# Functions and infinity

The reason why polynomials are so important is that there is a theorem from Analysis that says that any continuous function defined on an interval of the real line can be approximated arbitrarily closely by a polynomial. So polynomials are useful to ¿model¿ any kind of function on a closed interval. However, polynomials ¿get wild¿ at infinity, so they don¿t work well to try to extrapolate an arbitrary function past the closed interval in which it is being approximated by the polynomial.

A rational function is a function which is a ratio of two polynomials, one polynomial in the numerator and another one in the denominator. Rational functions are also used to model an arbitrary function, and for many purposes they have better behavior. If the rational function is a ratio of two polynomials of the form p(x)/q(x), and the order of the two polynomials is np and nq, try to give a qualitative description of the behavior of this rational function. What happens to the rational function in the cases np > nq, np = nq, and np < nq as x goes to plus or minus infinity (compare with the case of a polynomial)? If an arbitrary function f(x) goes to zero at plus and minus infinity, what kind of rational function would be best to model this function?

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 16, 2018, 10:58 pm ad1c9bdddfhttps://brainmass.com/math/number-theory/240680

#### Solution Preview

If the rational function is a ratio of two polynomials of the form p(x)/q(x), and the order of the two polynomials is np and nq, try to give a qualitative description of the behavior of this rational function. What happens to the rational function in the cases np > nq, np = nq, and np < nq as x goes to plus or minus infinity (compare with the case of a polynomial)?

CASE1

When order of numerator is greater than denominator i.e. np > nq, the numerator grows at a rate that is much higher than the denominator. Hence, the rational function will tend to + infinity or - infinity depending on the signs.

For example,

let p(x) = 3x^2 + 2 where ^ means power.

let q(x) = x + 1

np =2 amd nq = 1 here.

As x tends to + infinity 3x^2 + 2 grows much faster in magnitude than x + 1. Therefore, the ratio tends to infinity.

In mathematical terms, we can see that 3x^2 + 2/(x + 1) = [3x + 2/x]/(1 + 1/x)

As x tends to infinity, 1/x and 2/x tends to 0. Hence p(x)/q(x) lim x -> infinity = 3x which tends to infinity as x becomes

large on postive side.

If x tends to - infinity, then the numerator tends to + infinity since square is always positive. On the otherhand, x + 1 tends to - ...

#### Solution Summary

This provides explanations of what happens to certain functions as they approach infinity.

Momentum Representation, Momentum Space Wave Function

We study the relationship between the position space wave function and the momentum space wave function in quantum mechanics. We show that they are related by the Fourier transform, more specifically we show that a momentum wave function given by the Fourier transform of the space wave function satisfies the requirements to be a momentum wave function, that is, normalization (the integral of its magnitude square equals one) and gives the correct formula for the expected value of the momentum.

See the attached file.

View Full Posting Details