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17. Limits


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17.1 Functions and Variables for Limits

Option variable: lhospitallim

Default value: 4

lhospitallim is the maximum number of times L'Hospital's rule is used in limit. This prevents infinite looping in cases like limit (cot(x)/csc(x), x, 0).

Categories:  Limits

Function: limit  
    limit (expr, x, val, dir)  
    limit (expr, x, val)  
    limit (expr)

Computes the limit of expr as the real variable x approaches the value val from the direction dir. dir may have the value plus for a limit from above, minus for a limit from below, or may be omitted (implying a two-sided limit is to be computed).

limit uses the following special symbols: inf (positive infinity) and minf (negative infinity). On output it may also use und (undefined), ind (indefinite but bounded) and infinity (complex infinity).

infinity (complex infinity) is returned when the limit of the absolute value of the expression is positive infinity, but the limit of the expression itself is not positive infinity or negative infinity. This includes cases where the limit of the complex argument is a constant, as in limit(log(x), x, minf), cases where the complex argument oscillates, as in limit((-2)^x, x, inf), and cases where the complex argument is different for either side of a two-sided limit, as in limit(1/x, x, 0) and limit(log(x), x, 0).

lhospitallim is the maximum number of times L'Hospital's rule is used in limit. This prevents infinite looping in cases like limit (cot(x)/csc(x), x, 0).

tlimswitch when true will allow the limit command to use Taylor series expansion when necessary.

limsubst prevents limit from attempting substitutions on unknown forms. This is to avoid bugs like limit (f(n)/f(n+1), n, inf) giving 1. Setting limsubst to true will allow such substitutions.

limit with one argument is often called upon to simplify constant expressions, for example, limit (inf-1).

example (limit) displays some examples.

For the method see Wang, P., "Evaluation of Definite Integrals by Symbolic Manipulation", Ph.D. thesis, MAC TR-92, October 1971.

Categories:  Limits

Option variable: limsubst

Default value: false

prevents limit from attempting substitutions on unknown forms. This is to avoid bugs like limit (f(n)/f(n+1), n, inf) giving 1. Setting limsubst to true will allow such substitutions.

Categories:  Limits

Function: tlimit  
    tlimit (expr, x, val, dir)  
    tlimit (expr, x, val)  
    tlimit (expr)

Take the limit of the Taylor series expansion of expr in x at val from direction dir.

Categories:  Limits

Option variable: tlimswitch

Default value: true

When tlimswitch is true, the limit command will use a Taylor series expansion if the limit of the input expression cannot be computed directly. This allows evaluation of limits such as limit(x/(x-1)-1/log(x),x,1,plus). When tlimswitch is false and the limit of input expression cannot be computed directly, limit will return an unevaluated limit expression.

Categories:  Limits


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