Questions tagged [calculus]

For basic questions about limits, derivatives, integrals and applications, mainly of one-variable functions.

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422
votes
23answers
123k views

How to prove that $\lim\limits_{x\to0}\frac{\sin x}x=1$?

How can one prove the statement $$\lim_{x\to 0}\frac{\sin x}x=1$$ without using the Taylor series of $\sin$, $\cos$ and $\tan$? Best would be a geometrical solution. This is homework. In my math ...
958
votes
20answers
94k views

Is $\frac{\textrm{d}y}{\textrm{d}x}$ not a ratio?

In the book Thomas's Calculus (11th edition) it is mentioned (Section 3.8 pg 225) that the derivative $\frac{\textrm{d}y}{\textrm{d}x}$ is not a ratio. Couldn't it be interpreted as a ratio, because ...
46
votes
13answers
7k views

How to prove that $\log(x)<x$ when $x>1$?

It's very basic but I'm having trouble to find a way to prove this inequality $\log(x)<x$ when $x>1$ ($\log(x)$ is the natural logarithm) I can think about the two graphs but I can't find ...
67
votes
4answers
12k views

$\sqrt{c+\sqrt{c+\sqrt{c+\cdots}}}$, or the limit of the sequence $x_{n+1} = \sqrt{c+x_n}$

(Fitzpatrick Advanced Calculus 2e, Sec. 2.4 #12) For $c \gt 0$, consider the quadratic equation $x^2 - x - c = 0, x > 0$. Define the sequence $\{x_n\}$ recursively by fixing $|x_1| \lt c$ and ...
94
votes
3answers
5k views

Are all limits solvable without L'Hôpital Rule or Series Expansion

Is it always possible to find the limit of a function without using L'Hôpital Rule or Series Expansion? For example, $$\lim_{x\to0}\frac{\tan x-x}{x^3}$$ $$\lim_{x\to0}\frac{\sin x-x}{x^3}$$ $$\...
171
votes
19answers
50k views

Proving $\int_{0}^{\infty} \mathrm{e}^{-x^2} dx = \frac{\sqrt \pi}{2}$

How to prove $$\int_{0}^{\infty} \mathrm{e}^{-x^2}\, dx = \frac{\sqrt \pi}{2}$$
211
votes
28answers
96k views

Evaluating the integral $\int_0^\infty \frac{\sin x} x \,\mathrm dx = \frac \pi 2$?

A famous exercise which one encounters while doing Complex Analysis (Residue theory) is to prove that the given integral: $$\int_0^\infty \frac{\sin x} x \,\mathrm dx = \frac \pi 2$$ Well, can ...
277
votes
7answers
30k views

How can you prove that a function has no closed form integral?

I've come across statements in the past along the lines of "function $f(x)$ has no closed form integral", which I assume means that there is no combination of the operations: addition/subtraction ...
203
votes
9answers
17k views

Evaluating $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty} e^{-n} \sum\limits_{k=0}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$

I'm supposed to calculate: $$\lim_{n\to\infty} e^{-n} \sum_{k=0}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$$ By using W|A, i may guess that the limit is $\frac{1}{2}$ that is a pretty interesting and nice result. I ...
89
votes
7answers
8k views

Finding the limit of $\frac {n}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$

I'm trying to find $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{n}{\sqrt[n]{n!}} .$$ I tried couple of methods: Stolz, Squeeze, D'Alambert Thanks! Edit: I can't use Stirling.
62
votes
13answers
53k views

How to prove that exponential grows faster than polynomial?

In other words, how to prove: For all real constants $a$ and $b$ such that $a > 1$, $$\lim_{n\rightarrow\infty}\frac{n^b}{a^n} = 0$$ I know the definition of limit but I feel that it's not ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Evaluate the integral $\int^{\frac{\pi}{2}}_0 \frac{\sin^3x}{\sin^3x+\cos^3x}\,\mathrm dx$. [duplicate]

Evaluate the integral $$\int^{\frac{\pi}{2}}_0 \frac{\sin^3x}{\sin^3x+\cos^3x}\, \mathrm dx.$$ How can i evaluate this one? Didn't find any clever substitute and integration by parts doesn't lead ...
130
votes
25answers
9k views

Why does the series $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1n$ not converge?

Can someone give a simple explanation as to why the harmonic series $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1n=\frac 1 1 + \frac 12 + \frac 13 + \cdots $$ doesn't converge, on the other hand it grows very slowly?...
62
votes
5answers
4k views

Limits: How to evaluate $\lim\limits_{x\rightarrow \infty}\sqrt[n]{x^{n}+a_{n-1}x^{n-1}+\cdots+a_{0}}-x$

This is being asked in an effort to cut down on duplicates, see here: Coping with abstract duplicate questions, and here: List of abstract duplicates. What methods can be used to evaluate the limit $$...
30
votes
1answer
6k views

Fourier series of Log sine and Log cos

I saw the two identities $$ -\log(\sin(x))=\sum_{k=1}^\infty\frac{\cos(2kx)}{k}+\log(2) $$ and $$ -\log(\cos(x))=\sum_{k=1}^\infty(-1)^k\frac{\cos(2kx)}{k}+\log(2) $$ here: twist on classic log of ...
43
votes
4answers
3k views

Universal Chord Theorem

Let $f \in C[0,1]$ and $f(0)=f(1)$. How do we prove $\exists a \in [0,1/2]$ such that $f(a)=f(a+1/2)$? In fact, for every positive integer $n$, there is some $a$, such that $f(a) = f(a+\frac{1}{n})$...
24
votes
5answers
25k views

How to show that $f(x)=x^2$ is continuous at $x=1$? [closed]

How to show that $f(x)=x^2$ is continuous at $x=1$?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

The limit of a sum $\sum_{k=1}^n \frac{n}{n^2+k^2}$ [closed]

How to compute this limit: $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\left(\frac{n}{n^2+1^2}+\frac{n}{n^2+2^2}+\cdots+\frac{n}{n^2+n^2}\right)$$ Please give me some hint.
116
votes
11answers
8k views

Proving an alternating Euler sum: $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k+1} H_k}{k} = \frac{1}{2} \zeta(2) - \frac{1}{2} \log^2 2$

Let $$A(p,q) = \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k+1}H^{(p)}_k}{k^q},$$ where $H^{(p)}_n = \sum_{i=1}^n i^{-p}$, the $n$th $p$-harmonic number. The $A(p,q)$'s are known as alternating Euler sums. ...
142
votes
12answers
56k views

What is $dx$ in integration?

When I was at school and learning integration in maths class at A Level my teacher wrote things like this on the board. $$\int f(x)\, dx$$ When he came to explain the meaning of the $dx$, he told us ...
61
votes
9answers
17k views

Where is the flaw in this “proof” that 1=2? (Derivative of repeated addition)

Consider the following: $1 = 1^2$ $2 + 2 = 2^2$ $3 + 3 + 3 = 3^2$ Therefore, $\underbrace{x + x + x + \ldots + x}_{x \textrm{ times}}= x^2$ Take the derivative of lhs and rhs and we get: $\...
53
votes
3answers
2k views

Evaluating $\int P(\sin x, \cos x) \text{d}x$

Suppose $\displaystyle P(x,y)$ a polynomial in the variables $x,y$. For example, $\displaystyle x^4$ or $\displaystyle x^3y^2 + 3xy + 1$. Is there a general method which allows us to evaluate the ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

How to compute the formula $\sum \limits_{r=1}^d r \cdot 2^r$?

Given $$1\cdot 2^1 + 2\cdot 2^2 + 3\cdot 2^3 + 4\cdot 2^4 + \cdots + d \cdot 2^d = \sum_{r=1}^d r \cdot 2^r,$$ how can we infer to the following solution? $$2 (d-1) \cdot 2^d + 2. $$ Thank you
98
votes
8answers
8k views

Proof of Frullani's theorem

How can I prove the Theorem of Frullani? I did not even know all the hypothesis that $f$ must satisfy, but I think that this are Let $\,f:\left[ {0,\infty } \right) \to \mathbb R$ be a a continuously ...
72
votes
14answers
16k views

Proof of $\int_0^\infty \left(\frac{\sin x}{x}\right)^2 \mathrm dx=\frac{\pi}{2}.$

I am looking for a short proof that $$\int_0^\infty \left(\frac{\sin x}{x}\right)^2 \mathrm dx=\frac{\pi}{2}.$$ What do you think? It is kind of amazing that $$\int_0^\infty \frac{\sin x}{x} \mathrm ...
41
votes
6answers
32k views

Proving that $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f'(x) = 0$ when $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f(x)$ and $\lim\limits_{x\to\infty}f'(x)$ exist

I've been trying to solve the following problem: Suppose that $f$ and $f'$ are continuous functions on $\mathbb{R}$, and that $\displaystyle\lim_{x\to\infty}f(x)$ and $\displaystyle\lim_{x\to\...
143
votes
8answers
21k views

Why is $1^{\infty}$ considered to be an indeterminate form

From Wikipedia: In calculus and other branches of mathematical analysis, an indeterminate form is an algebraic expression obtained in the context of limits. Limits involving algebraic operations are ...
91
votes
11answers
7k views

Calculating the integral $\int_{0}^{\infty} \frac{\cos x}{1+x^2}\mathrm{d}x$ without using complex analysis

Suppose that we do not know anything about the complex analysis (numbers). In this case, how to calculate the following integral in closed form? $$\int_0^\infty\frac{\cos\;x}{1+x^2}\mathrm{d}x$$
108
votes
9answers
16k views

Proof that $C\exp(x)$ is the only set of functions for which $f(x) = f'(x)$

I was wondering the following. And I probably know the answer already: NO. Is there another number with similar properties as $e$? So that the derivative of $\exp(x)$ is the same as the function ...
86
votes
7answers
20k views

Evaluate the integral: $\int_{0}^{1} \frac{\ln(x+1)}{x^2+1} \mathrm dx$

Compute $$\int_{0}^{1} \frac{\ln(x+1)}{x^2+1} \mathrm dx$$
38
votes
8answers
14k views

Computing the integral of $\log(\sin x)$

How to compute the following integral? $$\int\log(\sin x)\,dx$$ Motivation: Since $\log(\sin x)'=\cot x$, the antiderivative $\int\log(\sin x)\,dx$ has the nice property $F''(x)=\cot x$. Can we find ...
53
votes
4answers
5k views

What am I doing when I separate the variables of a differential equation?

I see an equation like this: $$y\frac{\textrm{d}y}{\textrm{d}x} = e^x$$ and solve it by "separating variables" like this: $$y\textrm{d}y = e^x\textrm{d}x$$ $$\int y\textrm{d}y = \int e^x\textrm{d}x$...
49
votes
6answers
55k views

Finding $\int x^xdx$

I'm trying to find $\int x^x \, dx$, but the only thing I know how to do is this: Let $u=x^x$. $$\begin{align} \int x^x \, dx&=\int u \, du\\[6pt] &=\frac{u^2}{2}\\[6pt] &=\dfrac{\left(x^...
4
votes
4answers
472 views

Analyzing limits problem Calculus (tell me where I'm wrong).

I came accross: $$\lim_{x \to\ 0}\frac{x\cos x - \log (1 + x)}{x^{2}}$$ I tried the following please tell me where I 'm wrong: $$\lim_{x \to\ 0}\frac{x\cos x - \log (1 + x)}{x^{2}} $$ $$\text{(...
102
votes
15answers
39k views

Nice proofs of $\zeta(4) = \frac{\pi^4}{90}$?

I know some nice ways to prove that $\zeta(2) = \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2} = \pi^2/6$. For example, see Robin Chapman's list or the answers to the question "Different methods to compute $\sum_{...
103
votes
8answers
59k views

Why is the derivative of a circle's area its perimeter (and similarly for spheres)?

When differentiated with respect to $r$, the derivative of $\pi r^2$ is $2 \pi r$, which is the circumference of a circle. Similarly, when the formula for a sphere's volume $\frac{4}{3} \pi r^3$ is ...
32
votes
12answers
25k views

Why $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{k}{2^k} = 2$? [duplicate]

Can you please explain why $$ \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \dfrac{k}{2^k} = \dfrac{1}{2} +\dfrac{ 2}{4} + \dfrac{3}{8}+ \dfrac{4}{16} +\dfrac{5}{32} + \dots = 2 $$ I know $1 + 2 + 3 + ... + n = \dfrac{n(n+1)}{...
36
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prove $\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{n^2}{2^n} = 6$?

I'd like to find out why \begin{align} \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{n^2}{2^n} = 6 \end{align} I tried to rewrite it into a geometric series \begin{align} \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{n^2}{2^n} = \sum_{n=...
38
votes
4answers
3k views

Integrate $\int_0^{\pi/2} \frac{1}{1+\tan^\alpha{x}}\,\mathrm{d}x$

Evaluate the integral $$\int_0^{\pi/2} \frac{1}{1+\tan^\alpha{x}}\,\mathrm{d}x$$
47
votes
15answers
12k views

Intuitive understanding of the derivatives of $\sin x$ and $\cos x$

One of the first things ever taught in a differential calculus class: The derivative of $\sin x$ is $\cos x$. The derivative of $\cos x$ is $-\sin x$. This leads to a rather neat (and convenient?) ...
138
votes
15answers
10k views

Why does factoring eliminate a hole in the limit?

$$\lim _{x\rightarrow 5}\frac{x^2-25}{x-5} = \lim_{x\rightarrow 5} (x+5)$$ I understand that to evaluate a limit that has a zero ("hole") in the denominator we have to factor and cancel terms, and ...
47
votes
4answers
7k views

Can there be two distinct, continuous functions that are equal at all rationals?

Akhil showed that the Cardinality of set of real continuous functions is the same as the continuum, using as a step the observation that continuous functions that agree at rational points must agree ...
145
votes
8answers
34k views

Lesser-known integration tricks

I am currently studying for the GRE math subject test, which heavily tests calculus. I've reviewed most of the basic calculus techniques (integration by parts, trig substitutions, etc.) I am now ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

showing $\arctan(\frac{2}{3}) = \frac{1}{2} \arctan(\frac{12}{5})$

I'm having problem with showing that: $$\arctan(\frac{2}{3}) = \frac{1}{2} \arctan(\frac{12}{5})$$ I would need some help in the right direction
133
votes
1answer
12k views

How to determine with certainty that a function has no elementary antiderivative?

Given an expression such as $f(x) = x^x$, is it possible to provide a thorough and rigorous proof that there is no function $F(x)$ (expressible in terms of known algebraic and transcendental functions)...
62
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prove $\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} f(x)dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} f\left(x - \frac{1}{x}\right)dx?$

If $f(x)$ is a continuous function on $(-\infty, +\infty)$ and $\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} f(x) \, dx$ exists. How can I prove that $$\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} f(x) \, dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} f\...
36
votes
2answers
3k views

Possibility to simplify $\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{\pi }{{\sin \pi a}}} $

Is there any way to show that $$\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{1}{a} + \sum\limits_{k = 1}^\infty {{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}\left( {\...
38
votes
7answers
15k views

What does $dx$ mean?

$dx$ appears in differential equations, such us derivatives and integrals. For example, a function $f(x)$ its first derivative is $\dfrac{d}{dx}f(x)$ and its integral $\displaystyle\int f(x)dx$. But ...
23
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there a name for function with the exponential property $f(x+y)=f(x) \cdot f(y)$?

I was wondering if there is a name for a function that satisfies the conditions $f:\mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ and $f(x+y)=f(x) \cdot f(y)$? Thanks and regards!
18
votes
9answers
2k views

Indefinite integral of secant cubed

I need to calculate the following indefinite integral: $$I=\int \frac{1}{\cos^3(x)}dx$$ I know what the result is (from Mathematica): $$I=\tanh^{-1}(\tan(x/2))+(1/2)\sec(x)\tan(x)$$ but I don't ...