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CONTINUITY

Roughly speaking, a function is said to be continuous on an interval if its graph has no breaks, jumps,
or holes in that interval. So, a continuous function has a graph that can be drawn without lifting the
pencil from the paper.

1. Which of the functions graphed below are continuous?

20 20
15 15
10 10
5 5

0 0
-1 -0.5 -4 -3 -2 -1 -5 0 1 2 3
-5 0 0.5 1
-10 -10
-15
-15
-20
-20
x
x

10
8
8
6 6
4
4
2
2 0
-5 -3 -1 -2 1 3 5
0
-3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 -4
x

More specifically, a function is continuous if nearby values of the independent variable give nearby
values of the function.

Example: Let p( x) be the cost of mailing a letter weighing x ounces. According to our current postal
rates, p (1.00) = $0.37 and p(0.99) = $0.37 . But p (1.01) = $0.59 . So values nearby x = 1.00 do not
give nearby values to p (1.00) . This function is not continuous at x = 1.00 .

2. Which functions that we have studied so far may not be continuous?

3. Is this function continuous on the given intervals? Why or why not?

4
y= a. on [0,4] b. on [-2.5,2.5]
x−3

4. Is this function continuous on the given intervals? Why or why not?

ecos x ⎡ π 3π ⎤ ⎡ −π π ⎤
g ( x) = a. on ⎢ , ⎥ b. on ⎢ ,
sin x ⎣4 4 ⎦ ⎣ 4 4 ⎥⎦