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x2 x2

i) As x approaches 2 from the left, it must be true that x < 2. We further obtain x 2 < 0 by

subtracting 2 from both sides of the inequality. The absolute value |x 2| is therefore equal to

(x 2) for x < 2. Evaluating the limit yields lim |x 2| = lim (2 x) = 2 2 = 0.

x2 x2

ii) Approaching x from the right of 2, we know that x > 2. This gives x 2 > 0 so |x 2| = x 2.

Hence lim+ |x 2| = lim+ (x 2) = 2 2 = 0

x2 x2

b) i) lim x2 1 ii) Why do we not evaluate lim + x2 1 ?

x1 x1

2 2

i) Check: if x < 1, then

q x > 1. It follows that x 1 > 0 and so the square root is defined.

Thus lim x2 1 = (1)2 1 = 0 .

x1

ii) When x > 1 and x is sufficiently close to 1 (e.g. x < 1), x + 1 > 0 and x 1 < 0. It follows

that x2 1 = (x + 1)(x 1) < 0. Taking this limit would require us to consider the square root

of negative numbers, an operation that we have not defined. (Search sqrt(x^2-1) in Google to

generate a graph of the function.)

s s

3 x3 4x2 + 3x 3 x3 4x2 + 3x

c) i) lim ii) lim+

x1 x2 2x + 2 x1 x2 2x + 2

The cube root of any real number is defined, so there is no need to consider whether or not the

term inside the root is negative. Thus

s s s

3 x3 4x2 + 3x 3 x3 4x2 + 3x 3 13 4 12 + 3 1

lim = lim+ = = 0.

x1 x2 2x + 2 x1 x2 2x + 2 12 2 1 + 2

1

2. Compute the following limits:

x2

x2

= 32

x2 9

b) lim

x3 x2 8x + 15

(x + 3)(x 3)

= lim

x3 (x 5)(x 3)

x+3

= lim

x3 x 5

3+3

=

35

= 3

x+11

c) lim

x0 x

( x + 1 1)( x + 1 + 1)

= lim

x0 x( x + 1 + 1)

x+11

= lim

x0 x( x + 1 + 1)

1

= lim

x0 x+1+1

1

=

0+1+1

1

=

2

x1

d) lim

x1 2x 1 1

(x 1)( 2x 1 + 1)

= lim

x1 ( 2x 1 1)( 2x 1 + 1)

(x 1)( 2x 1 + 1)

= lim

x1 2x 1 1

2

2x 1 + 1

= lim

x1 2

211+1

= lim

x1 2

=1

3. Find the values of the parameters a and b such that the function

(2x + a)3 , if x < 0

f (x) = 5bx + 8, if 0 x < 1

2

x + 12, if x 1

We know polynomial functions are continuous. Hence, the only points at which discontinuities can

occur are the points where pieces of f (x) join. That is, the pieces of f (x) must connect at x = 0

and x = 1. This requires the left-hand and right-hand limits of f (x) to be equal. We begin by

evaluating these limits:

x0 x0

lim+ f (x) = lim+ (5bx + 8) = 5b 0 + 8 = 8

x0 x0

lim f (x) = lim (5bx + 8) = 5b 1 + 8 = 5b + 8

x1 x1

lim+ f (x) = lim+ (x2 + 12) = 12 + 12 = 13

x1 x1

Letting lim f (x) = lim+ f (x) and lim f (x) = lim+ f (x) gives a3 = 8 and 5b + 8 = 13, which

x0 x0 x1 x1

solves to a = 2 and b = 1.

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