The Limit in Mathematics

Manfredo Montagnana

In modern mathematics the concept of the limit arises from the twofold requirement to specify the nature of the set of real numbers and to remove the many critiques to the Newtonian definition of the derivative.

In Cauchy’s definition the limit is associated with a function’s behaviour when we approach a fixed point or when this point increases indefinitely.

A satisfactory mathematical approach to the limit concept and the computational rules appears only at the end of the XIX century.

More recently this fundamental concept was introduced in all mathematical fields, not only in the study of functions of several real variables but also in the study of general abstract spaces such as metric and topological spaces.

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