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7/21/2017 Limit comparison test - Wikipedia

Limit comparison test

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In mathematics, the limit comparison test (LCT) (in contrast with the related direct comparison test) is a method of testing for
the convergence of an infinite series.

1 Statement
2 Proof
3 Example
4 One-sided version
5 Example
6 Converse of the one-sided comparison test
7 Example
8 See also
9 References
10 Further reading
11 External links

Suppose that we have two series and with for all .

Then if with then either both series converge or both series diverge.[1]

Because we know that for all there is a positive integer such that for all we have that

, or equivalently

As we can choose to be sufficiently small such that is positive. So and by the direct comparison
test, if converges then so does .

Similarly , so if converges, again by the direct comparison test, so does .

That is both series converge or both series diverge.

Example 1/3
7/21/2017 Limit comparison test - Wikipedia

We want to determine if the series converges. For this we compare with the convergent series .

As we have that the original series also converges.

One-sided version
One can state a one-sided comparison test by using limit superior. Let for all . Then if with

and converges, necessarily converges.


Let and for all natural numbers . Now does not exist, so we

cannot apply the standard comparison test. However, and since

converges, the one-sided comparison test implies that converges.

Converse of the one-sided comparison test

Let for all . If diverges and converges, then necessarily , that is, . The

essential content here is that in some sense the numbers are larger than the numbers .


Let be analytic in the unit disc and have image of finite area. By Parseval's formula

the area of the image of is . Moreover, diverges. Therefore, by the converse of the comparison test, we

have , that is, .

See also
Convergence tests
Direct comparison test

1. Swokowski, Earl (1983), Calculus with analytic geometry (Alternate ed.), Prindle, Weber & Schmidt, p. 516, ISBN 0-87150-341-7

Further reading
Rinaldo B. Schinazi: From Calculus to Analysis. Springer, 2011, ISBN 9780817682897, pp. 50 (
oks?id=VybcUbhGvjsC&pg=PA50) 2/3
7/21/2017 Limit comparison test - Wikipedia

Michele Longo and Vincenzo Valori: The Comparison Test: Not Just for Nonnegative Series. Mathematics Magazine, Vol.
79, No. 3 (Jun., 2006), pp. 205210 (JSTOR (
J. Marshall Ash: The Limit Comparison Test Needs Positivity. Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 85, No. 5 (December 2012),
pp. 374375 (JSTOR (

External links
Pauls Online Notes on Comparison Test (

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Categories: Convergence tests

This page was last edited on 20 June 2017, at 12:44.

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