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MH1100/MTH112: Calculus I.

Solutions to Problem list for Week #3.

Problem 1:
(i) For every a, b R, |ab| = |a||b|. Prove this identity by checking all the
possible cases for the signs of a and b.

(ii) For every a, b R, with b 6= 0, ab = |a|
|b| . Prove this identity.
Solution to Part (i).
Well directly check the 4 possible cases for the signs of a and b.
Case 1: a 0, b 0. In this case |a| = a, |b| = b, and, because ab 0,
|ab| = ab. Thus:
LHS = |ab| = ab = |a||b| = RHS.
Case 2: a 0, b 0. In this case |a| = a, |b| = b, and, because ab 0,
|ab| = ab. Thus:
LHS = |ab| = ab = (a) (b) = |a||b| = RHS.
Case 3: a 0, b 0. In this case |a| = a, |b| = b, and, because ab 0,
|ab| = ab. Thus:
LHS = |ab| = ab = (a) (b) = |a||b| = RHS.
Case 4: a 0, b 0. In this case |a| = a, |b| = b, and, because ab 0,
|ab| = ab. Thus:
LHS = |ab| = ab = (a) (b) = |a||b| = RHS.

Solution to Part (ii).
Using Part (i) we deduce:
a

= a
b



1
1

=
|a|

b
b
1

(?).


Next, well understand the quantity 1b . We can understand this via:



1
1
1 = |1| = b = |b| .
b
b
Thus:


1
=
b
Substituting this into equation (?), we
a

=
b

1
.
|b|
deduce:
|a|
.
|b|


Problem 2:

For every a R, a2 = |a|. Explain why this identity is true, illustrating


with a few examples. Then use this identity to give another proof of the
identity in Problem 1 part (i).
Solution to Part (i).
The first thing tounderstand is why the equation you might want to use
(by which I mean p
a2 = a) is wrong. Well, just substitute a negative a, like
3. Then LHS = (3)2 = 3 while RHS = 3.
To think about the correct equation carefully, keep clear what the square
root function actually is: If x 0, then x is the unique number y 0
solving the equation y 2 = x.

Now to explain the equation a2 = |a| well consider the two possible cases.

Case 1: a 0. Note that a 0, and a2 = a2 , so in this case a2 = a = |a|,


as required. Here is an example:
p
(7)2 = 7 = |7|.

Case 2: a 0. In this case note that a 0, and (a)2 = a2 , so a2 =


a = |a|, as required. Here is an example illustrating this case:
p
(7)2 = 7 = | 7|.
Solution to Part (ii).
Assuming Part (i), we deduce:


p
|ab| = (ab)2 = a2 b2 = a2 b2 = |a||b|.

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Problem 3:
Prove that for every x R the following inequality is true:
|x| x |x|.
Solution
Well just check this for the two possible signs of x.
If x 0, then x = |x|, and the inequality that must be true is
|x| |x| |x|,
which is obviously true.
On the other hand, if x 0, then x = |x|, and the inequality that must
be true is
|x| |x| |x|.
Again, this is obviously true.


Problem 4:
If a > 0 then we have the following two facts:
(i) |x| = a if and only if x = a.
(ii) |x| < a if and only if a < x < a.
Explain these facts using a graph of the absolute value function. Then prove
them (probably by laboriously checking all the possible cases).
Solution
We can read these facts directly from a graph of the absolute value function.
Here is such a graph:

Fact (i) concerns the set of x with the property that |x| = a. Looking at
the graph of the function |x| we observe that there are exactly two such x,
namely a.
Fact (ii) concerns the set of x such that |x| < a. Thinking in terms of the
graph, we want the set of x with the property that the graph over those
points lies (strictly) under the line y = a. Looking at the graph we can just
read off that this is the set of x such that a < x < a.
Now lets think about how we would actually prove these facts formally.
Proof of (i). The clearest way, logically speaking, to prove a statement
like A if and only if B is to prove that A implies B, and separately prove
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that B implies A. (Sometimes you can do both directions at the same time,
but you have to be very careful when you do this.) So we have two questions
to answer.
If |x| = a, why is x = a? Well, take some x such that |x| = a. If x 0,
then |x| = x, so x = |x| = a. On the other hand, if x 0, then |x| = x, so
x = |x| = a.
If x = a, why is |x| = a? We are assuming that a > 0, so this is obviously
true. (Details are: |a| = a, while | a| = (a) = a because a < 0.)
Proof of (ii). Again, well split this if and only if proof into two questions.
If |x| < a, then why is a < x < a? Well just check this for the two cases
that x 0 and x 0. If x 0, then one side of the required inequality is
obtained from the deduction x = |x| < a, and the other is obtained from
a < 0 x. On the other hand, if x 0 then one side of the required
inequality is obtained from the deduction x = |x| > a and the other is
obtained by x 0 < a.
If a < x < a, then why is |x| < a? If x 0 then |x| = x < a. And if x 0
then |x| = x < (a) = a.

Problem 5:
Let d > 0, and a R. Determine the following sets. (You can give your
answer using interval notation, e.g. (r, s).)
(i) {x R | |x a| < d}.
(ii) {x R | 0 < |x a| < d}.
Explain using a graph of the absolute value function, and also using your
answers to problem 3.
Solution to (i).
The answer is (a d, a + d). This can be read straight off the graph of the

function f (x) = |x a|:

Alternatively, we can exploit Problem 4 part (ii) to deduce:


|x a| < d d < x a < d
a d < x < a + d.
Solution to (ii).
Again, we can read this straight off the graph above to deduce that
{x R|0 < |x a| < d} = (a d, a) (a, a + d).
Another way to deduce this answer is to argue that {x R|0 < |x a| < d}
is the set of points you get by removing from the set {x R||x a| < d} the
points x where |x a| = 0. The only point satisfying |x a| = 0 is x a = 0
i.e. x = a. So you get this answer by removing {a} from the answer to part
(i).


Problem 6: (#1.8.15 from [Stewart])


In this problem we will investigate the limit:
lim (2x + 3) = 5.

x1

Solution to Part (i) and (ii).


To begin we are asked to graph the function y = 2x + 3, and add lines at
y = 5 + 2 and 5 2. We get:

Looking at the graph, we observe that we can choose any such that 0 <
1. For such a delta, if 0 < |x 1| < , then 0 < x < 2 and we can
observe directly that every point of the graph above such an x lies between
the horizontal lines.
Solution to Part (iii).
In the case  = 1.5 the graph looks like:

In this case we can choose any such that 0 < 0.75.


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Solution to Part (iv).


In the case  = 1 the graph looks like:

In this case we can choose any such that 0 < 0.5.


Solution to Part (v).
In the case  = 0.5 the graph looks like:

In this case we can choose any such that 0 < 0.25.

Solution to Part (vi).


We express |f (x) 5| as a function of |x 1| via:
|f (x) 5| = |(2x + 3) 5| = |2x 2| = |2 (x 1)| = |2||x 1| = 2|x 1|.
Solution to Part (vii).
If we choose an x such that 0 < |x 1| < (), then the equation we found
in part (vi) tells us that for this x:
|f (x) 5| = 2|x 1| < 2().
So the question we have to ask is: if we want this quantity to be less than
, what do we set () to? If we choose () = 2 then we get:

|f (x) 5| = 2|x 1| < 2() = 2 = .
2
Thus |f (x) 5| <  for every x such that 0 < |x 1| < 2 , as required.
Solution to Part (viii).
Proof that limx1 (2x + 3) = 5:
Let  be an arbitrary positive real.
Set () = 2 . (?).
Let x be a number such that 0 < |x 1| < . (??)
Then:
|f (x) L| =
=
=
<
=
=

|(2x + 3) 5|
|2x 2|
2|x 1|
2
(By assumption (??).)

2 2
(By assumption (?).)
.

Thus, for such an x, |f (x) L| < , as required.




Problem 7: (#1.8.16 from [Stewart])


Prove that: limx2

1
2x


+ 3 = 2.

Proof.
Let  be an arbitrary positive real.
Set = 2 (?).
Let x be an arbitrary number such that 0 < |x (2)| < (??).
Then:



|f (x) L| = 21 x + 3 2
= 12 x + 1
= 12 |x (2)|
< 21
(By assumption (??).)
= 12 (2)
(By assumption (?).)
= .
Thus, when 0 < |x (2)| < 2, |f (x) 2| < , as required.

Problem 8:
Prove that limx4 (7 3x) = 5.
Proof
Let  be an arbitrary positive real number.
Set = 3 . (?)
Let x be an arbitrary number such that 0 < |x 4| < . (??).
Then:
|f (x) L| =
=
=
=
<
=
=

|(7 3x) (5)|


|12 3x|
3 |4 x|
3 |x 4|
3
(By assumption (??).)

3 3
(By assumption (?).)
.

Thus: |(7 3x) (5)| <  when 0 < |x 4| < 3 , as required.



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Problem 9:
Prove that

x
3
= .
x3 5
5
lim

Proof
Let  be an arbitrary positive real.
Set = 5. (?).
Let x be an arbitrary real number such that 0 < |x 3| < . (??).
Then:


x 3
= (x3)
5
5
5
= 15 |x 3|
< 15
(By assumption (??).)
1
= 5 (5 ) (By assumption (?).)
= .


Problem 10: (#1.8.25 from [Stewart])
Prove that
lim x2 = 0.

x0

Solution
Let  be an arbitrary positive real.

Set = . (?).
Let x be an arbitrary real number such that 0 < |x 0| < .
Then:
|x2 0| = |x2 |
< 2
(By assumption (??).)
= 
(By assumption (?).)


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Problem 11: (#1.8.27 from [Stewart])


Prove that
lim |x| = 0.

x0

Proof
Let  be an arbitrary positive real number.
Set = . (?).
Let x be an arbitrary real number such that 0 < |x| < . (??).
Then:
|f (x) 0| = ||x| 0|
= |(|x|)|
= |x|
<
(By assumption (??).)
= 
(By assumption (?).)

Problem 12? : (#1.8.29 from [Stewart])
Prove that
lim (x2 4x + 5) = 1.

x2

Solution Proof
Let  be an arbitrary positive real number.

Set = . (?).
Let x be an arbitrary real number such that 0 < |x 2| < . (??).
Then:


|f (x) 1| = (x2 4x + 5)
1

= x2 4x + 4
= (x 2)2
= |x 2|2
< 2
= .


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Problem 13? : (#5.26 from [Spivak])


Give examples to illustrate why the following are not correct definitions of
limxa f (x) = L:
(i) For every > 0, there exists an  > 0 such that if 0 < |x a| < ,
then |f (x) L| < .
(ii) For every  > 0, there exists an > 0 such that if |f (x) L| < , then
0 < |x a| < .
Solution
One way to answer this is to think of an example (i.e. a function f and
numbers a and L) where the actual limit limxa f (x) (using the usual definition) doesnt exist, but such that the given statement is satisfied. There
will be countless possible examples.
One example for (i) could be

f (x) =

1 if x > 0
1 if x < 0

together with a = 0 and L = 1. Note that these choices satisfy statement


(i) because no matter what is, you could choose  = 5, and |f (x) L| < 
for every 0 < |x a| < . (This is because |f (x) 1| < 5 is true for every x,
which you can see by just thinking about a graph for f (x).) But limx0 f (x)
certainly does not exist, as you can easily check.
For statement (ii) you could use the example

1 + x if x > 0
f (x) =
1 + x if x < 0.
with L = 0 and a = 0. In this case the given statement is true (you could
set = ) but, again, the limit certainly doesnt exist.
Another way to see that (ii) is different to the usual definition would be
to consider the example f (x) = sin x, a = 0, and L = 0. It is certainly true
that limxa f (x) = L in this case, but you definitely wont be able to find a
with the required property, for any  > 0.


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