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of

FUNCTIONS

LIMITS OF FUNCTIONS

OBJECTIVES:

define limits;

illustrate limits and its theorems; and

evaluate limits applying the given theorems.

DEFINITION: Limits

The most basic use of limits is to describe how a

function behaves as the independent variable

approaches a given value. For example let us

examine the behavior of the function

for x-values closer and closer to 2. It is evident from

the graph and the table in the next slide that the

values of f(x) get closer and closer to 3 as the values

of x are selected closer and closer to 2 on either the

left or right side of 2. We describe this by saying

that the limit of is 3 as x

approaches 2 from either side, we write

1 x x ) x ( f

2

+ =

1 x x ) x ( f

2

+ =

) 3 1 x x lim

2

2 x

= +

2

3

f(x)

f(x)

x

y

1 x x y

2

!

x 1.9 1.95 1.99 1.995 1.999 2 2.001 2.005 2.01 2.05 2.1

F(x) 2.71 2.852 2.97 2.985 2.997 3.003 3.015 3.031 3.152 3.31

left side right side

1.1.1 (p. 70)

Limits (An Informal View)

This leads us to the following general idea.

EXAMPLE

Use numerical evidence to make a conjecture about

the value of

1 x

1 x

lim

1 x

bearing on the limit.

The table shows sample x-values approaching 1 from

the left side and from the right side. In both cases the

corresponding values of f(x) appear to get closer and

closer to 2, and hence we conjecture that

and is consistent with the graph of f.

1 x

1 x

) x ( f

!

2

1 x

1 x

li

1 x

!

p

Figure 1.1.9 (p. 71)

x .99 .999 .9999 .99999 1 1.00001 1.0001 1.001 1.01

F(x) 1.9949 1.9995 1.99995 1.999995 2.000005 2.00005 2.0005 2.004915

THEOREMS ON LIMITS

Our strategy for finding limits algebraically has two parts:

First we will obtain the limits of some simpler function

Then we will develop a list of theorems that will enable us

to use the limits of simple functions as building blocks for

finding limits of more complicated functions.

We start with the following basic theorems, which are

illustrated in Fig 1.2.1

Theorem 1.2.1 (p. 80)

) ) a x k k ! !

a x a x

lim b lim a

numbers. real be k and a Let Theorem 1 . 2 . 1

Figure 1.2.1 (p. 80)

)

3 3 li 3 3 li 3 3 li

exa ple, For

a. of values all for a x as k f(x)

why explains which varies, x as k at fixed re ain

f(x) of values the then function, constant a is k x f If

x 0 x -25 x

= = =

p p

=

p p p T

Example 1.

) )

z

z

! ! !

!

x x x

If

x -2 x 0 x

lim 2 lim 0 lim

example, For

. a x f that true be also must it a then x x, x f

Example 2.

Theorem 1.2.2 (p. 81)

The following theorem will be our basic tool for finding limits

algebraically

This theorem can be stated informally as follows:

a) The limit of a sum is the sum of the limits.

b) The limit of a difference is the difference of the limits.

c) The limits of a product is the product of the limits.

d) The limits of a quotient is the quotient of the limits,

provided the limit of the denominator is not zero.

e) The limit of the n

th

root is the n

th

root of the limit.

A constant factor can be moved through a limit symbol.

)

3 1

5 8

5 ) 4 ( 2

5 lim x lim 2

5 lim x 2 lim 5 x 2 lim . 1

4 x 4 x

4 x 4 x 4 x

!

!

!

!

!

) )

6

12 - 18

12 ) 3 ( 6

12 lim x 6 lim 12 x 6 lim . 2

3 x 3 x 3 x

!

!

!

!

) ) )

) )

) )

) )

) )

13

13 1

2 ) 3 ( 5 3 4

2 lim x lim 5 x lim 4 lim

2 lim x 5 lim x lim 4 lim

2 x 5 lim x 4 lim ) 2 x 5 ( x 4 lim . 3

3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x

3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x

3 x 3 x 3 x

!

!

!

!

!

!

EXAMPLE

Evaluate the following limits.

) ) ) )

)

21

10

4 25

5 2

4 li x li 5

x li 2

4 li x 5 li

x 2 li

4 x 5

x 2

li . 4

5 x 5 x

5 x

5 x 5 x

5 x

5 x

=

p p

p

p p

p

p

) ) )

)

)

) ) )

3375

15 6 3 3

6 li x li 3

6 li x 3 li

6 x 3 li 6 x 3 li . 5

3 3

3

3 x 3 x

3

3 x 3 x

3

3 x

3

3 x

=

= + =

+ =

+ =

+ = +

p p

p p

p p

2

3

4

9

3 x

1 x 8

li

3 x

1 x 8

li . 6

1 x 1 x

= =

+

+

=

+

+

p p

OR

When evaluating the limit of a function at a given

value, simply replace the variable by the indicated

limit then solve for the value of the function:

)

) )

2

2

3

lim 3 4 1 3 3 4 3 1

27 12 1

38

x

x x

p

+ = +

= +

=

EXAMPLE

Evaluate the following limits.

2 x

8 x

lim . 1

3

2 x

Solution:

)

0

0

0

8 8

2 2

8 2

2 x

8 x

li

3

3

2 x

=

+

=

+

+

=

+

+

p

) )

)

) )

2

2

2

2

2

3

2

2 2 4

li

2

li 2 4

2 2 2 4

4 4 4

12

8

li 12

2

x

x

x

x x x

x

x x

x

x

!

!

!

!

@ !

Equivalent function:

(indeterminate)

Note: In evaluating a limit of a quotient which

reduces to , simplify the fraction. Just remove

the common factor in the numerator and

denominator which makes the quotient .

To do this use factoring or rationalizing the

numerator or denominator, wherever the radical is.

0

0

0

0

0

2 2 2 2 0

lim

0 0

x

x

x

p

+

= =

)

0 0

0

0

2 2 2 2 2 2

lim lim

2 2

2 2

1 1 1 2

lim

4

2 2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2

lim

4

x x

x

x

x x x

x

x

x x

x

x

x

p p

p

p

+ + + +

=

+ +

+ +

= = =

+ + +

+

=

x

2 2 x

lim . 2

0 x

+

p

Solution:

Rationalizing the numerator:

(indeterminate)

9 x 4

27 x 8

lim . 3

2

3

0 x

Solution:

Rationalizing the numerator:

(indeterminate)

3

2

3

3

2 2

3

8 27

8 27 27 27 0 2

lim

4 9 9 9 0

3

4 9

2

x

x

x

p

' '

= = =

' '

)

)

) )

3 3

2 2

3

2

2

3

2

2

2 3 4 6 9

8 27

li li

4 9 2 3 2 3

4 6 9 9 9 9

li

2 3 3 3

27 9 3 3 2

6 2 2

2

x x

x

x x x

x

x x x

x x

x

!

! !

! ! ! !

5 x

3 x 2 x

li . 4

2

3

2 x

+

+ +

p

Solution:

) )

)

3

3

2 2

2

2 2 2 3

2 3

lim

5

2 5

8 4 3

4 5

15

9

15

3

x

x x

x

p

+ +

+ +

=

+

+

+ +

=

+

=

=

EXERCISES

)

) )

)

5 w 4 w

7 w 7 w

li 10.

2 x

8 x

li . 5

19 x 9 x 2 li 9.

4 y

y 8 y 4

li . 4

1 y 2 y

3 y 2 y 1 y

li 8.

1 x

4 x 3 x

li . 3

1 x

3 x 2 x 3 x 2

li 7.

4 x 3 x

1 x 2

li . 2

1 x 9

1 x 3

li 6. 2 x 5 x 4 li . 1

2

2

1 w

3

2 x

2

1

3 4

5 x

3

1

3

2 y

2

2

1 y

3

2

1 x

2

2 3

1 x

2

1 x

2

3

1

x

2

3 x

+ +

'

'

+

+

+

+

+

+ +

+

+

+

+

p p

p p

p p

p p

p

p

Evaluate the following limits.

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