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Where a family of entities can be defined in terms of parameters, and the limiting case produces an entity which is of a different nature. For example, the general quadratic function is in the form y=αx2+βx+γ, and the graph is a parabola. As α decreases the curvature of the parabola steadily decreases, and the limiting case as α → 0 is a straight line, which is a degenerate parabola.

Subjects: Mathematics.

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