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Math Help - Limits at Infinity

  1. #1
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    Limits at Infinity

    Say I have a limit of a fraction where x->infinity, which should I divide the equation with? The numerator's highest degree or the denominator's highest degree?
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    Quote Originally Posted by derfliw View Post
    Say I have a limit of a fraction where x->infinity, which should I divide the equation with? The numerator's highest degree or the denominator's highest degree?
    divide by the highest degree when numerator and denominator have the same degree. you shouldn't have to divide if one is larger than the other.
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    What you mean is, it's optional to not divide it right?

    What if you choose to divide it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by derfliw View Post
    What you mean is, it's optional to not divide it right?

    What if you choose to divide it?
    optional?

    that's not what I said. once again, with a little more clarity ...

    1. if the degree of the numerator = degree of the denominator, then divide every term by the highest degree variable.

    2. if degree of the numerator > degree of the denominator, then the limit does not exist ... the rational function changes w/o bound.

    3. if the degree of the numerator < degree of the denominator, then the limit is 0.

    I believe that covers all three possibilities.
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  5. #5
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    what if it's like this:

    lim x->infinite (x^3+x^2-1)/(x^2+1)

    how'd you solve that?
    Last edited by derfliw; October 10th 2009 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Lack of details
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by derfliw View Post
    what if it's like this:

    lim x->infinite (x^3+x^2-1)/(x^2+1)

    how'd you solve that?
    the degree of the numerator (3) is greater than the degree of the denominator (2) ...

    now go back and read what I last posted.
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  7. #7
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    It's just that, I have to show that it's equal to infinity.
    So err, you don't need to divide all terms by x^2?
    If thats so, Thanks for the help.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by derfliw View Post
    It's just that, I have to show that it's equal to infinity.
    So err, you don't need to divide all terms by x^2?
    If thats so, Thanks for the help.
    divide every term by x^3 ...

    \lim_{x \to \infty} \frac{1 + \frac{1}{x} - \frac{1}{x^3}}{\frac{1}{x} + \frac{1}{x^3}}<br />

    as x gets very large, the numerator approaches 1 and the denominator goes to 0 ...

    in essence, it is the fraction \frac{1}{a \, very \,  small \, number}

    the value of the rational function increases w/o bound.
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  9. #9
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    Uh, so it's not the denominator's highest degree, but instead the whole equation's highest degree. Okay, I got it now, that's what i've been meaning to ask.
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