2
Example
: lim
n
→∞
12
n
= 0. Indeed, the sequence is bounded and monotone decreasing, hence
∃
A
such that lim
n
→∞
1
/
2
n
=
A
. Note that if wemultiply the terms of the sequence by 2, then this new sequence also converges to
A
. On the other hand, by Lemma 1.2, part 2), this limit should be2
A
. Then 2
A
=
A
, implying that
A
= 0.
2
This example is a special case of a more general phenomenon:
Lemma 2.4
Let
y
be a positive real number. Then
{
y
n
}
is unbounded if
y >
1
, while
lim
n
→∞
y
n
= 0 if
y <
1
.
Proof of Lemma
. Suppose
y >
1. Write
y
= 1 +
t
with
t >
0. Thenby the binomial theorem (which can be proved by induction),
y
n
= (1 +
t
)
n
=
n
k
=0
(
nk
)
t
k
,
which is
≥
1 +
nt
(as
t >
0). Since 1 +
nt
is unbounded, i.e, larger than anynumber for a big enough
n
,
y
n
is also unbounded.Now let
y <
1. Then
y
−
1
is
>
1 and hence
{
y
−
n
}
is unbounded. Thisimplies that, for any
ϵ >
0,
y
n
is
< ϵ
for large enough
n
. Hence the sequence
y
n
converges to 0.
2
As an exercise, try to extend this Lemma and prove that for any
y
∈
R
with

y

<
1, the sequence
{
y
n
}
converges to 0.Here is an example. Deﬁne a sequence
{
s
n
}
by putting
s
n
= 1 +11!+12!+
...
+1(
n
−
1)!
.
It is not hard to see that this sequence is bounded. Try to give a proof.(In fact one can show that it is bounded by 3, but we do not need the bestpossible bound at this point.) Clearly,
s
n
+1
> s
n
, so the sequence is alsomonotone increasing. So we may apply Theorem 1.3 above and concludethat it converges to a limit
e
, say, in
R
. But it should be remarked that onecan show with more work that
e
is irrational. So there is a valuable lessonto be learned here. Even though
{
a
n
}
is a bounded, monotone sequence of rational numbers, there is no limit in
Q
; one has to go to the enlarged numbersystem
R
.3