Infinitely-small function

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A function of a variable $x$ whose absolute value becomes and remains smaller than any given number as a result of variation of $x$. More exactly, a function $f$ defined in a neighbourhood of a point $x_0$ is called an infinitely-small function as $x$ tends to $x_0$ if for any number $\varepsilon>0$ it is possible to find a number $\delta=\delta(\varepsilon)>0$ such that $|f(x)|<\varepsilon$ is true for all $x$ satisfying the condition $|x-x_0|<\delta$. This fact can be written as follows: \begin{equation} \lim_{x\to x_0}f(x)=0. \end{equation} Further, the symbolic notation \begin{equation} \lim_{x\to+\infty}f(x)=0 \end{equation} means that for any $\varepsilon>0$ it is possible to find an $N=N(\varepsilon)>0$ such that for all $x>N$ the inequality $|f(x)|<\varepsilon$ is true. The concept of an infinitely-small function may serve as a base of the general definition of the limit of a function. In fact, the limit of the function $f$ as $x\to x_0$ is finite and equal to $A$ if and only if \begin{equation} \lim_{x\to x_0} f(x)-A=0, \end{equation} i.e. if the function $f(x)-A$ is infinitely small. See also Infinitesimal calculus.

How to Cite This Entry:
Infinitely-small function. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by V.I. Bityutskov (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article