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Basic periodic functions

Not many of the functions that we encounter are periodic. There are few functions, which are periodic by their very definition. We are, so far, familiar with following periodic functions in this course :

  • Constant function, (c)
  • Trigonometric functions, (sinx, cosx, tanx etc.)
  • Fraction part function, {x}

Six trigonometric functions are most commonly used periodic functions. They are used in various combination to generate other periodic functions. In general, we might not determine periodicity of each function by definition. It is more convenient to know periods of standard functions like that of six trigonometric functions, their integral exponents and certain other standard forms/ functions. Once, we know periods of standard functions, we use different rules, properties and results of periodic functions to determine periods of other functions, which are formed as composition or combination of standard periodic functions.

Constant function

For constant function to be periodic function,

f x + T = f(x)

By definition of constant function,

f x + T = f(x) = c

Clearly, constant function meets the requirement of a periodic function, but there is no definite, fixed or least period. The relation of periodicity, here, holds for any change in x. We, therefore, conclude that constant function is a periodic function without period.

Trigonometric functions

Graphs of trigonometric functions (as described in the module titled trigonometric function) clearly show that periods of sinx, cosx, cosecx and secx are “2π” and that of tanx and cotx are “π”. Here, we shall mathematically determine periods of few of these trigonometric functions, using definition of period.

Sine function

For sinx to be periodic function,

sin x + T = x

x + T = n π + - 1 n x ; n Z

The term - 1 n evaluates to 1 if n is an even integer. In that case,

x + T = n π + x

Clearly, T = nπ, where n is an even integer. The least positive value of “T” i.e. period of the function is :

T = 2 π

Cosine function

For cosx to be periodic function,

cos x + T = cos x

x + T = 2 n π ± x ; n Z


x + T = 2 n π + x

T = 2 n π


x + T = 2 n π x

T = 2 n π 2 x

First set of values is independent of “x”. Hence,

T = 2 n π ; n Z

The least positive value of “T” i.e. period of the function is :

T = 2 π

Tangent function

For tanx to be periodic function,

tan ( x + T ) = tan x x + T = n π + x ; n Z

Clearly, T = nπ; n∈Z. The least positive value of “T” i.e. period of the function is :

T = π

Fraction part function (fpf)

Fraction part function (FPF) is related to real number "x" and greatest integer function (GIF) as { x } = x [ x ] . We have seen that greatest integer function returns the integer which is either equal to “x” or less than “x”. For understanding the nature of function, let us compute few function values as here :

--------------------------------- x [x]x – [x] ---------------------------------1 1 0 1.25 1 0.251.5 1 0.5 1.75 1 0.752 2 0 2.25 2 0.252.5 2 0.5 2.75 2 0.753 3 0 3.25 3 0.253.5 3 0.5 3.75 3 0.754 4 0 ---------------------------------

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
What is power set
Satyabrata Reply
Period of sin^6 3x+ cos^6 3x
Sneha Reply
Period of sin^6 3x+ cos^6 3x
Sneha Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Functions. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10464/1.64
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