## 6.1. Limits

### Example 6.1.5:

Consider the function

Recall that *f*with*f(x) = 1*if*x*is rational and*f(x) = 0*is*x*is irrational. Does the limit of*f(x)*exist at an arbitrary number*x*?*f*is called the Dirichlet function. Since

*f*'jumps wildly' up and down, we suspect that the function does not have a limit at any point. This is indeed the case, as is easy to show using our new definition of limit:

Let *c* be any real number and pick
* = 1/2*. Suppose there was a
* > 0* such that whenever
*| x - c | < * then
*| f(x) - L | < = 1/2*.

We can find a rational number *q* with
*| q - c | < *. Hence
*f(q) = 1*, and therefore

or equivalently| f(q) - L | < 1/2, or | 1 - L | < 1/2

We can also find an irrational number| L | > 1/2

*y*with

*| y - c | <*. Hence

*f(y) = 0*, and therefore

or| f(y) - L | < 1/2

But that's a contradiction, so the function can not have a limit at any point| L | < 1/2

*c*.