# Supremum

Find the supremum of this function.

### Contents

#### Favorite Function

Here is one of my favorite functions. What is its maximum?

$$ f(x) = \tan { \sin {x} } - \sin { \tan {x} } $$

Let's plot it with `ezplot`, which is pronounced *easy-plot*.

f = @(x) tan(sin(x)) - sin(tan(x)) ezplot(f,[-pi,pi])

f = @(x)tan(sin(x))-sin(tan(x))

The function is very flat at the origin. Its Taylor series begins with $x^7$. It oscillates infinitely often near $\pm \pi/2$. It is linear as it approaches zero again at $\pm \pi$. And, most important for our purposes here, `ezplot` has picked the limit on the *y*-axes to be between 2.5 and 3.

syms x F = sym(f) disp('taylor = ') pretty(taylor(F,x,'order',10)) ylim = get(gca,'ylim')

F = tan(sin(x)) - sin(tan(x)) taylor = 9 7 29 x x ----- + -- 756 30 ylim = -2.867712755182179 2.867712755182179

#### Calculus

We learn in calculus that a maximum occurs at a zero of the derivative. But this function is not differentiable in the vicinity of $\pi/2$. The most interesting thing about an `ezplot` of the derivative is the title. Trying to find a zero of `diff(F)` is meaningless.

ezplot(diff(F),[-pi,pi])

#### Sample

We can sample the function near $\pi/2$ to get a numerical approximation to the value of the maximum. Is that good enough?

```
x = 3*pi/8 + pi/4*rand(1,1000000);
y = f(x);
format long
smax = max(y)
```

smax = 2.557406355782225

#### Think

The computer has been a help, but we can do this without it.

$$ \sin{x} \le 1 $$

so

$$ \sin{ \tan {x} } \le 1 $$

and

$$ \tan {\sin{x}} \le \tan {1} $$

Consequently

$$ f(x) \le 1 + \tan {1} $$

#### Supremum

But I want to be a little more careful. As $x$ approaches $\pi/2$, $\tan{x}$ blows up. So $f(x)$ is actually not defined at $\pi/2$. For the domain of this function, one of the less than or equals changes to just a less than.

$$ \sin{x} < 1 $$

$$ \tan {\sin{x}} < \tan {1} $$

$$ f(x) < 1 + \tan {1} $$

The precise answer to my original question is that this function does not have a maximum. It has a "least upper bound" or *supremum*, the smallest quantity that the function does not exceed. The *sup* is:

$$ \sup {f(x)} = 1 + \tan {1} $$

Now we can take a look at the numerical value.

sup = 1 + tan(1)

sup = 2.557407724654902

**Category:**- Calculus

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