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Sequences and Series Review

# Sequences and Series Review

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12/06/2012

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Sequences and Series Review
Two very important (distinct) mathematical objects are
sequences
and
se-ries
. A sequence is an inﬁnite
list
of numbers, whereas a series is an inﬁnite
sum
. With a series
n
=1
a
n
, though, we can associate two sequences:1) its sequence of partial sums (
n
), where
n
=
nk
=1
a
k
2) its sequence of terms (
a
n
).Our primary concern with both sequences and series is
convergence
. A se-quence (
a
n
) converges if lim
n
→∞
a
n
=
L
for some real number
L
. A seriesconverges if lim
n
→∞
nk
=1
a
k
=
L
for some real number
L
; this is the same assaying the sequence of partial sums (
n
) converges. If a sequence or series doesnot converge, we say it diverges.We have developed many tools for determining whether a given sequence orseries converges. The ultimate goal of all these tests is applying them to Taylorseries. We know that if the Taylor series of
at
a
converges for a given valueof
x
, then it converges to
(
x
). This is why we only test for convergence ratherthan try to evaluate these series: once we have convergence, we know right awaywhat it converges to.Sequence SeriesWhat it is list sumWritten (
a
n
)
n
=1
a
n
a
1
,a
2
,a
3
,... a
1
+
a
2
+
a
3
+
···
Converges if lim
n
→∞
a
n
=
L
lim
n
→∞
nk
=1
a
k
=
L
lim
n
→∞
n
=
L
Tests Limit Laws, Substitution Law
n
th Term TestSqueeze Law Integral TestLimits of Functions and Sequences Comparison TestBounded and Monotone Limit Comparison TestL’Hˆopitals Rule Alternating Series TestRatio TestRoot Test
p
-SeriesGeometric Series1

1 Sequences
Limit Laws, Substitution LawThese laws tell us how to compute limits of sequences. If we can determinewhat a sequence converges to, then trivially it converges. Recall the SubstitutionLaw says if 1) lim
n
→∞
a
n
=
L
2)
is continuous at
L
,then lim
n
→∞
(
a
n
) =
(
L
).Squeeze LawThe Squeeze Law is very intuitive: if
a
n
b
n
c
n
and lim
n
→∞
a
n
=lim
n
→∞
c
n
=
L
, then lim
n
→∞
b
n
=
L
also. Often we apply this with sin andcos, bounding them between
1 and 1.Limits of Functions and SequencesThis is the idea that if lim
x
→∞
(
x
) =
L
, then lim
n
→∞
(
n
) =
L
also. Forexample, lim
x
→∞
2 + 1
/x
= 2, so lim
n
→∞
2 + 1
/n
= 2.This rule essentially exists to justify using L’Hˆopital’s Rule on sequences.Bounded and MonotoneBy a theorem, any sequence (
a
n
) which is bounded (for some positive number
, and for all
n
,
a
n
) and monotone (for all large enough
n
, eitherthe
a
n
’s are increasing or decreasing) converges.This theorem can only tell us
that
a sequence converges, not
to what
itconverges.L’Hˆopital’s RuleL’Hˆopital’s Rule says that if lim
n
→∞
(
n
) and lim
n
→∞
g
(
n
) are both 0 orboth
, thenlim
n
→∞
(
n
)
g
(
n
)= lim
n
→∞
(
n
)
g
(
n
)
.
Using standard techniques, we can use L’Hˆopital’s Rule to determine limits of indeterminate forms 0
·
, 0
, 1
, and
0
.2

Test Sequence Check LimitLimit Laws (
a
n
) lim
a
n
=
L L
Substitution Law (
(
a
n
)) lim
a
n
=
L
continuous at
L
(
L
)Squeeze Law (
b
n
)
a
n
b
n
c
n
lim
n
→∞
a
n
= lim
n
→∞
c
n
=
L L
Functions and Sequences (
(
n
)) lim
x
→∞
(
x
) =
L L
Bounded and Monotone (
a
n
)
a
n
for all
na
n
monotone No infoL’Hˆopitals Rule (
(
n
)
/g
(
n
)) lim
(
n
) = lim
g
(
n
) = 0 lim
(
n
)
/g
(
n
)or lim
(
n
) = lim
g
(
n
) =
2 Series
n
th Term TestIf
n
=1
a
n
converges, to
L
say, thenlim
n
→∞
a
n
= lim
n
→∞
n
n
1
= lim
n
→∞
n
lim
n
→∞
n
1
=
L
L
= 0
.
The
n
th Term Test is the contrapositive of this statement: if lim
n
→∞
a
n
doesnot exist or is not 0, then
n
=1
a
n
diverges.This test is easy to apply, and should probably be the ﬁrst test applied todetermine if a certain series converges or diverges.Integral TestIf
n
=1
a
n
is a series and
(
x
) is a function such that(1)
(
x
) is positive, decreasing, and continuous(2)
(
n
) =
a
n
for all
n
,then
n
=1
a
n
and

1
(
x
)d
x
both converge or both diverge.Comparison TestThe Comparison Test says that if
n
=1
a
n
and
n
=1
b
n
are positive-termseries,(1) if
a
n
b
n
for all
n
and
n
=1
b
n
converges, then
n
=1
a
n
converges(2) if
a
n
b
n
for all
n
and
n
=1
b
n
diverges, then
n
=1
b
n
diverges.3