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7th Topic

Infinite Series
[Power series, Interval of convergence]

Prepared by:
Dr. Sunil
NIT Hamirpur (HP)
(Last updated on 07-01-2010)
Latest update available at: http://www.freewebs.com/sunilnit/

Power Series:

A series of the form  a n x n  a 0  a1x  a 2 x 2  ......  a n x n  ... (i)
n 0

where the ai’s are independent of x, is called a power series in x. Such a series may
converge for some or for all values of x.

Interval of convergence:

In the power series (i), u n  a n x n and u n 1  a n 1x n 1.

u n 1 a x n 1 a 
 Lim  Lim n 1 n  Lim n 1 .x .
n  u n n  a x n   a n 
n

a 
If Lim n 1    , then by D’Alembert’s ratio test,
n   a n 

the series (i) converges, when x is numerically less than 1.


1
i.e. when x  and diverges for all other values.

Infinite Series: Power series, Interval of convergence Prepared by: Dr. Sunil, NIT Hamirpur 2

1 1
Thus, the power series (i) has an interval   x  , within which it converges and
 
diverges for all values of x outside this interval.
Such an interval is called the “interval of convergence” of the power series.
Remarks:
If  a n x n has radius of convergence is R (assumed finite), then radius of

convergence of  a n x 2n is R.

Convergence of logarithmic series:


Q.No.:1.: State with reasons, the values of x for which the series

x 2 x3 x 4 x5
x     ...... converges.
2 3 4 5
or
Show that the series

x 2 x3 xn
x   ...   1n 1  ... is convergent for  1  x  1 .
2 3 n
xn x n 1
Sol.: Here u n   1n 1 and u n 1   1n .
n n 1
 
u n 1  n   1 
 Lim  Lim  x   x. Lim   x .
n  u n n   n  1 
 n  1
1  
 n
Then, by D’Alembert’s ratio test, the series converges for x  1 and diverges for x  1 .

Now let us examine the series for x  1 .


1 1 1 1
Putting x  1, the series becomes, 1      ...... .
2 3 4 5
1
The given series is   1n 1u n    1n 1 n , which is an alternating series.
1 1
 n  1  n    u n 1  u n .
n 1 n
Thus u n 1  u n for n  1 i.e. each term is numerically less than its preceding term,
Infinite Series: Power series, Interval of convergence Prepared by: Dr. Sunil, NIT Hamirpur 3

1
and Lim u n  Lim  0.
n  n  n

Hence, by Leibnitz’s rule, the given alternating series is convergent.


 1 1 1 1 
Putting x  1 , the series becomes,  1     ...... .
 2 3 4 5 
1
The given series becomes   u n   ,
n
Thus, by p-series test (here p=1), the given series is divergent when x  1 .
Hence, the given series converges for  1  x  1 .
i.e. Interval of convergence is (1, 1] .
Q.No.:2.: State with reasons, the values of x for which the series

x 2 x3 x 4 x5
    ...... converges.
2 3 4 5
x n 1 xn2
Sol.: Here u n   1n 1 and u n 1   1n  2 .
n 1 n2
 1
u n 1  n 1  1  
 Lim  Lim  x   x. Lim  n    x .
n  u n n   n  2  n  2
1  
 n
Then, by D’Alembert’s ratio test, the series converges for x  1 and diverges for x  1 .
Now let us examine the series for x  1 .
1 1 1 1
Putting x = 1, the series becomes,     ...... .
2 3 4 5
1
The given series is   1n 1 u n    1n 1 n  1 , which is an alternating series.
1 1
 n  2  (n  1)    u n 1  u n .
n  2 n 1
Thus u n 1  u n for n  1 i.e. each term is numerically less than its preceding term,
1
and Lim u n  Lim  0.
n  n  n  1

Hence, by Leibnitz’s rule, the given alternating series is convergent.


Infinite Series: Power series, Interval of convergence Prepared by: Dr. Sunil, NIT Hamirpur 4

1 1 1 1 
Putting x  1 , the series becomes,      ...... .
2 3 4 5 
1
The given series is  un   n  1 ,
1 1 u 1
Here u n  .Take v n  . Lim n  Lim  1 (a non-zero, finite number) .
n 1 n n  v n n   1
1  
 n
Thus, by comparison test, both the series  u n and  vn converges or diverges

together, or in other words , both the series behave alike .


1
But  vn   n (here p = 1) is divergent. [by p-series test]

Hence  un is also divergent.

Hence, the given series converges for  1  x  1 .


i.e. Interval of convergence is  1, 1 .
Convergence of exponential series:
Q.No.:3.: Show that the series

x 2 x3 xn
1 x    ...   ... is convergent for all values of x.
2! 3! n!
x n 1 xn
Proof: Here u n  and  u n 1  .
(n  1)! n!

u n 1 x n (n  1)! x
Now Lim  Lim  n 1  Lim  0  1 .
n  u n n  n! x n  n

Hence, by D’Alembert’s ratio test, the given series is convergent for all values of x.
Convergence of Binomial series:
Q.No.:4.: Show that the series
n (n  1) 2 n (n  1)...[n  (r  1)] r
1  nx  x  ......  x  ...... converges for x  1 .
2! r!
n (n  1)...[ n  (r  2)] r 1
Proof: Here u r  x ,r 1
(r  1)!
n (n  1)...[n  (r  2)][n  (r  1)] r
and u r 1  x
r!
Infinite Series: Power series, Interval of convergence Prepared by: Dr. Sunil, NIT Hamirpur 5

u r 1  n  (r  1)  n 1 
 Lim  Lim  x   Lim   1 x   x for r  (n  1)
r  u r r   r  r   r 
Then, by D’Alembert’s ratio test, the series converges for x  1 .

 1n x n
Q.No.5: Discuss the behaviour of the infinite series  n
.

n n 1 n 1
xn x n 1 x x
Sol.: Here u n   1 and so u n 1   1
n
  .
n n n 1 n 1
n 1
u x n 1
 Lim n 1  Lim  n  Lim x x.
n  u n  n  1 n   1
x
1  
n

 n
Hence, the given series converges absolutely if x  1 and diverges if x  1 .

Case 1: x  1.

The given series converges if x  1 because absolutely convergent series is always

convergent.
Case 2: x  1.
1
When x  1 , the given series is   1n 1u n    1n 1 n , which is an alternating

series.
1 1
Since  n  1  n    u n 1  u n .
n 1 n
Thus u n 1  u n for n  1 i.e. each term is numerically less than its preceding term,
1
and Lim u n  Lim  0.
n  n  n

Hence, by Leibnitz’s rule, the given alternating series is convergent.


Case 3: x  1.

 1  1  1


n n n
xn 1
 n

n
 .
n
Hence, by p-series test, the given series is divergent.
Case 4: x  1.
Infinite Series: Power series, Interval of convergence Prepared by: Dr. Sunil, NIT Hamirpur 6

xn xn   
u n   1
n
. Here Lim   form 
n n  n

xn x n log x
Applying L’Hospital rule, we get Lim  Lim 
n  n n  1
Hence, by Leibnitz’s rule, the given alternating series is oscillatory.
Case 5: x  1 , say x   y, y  1

 1  1   y 
n n n
xn yn
 n

n

n
, which is a positive term series.

yn y n 1
Here u n  and u n 1 
n n 1
u n 1 y n 1 n n 1
Now Lim  Lim  n  Lim y  Lim y  y 1
n  un n  n  1 y n  n  1 n  1
1
n
Hence, by D’Alembert’s ratio test, the series is divergent.
Therefore, the given series converges for 1  x  1 , diverges for x  1 and oscillates
for x  1 .
1 1 1
Q.No.6.: Prove that the series    ......
1  x 21  x 2
31  x 3
converges if x  0 and also if x  2 .
or
Determine for what values of x, the following series are convergent:
1 1 1
   ......
1  x 21  x  2
31  x 3
1 1
Sol.: Here u n  and  u n 1  .
n 1  x n
n  11  x n 1
u n 1 1 n 1  x n n 1 1
Now Lim  Lim   Lim .  .
n  u n n  n  11  x n 1 1 n   1  1 x 1 x
n 1  
 n
1
Then, by D’Alembert’s ratio test, the given series is convergent if  1.
1 x
1 1 1
i.e. if 1  1  1  and 1
1 x 1 x 1 x
Infinite Series: Power series, Interval of convergence Prepared by: Dr. Sunil, NIT Hamirpur 7

1
  1 and 1  1  x  1  x  1 and 0   x
1 x
  x  2 and 0   x  x  2 and 0  x
 x  2 and x  0
i.e. if x  0 and also if x  2
Test for convergence at the end points x = 0 and x = 2.
For x = 0, the given series reduces to
1 1 1
1    ......   ....
2 3 n
which is a divergent harmonic series with p = 1.
For x = 2, the given series becomes

 1  ....
n
1 1
1    ...... 
2 3 n
This alternating series is convergent by Leibnitz’s rule.
Thus the given series converges for x ≥ 2 and x < 0.

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