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Section 1.5 Limits Involving Infinity; Asymptotes

Announcements

Math S-1ab Calculus I and II

June 28, 2007

We will hold off on §1.1 problems until I hear back from tech support.

Math S-1ab Calculus I and II June 28, 2007 We will hold off on § 1

Definition

Let f be a function defined on some interval (a, ). Then

x f (x) = L

lim

means that the values of f (x ) can be made as close to L as we like, by taking x sufficiently large.

x ) = L lim means that the values of f ( x ) can be

Definition

Let f be a function defined on some interval (a, ). Then

x f (x) = L

lim

means that the values of f (x ) can be made as close to L as we like, by taking x sufficiently large.

Definition

The line y = L is a called a horizontal asymptote of the curve y = f (x) if either

x f (x ) = L

lim

or

x→−∞ f (x) = L. lim
x→−∞ f (x) = L.
lim

Definition

Let f be a function defined on some interval (a, ). Then

x f (x) = L

lim

means that the values of f (x ) can be made as close to L as we like, by taking x sufficiently large.

Definition

The line y = L is a called a horizontal asymptote of the curve

y

= f (x) if either

y

x f (x ) = L

lim

= L is a horizontal line!

or

x f (x) = L.

lim

x → ∞ f ( x ) = L lim = L is a horizontal line!

Theorem

Let n be a positive integer. Then

lim

x→∞

1

n = 0

x

lim

x→−∞

1

n = 0

x

Theorem Let n be a positive integer. Then lim x →∞ 1 n = 0 x

Using the limit laws to compute limits at

Example

Find

if it exists.

A does not exist

B 1 /2

C 0

D

lim

x→∞

2x 3 + 3x + 1

4x 3 + 5x 2 + 7

Find if it exists. A does not exist B 1 / 2 C 0 D ∞

Using the limit laws to compute limits at

Example

Find

if it exists.

A

does not exist

B

1 /2

C

0

D

lim

x→∞

2x 3 + 3x + 1

4x 3 + 5x 2 + 7

A does not exist B 1 / 2 C 0 D ∞ lim x →∞ 2

Solution

Factor out the largest power of x from the numerator and denominator. We have

lim

x→∞

2x 3 + 3x + 1 7 = x 3 (2 + 3 /x 2 + 1 /x 3 )

4x 3 + 5x 2 +

x 3 (4 + 5 /x + 7 /x 3 )

2x 3 + 3x + 1

4x 3 + 5x 2 +

7 =

=

lim

x→∞

+ 3 /x 2 + 1 /x 3 + 5 /x + 7 /x 3

2

4

2

1

+ 0 + 0 = 2

+ 0 + 0

4

x 2 + 7 = = lim x →∞ + 3 / x 2 + 1

Solution

Factor out the largest power of x from the numerator and denominator. We have

lim

x→∞

2x 3 + 3x + 1 7 = x 3 (2 + 3 /x 2 + 1 /x 3 )

4x 3 + 5x 2 +

x 3 (4 + 5 /x + 7 /x 3 )

2x 3 + 3x + 1

4x 3 + 5x 2 +

7 =

=

lim

x→∞

+ 3 /x 2 + 1 /x 3 + 5 /x + 7 /x 3

2

4

2

1

+ 0 + 0 = 2

+ 0 + 0

4

Upshot

When finding limits of algebraic expressions at infinitely, look at the highest degree terms.

= 2 + 0 + 0 4 Upshot When finding limits of algebraic expressions at infinitely,

Another Example

Example

Find

lim

x→∞

3x 4 + 7

x 2 + 3

Another Example Example Find lim x →∞ √ 3 x 4 + 7 x 2 +

Another Example

Example

Find

Solution

The limit is 3.

lim

x→∞

3x 4 + 7

x 2 + 3

Another Example Example Find Solution The limit is √ 3 . lim x →∞ √ 3

Example

Make a conjecture about

lim

x→∞

x 2

2 x .

Example Make a conjecture about lim x →∞ x 2 2 x .

Example

Make a conjecture about

lim

x→∞

x 2

2 x .

Solution

The limit is zero. exponential growth is infinitely faster than geometric growth

lim x →∞ x 2 2 x . Solution The limit is zero. exponential growth is

Infinite Limits

Definition

The notation

xa f (x) =

lim

means that the values of f (x) can be made arbitrarily large (as large as we please) by taking x sufficiently close to a but not equal to a.

Definition

The notation

xa f (x) = −∞

lim

means that the values of f (x) can be made arbitrarily large negative (as large as we please) by taking x sufficiently close to a but not equal to a.

Of course we have definitions for left- and right-hand infinite limits.

sufficiently close to a but not equal to a . Of course we have definitions for

Vertical Asymptotes

Definition

The line x = a is called a vertical asymptote of the curve y = f (x) if at least one of the following is true:

xa f (x) =

lim

lim + f (x) =

xa

xa f (x) = −∞

lim

lim + f (x) = −∞

xa

lim − f (x) = ∞ lim − f (x) = −∞ x→a x→a
lim − f (x) = ∞
lim − f (x) = −∞
x→a
x→a

Infinite Limits we Know

1

=

x

1

x

1

x 2 =

= −∞

lim

x0+

lim

x0

lim

x0

we Know 1 = ∞ x 1 x 1 x 2 = ∞ = −∞ lim

Finding limits at trouble spots

Example

Let

Find

continuous.

lim f (t) and

ta

t 2 + 2

f (t) =

t 2 3t + 2 lim + f (t) for each a at which f

ta

is not

) and t → a t 2 + 2 f ( t ) = t 2

Finding limits at trouble spots

Example

Let

Find

continuous.

lim f (t) and

ta

f (t) =

t 2 + 2

t 2 3t + 2

lim + f (t) for each a at which f

ta

is not

Solution

The denominator factors as (t 1)(t 2). We can record the signs of the factors on the number line.

Solution The denominator factors as ( t − 1)( t − 2) . We can record

0

+

   
   
 

1

(t 1)

− 0 +       1 ( t − 1)
− 0 +
− 0
+

1

0

+

− 0 + 1 − 0 + 2 ( t ( t − 1) − 2)

2

(t

(t

1)

2)

− 0 + 1 − 0 + 2 ( t ( t − 1) − 2)
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + (t − 2) 2
− 0
+
(t
− 1)
1
− 0
+
(t
− 2)
2

+

(t 2 + 2) t 2 + 2)

− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + (t − 2) 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2
− 0
+
(t
− 1)
1
− 0
+
− 2)
(t
2

+

(t 2 + 2) t 2 + 2)

− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (

1

2

f ( t ) (t)

− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 +
0
+
(t
− 1)
1
0
+
− 2)
(t
2
+
(t 2 + 2)
+
f (t)
1
2
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (t

0

+

   
   
 

1

0

+

− 0 +       1 − 0 + 2 ( t − 1) (

2

(t 1)

(t 2)

+

(t 2 + 2) t 2 + 2)

+

±∞

− 0 +       1 − 0 + 2 ( t − 1) (

1

2

f (t)

− 0 +       1 − 0 + 2 ( t − 1) (
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 +
− 0
+
(t
− 1)
1
− 0
+
− 2)
(t
2
+
(t 2 + 2)
+ ±∞
f (t)
1
2
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (t
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 +
− 0
+
(t
− 1)
1
− 0
+
− 2)
(t
2
+
(t 2 + 2)
+ ±∞
∓∞
f (t)
1
2
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + − 2) (t 2 + (t
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + (t − 2) 2 +
− 0
+
(t
− 1)
1
− 0
+
(t
− 2)
2
+
(t 2 + 2)
+ ±∞
∓∞
+
f (t)
1
2
− 0 + (t − 1) 1 − 0 + (t − 2) 2 + (t

Limit Laws with infinite limits

The sum of positive infinite limits is . That is

+ =

The sum of negative infinite limits is −∞.

−∞ − ∞ = −∞

The sum of a finite limit and an infinite limit is infinite.

a + = a − ∞ = −∞

∞ = −∞ The sum of a finite limit and an infinite limit is infinite. a

Rules of Thumb with infinite limits

The sum of positive infinite limits is . That is

+ =

The sum of negative infinite limits is −∞.

−∞ − ∞ = −∞

The sum of a finite limit and an infinite limit is infinite.

a + = a − ∞ = −∞

∞ = −∞ The sum of a finite limit and an infinite limit is infinite. a

Rules of Thumb with infinite limits

The product of a finite limit and an infinite limit is infinite if the finite limit is not 0.

a · = ∞ −∞

−∞

a · (−∞) =

if

if

if

if

a > 0 a < 0.

a > 0 a < 0.

The product of two infinite limits is infinite.

∞ · ∞ =

∞ · (−∞) = −∞

(−∞) · (−∞) =

The quotient of a finite limit by an infinite limit is zero:

a ∞ = 0.
a
∞ = 0.

Indeterminate Limits

Limits of the form 0 · ∞ and ∞ − ∞ are indeterminate. There is no rule for evaluating such a form; the limit must be examined more closely.

∞ − ∞ are indeterminate . There is no rule for evaluating such a form; the

Indeterminate Limits

Limits of the form 0 · ∞ and ∞ − ∞ are indeterminate. There is no rule for evaluating such a form; the limit must be examined more closely.

Limits of the form

1

0 are also indeterminate.

for evaluating such a form; the limit must be examined more closely. Limits of the form

Rationalizing to get a limit

Example

Compute

x 4x 2 + 17 2x .

lim

Rationalizing to get a limit Example Compute x → ∞ 4 x 2 + 17 −

Rationalizing to get a limit

Example

Compute

x 4x 2 + 17 2x .

lim

Solution

This limit is of the form ∞ − ∞, which we cannot use. So we rationalize the numerator (the denominator is 1) to get an expression that we can use the limit laws on.

use. So we rationalize the numerator (the denominator is 1 ) to get an expression that