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5.1 Introduction
5.2 Real Sequences
Bounded Sequences
Monotonic Sequences
5.3 Convergent Sequences
5.4 Criteria for the Convergence of Sequences
Cauchy Sequences
5.5 Algebra of Convergent Sequences
5.6 Summary
5.7 Answers/Hints/Solutions

In Unjt 2, you were introduced to the structure of the real numbers. In Unit 3, some
interesting properties of the system of real numbers were discussed. In addition to these
properties, there are several other fascinating features of the real numbers. In this unit, we
discuss one such feature. This is related to the problem of obtaining the sum of an infinite
'number of real humbew.
You kAow thnt it is easy to find the sum of a finite number of real numbers. The addition of
an infinite number of real numbers, however, poses some problem. Apparently, you may
conclude that it is not possible to add an infinite number of real numbers. But an infinite
sum i.e. the sum of an infinite number of real numbers is not artificial. Under certain
limiting processes, it is possible to give a meaning to an infinite sum of the form

Recall that this is the infinite sum of a Geometrical Progressi~nwith first term 1 and
common ratio -12 '

To obtain the infinite sums, we need the notion of a sequence of real numbers,
and its convergence to a limit. What is, then, a sequence? What is the
meaning of the convergence of a sequence? What is the criteria to
determine the convergence of a sequence? We shall try to find answers for these
questions. Also we shall discuss a few related concepts such as boundedness and monotoncity
of sequences. We shall frequentby use these concepts in the Units 6 and 7 as well as later on
in Blocks 3 and 5.

After studying this wit, you shauld, therefore, be able to .
* define a sequence and its subsequence
* discuss a bounded and a monotonic sequence
* find the limit of a sequenca, if it exists
* verify whether a given sequence is convergent or not
,* use the criteria for the convergence of a sequence and define the Cauchy sequence.


Very often you use the word"ssquence1 in your daily life in hveral wnys. You talk of 'a .
sequence of events' or 'arranging the library books in a sequence' and so on. Intuitively the
Sequences and Series idea of a sequence is that of a progression or succession of numbers, e.g. the first, the
second, the third and so on. For example, if you want to evaluate fi up to myiy decimal
places, you can mange its approximate values as 1.4, 1.4 1, 1.414, 1.4142, .... and so on.
Thus, intuitively, a sequence of real numbers would mean a successiorn of real numbers x,,
x, .........;where x, is the first element, x2 being the second element, ..... and so on. Hence,
you may say that a sequence is an ordered collection of numbers. But in Mathematics, we
define a sequence as a special type of function in the following way:
Recall from unit 1 that f is a function from a nonempty set A to a nonempty set B, if to
each element x E A, there is assigned a unique element f(x) E B.
If a function s has its domain as the set N of natural numbers and range in R, then s is called
a sequence. Let us study the following two examples:
EXAMPLE 1: Let a function s: N +R be defined as

Then s(1) = 1, s(2)=3, s(3) = 5 and so on. ,...........,

This' function s: N+ R is called a sequence.
Let us write s(n) = s, V n E N. Then obviously,
s1 = I, s2 = 3. s3 = 5 ..... and so on.
The set {s,. s2........... s, ....... ) forms the range of the sequence s: N+R. The values
s,, s,, ........are called the terms of the sequence. The sequence is generally written as
(sn)nENOr (s,)O~=, Or (s").

EXAMPLE 2: Let a function s: N+ R be defined as

1 1 1
Then s, = 5,Is2 = 5' s3 = 8' sa = 1 ,........ and so on.

T h e sequence s, is given by

EXAMPLE 3: Let s: N+ R be defined by

In this case, sl = 1, s2 = 1, s3 = 1, .........

where 1 is the first element of N, 2 is the second element of N, 3 is the
third element of N, and so on. Thus in this case the sequence (s,,),,~ is
such that sl = ~ ( 1 )=. 1, is the first term of the sequence,' s, = s(2) = 1 is
the second term of the sequence, s3 =s (3) 1 1 is the third term of the
sequence, and so on.
In all these examples, we have taken the range as a subset of real numbers. Such sequences
are called Real Sequences. A formal definition of a Real Sequence is as follows:


A real sequence is a function s from the set N of natural numbers to the
set R of real numbers whose values are denoted by Isl, s,,
( s , , ) , , ~ ~ o r by s(n), where s(n) = s, for n = 1, 2, 3,
\ i s called the nth term of the sequence.
) o r by
The number s,
We shall use the notation (s,) throughout our discussion. Thus, the sequence in Example 1
is (2n-l), the sequence in Exaqile 2 is (&) and the sequence in Example 3 is ( 1 3 or
(1, 1, I , ...... ). It is important to distinguish between a sequence and its set of values since
the validity of many results depends on whether we are working with a sequence or a set, We
shall always use parentheses ( ) to denate a sequence and the braces { ] to signify a set. The
sequence (s,, s,, sf, ...-
) should not be confused with the set (s,, s2, s,,..... }. For instance

(1, 1, 1 ......) is a sequence whose first term is 1, second term is 1, Bird term is 1, and so
on, wheras the set { I , 1, 1 , ...} is just the singlctou { I ) . kience to mclke the distillctio~i
clear, we some:imes write this sequence as (1") or
L.ei us look at a few more exa~nplcsof Real Sequellces.
EX/BM)EE 4 : (E) The erpsessioi: ( 8 , 2, 3, 4, ...I i s a sequence. This is the sequence
(n),,. or @I=

. (ii) k sequence such as (c, c, c, C, ...

), ~l1ht:reevery term is LBle same n a ~ n l ~ ec,r is
called a constant sequence. This is the sequence ( c ) ~ ,.
(iii) The sequence (-1)" 21as terms (-I, 1, -1, 1, --1, 1, ... ).
EXAMPLE 5 : Let a seqalsalce (sn) be given as

In this case (sn) becomes (1, I, 2, 3, 5, 8 ...., nr, n, m+n, ...).

This sequence is called the Fibonacci Sequence given by an eminent Italian
mathematician L. Fibonacci 11175-1250].

It has many fascinating mc! interesting properties. Also, it ha. lot of ~pplications
particiilarly in puzzles and riddles in Matllematics. In fact, Fibonacci, was illspired by
Hindu-Arabic methods uf calculation. 1-11: fol111d t11i.s scquellce when he was trying to
solve the following problem:

"How many pairs of rabbits can be [~roducedfr-ona a single pair in a ycer if d v t ~ y .I.hc nicll~oti01' spccifjiir~ga
monil~each pair bcgrt:; a new pair w h i c l ~from the s c r o ~ ~month
d o u becomcs scqurllcc irl terms of prcvicjusly
the sequerlce.
~ I I I ) W I Itcr~nsof
producti~e'?" is called a rrcorsiorr formula.

Now consider the scqucnce ( sl,) gii'cn by ql =- ( 1 )" n2. For111a secguence ( t, 1 w!~ost:
terms are the positive terms of the sequence ( s,, ). Then the telnls of (sll) are (--I, 4, -4,
16, -25, 36, -49, 64; ...I slid the te:tnc of i t , ) are (4,16, 36, 64, ...I. Cbviocsly ( i , ) 1s
obpr' a by selecting, in ordcr, an infinite number of the dcrllls of (s"). 111such a case,

w t say hat (t,) is a subsequence of the sequerlce (sn ).

Let ( s n ) be a sequealcc. Let n,, n,, n3, ... he natorul numbers such that n, < n2 I I ~<:
... Then a sequerice
(s,,,, Sn2,,S, ...I = (s,, 3 = ( t, I,., or ( t, 1,
is called a subsequence of ( sn ).

In other wordb, a subsequence of a sequence is a sequence obtained by omining some

teniis of the original sequence and not disturbing the relative positions of the remaining
terms. For instance, (s,, s,, s,, ...) and (s;, s,, so, ... ) are subsequences of the sequence
(s1, s2, s,, s4, ...). But (s2, sI, s4, s3.,. ) is not a subsequence of (s,, s,, s,, s,, ...). The
sequence (-1)" has two subsequence namely (1, 1, 1, ...) and (-1, -1, -1, ...).

Note that n, < n, .:n, < ....... < nk-, .:n, n,,, .:.,, defines an infinite subset of N,
namely, {n,, n,, n,, ...I. Conversely, you can say that every infinite subset of N can be
described by

Thus, a subsequence of ( s n ) is a sequerlce obtairled by selecting, in order, an infinite

subset (: the terns of the sequence. Now b y the following exercise.
Which of the fallowing sequences are subsequences of the sequcnce (1, 2, 3, 4, .,.j?
i) (l,O,I,0,1,0 ,...)
ii) ( I, 3, 6, 10, 15, ... )
iii) (1,1,1,2,1,3,1,4,1,5,...).
Sequences &Series Since a sequence is a function from N to R and N has the natural order, it makes sense
to talk about a sequence being bounded and a sequence being monotonic. Recall from
Unit 4, the definitions of bounded and monotonic functions.
A sequence s: N -+ R is said to be bounded if its range is bounded in R. In other
words, a sequence ( s,, ) is bounded if there exists a number K > 0 such that
) s n ( < K f o r n = 1 , 2 , 3,...
For instance, the sequence in Example 1 is not bounded whereas the sequence in
Example 3 is bounded. What about the sequence in Example 2?. Is it bounded or not?
Verify it yourself. Again, the sequence in Exercise 1 (i) is bounded, while the sequence
in Exercise I (ii) is not bounded. What about the sequence in Exercise 1 (iii) 7
Just as, jn Unit 4, we defined a function which is bounded below only or bounded above
only, you can similarly define a sequence which is bounded below only or bounded
dbove only or both bounded below and bounded above i.e, bounded.
Let us consider the sequence

Since, for k'2 2,

We have,

Thus, the sequance (sn)is bounded above by 2. Next, if we consider a sequence (sn), where

(s,Z- 2),
then, in view of identity (s,+J2- 2 = - , it follows easily that s n ' r 6 V n 2 2 i.e.,
the sequence (sn) is bounded below by 42.

Now, try the following exercise.

Define a sequence which is bounded below ohly or bounded above only. Give a n
example for each. Verify whether an Arithmetical Sequence ( a, a+d, a+2d, ), ...
d # 0 is bounded or bounded below only or bounded above only.
Examine which of the sequence in Exercise 1 are bounded a n d unbounded.

Again, recall the notion of monotonic functions as discussed in Unit 4. Since a sequence
is a special type of function; therefore, we can say something about a monotonic
sequence. First, let us study the following examples:
Consider the sequence (-Z-, 4 1
,...). Here s, = $1) = 7,s, = s (2) =

$3) = 3r ,and so on. You can see that s, < s, < s, c s, < ..., that is, s(1) < s(2) <
s(3) < ... . In other words, the sequence preserves the order in N. Such a sequence is
called a monotonically incresing sequence.

Again, consider the sequence ( 1, 1 1 1 ...). Here, the inequalities are reversed
-9 -9 -9
2 3 4
1 1
1 > - > -j- > 1 > ...; that is,
s(1) > $2) > s(3) > s(4) > ...
In this case the sequence reverses the order in N. Such a sequence is called a
monotonically decreasing sequence.

Also look at the sequence (1, - a, 1

+,- 7...-).
You can see that tl~issequence neither preserves nor reverses the order in PI. Such a
sequence is neither monotonically increasing nor monotonically decreasing.

A sequence which is either monotonically increasing or monotonically decreasing is

called a monotonic sequence. We have the formal definition as follows:


A sequence ( s,, s,, .....
) is called a nionotonic sequence if either s, 5 s, 5 s, s , .., or
s,> s, 2 s, ,... .
In the first case, the sequence is called a nlonoto~~ically increasing
sequence, wllile in the second case it is called a monotonically decreasing sequence.
s 2+ 2
Once again, let us look at the sequence ( 4 ) : s, = 1, sn,, = % , n 2 1. Since

and, so, in view of the fact that sn2- 6, for n 2 2, it follows easily that sn- sntl2 0 i.e.,
sntl I. sn, foi all n r 1. Hence tlie sequence (sn) is a mo~lotonicallydecreasing sequence.
However, if you look at the sequence sn= (1 + +r, then we call show that it is an

monoto~iiciillyincreasing sequence. Let us see how. By Binomial Theorem,

In the analogous formula for sntl, every term on the r.h.s. of last equality (except the
first-term) increases in value and an additional tenn will appear on the right. Therefore,
s,+~> s,,, 'd n 21.
Thus (sn), where sn = (1 4- -) , is an strictly increasing sequence. In fact, this is bounded
as well.
For, observe that

(by (*) above)

As you will see below (Theorem 4), any such sequence has to be convergent. The limit

of the convergent sdquence sn = ( 1 1

i- ---)n is an important number denoted by e. Recall

I that the number e is same as the value of the exponential function e: for x = I
Now try the following exercises.

I Which of the following sequences are monotonic?
1 i) ( sinn); ii) ( tann);

iv) (2n+ (-1)")).


i), Show that a subsequence of a monotonic sequence is also monotonic.

ii) Do there exist sequences which are both monotonically increasing and
monotonically decreasing?
Sequences & Series We state a theorem (without proof! which we shall use i11 the next section:
THEOREM I :'Every sequence Ilas a monotonic subsequence.
For example, the sequence (T)1 has a subsequence

which is monotonic, is it monotonically increasing or decreasi~g?



The basic tool of analysis is the notion of a limit and the simplest f o m ~of a limit is that
of the lirnit of a sequence. A real number s is called the limit of a sequei~ce( sll) if a
large number of values of (s,,) are close to s.
For example, consider the sequence ti;-).1 It is intuitively clear that the tenns of the
sequence "approach" the number 0 as n becomes larger and larger. In other words, we
can say that the n"' term of the sequence is 'as close to 0.' as we desire f ~ r
"sufficiently large n". See Fig. 1 for the limit of the sequence ($.1

Alternatively, we can say that the sequence (+1 approaches the limit 0 if

be made as small as possible for larger and larger values of n. Note that such a
behaviour is not true of the seqrlence (n). Check why?

Thus, we have the following definition of the liniit of a sequence.

Since the number m depends DEFINITION 5 : LIMIT OF A SEQUENCE

upon the clloice of c > 0.
Therefore, someti~nesthe
A real number s is said to be a limit of a real sequence (sil) if, for every E > 0, there
number m is dcnoted as mq. exists a number rn E N such thqt
Isn - SI < E , for all n > m.

The condition that a sequence (sn) has a limit s is often expressed by saying that the
sequence (s,,) tends to a limit s. We say also that a sequence (sn) is convergent if there
exists a number s (called the limit of the sequence) such that Isn- sl can be made "as
small as possible" for sufficiently large values of n. Note, however, our intuition is not
sharp enough to tell if the sequence (n sin T)1 converges, we, therefore, need a precise
definition of the convergence of a sequence, and also soine criteria to determine whether
a given sequence converges or not. We shall first define converges of sequence in this
section, and later on take up the criteria of convergence of seqiiences in the next section.


A real sequence (sn) is said to converge to a real number s (called the limit of the
sequence) if, for a given E > 0, there exists a positive integer m such that
IS, - I] < E, for all n > rn.
We express the above fact in .several ways. We say that
(i) The sequence (sn) converges to a real number s;.or
(ii) lim
sn = s; or
(iii) S,+S asn+oo.
The number s is called the limit of the sequence (sll).The convergence of (s,,) to s can
be reviewed in the language of neighbourhood (Unit 3) as follows:
We say that $4;s,, = s if and only if except for finite number of terms, whole of the
sequence is in every neighbourhood of s.
GeC)n~etrir,al]y,sn-> s if, given E > 0, we are able to cut off an initial segment of the
sequence, is,, s,, ... sm}such that, every member of the 'tail' sm+,,sn,+ is in the interval

]s-.E. SSE [. The initial segment that must be cut off depends on ~ . i . e how
. close to s are
the tail elements.

Figure 2 below illustrate the limit concept graphically. Consider the horizontal strip of
width 2~ generated by the lines y = s - E and y = s+e. A given term sn of the sequence
( sn) lies inside this strip exactly if the inequality Isn - sJ< E hold good. n u s , for a
llumber s to be the litnit of the scquellce (s,,), we must be able to specify a point m on
the x-axis such that, for all n lying to the right of nl, the corresponding term s,, lie wilhin
the horizontal strip.

Fig. 2

Thus, if (s,,) is a sequence having the number s as a lirni!, we write /&sn= s

(or simply t&sn = s) and say the limit of sn is s as n tends t:. Iariinity or the sequence
(sn) converges to the limit s. Let us look at some examples.
EXAMPLE 6: Discuss tile convergence of the sequence (?).

SOLUTION : Intuitively, you can see that !5-$ - 0.

Let us use Definition 6 to justify our intuitive understanding. For this, cons'd
i er an
arbitrary E > 0 and let us by p find a number rn (depending upon E) such that

As you know that quite often (for example in the proof of the trigotlometric identities),
we use the if method i.e. we initially work backward from our desired conclusion, but
in the formal proof we must nuke sure that our steps ai-e reversible. In the present
example, we want to know how big n must be so that

So, we will operate on this inequality algebraically and try to solve it for n. Thus, we
start with -- < E.
By multiplying both sides by n2 and dividing both sides by e, we find that we want

If our steps are reversible, then we can see that

This suggests that we should take 111 -& .

-..?1 Tllus, we proceed as follows:

Let E > 0 and take m = -- . Then
Sequenccs & Series

which proves that the sequence (-,) converges to the limit 0.
A similar problem is given in the next exercise, which you should solve to check your
understanding and computational skill.

Use Definition 6 to prove that the sequence ($ converges to the limit 0.

EXAMPLE 7: Test the convergence of the following sequences

i) (s,,), where sn = n;
ii) (I, -1, 1, -1, ... ).
SOLUTION : (i) Look at the sequence sn = (n). This sequence can not converge. For, if
possible, suppose the sequence converges to a limit s. Taking E = 1 , all but finitely
1 1 [. But this is clearly not
2 s+ -
many elements of s,, should lie in the interval 1s - -, 2
so. Thus the sequence (n) does not converge.
ii) Suppose the sequence [ (-1)" converges to some number s. Taking E = 7, 1 all
1 s +, -2-
but finitely many elements of this sequence rrlust lie in the interval 1s - 7, I [.

That means both 1 and -1 are in 1s - 7 I ,s It 71 [. But that is impossible because

the distance between 1 and -I is 2, while the length of the interval Is- 1 s + -2-
3, 1 [ is 1.
Thus the sequence (1, -1, 1, -1, ... ) does not converge.
In above example, we have come across two sequences which are not convergent. Such
sequences are called divergent sequences.
Thus a sequence is said to be divergent if it is not convergent. Now we take up the
question: Can a sequence converge to two different limits? The answer to this question is
no and we prove this in the following form.

THEOREM 2: If a sequence is convergents, then its limit is unique.

PROOF : Suppose that a sequence ( s n ) has two distinct limits s and s . Then s # s . Let
us assume, without loss of generality, that s s . Take E = -
S - s'
3 .

Sincr: sn+ s, all but iinitcly many elements of the sequence are in the interval

IS-E, S+E[. For the same reason, all but finitely many elements of the seqence are in tlle
interval ]st-E, s t + E [. Look at the Fig. 3.

The two intervals ]s - E, S'+E [ and Is-&, s t &[ are disjoint (why?), and a tail of the

sequence cannot be contained in both the intervals. Hence, it is not possible for the
sequence (sn) to converge to two different limits. This proves the theorem.

Having defined convergence of sequence, the question that remains to be settled is : How
to test the convergence of a ;+:en sequence? Let us, first, obtain necessary conditions
for the convergence of a sequence. This condition is provided by the following theorem.
THEOREM 3: Every convergent sequence is boutadcd. Sequences

PROOF : Let (sn) be a sequence which converges to s. Then, for E > 0, there is
1 /
number rn E N such that s,, -s < 6 , for n > m.

With E= 1, we obtain m in N so that

Using triangle inequality (see Unit 3), we see that

Thus, n > r n = . I s , , / < l s / + 1. ChooseK=max { (sit I, ls,l, Is,I, ..... /sml}.Then,

we bave Isn 5 K,for all n s N. Hence ( s,, ) is bounded.

From this theorem, it follows that if a sequence is convergent, then it is always

bounded. Is the cowerse true? That is to say that if a sequence is bounded, then, is
it convergent? The answer is No. For example the sequence (-1, 1, -1, 1, -1, I.....) is
bounded but not convergent, Thus boundedness is a necessary condition for the
convergence of a sequence. It is not a sufficient condition, However, for a monotonic
sequence, boundedness is both necessary and sufficient, We prove this in the next

THEOREM 4: A tnonotonic sequence is convergent if and only if it is bounded.

PROOF : We already know that every convergent sequence is bounded. Thus, it is

enough to prwe that a rn~notonicand bounded sequrnce is convergent. We shall prove
this assertion for a monotonically increasing sequehce. Let ( sn) be a tnonotonically
increasing sequence which is bounded above.

Let S denote the 6et (sn : n E N) = {s,, s ,,.,, ), where s, 5 s, S s, ... Since ( s n ) is
bounded aboye, therefore, there exists an upper bound for the sequence ( s,, s,, s, ... ).
Thus S hrls the lessf upper bound, say u. We slailn that the sequence (sll) converges to u,

For, let F > 0 be some real number. Since u - E is not an upper bound for the set S,
therefore, u - E < U, This rneans that there exists some integer m such that sm > u - E. Also,
since the sequence (s,,) is an iacreasing, we have

s,, < s,,, for all n m.

But, sn< p, for all n. Therefore,

3 IS, - UJ< e,
which shows that the sequel~ce converges to the limit u.

In case sf a monotonically decreasing sequence, the proof is similar to the one given
above. 'So, we leave this as an easy exercise for you.
Sequei,ci.s & Sel its
Let (sll) bc a monotonically decrensi~agsequcnce which is bounded Seloav. Show that
the sequence converges to its greatest lower bound.
i) Suppose that the sequence (s,:) converges to s and sn 5 A, for every n. Show that
s 5 A.
ii) Supposc the sequence (sn) converges to s and s,, 2 a, for every n. Show that s 2 a.
i) Suppose that the sequence (st) ccnverges to s. Show that every subsequence of (sll)
also converges to s.
ii) If a sequence docs not converge, then no subsequence of it caal converge. Is the
statement true? Justify your answer.
---- - -
In fact, it is not difficult to see t!lat a sequlenca (fill)converges to s if and only if all its
s~absequcnceconverges to the mme limit s. However, if a sequence is such that its
subsequences converges to different limits, then the sequence will not convergent. For
example. the sequepce (s,,), where sn= (- I)", is ona s ~ ~ sequence.
ch Because, here (- 1,
-. 1, - 2 ,...) and (1, 1, 1,...) are its two subsequences converging to - 1 and 1,
respecti\leiy. But, chc: sequence ((- 1)") itself is not convergent.

Sappo'ie the sequence (sn) converges to s. Show that the sequence (!s,,() converges to
Isl. Give an example to show that the converse of this is not true.

We now state a result (without proof) in tlie follouling theorem which is also referred to
as rhe Bulzano-Weierstreas Theorem.

THEOREM 5 : Every bounded sequence of real numbers c o ~ ~ t a i an sconvtrgent


We have already talked about the divagent sequences.

You have encountrred two examples of divergent sequences in Example 7, namely (1, 2,
3, 4 ,... ) and (1, -1, 1, -1, ...). The sequencc (1, 2, 3, 4, ....) is said to be divergent
sequence because its terms become "hvo big", whereas (I, -1, 1, -1, ....) is divergent
because it has no limit point.

We now give a formal definition of a divergent sequence.


A seqllence is said to be divergent if it is not convergent. A sequence (sn) diverges to
+ a if, given any real number-e > 0, there is a positivc integer rn such that sn E,
f o r all n > m.

In this case, we also write lim sn co or sn-+m as 11 -+ co. Such a sequence is said to be
divergent sequence. You can similarly define the divergence of a sequence (sn) to -m.
We car1 write this as 1% sn = -m.

Let us consider the sequence

Suppose ( sn ) is convergent and ln+m

i ~ nsn = s. It is clear, from the definition of
convergence, that if sn -4s, then s," -,s, as well.

But, for (s,,) as given above,

and so, we would have,

This contradiction establishes that ( sn ) does not converge, .

EXAMPLE 8: Show that the sequence ( dn ) diverges to +m.

'SOLUTION: Let E > 0 be given. Then -
> E for all n > 2.This shows that thc
sequence 6 + + w as n -+ w . Hence the sequence ( dn ) diverges to +m.

you can easily see that if a sequence ( s n ) diverges to +& or -m, then 'the sequence is
unbounded. Some diverges to +m; while sqme other diverges to -a.
'TO end this section, let us look at a very important sequence, which will be frequently
used in the larer sections:

EXAMPLE 9 : i) If 0 5: x < I, then ( xu) converges to 0.

ii) If x = 1, then ( x" ) converges to I.
iii) Lf x 1, then ( xn ) diverges to +m.

SOLUTION: i) If x = 0, then tlie sequence (x n ) is the constant sequence. (0, 0. 0 .....).

Hence it converges to zero. Let 0 < x < I . Then
x"l = X. xn C xn,
implies that the sequence ( x n ) is a monotonic decreasing sequence, which is bounded
below by 0. Hence the sequence converges to its grzatest lower bound. Therefore, it is
enough to show that 0 is the greatest lower boultd of (XI, x2, x3, ,..).

clearly, 0 is a lower bound of the sequence. Therefore, it is enough to show tl'iat if r > 0,
then r is not a lower bound of the sequence. Let r > 0. We wish to show that, for some
n E N, xn < 1.. That is, for some n E N, nlogx < log r. (Recall from Unit 4 that .
log x is an increasing function). This is equivalent to finding n E N such that n > log r
log x '
Surely there are infinitely many such n's. This' sl?ows Lhat, when 0 < x < 1, liln x n = 0.
Thus, when 0 5 x < 1, tlie sequence ( xn ), converges to 0.

ii) If x = 1, the sequence ( x") is die constant sequence (1, I , 1, ...) and thus converges
1 to 1.

iii) Let x > 1. Then, silice xn*'> xn the sequence (x n ) is a lnonotonic increasing
sequence. To show that the sequence diverges to +w, it is sufficient to show .that the
sequence is unbounded.

Let M > 0 be any number. Then

x" > M a logx" > logM (why?)
i a n I O ~ X> IogM
16g M
a n > -
log x
which shows that the seqlience (x") is unbounded and hence diverges to +po.
I Try some exercises now.
i) Show that, if -1 < x < 0, then ( x " converges to 0,
! Discuss the nature of the sequence ( x n ) when x = -1, and x < -1.
Suppose (st)) and ( t n ) are convergent sequences such that sn I tn, for each n. Prove
1 17
I *
Scqucnees ti Serier
that Iitn sn I liln t,,.
I1 I, *

--- ---"-I-
Wc ~onclucletills section by drsc1rs5ins a very 1111portanterta~l-lplcof a convergent

EXAMPI I.- 10 : s., = nk. Show that iilil sn =

I , t h a t is. !jr?; 11'= I.

SOLU'FION: Writr: sn =
tin = I + xn. Then x,, 0, tor n ,1
Ey Bino~n~sl
'Theorem. w e Iiave


'This Iniplies ~llatO 4,: x,: .:-.

n-. 1
, fcl~11 2 2. Hence 0 i>i,,<: y ,: 2
, For n 2 2.

Lei c 0 bc given. *Then

Let m E N such that m a: -1 1.
'l'heii. x,) < 6, h r all n ,rn.
Helice 1% -I = i 1 X" C: e, fur ill1 ir :. n(. That is, ( s,,) coilverges to l


In section 5.3, we have delincd a sequence ! sn) lo be convergent if we arc able to find a
nu~nbers such that sll -S s as n + ~m.111 soti~ecases, it may be easy enough to guess the
existence of such a nu~nbers. Hut. quite often, it is not easy to do so. For exa~iiple,
I' .
consider thc s a q u e ~ c c sinn). Does this scquenee converge? We cannot say
anytliing unless we know the limit of this sequence. What we really need is a criterion
for the convergencr: of' a sequence ( sn) which uses only the terrns of the glven sequelicc
- and 170t to search for a possible limit of the sequence frum among the infinite set R.
'That is precisely what we intend to do in this section I n fact, we shall obtain a necessary
\ ' > * . 'I r r ' i ~ ~ y lIncqrral~ty
e as and sufficient condition for the coavcrgence of a sequence in this section.
111 [;IIL 3
We state, first, a necessary condition for a sequence to converge. You will see later that
the condition is also sufficient for a sequence to converge but under certain aclditio~ial

THEOREM 6: If' a sequence ( s,, ) is convcrgcnt, then for a given E > 0, there esists
m E N S I I C ~ Ithat Isn - sL[ C: E, whenever n > li 1n.

PROOF: Let the sequence ( s n ) converge to a nunalsar s (say). Let E 0 be given.

Since sl, --+ s as n -+ cc , tlierc exists a natiiral number m such that

Thus isn - ski < ' E . for aB n, k > 111 (n > k).

The theorem says that if the terms of the sequence (sen)get close to some number, then
they are already close to each other. Motivated by the above theorem, we have the
following definition due to A.L. Cauchy, an eminent French mathematician.


A sequence ( s " ) of real numbers is called a Cauchy sejuence or a fundamental
sequence. if, for each E > 0, there exists a natural number m such that

, Isn - s,, I < E , for ,all n > k > m.

in Theorem 3, we have seen that every convergent sequence is bounded. And, in

Theorem 6 , it is shown that every convergent sequence is Cauclly. In the next two results
we will prove that class of convergent sequences is same as the class of cauchy
sequences and is properly contained in the class of bounded sequences. This inclusion is
proper because there exists bounded sequence which are not monotone.

We state and pr,ove the following tileorem.

THEOREM 7: Evcry cauchy sequence is bounded.

PROOF: Let ( srl) be a cauchy sequence. Then, by definition, it follc. s:. that for E = 1.
there is a positive integer m sucll that

Isn- q ( < 1 whenever n > k > m.

In particular, Isn - sm+,l< 1, for all n > m. In other words (see Unit 3)

I Sn t = Its,, - snl*,)+ SII1+,I Isn- srn+,l-1- I Sn,+,I < I Sm+lI + 1- n > m.

Thus if

A= { I s, I, I s2I , ..., I snlI, I sm+li + 11,

then j'sn I I: A,' for all n E N.

This proves that the Sequence (sn) is bounded if it is Cauchy.

THEOREM 8: Every cauchy sequence is convergent.

PROOF': Let ( 5 ) be a cauchy sequence. Then by Theore1117, it follows that ( sn) is

bounded. Using Bulzano-Weirstrass Theorem ('Theorem S), we can conclude that the
sequence ( s n ) must have a convergent subsequence, say ( snr). Suppose that

.snr+ p as r -+ w.
Our claim is that sn -+ p as 11 + w.
Let E > 0 be given. Then there exists a natural number q such that, for any r > q, w e

Again since ( s,, ) is a cauchy sequence, therefore, tht:e cxists a natural number k such .
that for n > k > rn, we have
l S n - S k I < 7.

Now, for an n > m, clloose r so large thal n, and r > q. 'Tben
Sequences % Series E
is satisfied. Also 1 sn - s,,~
/ is satisfied with k = n,. TIILIS,tbr n > ~ n ,

I s,, - P I = I Sn - Sn, -'

Sn, -PI

5 Is,, - snIrl+ ISt,[ - PI (Triangle Inequality)

< -E- + - E1 = E .
2 2

Thus, given an E > 0, we have found an m such that, for any n > In, I s,, - p I < E.

This shows that s,, -> p as n -+ a,which concludes the proof.

Theorems 6 and 8 are solneti~nescombined into one theorem wl;.cli is popularly known
as Cauchy's General Principle of Convergence o r Cauchy's criteria for t h e
convergence of sequence.

THEOREM 9: Cauchy's General Principle of Convel.gence

A necessary and sufficient condition for the convergence of a sequence'( st') is that,
for every E > 0, there exists a positive integer rn s u c l ~that

( sn - s,,( < E, whenever n > k > m.

Thus a sequence of real numbers converges if and only if it is a cauclly sequence

Let us illustrate this by the following example:

EXAMPLE 11 : S l ~ o wthat the sequence -;;- is a cauchy sequence. W h a t about ( nl)?

SOLUTION : Let E > 0 be given. Then by taking m = III (E) > $ , we see that

whenever n, k 2 m. Thus, fLr n > k > rn,

In other words,

whenever n > In and k > m ,which shows that the sequence (1x)
is convergent.

The sequ ce (n2), however, is not a caucliy sequence.

For, if n and k are any two integers ( n > k), then

'n2- kl'= l(n-k) (n+k), > 2k1> 1,

whatever m may be. Thus, if we choose E= I , then by above inequality
inZ - k 2 ! > E , for any m (n > k > m).

Thus the sequence (nZ) is not convergent.

The Cauchy's Criteria is sometimes described in the following way:

A sequence (s,,) is said to be a cauchy srquence, if $or any E > 0, there is a positive
integer m such that

Is, - s,,1 4 E, whenever k > (I.

AS you can observe, in Theorein 9, there is no mention of iimit. Thus the advantage of
the Cauchy Criteria is that we are able to test the convergence of a sequence without
necessarily knowing the value of its limit. Example 10 has justified the utility of Cauchy
Criteria. To further elaborate this assertion, c0nsider.a sequence ( rn) of rational nurtlbers
which converges to 4 (e.g., sequence (8,) defined below Definition 4 in this unit). If (rn)
is treated as a sequence of real numbers, then we have a real number fi,as the limit of
the sequence ( rn). Thus the sequence ( r n ) satisfies the definition of convergence.
However, if we treat ( r n) as a sequence of rational numbers and if our definition of
convergence requires us to find a rational number which is the limit of (rn), then ( r n ) is
no longer convergent since fi is not a rational number. Thus lack of convergence has
arisen not due to the change of the sequence in any way, In fact, we have merely
modified the context in which we are considering the sequence 'by changing the
underlying field in which the scquence is being discussed. By changing the context in
which the sequence is considered has no effect on whether the sequence is cauchy or not.
~ h u s :it also implies that there is no difference between convergent sequences of real
numbers and cauchy sequences of real numbers. This is true because of the axiom of
completeness of R, the set. of real numbers, But then this is not the case if we confine
our sequences to the field of rational numbers. In view of this, the completeness of R is
also described by saying that the system'of real numbers is complete if every caucl~y
sequence in R has a limit in R.


In this section, we shall discuss the behaviour of convergent sequences with respect to
algebraic operations like addition, niultiplicat~on,and so on. Recall that a sequence of real
numbers is a function s: N -+ R. Since, the sum,, product, etc, of real-valued functions are
defined, you can easily define the sum, product etc. of sequences.


Let (s,,) and ( t n ) be two sequences of real numbers and cc E R. Then,

i) ( sn + ( trt ) = ( Sn + tt, (slim of two sequences)

ii) ( sn') ( tQ 1 = ( sn tt, ) (product of two seqiences)
iii) .
a ( sn ) = (a S; ) (scalar multiple ut' ii sequence)

We'shall sllow that convergence and limits are preserved under above operations.

THEOREM 10: 'If lirn sn= s and = t, then

n->m !I.-)=

(q, + tn ) = s + t,
PROOF: Let E > 0 be given. Then ~ 1 2 ,0. Since lirn sn = s, there is.m, E b4 such that

E . '
I sn- s J < - , whenever n 2 m,.
Since lirn tn = t, there is m, E N such that

Itn - t J -, whenever n r rn,.
Let m = max (m,, m,). Then, for all n 2; m, we have

Thus ( s,, + tn j converges to s + t.

The next theorem is easikr to prove.
Sequences & Scrirs
THEOREM 11: I f liiis,,= s and a E R, then
lim ( a sn) as

PROOF: The theorem is obvious if u = 0. So, let us consider the case when a t 0.

Let E > 0 be given. Then

la I
> 0, because /a( 0. Since (s,) converges to s. there 1s
m E N such that

/ sn - s I < -,E whenever.n 2 m.

la I
Thus, if n 2 m, then we have
~ 1 s ~ - a s I = l a ( I s ~ -< I sc ~(I - - - = E .
la I
That is, lirn ( a sn) = a s .

Now you can easily solve following exercise.

Let linl sn = s and
!i,mP t,, = t. Let a, p E lirn (.asn +
'R. Show that n-r= P t n ) = cc s + [Jt.

Deduce that lirn ( sn - tn ) = lirn sn .- lirn 'tn.

n-lr n->z n-+x . .

Now to prove that the limit of the productGoftwb convergent sequences is the prod;~ct01'
their limits, we need the following theorem:

THEOREM 12: &f lirn

( sn )' = s, then !$ :s = sz.

PROOF: Let E > 0 be given. We have to find m E N such that


1s"- s J ( s n+ S I C & ,for a l l n 3 m.

ti' such
Since (sn) converges, therefore it is bounded. Hence, there exists a'ieal ,nu~~lber
that 1 snI < K, for all n. Since 1i1n s,, = s, we have Is I
s K. Hence
I s n + s I < I s n I - I - ( s ( < 2K f o r a l t n .

, Since lirn
sn = s, there is an m E N such that I sn- s I < --
2K for all . 11 2 ni.

Hence, whenever n m, we have

'This proves that s: = s2.


Now we are ready to prove the following theorem:

THEOR.EM 13: Let lim s,,= s and lirn tn = t. Then lirn (s,, , tn) = s.t.
n+x n-rr

PROOF: We use the wcll-known algebraic identity ab = - [(a t- b)l - (a - b)?].
Now, by Theorem 10, we know that sn + ln -+ s
4- t as n-+m. Ti~erefore.using Tl~eorem I

12. we get
(so + tJ2 + (~+t)~.

~ 1 ~by0 E, 13, sn-- tn + s - t as n+m. Therefore. ligalli using Theorem 12, we have

Ifence, (sl, + tn)' - (sn - tJ2 -> ( s -1- l )' - (S - t)'. Finally, using the algebraic, idcnli:~,
we get

verify all the steps are justif'ied. Nniice that this proof' uses no E. 'T*l~etcuhlliqut, of
~!:;i!lg'the'iilgebraic ideritity to deal with Ihe product is c,alled polsrizi~tioa.

I'inally. we turn our attention to the qe~otientof'convery,ent seqr.ri.liccs. I:nr l.hi.r;. \rife ?sail.\
,II( ()reim:
ilr7ed ttie fi.~llocv~n,b 1

I'WBEOF: '1'6: p~.ovetlic ~i.leul.em,rse nccd s ii!f,(> that ;:-
c;in bc rl*:iint:J. Bur: w l ~ :
1 :! if
:abot,lt 7-- SOIIIC
I I:
g,':= 0. then ' --- S 1101 ilefi;iccj. "To ovclecumc tliii; difficulty \.vt! 112:iy
!> 3,)

\,Ye shall discuss tlio proof for the casc s 0 The case \ O call he discurstd 1.y'
applyilig the case for s :-. O to the sequence ( --s,, )

Let c ' 0 be given. We must find rn E N such tliat

Since iim sn
n ->I
- s. tlierelblr tl'iere exists m, e N such that

, This implies that sn > for all n , m,.

Similarly, there exists m, E N such that

s2 E
.. Isn - s I < - , whencvcr n > 111,.
Let m = niax (m,, m,), If 11 > rn, then w e have

This proves that I,ic 1 ,1

Now, it should not hc tl;ffic~llttbr ;\NI to prow the

'I'HEOREM 1% I F lim sn = s :(II(J liiu, t,,I

' then
11 + T 11 .
Sequences & Scrics 2n3 + 5n 1
EXAMPLE 12: Prove that iim, (dn3 +nz)=i.
. .
SOLUTION: You have seen earlier that liif = 0. Consequently, .
lirn (2 + -)
n+m n 2-
-. 2 -
- -1
1 4 2 '
lim (4 + - )
n-+= n .

What we have proved is that, if lim

sn = s and Iim
t = t, then it is true that

tn) = s + t. In other words, convergence of the sequences (sn) and (tn) is

lirn (sn i-

sufficient for the convkrgence of (sn -+ tn).'It is possible for (sn + tn) to be convergent
even if ( s,, ) and ( t, ) do not converge.

Similar reniarks are true for sequence (a sn) and (sn tn). Now try the following exercises.

i) Given an example of divergent sequence ( sn) and ( tn) such that ( sn+ tn)
ii) Given a n example of a divergent sequence (s,,) and a codvergent sequence ( t n )
such that'( s. tn) converges.
Show that if (sn) is a bounded sequence and if ( t n ) converges to 0, then (sntn)
converges to 0.

We have discussed the algebra of convergent sequences. Is there an algebra of divergent

sequences? The following re'sults do justify that there is algebra of divergent sequences

If lim sn = +. oo and lirn tn= +oo, then

n-bm n-+oc

111. If ( sn) diverges to +OD and if ( tn) converges, then (sn +- tn) diverges to 4-m.

You can similarly try to formulate some similar results for the sequences.diverging to
minus infinity.

In this unit, we have initiated the study of the limiting procebs by introducing the norion .
of a sequence and other related concepts. In section 5.2, we have defined a sequence, a
subsequence and a few types of sequences such as bounded and monotonic sequences .
etc. We have confined our discussion to the real sequences. A real sequences is a special
type of real function whose domain is the set N of natural numbers and the range is a
subset of the set R of real numbers. If s: N + R is a sequence, then its values are . ,
denoted. by s,, s,, .... The sequence is generally denoted by ( s n ) where the values s,, s,,
.... are known as its terms. A sequence'( t n ) is called a subsequence of the sequence ( s,, )
if all terms of tn are taken in order from *thoseof ( sn). A sequence ( x ) is said to be
bounded if there exists a real number K such that ( s,, I I K, for' every n E N. A seiuerice
(s, ) is said to be monotonicall;r illcreasing if sn Isnr,,for, every n E N and it is said to
be monotonically decreasing if sn 2 sn+,for every n E N. The sequence ( s m )is said to be
strictly increasing if sn < sn+,(strict inequality), for every n E N and strictly decreasing if
Sn ' Sn+l' for every n E N. A sequence which is either increasing or decreasing is said to
be a monotonic sequence.

Section 5.3 deals with the convergence of a sequence. When a sequence ( s n ) possesses a
limit as n-+m, then it is said to be convergent. In other words, we say that a sequence
(s,,) .converges to a limit s if for a given E > 0, there exists a positive integer m such

A sequence which is not convergent is said to be a divergent sequence. This is due to the
reason that ( s, ) is unbounded or because ( s n ) does not have a unique limiting value.

We have proved that a convergent sequence is always bounded. According to Bulzano-

Weirstrass Theorem, every bounded sequence has a convergent subsequence. Similarly a
bounded and monotonic sequence is convergent.

In Section 5.4, we have discussed Cauchy's Criteria to test the convergence of a sequence
without taking the botheration of finding the limit of the sequence. Tl1i.s criteria states that
a sequence ( s n) is convergent if and only if, for an E > 0, there exists a positive integer
n1 such that
1 s, - skI < E, for a11 n, k > m ( n > k ).

Finally in section 5.5, we have discussed the algebra of convergent sequences i.e., the
sum, difference, product and the quotient of two convergent sequences is a sequence
which is convergent under certain necessary restrictions.

E 1) ii) is a subsequence o r (n) while (i) and (iii) are not subsequence of (n). .

E 2) Since d r 0, either d > - 0 or d < 0. Let us consider the case d > 0. The case d < 0 ,
% .

is si~nilarand can be proved in an analogous way.

We have to show that ( a, a+d, a+2d, ....,) is unbounded.

Clearly it is bounded bclow by a. We show that it cannot have an upper bound.

Suppose m > 0 is any nu~liber.Then, there is a number a+nd such that a+nd > In
for some n E N. TIILISthere are infinitely such ,positive integers. Hence (a, a+d,
a+2d ....) is unbounded.

E 3) i) (1, 0, 1, 0, ....) is bounded, 1 is an upper bound and 0 is a lower bound.

ii) (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, ....) is not bounded above.
iii) (1, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, .....) is not bounded above.

E 4) i) is not monotonic.
ii) is also not monotonic.
1 1 1
1+12 > -
iii) is monotonically decreasing since - 1+22. > 1+32 > - """'
iv) The sequence is monotonically increasing.
The sequence is (1, 5, 5, 7, 7, 9, 9, .....)

E 5) i) Suppose ( sn) is a monotonic increasing sequence. That is,

s, 5 s2 5 s3 5 ..",
Let ( s,,,) be a subsequence. This means that
nI < n2 < no ...
Hence s,, 5 sni I sn3< ...
Sequences &Series
[n other words, (s,,) is n~onotonicallyincreasing.
ii) Yes. Suppose ( s n ) is both an increasing slid a decreasing sequence. This means
that s, 2 s: 2 s, 2 .... and s , I. s, 5 s, s ..... By the law of trichotollly ( do you
recall it), this can happen it and only if s, = s, = s, = ..... In other words
constant sequences are the orfly sequences which are both increasing and

E 6) Proof is similar to that of Exampie 6.

E 7) We have s, 2 s, 2 s, .... and we are given that the sequence is bounded. Hence,
by the completeness axiom, the set is,. s,, ..,..I has the greatest lower bound.
Let a be the greatest lower bound. Hence sn 2 a, for eveiy n E N.

Let E > 0 be given. Then a -t E is not a lower bound of the sequence. Hence
sill L= a + E , for somr: m EN. But then a + E =- sn, 2 s , > ..... But then a - E z

sill 2 sm, .... 2 a. That is, s,, lies i n the interval ]a - E, a + E [, for all n > m. In
other words, lim sll = a.

E 8) i) We prove this by contradiction.

If possible, let s > A.
Take c = s-A.
Since ( s n ) converges to s, there exists m E N such that s - s,, / 1 <E, for all
n In.

Hence sn > s - E = A, for all n > m, which is a contradiction to the hypothesis

that: sn 5 A for all n.

ii) This is entirely analogous to Part (i). You have nlerely to reverse tlle

E 9) i) Given that ( sl,) converges to s.

~ e( ts,,~) = (s,,, s , , ~ ,sIl3,.......) be a subsequence of ( s,, ).
This means, by definition, that n, n, < n, < ......
To show that (snr)converges to s, let E > 0 be, given.
Since ( sn) converges to s, then exists m E N sucll that 1s - sll < E, wilenever /
n 2 m.
Since n, < 11, < n, < ..... is an increasing sequence of natural numbers, there is
an integer i EN such that n,, nit,, nit,, .... are all 2 m.
Hence I s - snrl < E, whenever r 2 i.
That is, ( snr)converges to s.

ii) The sL7tement is false. For instance, consider tlle sequence (1, 0, 1. 0, ...). This
sequence does not converge. However (1, 1, 1, ...) is a subsequence ~ d l i c h
converges to 1.

E 10) Given that ( s,, ) converges to s.

To show that ( I sn1 ) coilverges to 1 s I.

Let E > 0 be given.

Since ( Is,! - J S1 ( E, whenever 11 > rn,

then. "
I I sn1 - 1 s I I sn- s I . [Refer to Unit 31.
Hence, 1 i s,, 1 - ( s 1 I < whenever n > m.
Hence ( / s, I ) converges to I s 1. Sequences

The converse is not true, as you can see by considering the non-convergent
sequence (1, -1, 1, -1 ....).

E 11) A sequence ( s n) is said to diverge to -w if, given any real number k < 0, there
is ni E N such that sn k, for all n 2 m.
L,et -1 < x < 0. Then, 0 -1 ?: < 1.
Let E > 0 be given. Then
( 0 - xnI = I x '"I. NOW,
I x l " ~ i f n log 1x1 ' l o g & .
Remembering that log 1 x I < 0 sinco 0 < ( x 1 < 1. Take
log E , ,
m > ---
log 1x1
log E
Hence 10 - xn I < E , for all n > -
1% 1x1 '
Hence ( x") converges to '0.

ii) If x = -1, then the sequence becomes

(-1, 1, -1, +I, .....), which we know, oscillates finitely.
If x < -1, then (x" oscillates infinitely.

E 12) Let.lini
sn = s and n+m
l i ~ nt,, = t. Then, for E > 0,there exists integers m,, rn, EN

such that Isn- SI < E, M n > m,, and Itn - tl < E, V n > m,. Let
m = max (m,, m,). Then, for n > m, both Isn - sJ < e and Itn - t( .< E holds.
This, in term, implies

s - sn < E and t,, - t < 'E, V n > m.

Consequently, for n > m,

s'- t = (S - sn) + (tn - t) 4 (sn - tn)

< 2&,since sn- tn 5 0,

That is, s - t < 2 ~ V, E > 0. Thus, S - t I 0 or

E 13) . lirn (asn) = a s , by Theorem 11.


Similarly, lirn (Pt,) = Pt, by h he or em 11.


lirn (asn + Ptn ) = lirn (asn ) + lirn (Pt, ), by Theorem 10.

n+x n+x n+d


lirn ( -tn ) = -lim sn = -t, by Theorem 1 1.

n+m n+w

Hence, lirn ( sn - tn ) = lirn sn + lim ( -tn ) = s-t.

n+r n+s n+m

E 14) i) Let sn= n and tn = -n. .

Then (sn) diverges, ( tn) diverges, but
(sn+ t n ) is the consiant sequence (0, 0, 0, .....) which converges to 0.
Sequcnccs & Series 1
n .
ii) ~ e snt = n and tn = -

Then (sn) diverges, while ( sn t n ) is the constant sequence ( 1, 1, 1, .....) which

converges to 1.

E 15) Let I s n ( K , f o r a l l n.

let.^ < 0 be given.

Since ( tn) canverges to 0; there is m E N such that
for all n > m.
Hence, for all n > m,

Hence ( sntn) converges to 0.

6.1 Introduction
6.2 Infinite Series
6.3 Series of Positive Terms!
6.4 General Tests of Convergence
6.5 Some Special Tests of Convergence
D'Alembertls Ratio Tesl
Cauchy's Root Test
Cauchy's Integral Test
Raabe's Tcst
Ciauss's Test
6.6 Summary
6.7 Answers/Hints/Solutions

In the Unit 5, you were introduced to the notion of a real sequence and its convergence to a
limit. It was also stated that one of the main aims of discussing the real sequences and its
convergence'was to find a method of obtaining the sum of an infinite number of real
numbers. In other words, we have to give a meaning to the infinite sums of the forms

1t2+3+4+5+ .............
where the ' ..................' is interpreted to indicate the remainiae infkite number of
additions which have to be performed. The clear explanation of this concept will, then, lead
us to conclude that it is possible to achieve the addition of an infinite number of real
numbers, by using the limiting pracess of the real sequences.
To give a satisfactory meaning to-the summation of the infinite number of the terms of a
sequence, we have to define a summation which is popularly known as an infinite series.
The infinite series have been classified mainly into two categories - the positive term
series and the general Series. What are, then, the positive term series and
the general series? We shall try to find answers for these questions. T h e
summation of an infinite series of real numbers is directly connected with the convergence of
the associated real sequences. We shall, therefore, give a meaning to the term
associated sequence for an infinite series and hence its convergence which
will lead us ultimately. to find the sum of an infinite series.
Although the famous Greek philosopher and mathematician, Archimedes had summed up the
well-known Geometric Series, yet oqer results on infinite series did not appear in Europe
until the 14th century when Nicole Oresme [1330-13821showed that the Harmonic series
diverges. Since then, a lbt of work has been going on in thiS direction. There is evidence that
this type of work was known in 1ndia also as early as in 1550. Indeed, even modem work has
shown evidence of the discovery of a number of mathematical ideas pertaining to the infinite
series in China, India and Persia much before they came to be known in Europe. In the 17th
century, there seemed to be little concern for the convergence of the infinite series. But
during the 18th century, two ~rench$mathematicians D' Aleinbert and Cauchy devised
+ remarkable tests for the convergence of infinite series under certain conditions which we shall
discuss in this unit. Also, we shall discuss, in this unit, a few more tests for the