geometric series - lecture

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geometric series - lecture

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Write sums using sigma notation

Find the partial sums of series and determine convergence or

divergence of innite series

Find the N

th

partial sums of geometric series and determine

the convergence or divergence of the series

Use geometric series to model and solve real-life problems

Sigma Notation

The (nite) sum a

1

+ a

2

+ a

3

+ ... + a

N

can be written as

N

i=1

a

i

i is called the index of summation and 1 and N are the lower and

upper limits of summation, respectively.

Examples

1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/4 + 1/5 =

5

i=1

1

i

.

1

1

2

+

1

4

1

8

+

1

16

+ ... + (1)

N

1

2

N

=

N

i=0

(1)

i

1

2

i

.

4(1) + 4

1

4

+ 4

1

9

+ 4

1

16

=

4

i=1

4

1

i

2

The innite summation

n=1

a

n

= a

1

+ a

2

+ a

3

+ ....

is called an innite series. The sequence of partial sums of the

series is denoted by

S

1

= a

1

, S

2

= a

1

+a

2

, S

3

= a

1

+a

2

+a

3

, ..., S

n

= a

1

+a

2

+...+a

n

.

Convergence and divergence of an innite series

We say that an innite series converges to (a single nite value) S

if the sequence of partial sums {S

n

} converges to S. We write

lim

n

S

n

=

n=1

a

n

= S.

Here S is called the sum of the series. If the limit of the sequence

of partial sums {S

n

} does not exist, then the series diverges.

Example: Determining convergence or divergence

Consider the innite series

n=1

1

2

n

To see if the series converges or diverges we look at the sequence

of partial sums:

S

1

=

1

2

S

2

=

1

2

+

1

4

=

3

4

S

3

=

1

2

+

1

4

+

1

8

=

7

8

S

4

=

1

2

+

1

4

+

1

8

+

1

16

=

15

16

Example: cont.

Consider the innite series

n=1

1

2

n

We are starting to see a pattern? In general

S

n

=

2

n

1

2

n

.

So to determine the sum of the innite series, now all we have to

gure out is what does {S

n

} converge to (if it does). But we have

seen this before and we know that lim

n

S

n

= 1, so the innite

series sums to 1.

The n

th

term test for divergence

One easy way to see if a series diverges is to check if the individual

terms of the series are going to zero, if they are not then the series

has to diverge.

n

th

-Term test for divergence

Consider the series

n=1

a

n

. If

lim

n

a

n

= 0

then the series diverges.

Example

Determine if the following series converge:

n=1

2

n

2

n+1

+ 1

If we look at

lim

n

2

n

2

n+1

+ 1

we see that as

2

n

2

n+1

+ 1

=

2

n

2

n+1

2

n+1

2

n+1

+

1

2

n+1

=

1/2

1 +

1

2

n+1

So we see that as n the terms a

n

1

2

= 0 so the series

must diverge.

Geometric Series

A series of the form

n=0

r

n

where r is any real number is called a geometric series. It has

special known convergence properties. In particular if |r| < 1 then

this series converges:

n=0

r

n

=

1

1 r

if |r| < 1.

Geometric series example

If r =

1

2

, since |r| < 1 we have that

n=0

1

2

n

=

1

1

1

2

= 2.

How is this dierent from our previous example

n=1

1

2

n

= 1.

Note that the second series starts at n = 1, but

n=0

1

2

n

=

1

2

0

+

n=1

1

2

n

= 1 + 1 = 2

So these two are in agreement.

Geometric Series cont.

If |r| 1 then the geometric series will diverge. As an example

consider r = 2

n=0

2

n

,

has partial sums

S

0

= 1

S

1

= 1 + 2 = 3

S

2

= 1 + 2 + 4 = 7

S

3

= 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15

So we see that S

n

meaning that the sum diverges.

Example

Find the sum of the following series:

n=0

4

3

n+1

Since this isnt quite in the right form to apply the formula we can

factor out both the 4 and one copy of

1

3

to get

n=0

4

3

n+1

=

4

3

n=0

1

3

n

=

4

3

1

1

1

3

=

4

3

3

2

= 2

Modeling a bouncing ball

Suppose a ball is dropped from a height of 6 feet and begins to

bounce. The height of each bounce is

3

4

that of the preceding

bounce. Find the total distance travelled by the ball.

Solution: When the ball hits the ground the rst time it has

travelled D

1

= 6 feet.

Between the rst and second bounces the ball will travel

D

2

=

3

4

(6) +

3

4

(6) =

3

4

(12) feet.

Between the second and third bounces the ball will travel

D

3

=

3

4

2

(12)

and so on, so between the (n 1)

th

and n

th

bounces the ball will

travel D

n

=

3

4

n1

(12).

Modeling a bouncing ball

Suppose a ball is dropped from a height of 6 feet and begins to

bounce. The height of each bounce is

3

4

that of the preceding

bounce. Find the total distance travelled by the ball.

Solution: When the ball hits the ground the rst time it has

travelled D

1

= 6 feet.

Between the rst and second bounces the ball will travel

D

2

=

3

4

(6) +

3

4

(6) =

3

4

(12) feet.

Between the second and third bounces the ball will travel

D

3

=

3

4

2

(12)

and so on, so between the (n 1)

th

and n

th

bounces the ball will

travel D

n

=

3

4

n1

(12).

bouncing ball cont.

Summing these distances (after D

1

) we have

distance = 6 +

n=1

3

4

n

(12)

Now this is almost the geometric series, we know

n=0

3

4

n

(12) =

12

1 3/4

= 48

and we can see that

n=0

3

4

n

(12) = 12 +

n=1

3

4

n

= 48

Therefore the sum we want is 36. Hence

distance = 6 +

n=1

3

4

n

(12) = 6 + 36 = 42 feet

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