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1_Main_Introduction.pdf

2_Functions.pdf

2_TaylorSeries.pdf

3_TheExponential.pdf

4_ComputingTaylorSeries.pdf

5_Convergence.pdf

6_ExpansionPoints.pdf

7_Limits.pdf

9_LHopitalsRule.pdf

10_OrdersOfGrowth.pdf

11_Derivatives.pdf

12_DifferentiationRules.pdf

13_Linearization.pdf

14_HigherDerivatives.pdf

15_Optimization.pdf

16_Differentials.pdf

17_DifferentiationAsAnOperator.pdf

18_Antidifferentiation.pdf

19_ExponentialGrowthExamples.pdf

20_MoreDifferentialEquations.pdf

21_ODELinearization.pdf

22_IntegrationBySubstitution.pdf

23_IntegrationByParts.pdf

24_PartialFractions.pdf

24_TrigonometricSubstitution.pdf

26_DefiniteIntegrals.pdf

27_FundamentalTheoremOfIntegral.pdf

28_ImproperIntegrals.pdf

30_TablesAndComputers.pdf

31_Main_SimpleAreas.pdf

32_ComplexAreas.pdf

33_Volumes.pdf

34_VolumesOfRevolution.pdf

35_VolumesInArbitraryDimension.pdf

36_Arclength.pdf

37_SurfaceArea.pdf

38_Work.pdf

39_Elements.pdf

40_Averages.pdf

41_CentroidsAndCentersOfMass.pdf

42_MomentsAndGyrations.pdf

43_FairProbability.pdf

44_ProbabilityDensities.pdf

45_ExpectationAndVariance.pdf

46_Sequences.pdf

47_Differences.pdf

48_DiscreteCalculus.pdf

49_NumericalODEs.pdf

50_NumericalIntegration.pdf

51_Series.pdf

52_ConvergenceTests1.pdf

53_ConvergenceTests2.pdf

54_AbsoluteAndConditional.pdf

55_PowerSeries.pdf

56_TaylorSeriesRedux.pdf

57_ApproximationAndError.pdf

59_Foreshadowing.pdf

view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Introduction What this wiki is < Foreshadowing

What this wiki is

This wiki encapsulates the Math 104E calculus course at the University of Pennsylvania. 104E is a second semester calculus course presented for an engineering audience (hence the "E"). The goal of this wiki is to codify the content of this course in a way that is easily expandable or amendable as necessary, and to provide future teachers/students of the course with a lean, searchable text. The pages are in sequence (navigable from the home page or by using the arrows at the top and bottom of each page), and each page is designed to be a mini-lecture of about 10-15 minutes.

Prerequisites

This course assumes that you have had a first semester calculus course (such as AP Calculus AB or Math 103 at Penn). You should be able to compute basic derivatives and integrals. Experience shows that some students may need to brush up on precalculus skills: factoring, exponent rules, logarithm rules, trigonometric functions and unit circle values, and graphing functions (among other things).

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logarithm rules, trigonometric functions and unit circle values, and graphing functions (among other things). Search Go

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Philosophy This course focuses on the big picture over gritty calculations and memorized tricks. There
Philosophy
This course focuses on the big picture over gritty calculations and memorized tricks. There will be
some things you simply must commit to memory, but these will be few and highlighted in some way (yet
to be determined). Also, a certain amount of practice is required to gain facility in the basic
mechanics of calculus. For that, you should look to the big fat calculus text sold in the bookstore (at
least until we have enough problems built into the wiki).
Outline
These are the big topics covered, and the number of lectures per topic:
1. Functions: 9 lectures
2. Differentiation: 7 lectures
3. Integration: 12 lectures
4. Applications: 14 lectures
5. Discrete Calculus: 13 lectures
< Foreshadowing | Home Page | Functions >
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Functions A function can be visualized as

A function can be visualized as a machine that takes in an

input

possible inputs is called the domain, and the collection of all possible outputs is called the range.

collection of all possible outputs is called the range . and returns an output . The

and returns an output

outputs is called the range . and returns an output . The collection of all <

. The collection of all

This course deals with functions whose domains and ranges are notation for the real numbers).

whose domains and ranges are notation for the real numbers). or subsets of (this is the

or subsets of

and ranges are notation for the real numbers). or subsets of (this is the Examples 1.

(this is the

Examples

1. Polynomials, e.g.

or subsets of (this is the Examples 1. Polynomials, e.g. . Give the domain and range

. Give the domain and range of

Examples 1. Polynomials, e.g. . Give the domain and range of . Answer 2. Trigonometric functions,

. Answer

2. Trigonometric functions, e.g. Answer

, ,
,
,

. Give the domain and range for each of these.

3. The exponential function,

and range for each of these. 3. The exponential function, . Give the domain and range

. Give the domain and range for the exponential. Answer

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range for each of these. 3. The exponential function, . Give the domain and range for

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4. The natural logarithm function, . Recall that this is the inverse of the exponential
4. The natural logarithm function,
. Recall that this is the inverse of the exponential
function. Give the domain and range for . Answer
5. Is
a function? If so, why? If not, is there a way to make it into a function? Answer
Operations on Functions
COMPOSITION
The composition of two functions,
and
, is defined to be the function that takes as its input x and
returns as its output
fed into
.
Example:
can be thought of as the composition of two functions,
and
. If
,
would
be the function that takes an input
and returns its square root.
Example:
Compute the composition
, i.e. the composition of
with itself, where
.
Answer
INVERSE
The inverse is the function that undoes
. If you plug
into
, you will get
. Notice that this
function works both ways. If you plug
into
, you will get back
again.
NOTE:
denotes the inverse, not the reciprocal.
.
Example:
Let’s consider
. Its inverse is
.

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Notice that the graphs of and are always going to be symmetric about the line
Notice that the graphs of
and
are always going to be symmetric about the line
. That is
the line where the input and the output are the same:
Classes of Functions
POLYNOMIALS
A polynomial
is a function of the form
The top power
is called the degree of the polynomial. We can also write a polynomial using a
summation notation.
RATIONAL FUNCTIONS
Rational functions are functions of the form
where each is a polynomial.
Example:
is a rational function. You have to be careful of the denominator. When the
denominator takes a value of zero, the function may not be well-defined.
POWERS
Power functions are functions of the form
, where
and
are constant real numbers.
Other powers besides those of positive integers are useful.
Example:

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What is

What is ? Answer

? Answer

What is

? Answer Answer

 

What is

? Answer Answer

What is

What is ? We are not yet equipped to handle this, but we will come back

? We are not yet equipped to handle this, but we will come back to it later.

TRIGONOMETRICS

You should be familiar with the basic trigonometric functions

TRIGONOMETRICS You should be familiar with the basic trigonometric functions . One fact to keep in

. One fact to keep in mind is

for any

for any

, . This is known as a Pythagorean identity , which is so named because

, . This is known as a Pythagorean identity, which is so named because

of one of the ways to prove it:

 
   
 

By looking at a right triangle with hypotenuse 1 and angle

By looking at a right triangle with hypotenuse 1 and angle , and labeling the adjacent

, and labeling the adjacent and opposite

sides accordingly, one finds by using Pythagoras' Theorem that

.
.

Another way to think about it is to embed the above triangle into a diagram for the unit circle where

we see that circle with angle

for the unit circle where we see that circle with angle and to the returns the

and

to the

unit circle where we see that circle with angle and to the returns the x and

returns the x and y coordinates, respectively, of a point on the unit -axis:

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That explains the nature of the formula

That explains the nature of the formula . It comes from the equation of the unit

. It comes from the equation of the unit

circle

circle

.

Others trigonometric functions:

 
unit circle . Others trigonometric functions:   , the reciprocal of   , the reciprocal of
, the reciprocal of

, the reciprocal of

, the reciprocal of
 
, the reciprocal of the

, the reciprocal of the

, the reciprocal of the
, the reciprocal of the

, the reciprocal of the

, the reciprocal of the

All four of these have vertical asymptotes at the points where the denominator goes to zero.

INVERSE TRIGONOMETRICS

 

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We often write

We often write to denote the inverse, but this can cause confusion. Be careful that

to denote the inverse, but this can cause confusion. Be careful that

. To avoid the confusion, the terminology is recommended for the inverse of the

. To avoid the confusion, the terminology

. To avoid the confusion, the terminology is recommended for the inverse of the

is recommended for the inverse of the

function.

function.

The

function takes on valuesThe and has a restricted domain .

and has a restricted domain .

and has a restricted domain

.
.

The

function likewise has a restricted domain, but it takes values

function likewise has a restricted domain , but it takes values

, but it takes values

.
.

The

function has an unbounded domain, it is well defined for all inputs. But it has a restrictedThe

range

.
.

EXPONENTIALS

 

Exponential functions are of the form , where is some positive constant. The most common such function, referred to as the exponential, is . This is the most common because of its nice integral and differential properties (below).

to as the exponential, is . This is the most common because of its nice integral
to as the exponential, is . This is the most common because of its nice integral

Algebraic properties of the exponential function:

 
 
 
properties of the exponential function:     Differential/integral properties: Recall the graph of ,

Differential/integral properties:

function:     Differential/integral properties: Recall the graph of , plotted here alongside its inverse,
function:     Differential/integral properties: Recall the graph of , plotted here alongside its inverse,

Recall the graph of

Recall the graph of , plotted here alongside its inverse, :

, plotted here alongside its inverse,

:
:
 

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Note that the graphs are symmetric about the line its inverse). (as is true of
Note that the graphs are symmetric about the line
its inverse).
(as is true of the graphs of a function and
Before continuing, one might ask, what is ? There are several ways to define , which will be revealed
soon. For now, it is an irrational number which is approximately 2.718281828.
Euler’s Formula
To close this lesson, we give a wonderful formula, which for now we will just take as a fact:
Euler's Formula
The
in the exponent is the imaginary number
. It has the properties
.
is not a real
number. That doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. It just means it is not on a real number line.

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Euler's formula concerns the exponentiation of an imaginary variable. What exactly does that mean? How
Euler's formula concerns the exponentiation of an imaginary variable. What exactly does that mean?
How is this related to trigonometric functions? This will be covered in our next lesson.
Additional Examples
Example
Find the domain of
Answer
Example
Find the domain of
Answer
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Taylor Series The long polynomial from the

The long polynomial from the last module is actually

called a Taylor series about

to as a Maclaurin series in some textbooks, but this course will use the term Taylor series). The last module gave the Taylor series for

. The logical next question is to ask whether every function has a Taylor series.

,
,

, and

| Home Page | Computing Taylor series > , , and (this is referred The answer
| Home Page | Computing Taylor series > , , and (this is referred The answer

(this is referred

The answer is that most reasonable functions, and almost all of the functions encountered in this

course, have a Taylor series. That is, every reasonable function

have a Taylor series. That is, every reasonable function can be written as This module describes

can be written as

series. That is, every reasonable function can be written as This module describes how to compute

This module describes how to compute the coefficients

as This module describes how to compute the coefficients for a given function . The definition

for a given function

.
.

The definition of a Taylor series at x=0

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module describes how to compute the coefficients for a given function . The definition of a

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The definition of the Taylor series of at is Taylor series at where is the
The definition of the Taylor series of
at
is
Taylor series at
where
is the
th derivative of
evaluated at 0. In other words, the
coefficient
mentioned above is given by
This seems circular, since the definition uses the function, and its derivatives, to write down the
function. However, the definition only actually requires information about the function at a single
point (in this case, 0). It is best to think of the Taylor series as a way of turning a function into a
polynomial.
Example Compute the Taylor series for using the above definition to see that it matches the given
series from the last module. Answer
Example Compute the Taylor series for
using the above definition, and verify it
matches the series found using Euler's formula. Answer
Example Compute the Taylor series for
. Answer
Why Taylor series matter
The big idea of this module is that the Taylor series can be thought of as an operator (a machine)
which turns a function into a series. This is a useful operator because some functions are hard (or
even impossible) to express using combinations of familiar functions. Nevertheless, these functions can
often be understood by computing their Taylor series.
Example The Bessel function, denoted
, is best defined by its Taylor series:

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This series has only the even powers of , and it alternates, which is reminiscent
This series has only the even powers of , and it alternates, which is reminiscent of the series for
cosine. One difference is that the denominator in the Bessel function grows more quickly than the
denominator in the series for cosine. Thus, we might expect the graph to be a wave with a decreasing
amplitude, which is exactly what we find:
It turns out that the Bessel function describes many physical phenomena, including the shape of a
hanging chain as it is rotated, and the shape of the waves formed after a stone is thrown into a pool of
water.
Taylor series as polynomial approximants
The main reason Taylor series are useful is that they turn a potentially complicated function into
something simple: a polynomial. Granted, this polynomial is infinitely long in general, but in practice it
is only necessary to compute the first few terms to get a good, local approximation of the function.

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The more terms one includes, the better the polynomial approximates the function.

As an example, consider a particle on the number line with position function . At time 0, say its

position is 5. Then one approximation of its position as a function of time is

information, say its velocity at time 0 is 3, the approximation becomes better. The next approximation

as a function of time is

better. The next approximation as a function of time is . Given more . Then .
better. The next approximation as a function of time is . Given more . Then .

. Given more

. Then

approximation as a function of time is . Given more . Then . Now, suppose its

. Now, suppose its acceleration at time 0 is

more . Then . Now, suppose its acceleration at time 0 is is an even better

is an even better polynomial approximation of the position

function.

better polynomial approximation of the position function. < The Exponential | Home Page | Computing Taylor

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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main The Exponential This module deals with a

This module deals with a very important function: the exponential. The first question one might ask is: what is the exponential

function
function

? We know certain values of the function such as

function ? We know certain values of the function such as , but what about an

, but what about an irrational input such as

, or an imaginary input

about an irrational input such as , or an imaginary input ? Is it possible to

? Is it possible to make

sense of these values?

The following definition answers these questions.

The Exponential

The Exponential
The Exponential

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Is it possible to make sense of these values? The following definition answers these questions. The

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where and . One can now plug values for into the above sum to compute
where
and
.
One can now plug values for
into the above sum to compute
. When
, for instance, one
finds that
, the true
value of
, (since all the terms with
is found to be
disappear) as expected. By plugging in
.
A long polynomial
There are technical concerns when trying to add up an infinite number of things. These issues will be
dealt with later in the modules on series. For now, treat the infinite sum above as a long polynomial
(the actual term is the Taylor series about , which will be more formally dealt with in the next
module). Polynomials are nice because they are easy to integrate and differentiate. Recall the power
rule for differentiating and integrating a monomial , where is a constant:
Properties of
Recall the following properties of the exponential function:
1.
2.
3.
4.
.
Consider the last two properties in terms of the long polynomial.Taking the derivative of the long
polynomial for gives

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which is the original long polynomial. Integrating also gives (up to the constant of integration)
which is the original long polynomial. Integrating also gives (up to the constant of integration) the
original long polynomial. This agrees with facts about the derivative and integral of
. Thus, the long
polynomial for
captures two of the key features of
; namely,
is its own derivative and its own
integral.
Euler's formula
Recall that the imaginary number
is defined by
. So
,
,
, and this
continues cyclically (for a review of complex/imaginary numbers, see wikipedia). Assume the following
fact, known as Euler's formula, mentioned in the last module.
Euler's formula
Consider what happens when
is plugged into the long polynomial for
. By simplifying the powers
of , and grouping the result into its real and imaginary parts, one finds
If this is supposed to equal
, then the real part must be
, and the imaginary part
must be
. It follows that

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These formulas should be memorized, both in their long polynomial form and their more concise
These formulas should be memorized, both in their long polynomial form and their more concise
summation notation form.
Example
Use Euler's formula to show that
. Answer
Example
Compute
. Answer
Example
Check that taking the derivative of the long polynomial for
gives the long polynomial for
(hence, verify that
). Answer
Example
Show that the long polynomial for
start with the long polynomials for
satisfies the first property above, namely
. Hint:
and
and multiply these together, and carefully collect like
terms to show it equals the long polynomial for
. Answer
More on the long polynomial
The idea of a long polynomial is reasonable, because it actually comes from taking a sequence of
polynomials with higher and higher degree:

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Each polynomial in the sequence is, in a sense, the best approximation possible of that

Each polynomial in the sequence is, in a sense, the best approximation possible of that degree. Put another way, taking the first several terms of the long polynomial gives a good polynomial approximation of the function. The more terms included, the better the approximation. This is how calculators compute the exponential function (without having to add up infinitely many things).

approximation. This is how calculators compute the exponential function (without having to add up infinitely many
approximation. This is how calculators compute the exponential function (without having to add up infinitely many

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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Computing Taylor Series The previous module gave

The previous module gave the definition of the Taylor series for an arbitrary function. It turns out that this is not always the

easiest way to compute a function's Taylor series. Just as functions can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and composed, so can their corresponding Taylor

series.

Recall that the Taylor series for a function

> Recall that the Taylor series for a function is given by Using the definition of

is given by

Recall that the Taylor series for a function is given by Using the definition of the

Using the definition of the Taylor series involves taking a lot of derivatives, which could be a lot of work, especially if the function involves compositions and products of functions, e.g. . This module will show how to compute the Taylor series of such functions more

easily by using the Taylor series for functions we already know.

the Taylor series of such functions more easily by using the Taylor series for functions we

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the Taylor series of such functions more easily by using the Taylor series for functions we

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Substitution Our first method, substitution, allows us to plug one function into the Taylor series
Substitution
Our first method, substitution, allows us to plug one function into the Taylor series of another.
Consider the function
Computing the Taylor series for from the definition would involve the quotient rule, chain rule, and
a lot of algebra. But by taking the series for
and substituting
into this series, and then
distributing the
, one finds
Note that getting this many terms using the definition would involve taking nine derivatives of the
original function, which would be a lot of work! To get a more complete description of the Taylor
series, one can use the summation notation, and again substitute to find
Example Find the Taylor series for
by substitution. Answer
Combining like terms

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Another way to use previous knowledge of one Taylor series to find another is by combining like terms. This requires some careful algebra, but it is no more difficult than multiplying two polynomials together. For example, consider the function

 
   
 

Finding the series for a function multiplied by another function is the same as taking the series for each function and multiplying them together, and then collecting like terms. This is where some algebra is required.

 
 

To see where the coefficient of

comes from, note that every

comes from, note that every

term comes from some term from

term comes from some term from

the left series multiplied together with some term from the right series whose powers add up to 4.

There are three such pairs: 1 on the left paired with

There are three such pairs: 1 on the left paired with on the right; on the

on the right;

on the right;

on the left paired with

on the right; and on the left paired with 1 on the right. This is

on the right; and

on the left paired with 1 on the right. This is the same algebra one

on the left paired with 1 on the right. This is the same algebra one

would do when multiplying two polynomials together; this is just a way of collecting like terms in a systematic way.

Example Use the trigonometric identity

 
 
   
 
and substitution to find the series for . Try to give the series in summation

and substitution to find the series for . Try to give the series in summation notation (other than the first term). Answer

Hyperbolic trigonometric functions

 

The hyperbolic trigonometric functions

,
,
The hyperbolic trigonometric functions ,

, and

are defined by

are defined by

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These hyperbolic trig functions, although graphically quite different from their traditional counterparts, have several
These hyperbolic trig functions, although graphically quite different from their traditional counterparts, have several

These hyperbolic trig functions, although graphically quite different from their traditional counterparts, have several similar algebraic properties, which is why they are so named. For example, the Pythagorean identity for cosine and sine has a version for hyperbolic cosine and sine:

and sine has a version for hyperbolic cosine and sine: One can verify this using the

One can verify this using the definitions and some algebra. But there is a geometric intuition for this relationship. Recall that cosine and sine give the and coordinates, respectively, for a point on the unit circle . The hyperbolic cosine and hyperbolic sine give the and coordinates,

circle . The hyperbolic cosine and hyperbolic sine give the and coordinates, respectively, for points on
circle . The hyperbolic cosine and hyperbolic sine give the and coordinates, respectively, for points on
circle . The hyperbolic cosine and hyperbolic sine give the and coordinates, respectively, for points on
circle . The hyperbolic cosine and hyperbolic sine give the and coordinates, respectively, for points on
circle . The hyperbolic cosine and hyperbolic sine give the and coordinates, respectively, for points on

respectively, for points on the hyperbola

:
:

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Example Using the Taylor series for are and substitution, show that the Taylor series for

Example Using the Taylor series for are

Example Using the Taylor series for are and substitution, show that the Taylor series for and
Example Using the Taylor series for are and substitution, show that the Taylor series for and

and substitution, show that the Taylor series for

for are and substitution, show that the Taylor series for and Note that these are almost

and

are and substitution, show that the Taylor series for and Note that these are almost the

Note that these are almost the same as the series for cosine and sine, respectively, except they do not alternate. This gives another reason for the names of these functions.

Manipulating Taylor series

Another way of using one Taylor series to find another is through differentiation and integration. For

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instance, to find the Taylor series for the derivative of , one can differentiate the
instance, to find the Taylor series for the derivative of , one can differentiate the Taylor series for
term by term.
Example By differentiating the Taylor series for
and
, show that
This is yet another relationship which is similar (though not identical) to the relationship between sine
and cosine. Answer
Higher Order Terms in Taylor Series
In some situations, it will be convenient only to write the first few terms of a Taylor series. This is
particularly true when combining or composing more than one Taylor series. Up until now, an ellipsis
has been used to indicate that there are more terms in the series that are being omitted.
There is another way, sometimes used in this course, of notating the omitted terms in a Taylor series.
That is by referring to them as Higher Order Terms (or H.O.T. for short). Having the extra HOT in a
series means that all the remaining terms in the series have a higher degree than the previous terms.
Example The function
can be written as
or it could also be written as
The point at which the higher order terms are cut-off is somewhat arbitrary and depends on the
situation. There is a more formal way of keeping track of the higher order terms, called Big-O
notation, which is presented in orders of growth.
Example Find the first two non-zero terms of the Taylor series for

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Answer Extra examples Example Compute the Taylor series (at 0) for Taylor series in summation
Answer
Extra examples
Example
Compute the Taylor series (at 0) for
Taylor series in summation notation. Answer
up to and including terms of order 6. Try to give the full
Example
Find the first three terms of the Taylor series for
, where
Answer
< Taylor series | Home Page | Convergence >
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Convergence A Taylor series can be thought

A Taylor series can be thought of as an infinite polynomial. Up until now, we have not worried

about the issues that come up when adding up infinitely many things. This module deals with two main issues:

1. A function may not have a Taylor series at all;

2. A function's Taylor series may not converge everywhere, even within the function's domain.

Functions without a Taylor series

The first problem is that some functions cannot be expressed in the form

Examples include

functions cannot be expressed in the form Examples include , which has vertical asymptotes, and ,
functions cannot be expressed in the form Examples include , which has vertical asymptotes, and ,

, which has vertical asymptotes, and

be expressed in the form Examples include , which has vertical asymptotes, and , which is

, which is not defined for

.
.

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be expressed in the form Examples include , which has vertical asymptotes, and , which is

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Polynomials are not able to capture these sorts of discontinuities and asymptotes.

 

THE GEOMETRIC SERIES

 

The geometric series is an example of a Taylor series which is well behaved for some values of

The geometric series is an example of a Taylor series which is well behaved for some

and

non-nonsensical for other values of

non-nonsensical for other values of . The claim is that

. The claim is that

 
 
 

for

.
.

Example Compute the Taylor series for

Example Compute the Taylor series for directly from the definition.

directly from the definition.

 
Note The geometric series only holds when . This makes sense, because if , the

Note The geometric series only holds when . This makes sense, because if , the

 
powers of are getting bigger and bigger and so the series should not converge. If

powers of are getting bigger and bigger and so the series should not converge. If , then the

powers of are getting bigger and bigger and so the series should not converge. If ,

series is adding 1 infinitely many times, which diverges. If 1 and 0, and hence does not converge.

1 infinitely many times, which diverges. If 1 and 0, and hence does not converge. ,

, then the series oscillates between

The takeaway is that every Taylor series has a convergence domain where the series is well-behaved,

and outside that domain the series will not converge. For many functions, the domain is the whole real

number line (e.g. the series for , , , , and all converge everywhere), but

number line (e.g. the series for , , , , and

number line (e.g. the series for , , , , and all converge everywhere), but be

all converge everywhere), but be aware

that there are functions whose Taylor series do not converge everywhere. This will be covered more formally in Series Convergence And Divergence.

Example A beam of light of intensity hits a pane of glass. Half of the light is reflected, and a third of the light is transmitted; the rest is absorbed. When a beam of light of intensity hits two parallel panes with an air gap between them, how much light is transmitted through both panes? (The following figure shows how the light gets reflected and rereflected. The first transmitted and reflected beams of light are labeled with their respective intensities. The question asks for the total of the beams of light emerging on the right side of the right pane of glass).

intensities. The question asks for the total of the beams of light emerging on the right
intensities. The question asks for the total of the beams of light emerging on the right

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Answer Example Use the Taylor series of . Answer to derive the Taylor series of

Example Use the Taylor series of . Answer

Answer Example Use the Taylor series of . Answer to derive the Taylor series of Example
Answer Example Use the Taylor series of . Answer to derive the Taylor series of Example

to derive the Taylor series of

Example Use the fact that

to derive the Taylor series of Example Use the fact that . Hint: recall that to
to derive the Taylor series of Example Use the fact that . Hint: recall that to

. Hint: recall that

to find the Taylor series for

. Answer Answer

Example Another important function is the binomial series

find the Taylor series for . Answer Example Another important function is the binomial series ,

, where

find the Taylor series for . Answer Example Another important function is the binomial series ,

is some constant.

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Show that

Show that where This series also only holds for . Answer Summary Here are all the

where

Show that where This series also only holds for . Answer Summary Here are all the

This series also only holds for

.
.

Summary

Here are all the series we have found so far. The following hold for all

The following hold for

:
:
:
:

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Electrostatics example Here we use the geometric series and the binomial series from above in
Electrostatics example
Here we use the geometric series and the binomial series from above in an example from
electrostatics. An electric dipole is a pair of equally and oppositely charged particles separated by a
short distance. One question of interest in electrostatics is the electrostatic potential, which is the
sum of the point charge potentials from each pole.
The point charge potential from a single particle with charge
, at a distance
from the particle, is
where
is a constant called the Coulomb constant. Then a dipole with particles of charge
and
has net electrostatic potential
where
is the distance to the positively charged particle, and
is the distance to the negatively
charged particle:

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We will calculate the first order term for the electrostatic potential at two different locations:

We will calculate the first order term for the electrostatic potential at two different locations:

We will calculate the first order term for the electrostatic potential at two different locations: and

and

:
:

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First consider

First consider , located directly above and distance from the positive particle. Let

, located directly above and distance

from the positive particle. Let

First consider , located directly above and distance from the positive particle. Let be the

be the

distance between the charged particles. Then

distance between the charged particles. Then , and by the Pythagorean theorem,

, and by the Pythagorean theorem,

. It follows that the electrostatic potential is

. It follows that the electrostatic potential is

theorem, . It follows that the electrostatic potential is Now, factoring out , and applying the

Now, factoring out

Now, factoring out , and applying the binomial series with

, and applying the binomial series with

Now, factoring out , and applying the binomial series with , we find

, we find

At position , which is directly left of and distance from the positive particle, we

At position

At position , which is directly left of and distance from the positive particle, we have

, which is directly left of and distance

At position , which is directly left of and distance from the positive particle, we have

from the positive particle, we have

,
,

and

, so we find that the electrostatic potential at

and , so we find that the electrostatic potential at is

is

and , so we find that the electrostatic potential at is Again, factoring out and expanding

Again, factoring out

Again, factoring out and expanding using the geometric series gives

and expanding using the geometric series gives

 

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< Computing Taylor series | Home Page | Expansion points >
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Expansion Points Up until now, Taylor series

Up until now, Taylor series expansions have all been at . The Taylor series at gives a good approximation to the function near 0. But what if we want a good approximation to the function near a different point ? That is the topic of this module.

near a different point ? That is the topic of this module. Expansion points < Convergence
near a different point ? That is the topic of this module. Expansion points < Convergence
near a different point ? That is the topic of this module. Expansion points < Convergence

Expansion points

A function

derivatives exist at

Page | Limits > A function derivatives exist at has a Taylor series expansion about any

has a Taylor series expansion about any point

exist at has a Taylor series expansion about any point . The definition of the Taylor

. The definition of the Taylor series for

about
about

provided that

is

series expansion about any point . The definition of the Taylor series for about provided that

and all its

series expansion about any point . The definition of the Taylor series for about provided that

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series expansion about any point . The definition of the Taylor series for about provided that

Go

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We say this is a series in

. A different way to view this series is by making the change of

variables

variables . After cancellation, this yields

. After cancellation, this yields

 
 

Taylor polynomial for approximation

Recall that the first few terms of the Taylor series for

Recall that the first few terms of the Taylor series for about

about

gives a polynomial (the Taylor

gives a polynomial (the Taylor

polynom ial) which is a good approximation for

polynom ial ) which is a good approximation for near 0. Similarly, the Taylor polynomial for

near 0. Similarly, the Taylor polynomial for

polynom ial ) which is a good approximation for near 0. Similarly, the Taylor polynomial for

about

gives a polynomial which is a good approximation of

gives a polynomial which is a good approximation of

near . Note, however, that as the

near

near . Note, however, that as the

. Note, however, that as the

input gets further away from the expansion point

input gets further away from the expansion point , the approximation gets worse.

, the approximation gets worse.

 

Example Find the Taylor series for

Example Find the Taylor series for

about

about . Answer

. Answer

Example Compute the Taylor series expansion for

Example Compute the Taylor series expansion for

about

about . Answer

. Answer

Note that the Taylor polynomial is only a good approximation to the function on the domain of convergence. For functions whose domain of convergence is the entire number line, this is not a concern. But for functions such as , the Taylor polynomials will only be a good approximation within the domain of convergence, which is . Outside of that domain, the Taylor polynomials diverge wildly from , as shown here:

the domain of convergence, which is . Outside of that domain, the Taylor polynomials diverge wildly
the domain of convergence, which is . Outside of that domain, the Taylor polynomials diverge wildly
the domain of convergence, which is . Outside of that domain, the Taylor polynomials diverge wildly

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Even within a function's domain of convergence, a Taylor polynomial's approximation gets worse as the

input gets further away from

. One way to improve an approximation is to include more and more

. One way to improve an approximation is to include more and more

terms of the Taylor series in the Taylor polynomial. However, this involves computing more and more

derivatives. Another way to improve the approximation for

is to choose an expansion point

is to choose an expansion point

derivatives. Another way to improve the approximation for is to choose an expansion point

which is close to

.
.
 

Example Use the Taylor polynomial of degree 2 for

about

about

to approximate

to approximate

.
.

Then repeat the process about

Then repeat the process about and compare the results. Answer

and compare the results. Answer

 

Caveat for compositions

 

When computing the Taylor expansion for the composition

about

about

, one must be careful

, one must be careful

of expansion points. In particular, one cannot simply take the series for

of expansion points. In particular, one cannot simply take the series for at and plug it

at

at and plug it into

and plug it into

the series for

at .

at

.
.

Example Consider the expansion for

Example Consider the expansion for

about

. Although

. Although

. Although

, and

, one will run into trouble trying to write

, one will run into trouble trying to write

 

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The trouble is that collecting like terms requires adding up infinitely many things. For instance, the

 

constant term above is

constant term above is . The reason this is a problem is that Taylor series are

. The reason this is a problem is that Taylor series are

supposed to give a good polynomial approximation of a function without requiring too much computation or information about the function.

 

Remember that

Remember that is a good approximation when

is a good approximation when

is near 0. However, when

is near 0. However, when

Remember that is a good approximation when is near 0. However, when

is near 0,

is near 0, is near 1. So plugging the series for

is near 1. So plugging the series for

into the series for does not give a

into the series for

into the series for does not give a

does not give a

good approximation.

To avoid this problem when computing the Taylor series for the composition

at about
at
about

, one

should plug the Taylor expansion of

about into the expansion of

about

about into the expansion of

into the expansion of

. In the

above example, the expansion of

above example, the expansion of about is

about

about

is

so

so

 
 
 
   
 

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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Limits Having concluded our study of Taylor

Having concluded our study of Taylor series, we now move on to limits. Some of the major topics of calculus (continuity, differentiation, and integration) can all be expressed using limits.

Definition of the limit

The limit formalizes the behavior of a function as its input approaches some value. The formal definition of the limit is

Limit

Limit if and only if for every whenever there exists such that . If there is
Limit if and only if for every whenever there exists such that . If there is

if and only if for every

whenever

Limit if and only if for every whenever there exists such that . If there is

there exists

Limit if and only if for every whenever there exists such that . If there is

such that

Limit if and only if for every whenever there exists such that . If there is

. If there is no such

, then the limit does

not exist.

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if for every whenever there exists such that . If there is no such , then

Go

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In words, this says that the limit of a function exists if, when the input to

is very close to

is very close to

In words, this says that the limit of a function exists if, when the input to

(but not

equal to ), the output from

equal to ), the output from
is very close to

is very close to

. This can also be thought of in terms of tolerances:

. This can also be thought of in terms of tolerances:

given a certain

tolerance for the output (seen as the band around

tolerance for the output (seen as the band around
in the graph below), one can

in the graph below), one can

find a tolerance on the input (the band around ) so that for inputs within the tolerance, the corresponding outputs stays within of the desired output:

(the band around ) so that for inputs within the tolerance, the corresponding outputs stays within
(the band around ) so that for inputs within the tolerance, the corresponding outputs stays within
 
 
   
 

No matter how small

is made, there must be some

is made, there must be some

, which must depend on

, which must depend on

, generally. Actually

, generally. Actually

 

finding

finding

often requires a little bit of work.

 

Example Using the definition of the limit, show that

. Answer

. Answer

 

When limits may not exist

 

There are a few ways a limit might not exist:

 

1.

A discontinuity, or jump, in the graph of the function. In this case, the limit does not exist because the limit from the left and the limit from the right are not equal.

 

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2. A blow-up, when the function has a vertical asymptote. 3. An oscillation, where the
2. A blow-up, when the function has a vertical asymptote.
3. An oscillation, where the graph of the function oscillates infinitely up and down as the
input approaches a certain value.
Most functions in this course will be well-behaved and will not have the above problems. The formal
term for a well-behaved function is continuous.
Continuous functions
A function is continuous at the point
if the limit
exists and
.
Intuitively, this says that there are no holes or jumps in the graph of
at
.
Finally, a function is continuous if it is continuous at every point in its domain.
Rules for limits
There are rules for adding, multiplying, dividing, and composing limits. Suppose that
and
exist. Then
1. (Sum)
.
2. (Product)
.

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3. (Quotient) , provided that . 4. (Chain) , if is continuous. Almost all the
3. (Quotient)
, provided that
.
4. (Chain)
, if
is continuous.
Almost all the functions encountered in this course are continuous, and so limits in most cases can be
evaluated by simply plugging in the limiting input value into the function. The one case that sometimes
gets complicated is the Quotient rule above when the limit of the denominator is 0.
Example Show that
. Answer
Example Find
. Answer
Example Compute
. Answer
Example Compute
. Answer
There are other methods for computing these types of limits, including memorization, algebraic tricks,
and l'Hopital's rule (more on that in the next module). However, in many cases, these different
methods can all be replaced by a simple application of Taylor series.
< Expansion points | Home Page | L'Hopital's Rule >
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main L Hopitals Rule In previous modules, we

In previous modules, we saw that Taylor series are useful for computing certain limits of ratios. But sometimes, a fact known as

L'Hopital's rule is easier to use than Taylor series. While L'Hopital's rule is commonly taught in a first calculus course, the justification for why it works is not usually

taught. This module gives a justification for L'Hopital's rule, using Taylor series.

L'Hopital's rule

There are some limit situations where Taylor series are not particularly easy to use. For example, if the limit is being taken at a point about which the Taylor expansion is not already known, or the limit is at infinity, then using Taylor series is usually more work than it is worth. These are the situations where L'Hopital's rule can be helpful.

L'Hopital's Rule,

L'Hopital's Rule, case

case

Search

worth. These are the situations where L'Hopital's rule can be helpful. L'Hopital's Rule, case Search Go

Go

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If and are continuous functions such that and , then , provided this limit exists.
If
and
are continuous functions such that
and
,
then
, provided this limit exists. If this is still of the form
,
then derivatives may be taken again, and so on.
Justification
Example Using L'Hopital's rule, compute two of the limits from the last module:
Answer
Example Compute
. Answer
Depending on the situation, it still might be easier to use Taylor series, especially if there are
compositions and products of functions (assuming we know all the relevant Taylor series).
Example Compute
. Answer
L'Hopital's Rule,
case
If
, then
, again provided
this limit exists.
Example Compute
. Answer

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Example Use L'Hopital's rule to compute

Example Use L'Hopital's rule to compute . Answer

. Answer

 

Other indeterminate forms

 

Some limits do not initially look like cases where L'Hopital's rule applies, but with some algebra they can be rearranged into one of the applicable cases. These are called indeterminate forms.

 

CASE:

CASE:

First, consider

First, consider , where

, where

. Usually, one or both of

. Usually, one or both of

First, consider , where . Usually, one or both of

and

are ratios of other functions. In this case, getting a common denominator usually transforms the

are ratios of other functions. In this case, getting a common denominator usually transforms the

limit into one where L'Hospital's rule or a Taylor series approach applies.

 

Example Compute

Example Compute . Answer

. Answer

 

CASE:

CASE:

Next, consider

Next, consider

where

where and

and

where and

. Since

Next, consider where and . Since is not

is not

defined, it is not clear what this limit is. However, the product can be turned into one of the following ratios where L'Hopital's rule applies:

 
 
 

since dividing by the reciprocal of a number is the same as multiplying. Now, note that

 
, since

, since

, since

. Thus,

. Thus, is now in the

is now in the

case of L'Hopital's

case of L'Hopital's

 

rule.

Similarly,

Similarly, is in the

is in the

form of l'Hopital's rule, and so it can be applied here too.

form of l'Hopital's rule, and so it can be applied here too.

 

Deciding which of the above forms to use depends on the situation, but in many situations either form will work.

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Example Compute

Example Compute . (Here we use the one-sided limit

. (Here we use the one-sided limit

becuase is only defined

becuase

becuase is only defined

is only defined

on the positive real numbers). Answer

 

CASE:

CASE:

Another indeterminate form arises when raising one function of

Another indeterminate form arises when raising one function of

to a power which involves another

function of . Suppose

function of . Suppose and
function of . Suppose and

and

. Then what is

. Then what is

. Then what is

?

On the one hand, it seems that raising to any power should be . On the other hand, raising anything to the 0th power should be 1. To find what the answer actually is, let

should be . On the other hand, raising anything to the 0th power should be 1.
should be . On the other hand, raising anything to the 0th power should be 1.
 
   
 
and take the of both sides. Now, recall that is a continuous function. Therefore, from
and take the of both sides. Now, recall that is a continuous function. Therefore, from

and take the of both sides. Now, recall that is a continuous function. Therefore, from the rules of limits in the last module, taking of a limit is the same as the limit of the :

function. Therefore, from the rules of limits in the last module, taking of a limit is
function. Therefore, from the rules of limits in the last module, taking of a limit is
 
   
 

(the last step uses the fact that

(the last step uses the fact that ). Now, this is of the form , which

). Now, this is of the form

(the last step uses the fact that ). Now, this is of the form , which

, which was

covered above. Note that when this limit is computed, it is which has been found,

covered above. Note that when this limit is computed, it is which has been found, and so the

answer must be exponentiated to find , the original limit.

answer must be exponentiated to find , the original limit.
 

Example Compute

Example Compute . Answer

. Answer

 

CASE:

CASE:

Consider the limit

Consider the limit , where

, where

Consider the limit , where

and

and . Because is not defined,

. Because

and . Because is not defined,

is not defined,

this is another indeterminate form. It can be dealt with as the the resulting limit, and then exponentiating.

this is another indeterminate form. It can be dealt with as the the resulting limit, and

case, by first taking

case, by first taking

, computing

Example Compute

Example Compute . Answer

. Answer

 

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Limits going to infinity L'Hopital also works with limits going to infinity; the same hypothesis
Limits going to infinity
L'Hopital also works with limits going to infinity; the same hypothesis and conclusions hold. Before
doing some examples, what does it mean for
?
Limit at infinity
if and only if for every
there exists
such that
whenever
. If there is no such
, then the limit does not exist.
Example Compute
. Answer
Example Compute
. Answer
While L'Hopital often works, there are situations where it fails to give an answer, and a little extra
thought must be employed.
Example Compute
. Answer
Example Compute
. Answer
It is also possible to deal with limits going to infinity using Taylor series, but it involves some algebra.
The idea is to use a substitution to turn the limit going to infinity into a limit going to zero.
Symbolically, if
, then let
. It follows that
as
, and by replacing
with throughout, the limit is transformed.
This process works when the limit at 0 exists. A more general technique would only look at the one-
sided limit from the right-hand side:

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Example Compute . Answer < Limits | Home Page | Orders of growth > Page
Example Compute
. Answer
< Limits | Home Page | Orders of growth >
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Orders Of Growth When dealing with limits

When dealing with limits as

(i.e. the term with the smallest power) which matters the most,

since higher powers of are very small when is close to 0. On the other hand, as , what is known as the asymptotic growth of a function. In this case, it is the highest order term which matters the most. This module deals with limits of both types and provides a more formal notion of how quickly a function grows or shrinks.

formal notion of how quickly a function grows or shrinks. , it is the lowest order

, it is the lowest order term

a function grows or shrinks. , it is the lowest order term < L'Hopital's Rule |
Rule | Home Page | Derivatives > Hierarchy of functions going to infinity First, consider the

Hierarchy of functions going to infinity

First, consider the monomial

monomials, it becomes clear that as

consider the monomial monomials, it becomes clear that as , where , is a fixed, positive

, where

,
,

is a fixed, positive integer. Looking at the graphs of these :

Search

monomials, it becomes clear that as , where , is a fixed, positive integer. Looking at

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What happens when the functions involved are not polynomials? For example, how does the growth of the exponential compare to a polynomial? Or factorial and exponential?

In general, one can compare the asymptotic growth of the functions and by considering the limit

. If this limit is , then dominates. If the limit is 0, then dominates.
. If this limit is , then dominates. If the limit is 0, then dominates.
. If this limit is , then dominates. If the limit is 0, then dominates.

. If this limit is , then dominates. If the limit is 0, then dominates. And if the limit

. If this limit is , then dominates. If the limit is 0, then dominates. And
is a constant, then and are considered equal (asymptotically).

is a constant, then and are considered equal (asymptotically).

is a constant, then and are considered equal (asymptotically).
 

Example

Compare exponential growth and polynomial growth. Answer

 

Example

Compare the asymptotic behavior of

Compare the asymptotic behavior of

(for some fixed integer

) and . Answer

) and

) and . Answer

. Answer

Example

Compare the asymptotic growth of the factorial and the exponential. Answer

Thus we have the following hierarchy of growth, from greatest to smallest:

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1. Factorial: . 2. Exponential: for any (usually ). 3. Polynomial: for any . 4.
1. Factorial:
.
2. Exponential:
for any
(usually
).
3. Polynomial:
for any
.
4. Logarithmic:
and other related functions.
When a pair of functions are of a similar type, such as and , one must compare these using the
limit of the ratio of the functions, as above.
Hierarchy of functions going to 0
As above, first consider monomials . As
, the inequality for monomials is the reverse of what
it was for
. That is, as
, we find that
. Intuitively, small numbers become
even smaller when you raise them to higher powers.
It is important to keep track of whether a limit is going to 0 or
, since in the first case, the lowest
order terms dominate, and in the second case the highest order terms dominate.
Example Compute
and
. Answer
Big-O notation
When dealing with limits as
or
, it is best to have a formal notation for the

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approximations which result from dropping higher or lower order terms. Big-O notation, pronounced "big oh",
approximations which result from dropping higher or lower order terms. Big-O notation, pronounced
"big oh", provides this formality.
Big-O notation,
The function
is in
, as
if
for some constant
is in
and all
sufficiently close to 0. Put another way, a function
, for
close to 0, if
approaches 0 at least as fast as a constant
multiple of
.
More generally, a function
is in
, as
if
for some constant
and
sufficiently close to 0.
Big-O notation, as , can be thought of as a more specific way of saying higher order terms. Just
as Taylor series could include a different number of terms before indicating the rest is higher order
terms (depending on the situation), the same is true for big-O.
Example
Express
using big-O notation as
. Answer
The definition for big-O as
sufficiently large.
is almost identical, except the bound needs to apply for all
Big-O notation,
The function
is in
, as
if
for some constant
and all
sufficiently large. In other words, a function
is in
, as
, if
approaches infinity no faster than a constant multiple of

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.
.

More generally,

More generally,

is in

is in

, as

, as if

if

 
 
 

for some constant

for some constant

and all

and all sufficiently large.

sufficiently large.

 

Example

 

The monomial

The monomial is in

is in

The monomial is in

as

for any (fixed)

for any (fixed)

. This is a restatement of the above fact

. This is a restatement of the above fact

that the exponential dominates polynomials as

that the exponential dominates polynomials as .

.

Example

 

Show that

Show that as

as

Show that as . Hint: use the binomial series.

. Hint: use the binomial series.

 

Example

Justify the following statements as

:
:
 

1.

but is not in

.
.
 

2.

but is not in

.
.
 

3.

is in is in is in
is in
is in
is in
is in is in is in but is not in .

but is not in

.
.
 

4.

is in but is not in

is in

is in but is not in

but is not in

.
.

5.

is not in is in for any for all . .

is not in

is in

is not in is in for any for all . .

for any

for all

.
.
is not in is in for any for all . .
.
.

6.

 

Example

Justify the following statements as

Justify the following statements as

:

1.

is in as well as

is in

is in as well as

as well as

is in as well as

for any

.
.
 

2.

is in

is in

is in

but is not in

.
.

3.

4.

is in is in
is in
is in

but is not in

but is not in

.
.

for any

.
.
 

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5. is in as well as for all . 6. is in for all .
5. is in
as well as
for all
.
6. is in
for all
.
Answer
Application: Error Analysis
When approximating a function by the first few terms of its Taylor series, there is a trade-off between
convenience (the ease of the computation) and accuracy. Big-O notation can help keep track of this
error.
Example Consider the approximation, for
close to 0,
So the error of approximating
can be bounded by
, for some
when
is
small. Determining a good
Remainder Theorem.
, in general, is tricky, and there is more on error bounds in Taylor
Application: Computational Complexity
In computer science, an algorithm is a sequence of steps used to solve a problem. For example, there
are algorithms to sort a list of numbers and algorithms to find the prime factorization of a number.
Computational complexity is a measure of how efficient an algorithm is. Basically, a computer scientist
wants to know roughly how the number of computations carried out by the computer will grow as the
input (e.g. the length of the list to be sorted, or the size of the number to be factored) gets larger.
EXAMPLE: MULTIPLICATION
Consider how much work is required to multiply two
-digit numbers using the usual grade-school
method. There are two phases to working out the product: multiplication and addition.
First, multiply the first number by each of the digits of the second number. For each digit in the
second number this requires
"carries", so say a total of
basic operations (multiplication of single digits) plus perhaps some
operations for each digit in the second number. This means that the

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multiplication phase requires basic operations. The addition phase requires repeatedly adding digit numbers together a
multiplication phase requires
basic operations.
The addition phase requires repeatedly adding
digit numbers together a total of
times. If
each addition requires at most
operations (including the carries), and there are
additions
that must be made, it comes to a total of
operations in the addition phase.
Adding these totals up gives about total operations. Thus, the total number of basic operations
that must be performed in multiplying two digit numbers is in (since the constant coefficient
does not matter).
The reason the constant coefficient does not really matter when thinking about computational
complexity, is that a faster computer can only improve the speed of a computation by a constant
factor. The only way to significantly improve a computation is to somehow drastically cut the number
of operations required to perform the operation. The next example shows an example of how
important algorithmic improvements can be on computational complexity.
EXAMPLE: SORTING
In sorting algorithms, the most basic operation is the comparison. For a sorting algorithm, one wants to
know how many comparisons of two numbers will be made, on average.
One common sorting algorithm, which is used by most people who are sorting items by hand, is called
Insertion Sort. It turns out that the number of comparisons for Insertion Sort, on average, is
as
, where
is the length of the list of numbers to be sorted.
A more sophisticated sorting algorithm, called Mergesort, uses comparisons on average.
This may not seem like a significant improvement over Insertion Sort, but consider the number of
comparisons used to sort a list of 1000000 integers: Insertion Sort would use on the order of
comparisons on average, where as Mergesort uses on the order of
comparisons. To put that in perspective, if Mergesort took a half second to complete the
computation, Insertion Sort would take over ten hours!
Big O in Other Areas of Mathematics
STIRLING'S FORMULA
Stirling's formula gives an asymptotic approximation for
:

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In a slightly more precise form, it can be written PRIME NUMBER THEOREM In number

In a slightly more precise form, it can be written

In a slightly more precise form, it can be written PRIME NUMBER THEOREM In number theory,

PRIME NUMBER THEOREM

In number theory, one very important function, or equal to . The Prime Number Theorem says that

function, or equal to . The Prime Number Theorem says that , is defined to be
function, or equal to . The Prime Number Theorem says that , is defined to be

, is defined to be the number of primes less than

says that , is defined to be the number of primes less than < L'Hopital's Rule

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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Derivatives There are several definitions of the

There are several definitions of the derivative of a

function

equivalent, but they are all important because they emphasize different aspects of the derivative.

because they emphasize different aspects of the derivative. at . These definitions are all < Orders

at

they emphasize different aspects of the derivative. at . These definitions are all < Orders of

. These definitions are all

Derivative (first definition)

Derivative (first definition) If the limit does not exist, then the derivative is not defined at

If the limit does not exist, then the derivative is not defined at

.
.

This first definition emphasizes that the derivative is the rate of change of the output with respect to the input. The next definition is similar.

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the derivative is the rate of change of the output with respect to the input. The

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Derivative (second definition) If the limit does not exist, then the derivative is not defined
Derivative (second definition)
If the limit does not exist, then the derivative is not defined at
.
This definition can be interpreted as the change in output divided by the change in input, as the
change in input goes to 0. One can see this is equivalent to the first definition by making the
substitution
. The third definition looks quite different from the first two.
Derivative (third definition)
The derivative of
at
,
, is the constant
such that for any
variation to the input
, the following holds.
That is,
is the first-order variation of the output. If no such
exists, then the
derivative does not exist.
To show the equivalence, one can do a little algebra to see that
Then taking the limit on both sides as
shows that
.
Example Using the second and third definitions above, compute the derivative of
, where
is a positive integer. Answer
Example Find the derivative of
using the third definition. Answer
Example Find the derivative of
using the third definition. Hint: use the identity
Answer

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Example Find the derivative of using the third definition. Answer Notation There are several different
Example Find the derivative of
using the third definition. Answer
Notation
There are several different notations for the derivative of
. The best options are
because they make it clear that the input is
and the output is
or
, respectively.
The next tier of options are fair, and have the advantage of requiring less writing, but they lose the
benefit of knowing what the input variable is:
The third option,
, is known as differential notation, which will be covered more in a later module.
Do not try to cancel the d's in the derivative. Do not write the d's in cursive, or replace the d's with
's
(those notations have a different meaning).
Interpretations
The derivative is commonly interpreted as the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function.
This is fine when the function has one input and one output. But what happens in the (more realistic)
situation of a function with more than one input and more than one output? How does one graph such
a function? And if the units of the input and output are different, what is the unit of slope?
A better interpretation for the derivative is as the rate of change of output with respect to input. This
interpretation makes sense with functions of many inputs and outputs. However, that will be covered
in the multivariable sequel to this course.
Examples with respect to time
The most common use of the derivative is with respect to time. Here are several such examples from
different areas.
PHYSICS

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Velocity is the derivative of position , with respect to time. Similarly, acceleration is the
Velocity
is the derivative of position
, with respect to time. Similarly, acceleration
is the
derivative of velocity with respect to time:
ELECTROMAGNETISM
Electric current,
, in a circuit is the rate of change of charge,
, with respect to time:
CHEMISTRY
The reaction rate for the product , denoted , in a chemical reaction is proportional to the rate
of change of the concentration of , denoted , with respect to time:
Examples with respect to other variables
SPRING CONSTANT
The spring constant
for a spring is the derivative of force with respect to deflection:
ELASTICITY
The elasticity modulus
of a material is the rate of change of stress with respect to strain:
VISCOSITY

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The viscosity of a fluid is related to the shear stress by the equation TAX
The viscosity of a fluid
is related to the shear stress by the equation
TAX RATES
The marginal tax rate is the rate of change of tax with respect to income:
< Orders of growth | Home Page | Differentiation rules >
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view edit history print Single Variable Multi Variable Main Differentiation Rules Recall from the previous module

Recall from the previous module the third definition given of the derivative, that

< Derivatives | Home Page | Linearization > The derivative can be thought of as a

The derivative can be thought of as a multiplier: a change of

of

rules.

can be thought of as a multiplier: a change of of rules. to the input gets

to the input gets amplified by a factor

change of of rules. to the input gets amplified by a factor to become a change

to become a change of

the input gets amplified by a factor to become a change of to the output. This

to the output. This interpretation helps make sense of the following

Differentiation rules

Suppose and are differentiable functions of . Then the following rules (written using the shorthand differential notation) hold:

LINEARITY

functions of . Then the following rules (written using the shorthand differential notation) hold: LINEARITY Search
functions of . Then the following rules (written using the shorthand differential notation) hold: LINEARITY Search
functions of . Then the following rules (written using the shorthand differential notation) hold: LINEARITY Search

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functions of . Then the following rules (written using the shorthand differential notation) hold: LINEARITY Search

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where is a constant. PRODUCT CHAIN Proof Another common way to express the Chain rule,
where
is a constant.
PRODUCT
CHAIN
Proof
Another common way to express the Chain rule, using the more traditional derivative notation, is
CAVEAT
Note that in the chain rule, the output of
is being plugged in as an input to
. Therefore, in the
above, if the derivative
is being evaluated at
, then
is evaluated at
and
is evaluated at
. More explicitly,
Example Compute
. Answer
Other rules
There are a few other differentiation rules commonly taught in a first year calculus class, which can all
be proven using the rules from above.
RECIPROCAL
QUOTIENT

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INVERSE Note: is the inverse of , not the reciprocal (which was covered above). Proof
INVERSE
Note:
is the inverse of
, not the reciprocal (which was covered above).
Proof
Example Show that
using the reciprocal rule. Answer
Example Show that