GM Series and sum formulae

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GM Series and sum formulae

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This article is about innite geometric series. For nite series is constant. This relationship allows for the represums, see geometric progression.

sentation of a geometric series using only two terms, r

In mathematics, a geometric series is a series with a and a. The term r is the common ratio, and a is the rst

term of the series. As an example the geometric series

given in the introduction,

1

2

1/8

1/8

1/4

1

4

1

8

1

16

a + ar + ar2 + ar3 + , with r =

a = 12 .

1/4

1

2

and

dierent common ratios:

1/2

r:

1/2

If r is between 1 and +1, the terms of the series become smaller and smaller, approaching

zero in the limit and the series converges to a

sum. In the case above, where r is one half, the

series has the sum one.

Each of the purple squares has 1/4 of the area of the next larger

square (1/21/2 = 1/4, 1/41/4 = 1/16, etc.). The sum of the

areas of the purple squares is one third of the area of the large

square.

one the terms of the series become larger and

larger in magnitude. The sum of the terms also

gets larger and larger, and the series has no

sum. (The series diverges.)

the series

1

1

1

1

+

+

+

+

2

4

8

16

are the same. The series diverges.

is geometric, because each successive term can be obtained by multiplying the previous term by 1/2.

If r is minus one the terms take two values alternately (e.g. 2, 2, 2, 2, 2,... ). The sum of

the terms oscillates between two values (e.g. 2,

0, 2, 0, 2,... ). This is a dierent type of divergence and again the series has no sum. See for

example Grandis series: 1 1 + 1 1 + .

innite series with nite sums, although not all of

them have this property. Historically, geometric series

played an important role in the early development of

calculus, and they continue to be central in the study

of convergence of series. Geometric series are used

throughout mathematics, and they have important applications in physics, engineering, biology, economics,

computer science, queueing theory, and nance.

2 Sum

The sum of a geometric series is nite as long as the absolute value of the ratio is less than 1; as the numbers near

1 Common ratio

zero, they become insignicantly small, allowing a sum to

be calculated despite the series containing innitely-many

The terms of a geometric series form a geometric pro- terms. The sum can be computed using the self-similarity

gression, meaning that the ratio of successive terms in the of the series.

1

SUM

than one for the series to converge. The sum then becomes

A self-similar illustration of the sum s. Removing the largest circle

results in a similar gure of 2/3 the original size.

2.1

Example

ark =

k=0

a

|r| < 1

1r

1 + r + r2 + r3 + =

1

,

1r

ratio r. We can derive this formula:

s = 1+

2

4

8

+

+

+

3

9

27

by this common ratio, then the initial 1 becomes a 2/3,

the 2/3 becomes a 4/9, and so on:

Lets = 1 + r + r2 + r3 + .

Thenrs = r + r2 + r3 + .

Thens rs = 1, so s(1 r) = 1, thus and s =

2

2

4

8

16

s =

+

+

+

+

3

3

9

27

81

1

.

1r

This new series is the same as the original, except that restrictions (modulus of r is strictly less than one).

the rst term is missing. Subtracting the new series (2/3)s

from the original series s cancels every term in the original

2.3 Proof of convergence

but the rst:

We can prove that the geometric series converges using

the sum formula for a geometric progression:

2

s s = 1, so s = 3.

3

A similar technique can be used to evaluate any selfsimilar expression.

1 + r + r2 + r3 + = lim

(

)

1 + r + r2 + + rn

1 rn+1

n

1r

= lim

2.2

Formula

For r = 1 , the sum of the rst n terms of a geometric for | r | < 1.

series is:

Convergence of geometric series can also be demon-

n1

series. Consider the function:

ark = a

k=0

1 rn

,

1r

ratio. We can derive this formula as follows:

Thenrs = ar + ar + ar + ar + + ar

2

Thens rs = a arn

Thens(1 r) = a(1 rn ), so s = a

1 rn

1r

g(K) =

rK

1r

Note that:

n

Thus:

3.2

If

0.7777 . . . =

|r| < 1

a

7/10

7

=

= .

1r

1 1/10

9

but also for a repeating group of gures. For example:

then

g(K) 0as K

0.123412341234 . . . =

So S converges to

g(0) =

2.4

a

1234/10000

1234

=

=

.

1r

1 1/10000

9999

can be conveniently simplied with the following:

1

.

1r

Generalized formula

0.09090909 . . . =

09

1

=

.

99

11

9999

series is:

9

0.9999 . . . =

= 1.

9

b

a

b+1

r r

That is, a repeating decimal with repeat length n is equal

rk =

,

1r

to the quotient of the repeating part (as an integer) and

k=a

10n - 1.

where a, b N .

We can derive this formula as follows:

we put b = n 1 n = b + 1

b

k=a

rk =

n1

k=0

rk

a1

3.2 Archimedes

parabola

quadrature

of

the

rk

k=0

1 rn

1 ra

=

1r

1r

1 rn 1 + ra

=

1r

ra rb+1

=

1r

3

3.1

Applications

Repeating decimals

many triangles

Archimedes used the sum of a geometric series to comA repeating decimal can be thought of as a geometric sepute the area enclosed by a parabola and a straight line.

ries whose common ratio is a power of 1/10. For examHis method was to dissect the area into an innite number

ple:

of triangles.

7

7

7

7

+

+

+

+ .

0.7777 . . . =

10

100

1000

10000

parabola is 4/3 of the area of the blue triangle.

The formula for the sum of a geometric series can be used the area of the blue triangle, each yellow triangle has 1/8

to convert the decimal to a fraction:

the area of a green triangle, and so forth.

3 APPLICATIONS

Assuming that the blue triangle has area 1, the total area

is an innite sum:

1+2

( )

( )2

( )3

1

1

1

+4

+8

+ .

8

8

8

The rst term represents the area of the blue triangle, the

second term the areas of the two green triangles, the third

term the areas of the four yellow triangles, and so on.

Simplifying the fractions gives

1+

1

1

1

+

+

+ .

4

16

64

fractional part is equal to

4n = 1 + 41 + 42 + 43 + =

n=0

4

.

3

The interior of the Koch snowake is a union of innitely many

triangles.

The sum is

1

1

=

1r

1

1

4

4

.

3

Thus the Koch snowake has 8/5 of the area of the base

triangle.

version of integration. In modern calculus, the same area

3.4

could be found using a denite integral.

3.3

Zenos paradoxes

Fractal geometry

In the study of fractals, geometric series often arise as the The convergence of a geometric series reveals that a sum

involving an innite number of summands can indeed be

perimeter, area, or volume of a self-similar gure.

nite, and so allows one to resolve many of Zeno's paraFor example, the area inside the Koch snowake can be doxes. For example, Zenos dichotomy paradox maindescribed as the union of innitely many equilateral tri- tains that movement is impossible, as one can divide any

angles (see gure). Each side of the green triangle is ex- nite path into an innite number of steps wherein each

actly 1/3 the size of a side of the large blue triangle, and step is taken to be half the remaining distance. Zenos

therefore has exactly 1/9 the area. Similarly, each yellow mistake is in the assumption that the sum of an innite

triangle has 1/9 the area of a green triangle, and so forth. number of nite steps cannot be nite. This is of course

Taking the blue triangle as a unit of area, the total area of not true, as evidenced by the convergence of the geometthe snowake is

ric series with r = 1/2 .

1+3

( )

( )2

( )3

1

1

1

+ 12

+ 48

+ .

9

9

9

The rst term of this series represents the area of the blue

triangle, the second term the total area of the three green

triangles, the third term the total area of the twelve yellow

triangles, and so forth. Excluding the initial 1, this series

is geometric with constant ratio r = 4/9. The rst term of

the geometric series is a = 3(1/9) = 1/3, so the sum is

1+

1

a

= 1+ 3

1r

1

4

9

8

.

5

3.5 Euclid

Book IX, Proposition 35[1] of Euclids Elements expresses the partial sum of a geometric series in terms of

members of the series. It is equivalent to the modern formula.

3.6 Economics

Main article: Time value of money

5

In economics, geometric series are used to represent the

present value of an annuity (a sum of money to be paid

in regular intervals).

tan

made to the owner of the annuity once per year (at the

end of the year) in perpetuity. Receiving $100 a year

from now is worth less than an immediate $100, because

one cannot invest the money until one receives it. In particular, the present value of $100 one year in the future is

$100 / (1 + I ), where I is the yearly interest rate.

dx

1 + x2

dx

=

1 (x2 )

(

)

) (

)2 (

)3

(

=

1 + x2 + x2 + x2 + dx

(

)

=

1 x2 + x4 x6 + dx

(x) =

x3

x5

x7

+

+

3

5

7

(1)n 2n+1

=

x

2n + 1

n=0

a present value of $100 / (1 + I )2 (squared because

two years worth of interest is lost by not receiving the

money right now). Therefore, the present value of receiving $100 per year in perpetuity is

=x

variant[2]

$100

,

(1

+ I)n

n=1

which is the innite series:

nxn1 =

n=1

1

(1 x)2

$100

$100

$100

$100

+

+

+

+ .

2

3

(1 + I)

(1 + I)

(1 + I)

(1 + I)4

This is a geometric series with common ratio 1 / (1 + I

). The sum is the rst term divided by (one minus the

common ratio):

n(n 1)xn2 =

n=2

2

(1 x)3

n=3

$100/(1 + I)

$100

=

.

1 1/(1 + I)

I

For example, if the yearly interest rate is 10% ( I = 0.10),

then the entire annuity has a present value of $100 / 0.10

= $1000.

This sort of calculation is used to compute the APR of

a loan (such as a mortgage loan). It can also be used to

estimate the present value of expected stock dividends, or

the terminal value of a security.

6

(1 x)4

4 See also

0.999...

Asymptote

Divergent geometric series

Generalized hypergeometric function

3.7

Geometric progression

Neumann series

Ratio test

1

= 1 + x + x2 + x3 + x4 +

1x

can be interpreted as a power series in the Taylors theorem sense, converging where |x| < 1 . From this, one can

extrapolate to obtain other power series. For example,

Root test

Series (mathematics)

Tower of Hanoi

4.1

C. H. Edwards, Jr. (1994). The Historical Development of the Calculus, 3rd ed., Springer. ISBN 9780-387-94313-8.

Grandis series: 1 1 + 1 1 +

1+2+4+8+

12+48+

Archimedes Quadrature of the Parabola Revisited. Mathematics Magazine 71 (2): 12330.

doi:10.2307/2691014. JSTOR 2691014.

1/2 1/4 + 1/8 1/16 +

History of the Innite, Princeton University Press.

ISBN 978-0-691-02511-7

References

Aleph0.clarku.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-01.

EXTERNAL LINKS

35.

603

Graphs, and Mathematical Tables, 9th printing.

New York: Dover, p. 10, 1972.

Arfken, G. Mathematical Methods for Physicists,

3rd ed. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, pp. 278-279,

1985.

Beyer, W. H. CRC Standard Mathematical Tables,

28th ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, p. 8, 1987.

Courant, R. and Robbins, H. The Geometric Progression. 1.2.3 in What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods, 2nd ed.

Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, pp. 1314, 1996.

Morr Lazerowitz (2000). The Structure of Metaphysics (International Library of Philosophy), Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-22526-7

5.2 Economics

Carl P. Simon and Lawrence Blume (1994). Mathematics for Economists, W. W. Norton & Company.

ISBN 978-0-393-95733-4

Mike Rosser (2003).

Basic Mathematics for

Economists, 2nd ed., Routledge. ISBN 978-0-41526784-7

5.3 Biology

Edward Batschelet (1992). Introduction to Mathematics for Life Scientists, 3rd ed., Springer. ISBN

978-0-387-09648-3

Richard F. Burton (1998). Biology by Numbers: An

Encouragement to Quantitative Thinking, Cambridge

University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-57698-7

The Joy of Mathematics. San Carlos, CA: Wide 5.4 Computer science

World Publ./Tetra, pp. 134-135, 1989.

John Rast Hubbard (2000). Schaums Outline of

James Stewart (2002). Calculus, 5th ed., Brooks

Theory and Problems of Data Structures With Java,

Cole. ISBN 978-0-534-39339-7

McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-137870-3

Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards (2005). Calculus

with Analytic Geometry, 8th ed., Houghton Miin

Company. ISBN 978-0-618-50298-1

6 External links

Roger B. Nelsen (1997). Proofs without Words: Exercises in Visual Thinking, The Mathematical Association of America. ISBN 978-0-88385-700-7

ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4

in calculus. The American Mathematical Monthly

(Mathematical Association of America) 105 (1):

3640. doi:10.2307/2589524. JSTOR 2589524.

Weisstein, Eric

MathWorld.

W.,

Geometric

Series,

7

Peppard, Kim. College Algebra Tutorial on Geometric Sequences and Series. West Texas A&M

University.

Casselman, Bill. A Geometric Interpretation of the

Geometric Series (Applet).

Geometric Series by Michael Schreiber, Wolfram

Demonstrations Project, 2007.

7.1

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