# Math Help - Phase Line & Limits

1. ## Phase Line & Limits

I understand how to create a horizontal phase line of a function...
$\frac{dx}{dt}=5x^2(x+5)(x-3)^3$

--->-----(-5)-----<------(0)------<------(3)----->----

...but I don't really understand what it means. What does the horizontal line represent and what do the arrows represent?

And what procedure would I use for answering the question:

The solution of the above equation with $x(0)=-4$ is defined on the interval $a, find
$lim_{t\to a+} x(t)=$
$lim_{t\to b-} x(t)=$

Is there a way to find the limit analytically? I'm guessing not since we're using the phase line to do it.

2. The function $v:\mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R},\;v(x)=5x^2(x+5)(x-3)^3$ represents a velocity field. That is, the equation $x'(t)=v(x)$ is equivalent to find the movement $x=x(t)$ of a particle in the real line such that its velocity in any instant of time $t$ is exactly $v(x)$ . The arrows represent the movement sense. Hope this helps.