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LIMITS

OF
FUNCTIONS
CONTINUITY
DEFINITION: CONTINUITY OF A FUNCTION

If one or more of the above conditions fails to hold


at C the function is said to be discontinuous.
EXAMPLE
x2  x  6
1. Given the function f defined as f  x   ,
x 3
draw a sketch of the graph of f, then by observing
where there are breaks in the graph, determine the
values of the independent variable at which the
function is discontinuous and why each is
discontinuous.
Solution:
x  x  6  x  2  x  3 
2
f x    x2
x 3 x 3
 f  x   x  2 where x  3
Question 8
y




 x

Test for continuity: at x=3

1. f(3) is not defined; since the first


condition is not satisfied then f is
discontinuous at x=3.
EXAMPLE
 x2  x  6
 if x  3
2. Given the function f defined as f  x    x  3
 if x  3
 2

draw a sketch of the graph of f, then by observing


where there are breaks in the graph, determine the
values of the independent variable at which the
function is discontinuous and why each is
discontinuous.

Question 8
Solution:
y





 x
Test for continuity :
1. f 3 is defined and is equal to 2
x2  x  6
2. lim f ( x )  lim
x 3 x 3 x3
 lim
 x  3x  2 
x 3 x3
 lim x  2 
x 3

32  5
3. lim f ( x )  5 and f ( 3 )  2
x 3

The lim it exists but lim f ( x )  f ( 3 )


x 3

therefore f is discontinu ous at x  3


EXAMPLE
1
 2 if x  0
3. Given the function f defined as f x  x ,
 2 if x  0

draw a sketch of the graph of f, then by observing


where there are breaks in the graph, determine the
values of the independent variable at which the
function is discontinuous and why each is
discontinuous.
Question 8
Graph : Test for continuity :
1 1. f ( 0 )  2; defined
f ( x )  2 if x  0
x
2. lim does not exists  
x  0 is a VA x 0

HA Since the sec ond condition


1 1 1 is not satisfied then f is
lim 2    lim 0
x 0 x 0 x  x 2
discontinu ous at x  0
1 1 1
lim 2    lim 0
x 0 x x  x 2
0

 x  0 is a VA  y  0 is a HA
Solution:
y

-1 1 x

Question 8
The figure above illustrates the The figure above illustrates that the limit
function not defined at x=c, coming from the right and left both exist
which violates the first condition. but are not equal, thus the two sided limit
does not exist which violates the second
condition. This kind of discontinuity is called
jump discontinuity.
The figure above illustrates that the limit The figure above illustrates the function
coming from the right and left of c are defined at c and that the limit coming from
both  , thus the two sided limit does the right and left of c both exist thus the two
not exist which violates the second sided limit exist. But f ( c )  lim
xc
f(x)
condition. This kind of discontinuity is which violates the third condition.
called infinite discontinuity. This kind of discontinuity is called
removable discontinuity.
Deter min e whether the function is continuous at x  2 ;
x2  4
given f ( x ) 
x2

y
f(x)
x  2 x  2 
y  f(x)
x  2 
f(x) x2

f ( 2 )  2  2  4 ; but x  2
4  thus f ( x ) is undefined at x  2
and hence dis continuous at x  2

2 x
Deter min e whether the function is continuous at x  2 ;
 x2  4
 , x2
given g( x )   x  2
3 , x2

y
g( x ) 
x  2 x  2 
y  g( x )
x  2 
g( x )  x  2
lim g( x )  lim g( x )  4
x2 x2

thus lim g( x )  4
4  x2

3  g( 2 )  3
sin ce the lim g( x )  g( 2 )
x2

hence discontinuous at x  2
2 x

Removable Discontinuity
Deter min e whether the function is continuous at x  2 ;
 x2  4
 , x2
given h( x )   x  2
4 , x2

y

h( x ) 
x  2 x  2 
x  2 
h( x )  x  2
lim h( x )  lim h( x )  4
x2 x2
4  thus lim h( x )  4
x2

h( 2 )  4
sin ce the lim h( x )  h( 2 )
x2
x
2 hence continuous at x  2
kx  3, x  1
1. Find k so that f(x)   2 is
x  3, x  1
continuous at everywhere.
2. Draw the graph satisfying the following
conditions.

i. lim f (x)   ii. lim f (x)  1


x 3 x  

iii. lim f (x)   iv. lim f (x)  1


x 3 x  