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**Two very important (distinct) mathematical objects are sequences and se-
**

ries. A sequence is P an infinite list of numbers, whereas a series is an infinite

∞

sum. With a series n=1 an , though, we can associate

Pn two sequences:

1) its sequence of partial sums (Sn ), where Sn = k=1 ak

2) its sequence of terms (an ).

**Our primary concern with both sequences and series is convergence. A se-
**

quence (an ) converges

Pnif limn→∞ an = L for some real number L. A series

converges if limn→∞ k=1 ak = L for some real number L; this is the same as

saying the sequence of partial sums (Sn ) converges. If a sequence or series does

not converge, we say it diverges.

**We have developed many tools for determining whether a given sequence or
**

series converges. The ultimate goal of all these tests is applying them to Taylor

series. We know that if the Taylor series of f at a converges for a given value

of x, then it converges to f (x). This is why we only test for convergence rather

than try to evaluate these series: once we have convergence, we know right away

what it converges to.

Sequence Series

What it is list sum

P∞

Written (an ) n=1 an

a1 , a2 , a3 , . . . a1 + a2 + a3 + · · ·

Pn

Converges if limn→∞ an = L limn→∞ k=1 ak = L

limn→∞ Sn = L

**Tests Limit Laws, Substitution Law nth Term Test
**

Squeeze Law Integral Test

Limits of Functions and Sequences Comparison Test

Bounded and Monotone Limit Comparison Test

L’Hôpital’s Rule Alternating Series Test

Ratio Test

Root Test

p-Series

Geometric Series

1

1 Sequences

Limit Laws, Substitution Law

**These laws tell us how to compute limits of sequences. If we can determine
**

what a sequence converges to, then trivially it converges. Recall the Substitution

Law says if

1) limn→∞ an = L

2) f is continuous at L,

then limn→∞ f (an ) = f (L).

Squeeze Law

**The Squeeze Law is very intuitive: if an ≤ bn ≤ cn and limn→∞ an =
**

limn→∞ cn = L, then limn→∞ bn = L also. Often we apply this with sin and

cos, bounding them between −1 and 1.

Limits of Functions and Sequences

**This is the idea that if limx→∞ f (x) = L, then limn→∞ f (n) = L also. For
**

example, limx→∞ 2 + 1/x = 2, so limn→∞ 2 + 1/n = 2.

This rule essentially exists to justify using L’Hôpital’s Rule on sequences.

Bounded and Monotone

**By a theorem, any sequence (an ) which is bounded (for some positive number
**

M , and for all n, −M ≤ an ≤ M ) and monotone (for all large enough n, either

the an ’s are increasing or decreasing) converges.

This theorem can only tell us that a sequence converges, not to what it

converges.

L’Hôpital’s Rule

**L’Hôpital’s Rule says that if limn→∞ f (n) and limn→∞ g(n) are both 0 or
**

both ∞, then

f (n) f ′ (n)

lim = lim ′ .

n→∞ g(n) n→∞ g (n)

**Using standard techniques, we can use L’Hôpital’s Rule to determine limits of
**

indeterminate forms 0 · ∞, 0∞ , 1∞ , and ∞0 .

2

Test Sequence Check Limit

Limit Laws (an ) lim an = L L

**Substitution Law (f (an )) lim an = L
**

f continuous at L f (L)

Squeeze Law (bn ) an ≤ bn ≤ cn

limn→∞ an = limn→∞ cn = L L

Functions and Sequences (f (n)) limx→∞ f (x) = L L

**Bounded and Monotone (an ) −M ≤ an ≤ M for all n
**

an monotone No info

**L’Hôpital’s Rule (f (n)/g(n)) lim f (n) = lim g(n) = 0 lim f ′ (n)/g ′ (n)
**

or lim f (n) = lim g(n) = ∞

2 Series

**nth Term Test
**

P∞

If n=1 an converges, to L say, then

**lim an = lim Sn − Sn−1 = lim Sn − lim Sn−1 = L − L = 0.
**

n→∞ n→∞ n→∞ n→∞

**The nth Term Test is the P contrapositive of this statement: if limn→∞ an does
**

∞

not exist or is not 0, then n=1 an diverges.

This test is easy to apply, and should probably be the first test applied to

determine if a certain series converges or diverges.

Integral Test

P∞

If n=1 an is a series and f (x) is a function such that

(1) f (x) is positive, decreasing, and continuous

(2) f (n)

P∞= an for all R∞n,

then n=1 an and 1 f (x) dx both converge or both diverge.

Comparison Test

P∞ P∞

The Comparison Test says that if n=1 an and n=1 bn are positive-term

series, P∞ P∞

(1) if an ≤ bn for all n and Pn=1 bn converges, thenP n=1 an converges

∞ ∞

(2) if an ≥ bn for all n and n=1 bn diverges, then n=1 bn diverges.

3

P∞

How you use the Comparison Test depends on whether you think n=1 an

converges

P∞ or diverges. If you think it converges, try to find a convergent series

P∞n=1 b n with an ≤ bn , and if you think it diverges, find a divergent series

n=1 bn with an ≥ bn .

**Limit Comparison Test
**

P∞ P∞

If n=1 an and n=1 bn are positive-term series P∞and limn→∞

P∞an /bn = L

with L a positive real number (note L 6= 0), then n=1 an and n=1 bn both

converge or both diverge.

**Alternating Series Test
**

P∞

If n=1 an is an alternating series (the terms an alternate sign) and

(1) limn→∞ an = 0

(2) |aP

n | is decreasing

∞

then n=1 an converges. P∞

The alternating series test comes with a remainder estimate. If n=1 an is

an alternating series converging to L, then

N

X

|L − an | ≤ |aN +1 |.

n=1

**Using this remainder estimate, it is easy to approximate the value of an alter-
**

nating series to any degree of accuracy: if you want to know the value to within

an error of E, find an N such that |aN +1 | ≤ E, and then simply sum the first

N terms.

Geometric Series

P∞

A geometric series is a series n=1 an such that an = a1 rn−1 for some real

number r. Not only do we know when these converge, but we also have a formula

for their value:P

∞

(1) if |r| < 1, Pn=1 an = a1 /(1 − r)

∞

(2) if |r| ≥ 1, n=1 an diverges.

Ratio Test

**The RatioPTest says that if ρ = limn→∞ |an+1 /an |, then
**

∞

(1) if ρ < 1, Pn=1 an converges absolutely

∞

(2) if ρ > 1, n=1 an diverges.

The test is inconclusive if ρ = 1. P∞

The Ratio Test allows us to say n=1 an is almost a geometric series with

ratio ρ, since for a geometric series ρ = |r|. This is why the convergence criteria

for Ratio Test and geometric series are similar.

4

The Ratio Test is particularly suited for series involving factorials and pow-

ers, since most of it will cancel when computing the limit.

Root Test

p

The Root Test says if ρ = limn→∞ n |an |, then the conclusions of the Ratio

Test hold.

The Ratio Test and the Root Test always give the same value of ρ. √

When using the Root Test, one often has to compute a limit such as limn→∞ n n.

The secret for these sort of limits is to convert them to powers of e:

√

n

n = n1/n = (eln n )1/n = eln n/n .

√

Since limn→∞ ln n/n = 0, the Substitution Rule says lim n n = e0 = 1.

p-Series

P∞ 1

The series n=1 np converges if p > 1 and diverges if p ≤ 1. This is a

consequence of the Integral Test.

5

Test Check Conclude

nth Term limn→∞ an 6= 0 Diverges

**Integral f (x) > 0, cont., decr.
**

f (n) = an

R∞

if R1 f (x)dx converges Converges

∞

if 1 f (x)dx diverges Diverges

Comparison an ≤ bn

P ∞

n=1 bn converges Converges

an ≥ bn

P ∞

n=1 bn diverges Diverges

**Limit Comparison limn→∞ an /bn = L, L 6= 0
**

P∞

Pn=1 bn converges Converges

∞

n=1 bn diverges Diverges

**Alternating Series |an | decreases
**

limn→∞ an = 0 Converges

Geometric |r| < 1 Converges to a1 /(1 − r)

|r| ≥ 1 Diverges

**Ratio ρ<1 Converges (abs.)
**

ρ>1 Diverges

**Root ρ<1 Converges (abs.)
**

ρ>1 Diverges

**p-Series p>1 Converges
**

p≤1 Diverges

3 Taylor series

The Taylor series for a function f (x) at a point a is simply

∞

X f (k) (a)

(x − a)k .

k!

k=0

**The Maclaurin series is just the Taylor series with a = 0. An important feature
**

of the Taylor series is that if it converges for a given value of x, then it converges

to f (x).

6

To compute the Taylor series for f (x) at a, we just have to find the deriva-

tives of f , evaluate them at a, and plug into the formula.

**Taylor series have nice convergence properties. For example, they always
**

converge on an interval (the interval of convergence) whose midpoint is a. The

radius of convergence is half the length of the interval of convergence.

**Related to Taylor series are Taylor polynomials. The nth degree Taylor
**

polynomial of f (x) at a is

n

X f ( k)

Pn (x) = (x − a)k ,

k!

k=0

**so Pn (x) is just the first n + 1 terms of the Taylor series. Taylor’s Theorem tells
**

us that, as long as we can differentiate f (x) n + 1 times, f (x) − Pn (x) = Rn (x),

where

f (n+1) (z)

Rn (x) = (x − a)n+1

(n + 1)!

for some z between x and a. In general, it is impossible to solve for z here. In

practice, we try to bound Rn (x) by treating it as a function of z and finding

where it achieves its extrema.

4 Convergence

P∞

There arePtwo types of convergence for a P series n=1 an : absolute and con-

∞ ∞

ditional. n=1 an converges absolutely if n=1 |an | converges. All absolutely

P∞

convergent sequences

P∞ converge. Conditional convergence happens when n=1 |an |

diverges but n=1 an converges. P

∞

P∞The alternating harmonic series n=1 (−1)n /n converges conditionally, whereas

n

n=1 (−2/3) converges absolutely.

5 Problems

1. Determine the limits√of the following sequences: (1) an = ln n/n (2)

an = (4/3)n (3) an = nln n (4) an = (2/3)n n2 (5) an = 1,000,000

n n

n! (6)

sin n

an = ln ln ln(n) (7) an = √1n .

p √

2. Show that the sequence 25 − 1/ n converges by first applying the bounded

and monotone test, then determine its limit.

P∞ n

3. Does the series n=1 (−1/2) + 1/n converge?

1

P∞

4. Does

P∞the series1 n=1 n ln n ln ln n converge? Determine all values of p for

which n=1 n ln n(ln ln n)p converges.

7

5. Determine if the following series converge or diverge.

(1)

∞

X 1

n=1

ln n

(2)

∞ n

X 1 2

n=1

n 3

(3)

∞ √

X | sin(n4 ln(cos2 ( n)) + 1)|

n=1

n17/16

(4)

∞

X ln n

√

n=1

n

(5)

∞

X ln n

√

n=1

n n

(6)

∞

X 3n n1000

n=1

10n

(7)

∞

X

(2/3)n − (3/5)n .

n=1

**6. Use the Limit Comparison Test to determine if the following series converge
**

or diverge.

(1)

∞ √

X 4 n + 78

n=1

13n2 + 42

(2)

∞

X n+1

n=1

n2

(3)

∞

X 4n + 16n/2

n=1

7n

P∞

(4) n=1 1 − 1/n.

7. P

Determine if √

the following series converge or diverge.

∞

(1) n=1 (−1)n / n

8

P∞ n

(2) n=1 (−1) − 1/n

P∞ p

(3) n=1 (−1)n n2 .

n

P∞ n

8. Determine the value of the alternating harmonic series n=1 (−1) /n to

within .2.

**9. Find the Taylor series of ln(1 + x) at a = 0 and determine its interval of
**

convergence.

10. Show that the Taylor series for ex , sin(x), and cos(x) converge for all real x.

**11. Determine the interval and radius of convergence of the following series
**

(1)

∞

X (x − 3)n

n=1

2n

(2)

∞

X (x + 1)n

n=1

n!

(3)

∞

X xn

n=1

n

(4)

∞

X (−2)n + 3n n

x .

n=1

7n

12. Use your answer from Problem 9 to find ln(3/2) accurate to 3 decimal

places.

**13. Use L’Hôpital’s Rule to find limx→0 (x − sin(x))/x3 . Then find the Taylor
**

series of (x − sin(x))/x3 . What is its limit as x goes to 0?

**14. Find the fourth degree Taylor polynomial of sin(x) at a = 0 and also the
**

remainder estimate. How many decimal places of accuracy can you guarantee

if you approximate sin(1/2) with P4 (1/2)?

**15. Suppose the Maclaurin series for f (x) has interval of convergence (−2, 2].
**

What is the radius of convergence of the Maclaurin series of f (3x)?

**16. Without calculating derivatives, find the Taylor series of the following func-
**

tions at a = 0.

2

(1) e5x (2) sin(x9 ) (3) x/(1 − x)2 (4) (sin(x) − x)/x2 .

R

17. Show that sin(x)dx = − cos(x) + C using Taylor series.

9

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