L'Hôpital's Rule/Proof 1

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Let $f$ and $g$ be real functions which are continuous on the closed interval $\closedint a b$ and differentiable on the open interval $\openint a b$.


$\forall x \in \openint a b: \map {g'} x \ne 0$

where $g'$ denotes the derivative of $g$ with respect to $x$.


$\map f a = \map g a = 0$


$\displaystyle \lim_{x \mathop \to a^+} \frac {\map f x} {\map g x} = \lim_{x \mathop \to a^+} \frac {\map {f'} x} {\map {g'} x}$

provided that the second limit exists.


Let $l = \displaystyle \lim_{x \mathop \to a^+} \frac{f' \left({x}\right)}{g' \left({x}\right)}$.

Let $\epsilon > 0$.

By the definition of limit, we ought to find a $\delta > 0$ such that:

$\forall x: \left\vert{x - a}\right\vert < \delta \implies \left\vert{\dfrac {f \left({x}\right)} {g \left({x}\right)} - l}\right\vert < \epsilon$

Fix $\delta$ such that:

$\forall x: \left\vert{x - a}\right\vert < \delta \implies \left\vert{\dfrac {f' \left({x}\right)} {g' \left({x}\right)} - l}\right\vert < \epsilon$

which is possible by the definition of limit.

Let $x$ be such that $\left\vert{x - a}\right\vert < \delta$.

By the Cauchy Mean Value Theorem with $b = x$:

$\exists \xi \in \left({a \,.\,.\, x}\right): \dfrac {f' \left({\xi}\right)} {g' \left({\xi}\right)} = \dfrac {f \left({x}\right) - f \left({a}\right)} {g \left({x}\right) - g \left({a}\right)}$

Since $f \left({a}\right) = g \left({a}\right) = 0$, we have:

$\exists \xi \in \left({a \,.\,.\, x}\right): \dfrac {f' \left({\xi}\right)} {g' \left({\xi}\right)} = \dfrac {f \left({x}\right)} {g \left({x}\right)}$

Now, as $a < \xi < x$, it follows that $\left\vert{\xi - a}\right\vert < \delta$ as well.


$\left\vert{\dfrac {f \left({x}\right)} {g \left({x}\right)} - l }\right\vert = \left\vert{ \dfrac {f' \left({\xi}\right)} {g' \left({\xi}\right)} - l}\right\vert < \epsilon$

which leads us to the desired conclusion that:

$\displaystyle \lim_{x \mathop \to a^+} \frac {f \left({x}\right)} {g \left({x}\right)} = \lim_{x \mathop \to a^+} \frac {f' \left({x}\right)} {g' \left({x}\right)}$