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taylor series

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Find the value of e 0.25 using the first five terms of the Maclaurin series.

Solution

The first five terms of the Maclaurin series for e x is

x 2 x3 x 4

x

e 1 x

2! 3! 4!

0.25 2 0.253 0.25 4

e 0.25 1 0.25

2!

3!

4!

1.2840

The exact value of e 0.25 up to 5 significant digits is also 1.2840.

But the above discussion and example do not answer our question of what a Taylor series is.

Here it is, for a function f x

f x 2 f x 3

f x h f x f x h

h

h

(4)

2!

3!

provided all derivatives of f x exist and are continuous between x and x h .

Example 2

Take f x sin x , we all know the value of sin 1 . We also know the f x cosx

2

and cos 0 . Similarly f x sin( x) and sin 1 . In a way, we know the value

2

2

of sin x and all its derivatives at x

2

differential calculus and trigonometry would do. Can you use Taylor series and this

information to find the value of sin 2 ?

Solution

xh2

h 2 x

2

0.42920

So

h

f x h f x f xh f x

x

2

01.07.1

2!

f x

h3

h4

f ( x)

3!

4!

01.07.2

Chapter 01.07

h 0.42920

f x sin x , f sin 1

2

2

f x cosx , f 0

2

f x sin x , f 1

2

f x cos(x) , f 0

2

f x sin( x) , f 1

2

Hence

2

3

4

h

h

h

f h f f h f

f f

2

2

2 2!

2 3!

2 4!

0.42920 2 0 0.42920 3 1 0.42920 4

f 0.42920 1 00.42920 1

2!

3!

4!

2

1 0 0.092106 0 0.00141393

0.90931

The value of sin 2 I get from my calculator is 0.90930 which is very close to the value I just

obtained. Now you can get a better value by using more terms of the series. In addition, you

can now use the value calculated for sin 2 coupled with the value of cos2 (which can be

calculated by Taylor series just like this example or by using the sin 2 x cos2 x 1 identity)

to find value of sin x at some other point. In this way, we can find the value of sin x for

any value from x 0 to 2 and then can use the periodicity of sin x , that is

sin x sin x 2n , n 1,2, to calculate the value of sin x at any other point.

Example 3

Find the value of f 6 given that f 4 125 , f 4 74 , f 4 30 , f 4 6 and all

other higher derivatives of f x at x 4 are zero.

Solution

f x h f x f x h f x

h2

h3

f x

2!

3!

x4

h 64

2

Since fourth and higher derivatives of f x are zero at x 4 .

f 4 2 f 4 f 42 f 4

22

23

f 4

2!

3!

01.07.3

2 2 23

f 6 125 742 30 6

2! 3!

125 148 60 8

341

Note that to find f 6 exactly, we only needed the value of the function and all its

derivatives at some other point, in this case, x 4 . We did not need the expression for the

function and all its derivatives. Taylor series application would be redundant if we needed to

know the expression for the function, as we could just substitute x 6 in it to get the value

of f 6 .

Actually the problem posed above was obtained from a known function

f x x 3 3x 2 2x 5 where f 4 125 , f 4 74 , f 4 30 , f 4 6 , and all other

higher derivatives are zero.

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