vector function for the line segment joining the points (1.4) and (3. a)Sketch or otherwise describe the curve given by the function r(t ) = a + tb .4. Describe the curve given by L (t ) = (3t + 1)i + (1 − t ) j + 2tk . 15. Sketch or otherwise describe the curve given by c( t ) = cos(t 2 ) i + sin(t 2 ) j + 7 k . and let M be the line through the points (2. b)Express r(t) in the form r(t ) = f (t ) i + g (t ) j + h( t ) k . 2 2 13.2) and is perpendicular to both L and M.-2). a)Find a vector function for the straight line passing through the points (1.5).9 . Find a vector description of the line which passes through the point (1. a)Find a vector equation for the graph of y = x 3 + 2 x 2 + x + 5.4).3 Limits and Continuity 3.2.1.2. Find a vector equation for the graph of x 3 + y 3 = 1 .1. 16.4) and (3.2. and y.6) and (-3. the graph of which is the curve 12.-2) and (2. Let L be the line through the points (1. 11.

Specifically.6 . 3(1+| a |) ε for 0 < | t − t 0 | < δ 2 . function f is L. there is a δ > 0 such that | f ( t ) − L | < ε whenever 0 < | t − t 0 | < δ and t is in the domain of f. δ 3 . t → t0 The vector L is called a limit of f at a. Let ε > 0 be given. It is but a modest exercise to show that t → t0 lim(α (t ) f ( t )) = aL . 3 ε for 0 < | t − t 0 | < δ 3 . Choose δ 1 . we use the “behold!” method. This is traditionally written lim f (t ) = L . suppose f is a vector valued function. and f is a vector function t → t0 for which lim f (t ) = L . and δ 4 so that | f ( t) − L|< | f ( t) − L|< | α (t ) − a| < | α (t ) − a| < ε for 0 < | t − t 0 | < δ 1 . δ 4 } suppose t is such that 0 < | t − t 0 | < δ . The definition for vector functions is essentially the same. t 0 is a real number.Recall from grammar school what we mean when we say the limit at t 0 of a realvalued. and 3(1+ | L |) ε for 0 < | t − t 0 | < δ 4 . or scalar.δ 2 . and L is a vector such that for every real number ε > 0. Suppose α( t ) is a scalar function for which lim α (t ) = a .δ 3 . δ 2 . t → t0 To see this. 3 Now let δ = min{δ 1 . Then | α (t ) f (t ) − aL| = | a ( f (t ) − L ) + L (α (t ) − a) + (α (t ) − a )( f (t ) − L )| ≤ | a( f (t ) − L )|+| L (α ( t ) − a )|+ |(α (t ) − a )||( f (t ) − L )| < |a| | L| ε ε ε ε ε ε + ε + < + + =ε 3(1+|a|) 3(1+| L|) 3 3 3 3 3 3.

It is now easy to show that all the usual nice properties of limits are valid for vector functions: lim( f (t ) + g( t )) = lim f ( t ) + lim g(t ). y (t ). It is easy to see that if t→ t0 f (t ) = x ( t ) i + y (t ) j + z (t ) k . in other words. Exercises 3. and lim z( t ) = c. Then we say f is continuous at t 0 if it is true that lim f ( t ) = f ( t 0 ) . If f is continuous at each point of its domain. t → t0 t → t0 t → t0 lim y (t ) = b. then we say simply that f is continuous. and z(t ) is continuous at t 0 . t → t0 t → t0 t → t0 lim( f (t ) ⋅ g(t )) = (lim f (t )) ⋅ (lim g(t )) . t → t0 t →t 0 t → t0 We are now ready to say what we mean by a vector function’s being continuous at a point of its domain.7 . then f is continuous at t 0 if and only if each of the everyday scalar functions x ( t ). Now suppose f (t ) = x ( t ) i + y (t ) j + z(t ) k and L = ai + bj + c k .Or. that lim f (t ) = L if and only if t → t0 Then we see lim x( t ) = a . This shows there is nothing particularly mysterious or exotic about continuity of vector functions. Suppose t 0 is in the domain of the vector function f. lim(α (t ) f ( t )) = aL . t → t0 which is what we set out to show. t → t0 t →t 0 t → t0 lim( f (t ) × g(t )) = (lim f (t )) × (lim g(t )) .

23.8 . Is r a continuous function? Explain. Suppose m is a continuous real-valued function and f is a continuous vector-valued function. Let f and g be continuous at t = t 0 . Is the vector function h defined by h(t ) = m(t ) f (t ) also continuous? 21. t Suppose r is a continuous function. Is the function h defined by h( t ) = f ( t ) × g( t ) continuous? Explain. 3. function n(t ) =| r(t )| is continuous. How about the function r(t ) = f (t ) ⋅ g( t ) ? 1 Let r(t ) = ti + t 2 j + k . Explain how you know that the length 22. 20. Explain.19. Is it possible for a function f to have more than one limit at t = t 0 ? Prove your answer.

vector functions

vector functions

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