Subsections

# Limits of Functions.

## Simple limits and Maple

Limits of many functions and expressions can be computed in Maple with the limit command. Some examples are given below.
> limit(x^2+2*x,x=2);
> limit(sin(x)/x,x=0);
> f := x -> (x+3)/(x^2+7*x+12) ;
> limit(f(x),x=-3);
> limit(f(x),x=-4);


If the limit exists, Maple can usually find it. In cases where the limit doesn't exist, Maple gives the answer undefined or sometimes infinity for an unbounded limit or gives a range like -1..1 if the limit doesn't exist, but the expression or function is bounded. See the examples below.

> limit(1/x,x=0);
> limit(sin(1/x),x=0);

You can also use Maple to compute limits as goes to as shown below.
> f(x);
> limit(f(x),x=infinity);
> limit(f(x),x=-infinity);


## Limits of more complicated functions

It should be no secret by now that for most functions defined by a single formula, when exists. For more complicated functions, this may not be true.

If you want to define your own piecewise-defined function, then the Maple piecewise command is the best way to do it. Suppose you wanted to define the following function.

Then the Maple command would be the following.
> g := x -> piecewise(x < 0, -x, x^2+1);

If you want to see your function in a more familiar form, just run a command like the one below.
> g(x);

The way the piecewise command works is that you give it a sequence of pairs of conditions and formulas that define your function. When you want to evaluate your function at a particular value of , Maple checks the conditions from left to right until it finds the one that your value of satisifies. It then plugs the value of into the next formula. However, notice that the command above only has one condition and two formulas. This is because any value of is either less than zero or it is greater than or equal to zero, so if a particular value of fails the first condition, i.e. is not less than zero, it must be greater than or equal to zero and the second formula is the one to use. For more information, see the help page for piecewise.

The limit command works fine for functions that are defined via the piecewise command, as shown in the example below.

> limit(g(x),x=0);
> limit(g(x),x=0,left);
> limit(g(x),x=0,right);
> plot(g(x), x=-0.1..0.1);


## Exercises

1. Use Maple to evaluate each of the limits given below. If the limit exists, state the limit. If the limit does not exist, explain why. A plot may be necessary to support your answer.

2. Find the right- and left-hand limits of the following function at . Also, plot the function and state which piece of the function is used for the right- and left-hand limits.

3. Consider the following limit.

Use Maple to compute this limit. Is the limit of the difference equal to the difference of the limits? If so, show this is true. If not, explain why the Sum Rule does not apply. You will also need to calculate the two limits seperately.

and