# Continuity Proof

• May 12th 2010, 09:52 PM
seams192
Continuity Proof
Let f(x) be a function that is de fined for all real x and is continuous on its domain.

Suppose that lim (x-> negative infinity) =infinity and lim (x-> infinity)= negative infinity.

Show that there is a value of x such that f(f(x)) = x.

My intuition says that I should use the IVT, but I'm not sure how...any suggestions?
• May 14th 2010, 02:15 AM
nimon
Consider the continuous function $\displaystyle f(x)-x$. Since $\displaystyle f(x)\rightarrow \infty$ as $\displaystyle x \rightarrow -\infty$ there must be some point $\displaystyle y\in\mathbb{R}$ where $\displaystyle f(y)>y$ (you should prove this). Similarly, there must be some point $\displaystyle z\in\mathbb{R}$ where $\displaystyle f(z)<z$. Then since $\displaystyle 0 \in [f(z)-z,f(y)-y]$, there must be some $\displaystyle x\in[z,y]$ such that $\displaystyle f(x)-x = 0$ by the IVT. Then clearly $\displaystyle f(f(x)) = f(x) = x.$

So you were right about the intermediate value theorem!