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Revision as of 21:18, 8 November 2007
This is an AoPSWiki Word of the Week for Nov 814 
 For the vector graphics language, see Asymptote (Vector Graphics Language).
An asymptote is a line or curve that a certain function approaches.
Asymptotes can be of three different kinds: horizontal, vertical or slanted (oblique).
Contents
Vertical Asymptotes
The vertical asymptote can be found by finding values of that make the function undefined. One of the common ways is to have the function divided by zero, which is undefined. This can be shown by example.
Example Problem
Find the vertical asymptotes of .
Solution
To find the vertical asymptotes, must equal zero. Solving the equation:
$\begin{eqnarray*}x^2&=&0\\x&=&\boxed{0}\end{eqnarray*}$ (Error compiling LaTeX. ! Missing \endgroup inserted.)
So the vertical asymptote is , or just the yaxis
Horizontal Asymptotes
The horizontal asymptote can be found in the same method as vertical asymptotes, but in relation to instead of .
Example Problem
Find the horizontal asymptote of .
Solution
First, we divide by :
Clearly, the asymptote is .
Slanted Asymptotes
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