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Introduction

In this block we develop the ground work for later blocks on innite series and on power series.

We begin with simple sequences of numbers and with nite series of numbers. We introduce the

summation notation for the description of series. Finally, we consider arithmetic and geometric

series and obtain expressions for the sum of n terms of both types of series.

understand and be able to use the basic

Prerequisites rules of algebra

expressions

After completing this Block you should be able To achieve what is expected of you . . .

to . . .

allocate sucient study time

convergent

series briey revise the prerequisite material

recognise arithmetic and geometric series attempt every guided exercise and most

and nd their sums of the other exercises

1. Introduction

A sequence is any succession of numbers. For example the sequence

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, . . .

which is known as the Fibonacci sequence, is formed by adding two consecutive terms together

to obtain the next term. The numbers in this sequence continually increase without bound and

we say this sequence diverges. An example of a convergent sequence is the harmonic sequence

1 1 1

1, , , , ...

2 3 4

Here we see the magnitude of these numbers continually decrease and it is obvious that the

sequence converges to the number zero. The related alternating harmonic sequence

1 1 1

1, , , , . . .

2 3 4

is also convergent to the number zero. Whether or not a sequence is convergent is often easy

to deduce by graphing the individual terms. The following diagrams show how the individual

terms of the harmonic and alternating harmonic series behave as the number of terms increase.

harmonic

1

1/2

1/3

1/4

1 2 3 4 5 term in sequence

alternating harmonic

1

1/3

1 2 3 4 5

1/4 term in sequence

1/2

Graph the sequence:

1, 1, 1, 1, . . .

Is this convergent?

Answer

A general sequence is denoted by

a1 , a2 , . . . , an , . . .

in which a1 is the rst term, a2 is the second term and an is the nth term is the sequence. For

example, in the harmonic sequence

1 1

a1 = 1, a2 = , . . . , an =

2 n

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1 2

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

whilst for the alternating harmonic sequence the nth term is:

(1)n+1

an =

n

in which (1)n = +1 if n is an even number and (1)n = 1 if n is an odd number.

Denition

The sequence

a1 , a2 , . . . , an , . . .

is said to be convergent if the limit of an as n increases can be found.

(Mathematically we say that lim an exists).

n

Verify that the sequence

3 4 5

, , , ...

12 23 34

is convergent.

Answer

Answer

Consider the sequences:

1, 4, 7, 10, . . .

and 3, 1, 1, 3, . . .

In both, any particular term is obtained from the previous term by the addition of a constant

value (3 and 2 respectively). Each of these sequences are said to be arithmetic sequences or

arithmetic progressions and have general form:

in which a, d are given numbers. In the rst example above a = 1, d = 3 whereas, in the second

example, a = 3, d = 2. The dierence between any two terms of a given arithmetic sequence

gives the value of d.

Two sequences which are not arithmetic sequences are:

1, 2, 4, 8, . . .

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

1 1 1

1, , , , . . .

3 9 27

In each case a particular term is obtained from the previous term by multiplying by a con-

stant factor (2 and 13 respectively). Each are examples of geometric sequences or geometric

progressions with the general form:

where a is the rst term and r is called the common ratio. In the two examples above a = 1,

r = 2 in the rst sequence and a = 1, r = 13 in the second.

Answer

8

Part (b) Find a, r for the geometric sequence 8, , 8,

7 49

...

Answer

Part (c) Write out the rst four terms of the geometric series with a = 4, r = 2.

. Answer

The reader should note that many sequences (for example the harmonic sequences) are neither

arithmetic or geometric.

3. Series

A series is the sum of the terms of a sequence. For example, the harmonic series is

1 1 1

1+ + + + ...

2 3 4

whilst the alternating harmonic series is

1 1 1

1 + + ...

2 3 4

If we consider a general sequence

a1 , a2 , . . . , an , . . .

k

then the sum of the rst k terms a1 + a2 + a3 + . . . + ak is concisely denoted by ap .

p=1

That is,

k

a1 + a 2 + a3 + . . . + a k = ap

p=1

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

k

When we encounter the expression ap we let the index p in the term ap take, in turn, the

p=1

values 1, 2, . . . , k and then add all these terms together. So, for example

3

7

ap = a 1 + a 2 + a 3 ap = a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a 5 + a 6 + a 7

p=1 p=2

6

Note that p is a dummy index; any letter could be used as the index. For example ai , and

i=1

6

am each represent the same collection of terms, being a1 + a2 + a3 + a4 + a5 + a6 .

m=1

In order to be able to use this summation notation we need to obtain a suitable expression for

the typical term in the series. For example, the nite series

12 + 22 + . . . + k 2

k

may be written as p2 since the typical term is clearly p2 in which p = 1, 2, 3, . . . , k in turn.

p=1

In the same way

1 1 1 1 (1)p+1 16

1 + + ... =

2 3 4 16 p=1

p

(1)p+1

since an expression for the typical term in this alternating harmonic series is ap = p

.

1 1 1 1

+ + + ... +

12 23 34 21 22

First nd an expression for the typical term, the pth term. Answer

5

(1)p

Part (b) Write out all the terms of the series .

p=1

(p + 1)2

Answer

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

4. Summing Series

Consider the nite arithmetic series with 14 terms

1 + 3 + 5 + . . . + 23 + 25 + 27

A simple way of working out the value of the sum is to create a second series which is the rst

written in reverse order. Thus we have two series, each with the same value A:

A = 1 + 3 + 5 + + 23 + 25 + 27

or

A = 27 + 25 + 23 + + 5 + 3 + 1

Now, adding the terms of these series in pairs

2A = 28 + 28 + 28 + + 28 + 28 + 28 = 28(14) = 392 so A = 196

We can use this approach to nd the sum of n terms of a general arithmetic series.

If

A = [a] + [a + d] + [a + 2d] + . . . + [a + (n 2)d] + [a + (n 1)d]

then again simply writing the terms in reverse order:

A = [a + (n 1)d] + [a + (n 2)d] + . . . + [a + 2d] + [a + d] + [a]

Adding these two identical equations together we have

2A = [2a + (n 1)d] + [2a + (n 1)d] + . . . + [2a + (n 1)d]

That is, every one of the n terms on the right-hand side has the same value: [2a + (n 1)d].

Hence

1

2A = n[2a + (n 1)d] so A = n[2a + (n 1)d].

2

Key Point

The arithmetic series

1

A = n[2a + (n 1)d]

2

As an example

1 + 3 + 5 + . . . + 27 has a = 1, d = 2, n = 14

So

14

A = 1 + 3 + . . . + 27 = [2 + (13)2] = 196.

2

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

The geometric series

We can also sum a general geometric series.

Let

G = a + ar + ar2 + . . . + arn1

be a geometric series having exactly n terms. To obtain the value of G in a more convenient

form we rst multiply through by the common ratio r:

G = a + ar + ar2 + . . . + arn1

Subtracting the second expression from the rst we see that all terms on the right-hand side

cancel out, except for the rst term of the rst expression and the last term of the second

expression so that

G rG = (1 r)G = a arn

Hence (assuming r = 1)

a(1 rn )

G=

1r

(Of course, if r = 1 the geometric series simplies to a simple arithmetic series with d = 0 and

has sum G = na)

Key Point

The geometric series

a + ar + ar2 + . . . + arn1

having n terms has sum G where

a(1 rn )

G= , if r = 1 and G = nr, if r = 1

1r

Find the sum of each of the following series:

Answer

1 1 1 1 1 1

Part (b) + + + + +

2 6 18 54 162 486

Answer

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

More exercises for you to try

1. Which of the following sequences is convergent?

2 3 4

(a) sin , sin , sin , sin , . . .

2 2 2 2

sin 2 sin 2

2

sin 3

2

sin 4

2

(b) , 2 , 3 , 4 , ...

2 2 2 2

ln 1 ln 3 ln 5 ln 27

(a) , , , ...,

21 32 43 15 14

1 1 1 1

(b) , , , ...,

2 (1 + (100) ) 3 (1 (200) )

2 2 4 (1 + (300) )

2 9 (1 (800)2 )

3. Write out the rst three terms and the last term of the following series:

17

3p1 17

(p)p+1

(a) (b)

p=1

p!(18 p) p=4

p(2 + p)

(a) 5 1 + 3 + 7 . . . + 27

(b) 5 9 13 17 . . . 37

1 1 1 1 1 1

(c) + +

2 6 18 54 162 486

Answer

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

5. Computer Exercise or Activity

access the computer package DERIVE.

First it can be used to obtain the limits of expressions in n as n . For example to obtain

the limit:

n+2

lim

n n(n + 1)

n+2

n (n + 1)

then hit Calculus:Limit to obtain the Calculus limit screen. In the limit Point box choose

(from the list of symbols) and then choose Both in the Approach From section. If you then

hit the OK button DERIVE responds with

n+2

lim

n n (n + 1)

0

which is as expected.

DERIVE will also obtain the sum of nite series. To do this you will need to obtain an expression

for the nth term of the series. For example, to nd

1 + 2 + 3 + . . . + 100

100

1 + 2 + 3 + . . . + 100 = n.

n=1

To obtain this sum using DERIVE, enter the Calculus:Sum box and enter the expression for the

nth term. In this case enter n. Make sure the Variable box contains n. Then choose Denite in

the sum box and choose appropriate limits (1 as the Lower limit and 100 as the Upper limit).

If you then hit the OK button DERIVE responds

100

n

n=1

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

Finally, hit Simplify:Basic to get the value of the sum:

5050

a result which we have already obtained.

As an exercise you could experiment with the limit and summation capabilities of DERIVE.

DERIVE will also obtain the algebraic expressions for some nite sums:

For example if you key in: p2 then Calculus:Sum as before but this time choosing Variable p

and Upper limit n and then hit the OK button. DERIVE responds

n

p2

p=1

n (n + 1) (2 n + 1)

6

5(6)(11)

which is easily checked to be correct (for e.g. 12 + 22 + 32 + 42 + 52 = = 55.)

6

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

End of Block 16.1

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

1

1 2 3 4 5 term in sequence

Not convergent. The terms in the sequence do not converge to a particular value. The value

oscillates.

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

n+2

an = n(n+1)

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

n+2 1 + n2 1

= 0 as n increases

n(n + 1) n+1 n+1

Hence the sequence is convergent.

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

a = 3, d=6

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

1

a = 8, r= 7

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

4, 8, 16, 32, . . .

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

1

ap = p(p+1)

1 1 1 21

1

+ + ... + =

12 23 21 22 p=1

p(p + 1)

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

212 + 1

32

1

42

+ 1

52

1

62

.

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

a = 1, d = 1, n = 100.

1 + 2 + 3 + . . . + 100 = 100 + 50(99) = 50(101) = 5050.

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

a = 12 , r = 13 , n = 6

1( 13 )

6

1 6

1

2

1

+ + ... +

6

1

486

= 1

2 1 13

= 3

4

1 3

= 0.74897

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

1(a) no; this sequence is 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, . . . which does not converge.

1

(b) yes; this sequence is /2 , 0, 3/2

1 1

, 0, 5/2 , . . . which converges to zero.

14

ln(2p 1) 8

(1)p

2. (a) (b)

p=1

(p + 1)(p) p=1

(p + 1)(1 + (1)p+1 p2 104 )

1 2 16

3. (a) , 3 , 3 , ...

17 2!(16) 3!(15)

, 317!

45 56 67 18

(b) (4)(6) , (5)(7) , (6)(8) , 17

. . . , (17)(19)

4. (a) This is an arithmetic series with a = 5, d = 4, n = 9. A = 99

(b) This is an arithmetic series with a = 5, d = 4, n = 9. A = 189

(c) This is a geometric series with a = 12 , r = 13 , n = 6. G 0.3745

16.1: Power and Taylor Series

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