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Homework Help: Point discontinuity problem

  1. Sep 12, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Find the value of p at which the discontinuity would occur.

    2. Relevant equations

    f(x) = x^2 - 6x + 9 / x - p

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Able to solve if p has an assigned numerical value, but help is needed for determining the value of p at which the discontinuity would occur. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2013 #2


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    Factorize [itex]x^2 - 6x + 9[/itex].
  4. Sep 12, 2013 #3
    Okay. Thanks; once I have done that, how would I solve for p?
  5. Sep 12, 2013 #4


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    If you haven't yet found the answer to your other problem, I would suggest you do that and then come back to this problem, at which point the solution will hopefully be obvious.

    In any event I would recommend re-reading the material on which these problems are based, since you don't seem to be fully comfortable with it.
  6. Sep 12, 2013 #5
    A discontinuity occurs when you cannot determine the function value at a certain argument(x) value. There's an operation only Chuck Norris can do..or so they say.

    X-p , you know that there is one value that it can't have since it's in the denominator.
    You also know that the function at 1st glance Could be 0 when X=?? according to the numerator.

    What's the 1 value that cannot be P? Everything else can. Think of a hyperbole.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  7. Sep 12, 2013 #6

    Ray Vickson

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    As in your other posting: you need parentheses! If I read what you wrote using standard rules for mathematical expressions, I would see
    [tex] f(x) = x^2 - 6x + \frac{9}{x} - p.[/tex]
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  8. Sep 13, 2013 #7
    Ray Vickson, (x^2 - 6x + 9) / (x - p)
    Thank you all for your help.
  9. Sep 13, 2013 #8
    The thing is, we have not gone over this material at all.
  10. Sep 13, 2013 #9
    I have solved the problem. Thank you everyone.
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