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# Applications of Taylor Series

Lecture Notes
These notes discuss three important applications of Taylor series:
1. Using Taylor series to find the sum of a series.
2. Using Taylor series to evaluate limits.
3. Using Taylor polynomials to approximate functions.
Evaluating Infinite Series
It is possible to use Taylor series to find the sums of many different infinite series. The
following examples illustrate this idea.
EXAMPLE 1 Find the sum of the following series:
"
8!
_
" " " " "
8x "x #x \$x %x
"
SOLUTION Recall the Taylor series for : /
B
" B B B B /
" " " "
"x #x \$x %x
# \$ % B
.
The sum of the given series can be obtained by substituting in : B "
" /
" " " "
"x #x \$x %x
.
In the above example, note that we get a different series for every value of that we plug in. For B
example,
" /
# # # #
"x #x \$x %x
# \$ %
#
.
and
" /
" " " " " "
"x #x \$x %x 8x /
"
a b
8!
_ 8
"
.
EXAMPLE 2 Find the sums of the following series:
(a) . (b) " "
" " " " " " " "
# \$ % & \$ & ( *
SOLUTION
(a) Recall that
B " B
B B B B
# \$ % &
lna b.
Substituting in yields B "
" #
" " " "
# \$ % &
lna b.
(b) Recall that
B B
B B B B
\$ & ( *
tan
"
a b.
Substituting in yields B "
" "
" " " "
\$ & ( * %
tan
"
a b
1
.
This is known as the for . Gregory-Leibniz formula 1
Limits Using Power Series
When taking a limit as , you can often simplify things by substituting in a power series that B !
you know.
EXAMPLE 3 Evaluate . lim
sin
B!
\$
B B
B
SOLUTION We simply plug in the Taylor series for : sin B
lim lim
sin
lim
lim
B! B!
\$ \$
\$ & (
B!
\$ & (
\$
B!
# %
B B
B B

B B B B B
" " "
\$x &x (x

B B B
" " "
\$x &x (x
B
B B
" " " " "
\$x &x (x \$x '

## EXAMPLE 4 Evaluate . lim

cos B!
# B
B /
B "
SOLUTION We simply plug in the Taylor series for and : / B
B
cos
lim lim
cos
lim
lim
B! B!
# B
# #
# % '
B!
# \$ %
# % '
B!
#
%
B /
B "

B " B B
"
#
" B B B "
" " "
# %x 'x

B B B
"
#
B B B
" " "
# %x 'x

" B B
"
#
B
" " "
# #% 'x

B
#
"
"#
#

Sometimes a limit will involve a more complicated function, and you must determine the Taylor
series:
EXAMPLE 5 Evaluate . lim
ln cos
B!
#
a b B
B
SOLUTION Using the Taylor series formula, the first few terms of the Taylor series for
ln cos a b B are:
ln cos a b B B B
" "
# "#
# %
.
(Really, we only need that first term.) Therefore,
lim lim lim
ln cos
B! B! B!
# #
# %
#
a b B " " "
B B # "# #
B
B B
" "
# "#

Limits as can be obtained using a Taylor series centered at : B + B +
EXAMPLE 6 Evaluate . lim
ln
B"
B
B "
SOLUTION Recall that
ln B B " B " B "
" "
# \$
a b a b a b
# \$
Plugging this in gives
lim lim
ln
lim
B" B"
# \$
B"
#
B
B " B "

## B " B " B "

" "
# \$
" B " B " "
" "
# \$
a b a b a b

a b a b
Taylor Polynomials
A partial sum of a Taylor series is called a Taylor polynomial. For example, the Taylor
polynomials for are: /
B
X B "
X B " B
X B " B B
"
#
X B " B B B
" "
# '

!
"
#
#
\$
# \$
a b
a b
a b
a b
You can approximate any function by its Taylor polynomial: 0 B a b
0 B X B a b a b
8
If you use the Taylor polynomial centered at , then the approximation will be particularly good +
near . B +
TAYLOR POLYNOMIALS
Let be a function. The for centered at are: 0 B 0 B B + a b a b Taylor polynomials
X B 0 +
X B 0 + 0 + B +
X B 0 + 0 + B + B +
0 +
#x

!
"
w
#
w
ww
#
a b a b
a b a b a b a b
a b a b a ba b a b
a b
You can approximate using a Taylor polynomial. 0 B a b
Note that the 1st-degree Taylor polynomial is just the tangent line to at : 0 B B + a b
X B 0 + 0 + B +
"
w
a b a b a b a b
This is often called the linear approximation to near , i.e. the tangent line to the 0 B B + a b
graph. Taylor polynomials can be viewed as a generalization of linear approximations. In
particular, the 2nd-degree Taylor polynomial is sometimes called the , quadratic approximation
the 3rd-degree Taylor polynomial is the , and so on. cubic approximation
EXAMPLE 7
(a) Find the 5th-degree Taylor polynomial for . sin B
(b) Use the answer from part (a) to approximate . sina b !\$
SOLUTION
(a) This is just all term terms of the Taylor series up to : B
&
X B B B B B B B
" " " "
\$x &x ' "#!
&
\$ & \$ &
a b
(b) sina b a b a b a b a b !\$ X !\$ !\$ !\$ !\$ !#*& &#! #&
" "
' "#!
&
\$ &

EXERCISES
12 Find the sum of the given series.
1. "
" " "
\$x &x (x
2. "
#x %x 'x
1 1 1
# % '
312 Evaluate the following limits.
3. 4. lim lim
cos
B! B!
# \$B
B " B
B / "
5. 6. lim lim
ln
tan B! B!
#
# "
a b
a b
" B B
B %B
7. 8. lim lim
sin cos
B! B!
"
#
#
%
a b %B
B B
B " B
9. 10. lim lim
sin sin
tan
B! B!
#B "
/ " B B
B B B
a b
a b

11. 12. lim lim
cos ln
B
#
B" 1
" B B
B B " a b

1
(a) Find the 3rd-degree Taylor polynomial for the function 13.
0 B B + " a b ln centered at .
(b) Use your answer from part (a) to approximate . lna b ""&
14. (a) Find the 4th-degree Taylor polynomial for . /
B
!\$
(a) Find the quadratic approximation for the function 15.
0 B B + % a b
\$#
centered at .
(b) Use your answer from part (a) to approximate . a b %#
\$#
(a) Find the quadratic approximation for the function 16.
0 B B + ) a b

\$
centered at .