I am having trouble understanding how to find the limit of a function (using the definition of a limit). I have a class example, and was wondering if anyone could walk me through the steps.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Using the definition of the limit to show that lim_{x→2}(x^{2})=4

f(x) = x^{2}

c=2

L=4

Given an arbitrary ε>0, take δ=min{1,ε/5}

If x≠2 and |x-2|<δ then |x-2|<1 and |x-2|< ε/5

|f(x)-L| = |x^{2}-4| = |(x-2)(x+2)| = |x-2||x+2|

|x-2|<1 => 1<x<3 => 3<x+2<5 => |x+2|<5

|x-2||x+2| < (ε/5)(5) = ε so |f(x)-L|<ε

2. Relevant equations

We say that lim f(x)_{x→c}=L if:

[itex]\forall[/itex]ε>0 [itex]\exists[/itex]δ>0 [itex]\forall[/itex]x[itex]\in[/itex]dom f if x≠c and |x-c|<δ then |f(x)-ε|<L

3. The attempt at a solution

The biggest thing I am confused about is how the professor got δ? Did he have to do the later work first and then went back and plugged in the answer he got?

Also, in the definition, it says that then |f(x)-ε|<L but we ended up getting |f(x)-L|<ε. Why is this? I understand that we can rearrange the equation, but then doesn't this mess up the absolute value signs?

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# Class example: limit of a function using definition

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