Horizontal Asymptote for rational function  TOPIC_SOLVED

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Horizontal Asymptote for rational function

Postby monjinho on Wed May 25, 2011 8:02 am

I was graphing a function today and was wondering why you devide the exponent on the highest degree on top by the exponent on the highest degree on the bottom to get the horizontal asymptote if the degrees are equal in numerator and denominator...
I understand that this works and that we can get the asymptote quite easily but the question is WHY WHY WHY??
For example, the asymptote of 2x^2+1/ 3x^2+2 would be 2/3. Why is this???
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Postby stapel_eliz on Wed May 25, 2011 11:06 am

monjinho wrote:I was graphing a function today and was wondering why you devide the exponent on the highest degree on top by the exponent on the highest degree on the bottom to get the horizontal asymptote if the degrees are equal in numerator and denominator...

Actually, the exponents are subtracted. Do you perhaps mean "form the ratio of" (or "divide") "the leading coefficients"?

If so, then please study this lesson on horizontal asymptotes. The tables and pictures should clear up the reasoning. :wink:
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