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# Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

Velocity

Let f(t) denote the distance, in kilometers, a train has traveled in

time t, t>0.

Let h>0. The distance the train has traveled in

the time interval from time t=t

0

to time t=t

0

+h is

f(t

0

+h)-f(t

0

).

Hence thee average speed during this time interval

is (f(t

0

+h)-f(t

0

))/h.

Taking the limit as h approaches 0 gives the

speed of the train at time t=t

0

.

Estimate the speed of the train at time t=t

0

.

Solution

Problem

Conclusion The speed of the train at time t = t

0

is

lim

h→0

f t

0

+ h

( )

− f t

0

( )

h

.

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

Velocity

Galileo made experiments that lead

to the discovery of gravity. In the

experiments he let various objects

fall from the tower of Pisa.

The top floor of the tower (above

which the bells are hanging and

from which objects can be dropped)

is about 48 meters above the

ground.

Given that the equation of motion for a freely falling

object is s=f(t)=4.9t

2

, compute the speed at which

a freely falling object hits the ground when it is

dropped from the top floor of the tower of Pisa.

Example

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

Velocity

Given that the equation of motion for a freely

falling object is s=f(t)=4.9t

2

, compute the

speed at which a freely falling object hits the

ground when it is dropped from the top floor

of the tower of Pisa.

Let us first compute the speed of the

object at time t=t

0

. By the previous

considerations we get:

= lim

h→0

4.9 t

0

2

+ 2ht

0

+ h

2

( )

− 4.9t

0

2

h

= lim

h→0

4.9 2ht

0

+ h

2

( )

h

= lim

h→0

4.9 2t

0

+ h

( )

= 9.8t

0

.

Conclusion

Solution

Problem

= lim

h→0

f t

0

+ h

( )

− f t

0

( )

h

= lim

h→0

4.9 t

0

+ h

( )

2

− 4.9t

0

2

h

Speed at time t

0

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

Velocity

Given that the equation of motion for a freely

falling object is s=f(t)=4.9t

2

, compute the

speed at which a freely falling object hits the

ground when it is dropped from the top floor

of the tower of Pisa.

Height of the tower

Distance fallen in time t

We know that the speed of the falling

object at time t = t

0

is 9.8t

0

(m/s).

To find out how long it takes for the

falling object to reach the ground,

solve t from the equation

48 = 4.9t

2

.

One gets t ≈ 3.13 seconds. By the previously found formula for the

speed we get:

Conclusion

Solution

(cont’d)

Problem

The object hits the ground with the speed of

30.7 m/s = 68.67 miles per hour.

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

The Derivative and the Rate

of Change

In the previous examples, we computed limit of .

Writing x = x

0

+ h one gets

where Δ x = x-x

0

is the change of the variable x, and

Δ f(x

0

) = f(x) – f(x

0

) is the corresponding change in the values of

the function.

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

The Derivative and the Rate

of Change

Definition The limit is the derivative of the

function f at the point x

0

.

lim

Δx→0

Δf x

0

( )

Δx

This definition assumes that the limit exists. If it does, we say

that the function f is differentiable at the point x

0

.

It is fairly straightforward,

that if f is differentiable

at x

0

, then f must be

continuous at x

0

. But

continuity does not

guarantee differentiability.

x

0

The function shown in the figure is continuous at x = x

0

but not

differentiable, because the graph of the function does not have a unique

tangent line at that point.

No unique

tangent line.

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

Applications of Derivatives

Depending on the situation, the derivatives of

functions may model, for example, one of the

following:

1. The slope of the tangent line.

2. The speed of an object.

3. The rate at which an investment in a bank

account grows.

4. The speed at which a hot object cools down or

the speed at which a cold object warms up.

5. Population growth or decay.

Introduction to Limits

The Slope of a Tangent Line as a Limit

The Area of a Disk as a Limit

The Area Under t he Graph of a Funct ion

Summary

I nt roduct ion t o Limit s

Tangent Lines

x x+ h

h

f( x+ h) - f( x)

Consider t he problem of

det ermining t he line t angent

t o t he graph of a funct ion f at

t he point ( x, f( x) ) .

St art by drawing a secant

line t hat int ersect s t he graph

of t he funct ion f at t he

point s ( x, f( x) ) and

( x+ h, f( x+ h) ) ( t he blue line

in t he pict ure) .

The slope of t he blue secant

( ) ( )

f f

.

x h x

h

+ −

=

Let t ing h approach 0, t he blue secant line will approach t he red

t angent line as t he limit .

The slope of t he red t angent line is

t he l i mi t of t he slopes of t he

secant lines as h approaches 0.

Slope of t he t angent

( ) ( )

0

f f

lim

h

x h x

h

→

+ −

I nt roduct ion t o Limit s

Area of a Disk

To det ermine t he area A of a disk of radius

r one can approximat e such a disk wit h

regular polygons.

To comput e t he area of such a regular polygon

wit h n sides, decompose t he polygon first t o

t riangles as indicat ed in t he pict ure.

Each angle wit h vert ex at t he cent er is ( in radians) 2π/ n.

The polygon consist s of n t riangles each

having t he area

2

sin cos .

T

A r

n n

π π ⎛ ⎞ ⎛ ⎞

=

⎜ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠

The area of t he disk of radius r is t he limit

of t he areas of t he polygons as n approaches

t he infinit y.

The Area of t he

Disk of Radius r

2

lim sin cos

n

nr

n n

π π

→∞

⎛ ⎞ ⎛ ⎞

⎜ ⎟ ⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠ ⎝ ⎠

The familiar formula, A = πr

2

, for t he area of

a disk of radius r can be derived from t his limit .

r

The pict ure shows an

approximat ion of t he disk by an oct agon.

cos r

n

π ⎛ ⎞

⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠

sin r

n

π ⎛ ⎞

⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠

I nt roduct ion t o Limit s

Estimate Areas

Consider t he problem of det ermining t he area of

t he domain bounded by t he graph of t he funct ion

x

2

, t he x- axis, and t he lines x= 0 and x= 1.

As t he number n of t he

approximat ing rect angles grows,

t he approximat ion get s bet t er.

At t he l i mi t we get t he area of

t he blue domain under t he

graph of t he funct ion y = x

2

.

This met hod can be applied t o

almost all funct ions.

We det ermine t he area by approximat ing t he

domain wit h t hin rect angles for which t he area can be direct ly

comput ed. Let t ing t hese rect angles get t hinner, t he approximat ion

get s bet t er and, at t he limit , we get t he area of t he domain in quest ion.

1 0

y=x

2

I nt roduct ion t o Limit s

Limits

Underst anding how funct ions behave as t he variable approaches

cert ain values is import ant for many pract ical applicat ions.

Here we have discussed applicat ions t o comput ing t he slope of a

t angent line, or t o comput ing areas of cert ain domains. I n physics,

limit s are needed, for example, in t he comput at ion of t he speed of

an obj ect .

I n all of t he applicat ions present ed here, t he

difficult y in comput ing t he limit is in t he fact

t hat , when insert ing t he limit value for t he

variable, t he expression evaluat es t o 0/ 0 or t o

0×∞. These are undefined expressions. I n

such cases, a value can be assigned t o t he

limit by suit able rewrit ings of t he original

expression. There are ot her met hods t oo.

The l i mi t of a f unct i on i s an i mpor t ant

cent r al concept of cal cul us.

Slope of t he t angent

I nsert ing h = 0, we

get 0/ 0, which is

not a number.

( ) ( )

0

f f

lim .

h

x h x

h

→

+ −

Introduction to Limits of

Functions

Heuristic Definition of Finite Limits of Functions

Examples of Limit Computations

Infinite Limits and Asymptotes

Summary

Limits of Functions

Definition

Example

Notation

A function f has the finite l i mi t L at

a point x

0

if the values f(x) get

arbitrarily close to the finite number

L as x gets close to x

0

but is not x

0

.

Observe that the

value of f at x

0

has no effect on

the limit value (if

one exists). The

limit may exist

even if the

function is not

defined for x = x

0

.

The function

has the limit 0 as x → 0 even though

f(0) = 1.

( )

1

sin , 0

f

1, 0

x x

x x

x

⎧

⎛ ⎞

≠

⎪

⎜ ⎟

=

⎨ ⎝ ⎠

⎪

=

⎩

( )

0

limf

x x

x L

→

=

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

First Steps in Computing Limits

To compute the limit of a function f at a number x

0

, the first thing

to do is to evaluate the function at x = x

0

. If the value of the

function is a well defined number, then, in most cases, this value is

the actual limit.

Example

Compute the limit

2

1

1

lim .

1

x

x

x

→

−

+

Solution Evaluating at x = 1, yields the value 0.

2

1

1

x

x

−

+

We conclude that

2

1

1

lim 0.

1

x

x

x

→

−

=

+

This is, indeed, correct as can be seen from the rewriting

( ) ( )

2

1

1 1

1

1 0.

1 1

x

x x

x

x

x x

→

+ −

−

= = − ⎯⎯⎯⎯→

+ +

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Guessing Limits with Calculations

Val ue of

x

1.1 2.1

1.001 2.001

1.00001 2.000

Val ue of

x

0.9 1.9

0.999 1.999

0.999999 2.000

In general, we may find the correct limit value by simply

calculating the values of the function near the limit point.

Example

Find the value of the limit

By calculating values of near x = 1,

2

1

1

lim

1

x

x

x

→

−

−

2

1

1

x

x

−

− Solution

2

1

1

x

x

−

−

2

1

1

x

x

−

−

One concludes that

the limit is

apparently 2. This

is, indeed, the

correct result as one

can easily show by

other methods to be

introduced later.

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Guessing Limits with Calculations

Val ue of

x

±0.1 0.4999

±0.01 0.5000

±0.001 0.0000

Calculators cannot, however, be always trusted.

Example

Guess the value of the limit

by calculating values of near x = 0.

4

4

0

1 1

lim

x

x

x

→

+ −

4

4

1 1 x

x

+ −

Solution

The limit appears to be 0.

This result is incorrect

4

4

1 1 x

x

+ −

For positive values of x

smaller than 0.001, a

typical calculator gives the

value 0 for the function.

Problems of this type arise from the

rounding errors that any calculator

makes in numeric computations.

Computing using limit laws

shows that

4

4

0

1 1 1

lim .

2

x

x

x

→

+ −

=

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Rounding Errors

The following graphs of the function

illustrate the rounding errors in the computation of the values of

this expression.

( )

4

4

1 1

f

x

x

x

+ −

=

-0.001 < x < 0.001 -1 < x < 1

These graphs, produced by a computer mathematics system,

illustrate the rounding error problem. The graph on the left gives a

correct idea of the behavior of the function f near x = 0. Zooming

in to the origin results to a mistake due to rounding errors.

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Infinite Limits

Definition

Notation

A function f has the l i mi t + ∞ at a point x

0

if the

values f(x) get arbitrarily large as x gets close to x

0

but is not x

0

.

( )

0

limf

x x

x

→

= + ∞

Example

2

0

1

lim

x

x

→

= + ∞

This follows, since if x is very close to

0, then 1/x

2

is large.

For example, if x = 0.01,

( )

2 2

1 1

10000.

0.01

x

= =

The fact that means that the graph of

the function has a vertical asymptote at x = 0.

2

0

1

lim

x

x

→

= ∞

2

1

x

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Infinite Limits

Definition

Notation

A function f has the l i mi t −∞ at a point x

0

if the

values f(x) get arbitrarily large negative numbers as

x gets close to x

0

but is not x

0

.

( )

0

limf

x x

x

→

= − ∞

Example

2

0

1

lim

x

x

x

→

−

= − ∞

This follows, since if x is very close to 0,

the (x−1)/x

2

is a large negative number.

For example, if x = 0.01,

( )

2 2

1 0.1 1

9000.

0.01

x

x

− −

= = −

Also in this case, the fact that

means that the graph of the function

has a v er t i cal asy mpt ot e at x = 0.

2

0

1

lim

x

x

x

→

−

= −∞

2

1 x

x

−

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Definition

Notation

A function f has the l i mi t L as x approaches +∞

or − ∞, if the values f(x) get arbitrarily close to the

value L as x gets sufficiently large positive number

or sufficiently large negative number.

( )

limf

x

x L

→∞

=

Example

2

1

lim 0

x

x

→∞

=

This follows, since if x is large, 1/x

2

is close to 0.

For example, if x = 1000,

( )

2 2

1 1

0.000001.

1000

x

= =

The fact that means that the graph of

the function has the horizontal asymptote y = 0.

2

1

lim 0

x

x

→∞

=

2

1

x

and

( )

lim f .

x

x L

→−∞

=

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Computing Limits at Infinity

To compute limits at the infinity one

can use the following rules:

1. ∞ × (a positive number) = ∞

2. ∞ × (a negative number) = −∞

3. ∞ + (any finite number) = ∞

4. (any number)/∞ = 0

WARNI NG. The following

are undefined:

∞ − ∞, ∞ × 0

∞

0

, ∞ /∞

Example

2

2

1

lim 1

1

x

x x

x

→∞

+ −

=

+

since

2

2

2

2

1 1

1

1

1

1

1

1

x

x x

x x

x

x

→∞

+ −

+ −

= ⎯⎯⎯⎯→

+

+

because both 1/x and 1/x

2

approach 0 as x grows arbitrarily large.

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

No Limit

The funct ion f does not

have a limit at x= 0 since

arbit rarily close t o x= 0 t he

funct ion f t akes any value

bet ween - 1 and 1.

Let

f x

( )

=

sin

1

x

¸

¸

_

,

, x = 0

0, x = 0

¹

,

¹

¹

¹

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

Summary

The limit of a function x at a number x

0

is the number which the

values of f approach as x → x

0

.

By “approach” here we mean that the values of f get arbitrarily close

to the limit value as x gets sufficiently close to the limit number x

0

.

WARNING

The value of the function f at x = x

0

does not

affect the limit at all.

x

0

L

ε

ε

δ δ

In precise terms, getting

“arbitrarily close” to the limit

value is expressed as getting

closer than any given positive

distance ε.

“Sufficiently close” to x

0

is

then expressed as the

existence of a positive

number δ as in the figure.

Functions/Limits of Functions/I nt r oduct i on t o Li mi t s of Funct i ons

Limit Rules

Properties of Limits

The Squeeze Theorem

Examples

Limits of Functions

Definit ion

A funct ion f has t he finit e l i mi t L at a

point x

0

if t he values f( x) get arbit rarily

close t o t he finit e number L as x get s

close t o x

0

but is not x

0

.

This definit ion applies wit h obvious

modificat ions in t he case of infinit e limit s at

finit e point s and in t he case of limit s at posit ive

infinit y and at t he negat ive infinit y.

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

Properties of Limits

Assume t hat , , and let

c R.

lim

xx

0

f x

( )

= a

lim

xx

0

g x

( )

= b

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

lim

xx

0

f x

( )

g x

( )

=

a

b

provided t hat b 0.

lim

xx

0

f x

( )

g x

( ) ( )

= ab

lim

xx

0

c f x

( ) ( )

= ca

lim

xx

0

f x

( )

+ g x

( ) ( )

= a + b

Properties of Limits

I f , t hen exist s

and

lim

xx

0

g x

( )

= a.

lim

xx

0

g x

( )

Assume t hat near t he number x

0

, but not

necessarily at x

0

,

f( x) g( x) h( x) .

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

lim

xx

0

f x

( )

= lim

xx

0

h x

( )

= a

h

f

g

Squeeze Theorem Graphically

if , t hen exist s,

and

lim

xx

0

g x

( )

= a.

lim

xx

0

g x

( )

I f f( x) g( x) h( x) near x

0

, and

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

lim

xx

0

f x

( )

= lim

xx

0

h x

( )

= a

The values of t he

funct ion h near t he

point x

0

are squeezed

bet ween t he values of

t he funct ions f and g.

Hence g has t he same

limit as h and f.

How to Compute Limits (1)

Met hods t o comput e limit s:

1. I f t he funct ion f is defined by an algebraic

expression t hat has finit e value at t he limit

point , t hen t his finit e value is t he limit .

2. I f t he funct ion f is defined by an expression

whose value is undefined at t he limit point ,

t hen one eit her has t o rewrit e t he expression

t o a more suit able form or one has t o use t he

Squeeze Theorem.

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

How to Compute Limits (2)

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

lim

x1

x 1

1 + x

2

=

1 1

1 +1

2

= 0

lim

x1

sin

1

x

1 + cos

2

x

( )

=

sin 1

( )

1 + cos

2

1

( )

How to Compute Limits (3)

= lim

x0

x 1 + x + 1 x

( )

1 + x 1 x

( )

1 + x + 1 x

( )

Mult iply bot h t he numerat or and t he denominat or

by t he conj ugat e of t he denominat or t o get rid of

t he square root s in t he denominat or.

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

lim

x0

x

1 + x 1 x

How to Compute Limits (4)

= lim

x0

x 1 + x + 1 x

( )

1 + x

( )

2

1 x

( )

2

= lim

x0

x 1 + x + 1 x

( )

1 + x

( )

1 x

( )

= lim

x0

x 1 + x + 1 x

( )

2x

= lim

x0

1 + x + 1 x

( )

2

= 1

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

lim

x0

x

1 + x 1 x

How to Compute Limits (5)

lim

x0

x sin

1

x

**For all , - 1 sin() 1.
**

Hence for all x 0.

x x sin

1

x

x

Since , we can use t he

Squeeze Theorem t o conclude t hat

lim

x0

x

( )

= lim

x0

x = 0

lim

x0

x sin

1

x

= 0.

Funct ions/ Limit s of Funct ions/ Li mi t Rul es

Main Computation Methods

If a square root appears in the expression, then multiply and

divide by the conjugate of the square root expression.

3

( ) ( )

( ) ( )

1 2 1 2

1 2

1 2

1 2

3

0

1 2 1 2

x

x x x x

x x

x x

x x

x x x x

→∞

+ − + + + −

+ − − =

+ + −

+ − −

= = ⎯⎯⎯⎯→

+ + − + + +

Cancel out common factors of rational functions.

2

( ) ( )

2

1

1 1

1

1 2.

1 1

x

x x

x

x

x x

→

− +

−

= = + ⎯⎯⎯⎯→

− −

Frequently needed rule 1 ( ) ( )

2 2

. a b a b a b + − = −

Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit

Main Methods of Limit Computations

If the function, for which the limit needs to be computed, is

defined by an algebraic expression, which takes a finite value at

the limit point, then this finite value is the limit value.

3

If the function, for which the limit needs to be computed, cannot

be evaluated at the limit point (i.e. the value is an undefined

expression like in (1)), then find a rewriting of the function to a

form which can be evaluated at the limit point. If it is not

possible to use rewriting, use the Squeeze Theorem.

4

In the evaluation of expressions, use the rules 2

( )

0, , negativenumber .

positive number

a ∞

= = ∞ ∞ × = −∞

∞

The following undefined quantities cause problems: 1

0 0

0

0 , , , ,0 , .

0

∞

∞

∞ − ∞ ∞

∞

Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit

Solved Problems on Limit

Rules

Problems

1

2

3

4

5

2

2

3 2

lim

2

x

x x

x

→

− +

−

3 2

3 2

1

lim

3 5 2

x

x x x

x x x

→∞

+ + +

+ + +

2 2

lim 1 1

x

x x

→∞

+ − −

2 2

lim 1 1

x

x x x x

→∞

+ + − − −

2 2 0

2

lim

2 1 3 1

x

x

x x x x

→

+ + − − +

Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit

Limits by Rewriting

1

2

2

3 2

lim

2

x

x x

x

→

− +

−

Solution

( )( )

2

1 2

3 2

Rewrite 1.

2 2

x x

x x

x

x x

− −

− +

= = −

− −

( )

2

2 2

3 2

Hence lim lim 1 1.

2

x x

x x

x

x

→ →

− +

= − =

−

Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit

Velocity

Galileo made experiments that lead to the discovery of gravity. In the experiments he let various objects fall from the tower of Pisa. The top floor of the tower (above which the bells are hanging and from which objects can be dropped) is about 48 meters above the ground. Example Given that the equation of motion for a freely falling object is s=f(t)=4.9t2, compute the speed at which a freely falling object hits the ground when it is dropped from the top floor of the tower of Pisa.

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

Velocity

Problem Given that the equation of motion for a freely falling object is s=f(t)=4.9t2, compute the speed at which a freely falling object hits the ground when it is dropped from the top floor of the tower of Pisa. Let us first compute the speed of the object at time t=t0. By the previous considerations we get:

= lim

h→0

Solution

Speed at time t0

f t0 + h − f t0

(

= lim

h→0 h→0

2 2 4.9 t0 + 2ht0 + h2 − 4.9t0

(

h

) ( ) = lim

h→0

4.9 t0 + h

(

)

2

2 − 4.9t0

)

h

= lim

h→0

4.9 2ht0 + h2 h

(

)

h = lim 4.9 2t0 + h = 9.8t0.

(

)

Conclusion

Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents, Velocity, and the Derivative

13 seconds. Velocity.8t0 (m/s). To find out how long it takes for the falling object to reach the ground. We know that the speed of the falling object at time t = t0 is 9.67 miles per hour. and the Derivative . By the previously found formula for the speed we get: The object hits the ground with the speed of Conclusion 30. solve t from the equation Height of the tower Solution (cont’d) 48 = 4.9t2. Distance fallen in time t One gets t ≈ 3. Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents.7 m/s = 68.9t2.Velocity Problem Given that the equation of motion for a freely falling object is s=f(t)=4. compute the speed at which a freely falling object hits the ground when it is dropped from the top floor of the tower of Pisa.

Velocity. Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents. and the Derivative . we computed limit of Writing x = x0 + h one gets .The Derivative and the Rate of Change In the previous examples. and Δ f(x0) = f(x) – f(x0) is the corresponding change in the values of the function. where Δ x = x-x0 is the change of the variable x.

we say that the function f is differentiable at the point x0. that if f is differentiable at x0. If it does. and the Derivative . This definition assumes that the limit exists. No unique tangent line. x0 The function shown in the figure is continuous at x = x0 but not differentiable. because the graph of the function does not have a unique tangent line at that point. then f must be continuous at x0. Velocity. It is fairly straightforward. Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents. But continuity does not guarantee differentiability.The Derivative and the Rate of Change Δ f x Definition The limit lim ( ) 0 Δx→0 Δx is the derivative of the function f at the point x0.

the derivatives of functions may model. The rate at which an investment in a bank account grows. The slope of the tangent line. Velocity. The speed of an object. one of the following: 1. 5. Differentiation/Introduction to Differentiation/Tangents.Applications of Derivatives Depending on the situation. 3. The speed at which a hot object cools down or the speed at which a cold object warms up. and the Derivative . 2. Population growth or decay. 4. for example.

Introduction to Limits The Slope of a Tangent Line as a Limit The Area of a Disk as a Limit The Area Under the Graph of a Function Summary .

f(x+h)) (the blue line in the picture).f(x)).Tangent Lines Consider the problem of determining the line tangent to the graph of a function f at the point (x. Start by drawing a secant line that intersects the graph of the function f at the points (x. f ( x + h) − f ( x ) Slope of the tangent The slope of the blue secant = . the blue secant line will approach the red tangent line as the limit. Introduction to Limits . h f(x+h).f(x) x x+h Letting h approach 0.f(x)) and (x+h. h f ( x + h) − f ( x ) The slope of the red tangent line is lim the limit of the slopes of the h →0 h secant lines as h approaches 0.

Each angle with vertex at the center is (in radians) 2π/n. The familiar formula. The polygon consists of n triangles each ⎛π ⎞ ⎛π ⎞ having the area AT = r 2 sin ⎜ ⎟ cos ⎜ ⎟ .Area of a Disk To determine the area A of a disk of radius r one can approximate such a disk with regular polygons. ⎝n⎠ ⎝n⎠ The area of the disk of radius r is the limit of the areas of the polygons as n approaches the infinity. decompose the polygon first to triangles as indicated in the picture. The picture shows an approximation of the disk by an octagon. To compute the area of such a regular polygon with n sides. A = πr2. Introduction to Limits r ⎛π ⎞ r cos ⎜ ⎟ ⎝n⎠ ⎛π ⎞ r sin ⎜ ⎟ ⎝n⎠ The Area of the Disk of Radius r ⎛π ⎞ ⎛π ⎞ lim nr 2 sin ⎜ ⎟ cos ⎜ ⎟ n →∞ ⎝n⎠ ⎝n⎠ . for the area of a disk of radius r can be derived from this limit.

the approximation gets better. at the limit. As the number n of the approximating rectangles grows. At the limit we get the area of the blue domain under the graph of the function y = x2.Estimate Areas Consider the problem of determining the area of the domain bounded by the graph of the function x2. Letting these rectangles get thinner. we get the area of the domain in question. y=x2 We determine the area by approximating the 1 0 domain with thin rectangles for which the area can be directly computed. This method can be applied to almost all functions. the approximation gets better and. and the lines x=0 and x=1. Introduction to Limits . the x-axis.

the difficulty in computing the limit is in the fact that. limits are needed. Introduction to Limits Slope of the tangent lim h →0 f ( x + h) − f ( x ) h . There are other methods too. when inserting the limit value for the variable. In such cases.Limits Understanding how functions behave as the variable approaches certain values is important for many practical applications. a value can be assigned to the limit by suitable rewritings of the original expression. Inserting h = 0. or to computing areas of certain domains. for example. which is not a number. in the computation of the speed of an object. These are undefined expressions. . Here we have discussed applications to computing the slope of a tangent line. The limit of a function is an important central concept of calculus. In all of the applications presented here. In physics. the expression evaluates to 0/0 or to 0×∞. we get 0/0.

Introduction to Limits of Functions Heuristic Definition of Finite Limits of Functions Examples of Limit Computations Infinite Limits and Asymptotes Summary .

⎧ ⎛1⎞ x sin ⎜ ⎟ . x ≠ 0 ⎪ f (x) = ⎨ ⎝x⎠ ⎪1. x → x0 Notation Example The function lim f ( x ) = L Observe that the value of f at x0 has no effect on the limit value (if one exists). x = 0 ⎩ has the limit 0 as x → 0 even though f(0) = 1. Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions .Limits of Functions Definition A function f has the finite limit L at a point x0 if the values f(x) get arbitrarily close to the finite number L as x gets close to x0 but is not x0. The limit may exist even if the function is not defined for x = x0.

yields the value 0. If the value of the function is a well defined number. → x →1 x +1 x +1 Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions . x →1 x + 1 at x = 1. x2 − 1 Evaluating Solution x +1 2 x −1 = 0. the first thing to do is to evaluate the function at x = x0. indeed. in most cases.First Steps in Computing Limits To compute the limit of a function f at a number x0. then. We conclude that lim x →1 x + 1 This is. Example x2 − 1 Compute the limit lim . correct as can be seen from the rewriting x 2 − 1 ( x + 1)( x − 1) = = x − 1 ⎯⎯⎯⎯ 0. this value is the actual limit.

the correct result as one can easily show by other methods to be introduced later. indeed.1 1.Guessing Limits with Calculations In general. This is.00001 2.1 2. One concludes that the limit is apparently 2.9 0.000 1.999 0. we may find the correct limit value by simply calculating the values of the function near the limit point.001 2.999999 1.000 Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions .9 1. Example x2 − 1 Find the value of the limit lim x →1 x − 1 x2 − 1 By calculating values of x −1 x −1 x −1 2 Solution Value of x near x = 1.999 2.001 1. Value of x x2 − 1 x −1 0.

±0.001. however.5000 0. be always trusted. a shows that 1 + x4 − 1 1 typical calculator gives the lim = .4999 0. 1 + x4 − 1 Example Guess the value of the limit lim x →0 x4 Solution Value of x by calculating values of 1 + x4 − 1 x4 0. Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions . 4 x →0 x 2 value 0 for the function.001 For positive values of x Computing using limit laws smaller than 0.01 ±0. This result is incorrect Problems of this type arise from the rounding errors that any calculator makes in numeric computations.Guessing Limits with Calculations Calculators cannot. x4 The limit appears to be 0.0000 1 + x 4 − 1 near x = 0.1 ±0.

produced by a computer mathematics system.001 These graphs. The graph on the left gives a correct idea of the behavior of the function f near x = 0. -1 < x < 1 -0. Zooming in to the origin results to a mistake due to rounding errors. Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions .001 < x < 0. illustrate the rounding error problem.Rounding Errors 1 + x4 − 1 The following graphs of the function f ( x ) = x4 illustrate the rounding errors in the computation of the values of this expression.

if x = 0.01) 1 = ∞ means that the graph of x →0 x 2 The fact that lim the function 1 has a vertical asymptote at x = 0. then 1/x2 is large. x → x0 Notation lim f ( x ) = + ∞ lim 1 = +∞ x →0 x 2 Example This follows.Infinite Limits Definition A function f has the limit + ∞ at a point x0 if the values f(x) get arbitrarily large as x gets close to x0 but is not x0.01. since if x is very close to 0. 2 2 x (0. 1 1 = = 10000. For example. 2 x Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions .

01) x −1 lim 2 = −∞ Also in this case. if x = 0. the fact that x →0 x means that the graph of the function x −1 has a vertical asymptote at x = 0.1 − 1 = = −9000.Infinite Limits Definition A function f has the limit −∞ at a point x0 if the values f(x) get arbitrarily large negative numbers as x gets close to x0 but is not x0. For example. x →0 x 2 the (x−1)/x2 is a large negative number. x − 1 0. x2 lim Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions . 2 2 x (0.01. x → x0 Notation lim f ( x ) = − ∞ Example x −1 = − ∞ This follows. since if x is very close to 0.

if the values f(x) get arbitrarily close to the value L as x gets sufficiently large positive number or sufficiently large negative number. For example. 1 1 = 0. if x = 1000. lim f ( x ) = L x →∞ Notation Example and x →−∞ lim f ( x ) = L. 1/x2 is close to 0.000001. This follows. 2 x Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions . 2 = 2 x (1000) x →∞ x →∞ lim 1 =0 x2 The fact that lim the function 1 = 0 means that the graph of x2 1 has the horizontal asymptote y = 0.Definition A function f has the limit L as x approaches +∞ or − ∞. since if x is large.

Computing Limits at To compute limits at the infinity one can use the following rules: 1. ∞0. Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions . (any number)/∞ = 0 Example x2 + x − 1 =1 lim 2 x →∞ x +1 x + x −1 = 2 x +1 2 Infinity WARNING. ∞ + (any finite number) = ∞ 4. ∞ × (a positive number) = ∞ 2. ∞ × (a negative number) = −∞ 3. ∞×0 ∞ /∞ since 1+ 1 1 − 2 x x ⎯⎯⎯⎯ 1 → x →∞ 1 1+ 2 x because both 1/x and 1/x2 approach 0 as x grows arbitrarily large. The following are undefined: ∞ − ∞.

x = 0 The function f does not have a limit at x=0 since arbitrarily close to x=0 the function f takes any value between -1 and 1. Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules . x f x = x ( ) 0 0.No Limit Let 1 sin .

L ε ε δ x0 δ Functions/Limits of Functions/Introduction to Limits of Functions . getting “arbitrarily close” to the limit value is expressed as getting closer than any given positive distance ε. WARNING The value of the function f at x = x0 does not affect the limit at all.Summary The limit of a function x at a number x0 is the number which the values of f approach as x → x0. By “approach” here we mean that the values of f get arbitrarily close to the limit value as x gets sufficiently close to the limit number x0. In precise terms. “Sufficiently close” to x0 is then expressed as the existence of a positive number δ as in the figure.

Limit Rules Properties of Limits The Squeeze Theorem Examples .

This definition applies with obvious modifications in the case of infinite limits at finite points and in the case of limits at positive infinity and at the negative infinity.Limits of Functions Definition A function f has the finite limit L at a point x0 if the values f(x) get arbitrarily close to the finite number L as x gets close to x0 but is not x0. Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules .

. and let x x0 x x0 c R. lim g x = b .Properties of Limits Assume that lim f x = a . x () ( ) lim f x + g x = a + b x0 ( ( ) ( )) x x x ( ( )) lim ( f ( x ) g ( x )) = ab f (x) a lim provided that = b g(x) lim c f x = ca x0 x0 x0 Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules b 0.

but not necessarily at x0.Properties of Limits Assume that near the number x0. f(x) g(x) h(x). If lim f x = lim h x = a . ( ) x x0 ( ) exists Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules . then lim g x x x0 ( ) x and x0 ( ) x0 x lim g x = a.

Hence g has the same limit as h and f. and lim g x = a. and x0 x ( ) x g(x) x0 h(x) near x0. x0 ( ) ( ) x x0 ( ) The values of the function h near the point x0 are squeezed between the values of the functions f and g. then lim g x exists. g h f Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules .Squeeze Theorem Graphically If f(x) x if lim f x = lim h x = a.

then one either has to rewrite the expression to a more suitable form or one has to use the Squeeze Theorem. then this finite value is the limit. If the function f is defined by an algebraic expression that has finite value at the limit point. If the function f is defined by an expression whose value is undefined at the limit point. Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules . 2.How to Compute Limits (1) Methods to compute limits: 1.

How to Compute Limits (2) lim x 1 x 1 2 1+ x = 1 1 1+1 2 =0 lim x 1 1 sin x 1 + cos2 x ( ) = sin 1 () 1 + cos2 1 () Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules .

Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules .How to Compute Limits (3) lim x 0 x 1+ x = lim x 0 1 x x ( 1+ x ( 1+ x + 1 x) 1 x )( 1 + x + 1 x ) Multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate of the denominator to get rid of the square roots in the denominator.

How to Compute Limits (4) x 1+ x x 1 lim x 0 = lim x 0 (1 + x ) (1 x ) x 0 ( 1+ x + ( 1+ x + 1 x) = lim x ( 1+ x) ( 1 x) 1 x) x( 1+ x + 1 x) = lim x x 0 2 2 x 0 2x ( 1+ x + = lim 1 x 2 ) =1 Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules .

0. x Functions/Limits of Functions/Limit Rules . -1 x sin( ) 1. 1 x sin x x 0 for all x ( x ) = lim x = 0 .How to Compute Limits (5) 1 lim x sin x 0 x Hence Since x lim x 0 For all . we can use the x 0 Squeeze Theorem to conclude that lim x sin 1 = 0.

3 Cancel out common factors of rational functions. x +1 − ( x −2 = x +1 − x +2 )( x +1 + x −2 3 x +1 + x −2 ) ⎯⎯⎯⎯ 0 → x →∞ x +1 + ( x + 1) − ( x − 2) = = x +1 + x −2 x +2 Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit . → x →1 x −1 x −1 If a square root appears in the expression. then multiply and divide by the conjugate of the square root expression. x 2 − 1 ( x − 1) ( x + 1) = = x + 1 ⎯⎯⎯⎯ 2.Main Computation Methods 1 2 Frequently needed rule ( a + b ) ( a − b ) = a2 − b2.

0∞ .Main Methods of Limit Computations 1 2 The following undefined quantities cause problems: 0 ∞ 00 . 0 ∞ In the evaluation of expressions. use the Squeeze Theorem. ∞ positive number 3 If the function. If it is not possible to use rewriting. ∞0. = ∞. the value is an undefined expression like in (1)). which takes a finite value at the limit point. ∞ − ∞. is defined by an algebraic expression. If the function. use the rules a ∞ = 0. ∞ × (negative number ) = −∞. cannot be evaluated at the limit point (i. 4 Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit .e. for which the limit needs to be computed. then this finite value is the limit value. . . for which the limit needs to be computed. then find a rewriting of the function to a form which can be evaluated at the limit point.

Solved Problems on Limit Rules .

Problems 1 x 2 − 3x + 2 lim x →2 x −2 x3 + x2 + x + 1 lim 3 x →∞ x + 3 x 2 + 5 x + 2 2 3 lim x 2 + 1 − x 2 − 1 x →∞ 4 lim x 2 + x + 1 − x 2 − x − 1 x →∞ 5 lim x →0 2x 2 x 2 + x + 1 − x 2 − 3x + 1 Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit .

x −2 x −2 Solution x 2 − 3x + 2 Hence lim = lim ( x − 1) = 1.Limits by Rewriting 1 x 2 − 3x + 2 lim x →2 x −2 x 2 − 3 x + 2 ( x − 1)( x − 2 ) Rewrite = = x − 1. x →2 x →2 x −2 Functions/Limits of Functions/Solved Problems on Limit .