## Use the continuity method This article is a stub.This means that it cannot be considered to contain or lead to any mathematically interesting information.

### Quick description

If you can show that the set of parameters obeying a property is non-empty, open, and closed, and the parameter space is connected, then must be obeyed by all choices of the parameter. Thus, for instance, if one wants to prove a property for all in some interval , it suffices to establish the following three facts:

• A base case for some ;

• (Openness) If is true for some , then is true for all sufficiently close to ;

• (Closedness) If is true for some sequence converging to a limit , then is also true.

### Prerequisites

Point-set topology; partial differential equations

### Example 1

Problem: (Analytic continuation) Show that a real-analytic function that vanishes to infinite order at one point , is identically zero.

Solution: Let denote the assertion that vanishes to infinite order at . Then, by definition of real analyticity, if holds for some , then vanishes within the radius of convergence of the power series at , and so must then hold for all in a neighbourhood of . On the other hand, since all the derivatives of are continuous, if holds for a sequence converging to a limit , then also holds. Thus the set of where is true is non-empty, open, and closed, and is hence all of .

### Example 2

(Solving an ODE in a potential well)

### General discussion

This method can be viewed as a continuous analogue of mathematical induction (or conversely, induction can be viewed as a discrete analogue of the continuity method).