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You are on page 1of 9

Arjun Muralidharan

Mr. Acre

AP Calculus

10 April 2017

Sequences and series play an important role in our life. We often follow a sequence in

our daily routine: waking up, brushing our teeth, taking a shower, etc. We often watch episodes

of television series in sequence: episode 1, then episode 2, and then episode 3, etc. Even in

mathematics, especially in the world of calculus, they play an integral role in helping to

defined as the sum of these terms. For example in the list, {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}, there is a set pattern as

the terms are continually being added one which leads to a sequence. The 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are the

terms of the sequence. Meanwhile, the series for this list would be 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 and the sum

would be 15. Though sequences and series are very similar as both use the same set of numbers,

A series is often given the property to either converge or diverge. Convergence means

that the value of the series will get closer and closer to a specific limit. When a series converges,

the sum of the terms, as it approaches an infinite amount of terms, comes closer to a specific

limit. When a series is said to diverge, the sum, as the series approaches infinity, keeps getting

Muralidharan 2

1

larger and larger and does not reach a specific limit. For example, take the series of n4

and

n=1

1

n

in which one convergences and the other diverges.

n=1

1 1 1 1 1

n4

=1+ 16

+ 81

+ 256

+ 625

+ ... The sum converges to a specific limit: 1.08232323...

n=1

1 1 1 1 1

n

= 1+ 2

+ 3

+ 4

+ 5

+ ... The sum diverges as the terms, when added, gets larger and larger.

n=1

1

corresponding series diverges. Take the sequence and the series of n

. For the sequence, as n

approaches infinity, the individual terms get closer and closer to zero ( 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , ... ), and so it

1

converges. For the series, the sum of n

diverges as the small terms are infinitely added together

In the land of series and sequences, there exists two important series: the Taylor and

Maclaurin series. These two series show that every function can be derived into an infinite

polynomial which can approximate the value of the function. The Taylor series approximates the

function centered around a certain point a. However, when a Taylor series is centered around

0, a = 0, it is known as a Maclaurin series. The general form of the Taylor series centered about x

= a is:

f (a)(x

2!

a)2 + 1

f (a)(x

3!

a)3 + ... + 1 n

n!

f (a)(x a)n

The Taylor series includes the multiple derivatives of the original functions and

multiplies with the x value subtracted by the a value to the value of the term.

Muralidharan 3

For example, say we have to derive a 4th degree Taylor series for the function, f(x) =

15x5 about a = 1. First, the original function is derived multiple times (four times specifically as

the fourth degree is required) and the values of each derivative at x = 5 is computed.

15x5 = 15 + 75(x 1) + ( 1

2!

)150(x 1)2 + ( 1

3!

)150(x 1)3 + ( 1

4!

)75(x 1)4

Now, lets say we wanted to find a third degree Maclaurin series for the function, f(x) =

cos(x). Same as the Taylor series, the first step would be to derive the original function multiple

times. Then, since a Maclaurin series is centered about a = 0, the x value of 0 is substituted in for

the derivatives.

cos(x) = 1 + 0(x 0) + 1

2!

( 1)(x 0)2 + 0(x 3)3 cos(x) = 1 + 1

2!

( 1)(x)2

In both the Taylor and Maclaurin series, the more terms used, the closer the

Muralidharan 4

When finding the approximation of a series to a certain degree, there will always be an

error from the true value of the original function because it is only an estimation. There are three

main methods of calculating the error: actually computing the error, the LaGrange error, and the

alternating series error. For example, lets use the 10th partial sum of the Maclaurin series to

estimate e5. This can be done by substituting 5 for x into the closed form for e5.

9

ex = 1

n!

xn e5 1

n!

5n 143.68945657...

n=0 n=0

Since the 10th partial sum is only an estimate, the actual error from the estimate can be

found by taking the real value of e5 and subtracting it from the estimated value.

E rror = 4.7237025...

The next method is the LaGrange error, which is the worst case scenario or the largest

value of the tail of the series which is the error. This means that the LaGrange error is always

bigger than the actual error. The LaGrange error bound can be calculated by:

f (n+1) (z)(xa)n+1

Rn(x) (n+1)!

The variable z is a number between x and a, which can be substituted in for f (n+1) (z ) to

find the greatest number to find the largest error. The LaGrange error can be calculated using the

previous example of estimating e5 with the 10th partial sum of the Maclaurin series.

Rn(x) (n+1)! Rn(x) (9+1)! Rn(x) (10)!

e5 (5)10

Rn(x) (10)!

Muralidharan 5

The final method is the alternating series error. This method works with an alternating

series, a series where the terms alternate between positive and negative terms. The alternating

series error is the absolute value of the first term of the tail. For example, lets find the error of

1 1 1 3 1 5 1 7

sin(x) 1!

x 3!

x + 5!

x 7!

x sin(3) 1

1!

1

3!

(33 ) + 1

5!

(35 ) 1

7!

(37 )

Since the fourth partial sum is used, the first term of the tail would be the fifth term of the series.

9!

x = 1

9!

(3)9 = 0.05424107

Muralidharan 6

~~~Sample Problems~~~

1. The function, f, is defined by the power series for all real numbers x for which the series

converges.

f (x) = 1 + (x + 1) + (x + 1)2 + ... + (x + 1)n + ... = (x + 1)n

n=0

| (x+1)n+1 |

i) lim | (x+1)n | = (x+1)

n | |

ii) -1 < x + 1 < 1 -2 < x < 0

iii) Test endpoints! ( 2 + 1)n and (0 + 1)n diverges (by the nth term test), so

n=0 n=0

b) The power series above is the Taylor series for f about x = -1. Find the sum of the series

for f.

i) (x + 1)n has a common ratio of x+1!

n=0

1 1 1

ii) Sum of geometric series = 1r 1(x+1) = x

x

c) Let g be the function defined by g (x) = f (t)dt. Find the value of g(-0.5), if it exists, or

1

1

i) f(t) = (x + 1)n = x

n=0

0.5

ii) g ( 0.5) = ( x1 )dt = ln|x| |0.5 0.5

1 = ln( 0.5) ln( 1) = ln( 1 ) = 0.693147

1

Muralidharan 7

d) Let h be the function defined by h(x) = f(x2-1). Find the first three nonzero terms and the

general term of the Taylor series for h about x = 0. Find the value of h(0.5).

2

ii) h(x) = f (x2 1) = 1 + (x2 1 + 1) + (x2 1 + 1) + ...

iii) h(0.5) = 0.52n = 1.3333

n=0

n3/2 + 1

a) 5n2 + 7

n=0

n3/2 + 1 n3/2 1

i) 5n2 + 7

5n2

5n0.5

n=0 n=0 n=0

ii) P-series Test! Follows n1p form, and if p < 1, the series diverges.

iv) Diverges!

b) ( 1)n 1

ln(n)

= 1.4427 - 0.9102 + 0.7213 - 0.6213

n=2

iv) lim 1 =0

n ln(n)

n

c) ( 1)n ( 43 )

n=0

Muralidharan 8

4 4

iii) r= 3

& 3

>1, so the series diverges!

(2x)n

n+1

n=0

| n+1

n + 1| | (2x) n+1

n + 1| | n + 1|

lim | (n(2x) n lim |

(2x) |

n lim (2x)

(2x) |

2x lim || nn ++ 21 || =

n | + 1) + 1 |n (n + 2) | | n | n + 2| n

2x 1 = 2x

1 1

1 < 2x < 1 2

<x< 2

1

Time to test the endpoints! Substitute in 2

& 12 for x in the original series.

n

(2 1 ) (1)n 1 1 1

n+1

2

n+1 = 1 2 + 3 4 + ...

n=0 n=0

Strictly decreasing

1

lim =0

n n + 1

n

(2 12) (1)n 1 1 1

n+1 n+1 = 1+ 2 + 3 + 4 + ...

n=0 n=0

1 1 1 1

Directly compare to the harmonic series ( n

=1+ 2

+ 3

+ 4

+ ... )

Muralidharan 9

1

The interval of convergences is: [ 1 1

2 , 2) 2

x < 12

4. Write the 5th partial sum of the power series for ex . Use this partial sum to approximate e0.1

1 2 1 3 1 4

ex = 1 + x + 2!

x + 3!

x + 4!

x

e0.1 = 1 + 0.1 + 1

2!

(0.1)2 + 1

3!

(0.1)3 + 1

4!

(0.1)4 = 1.105170833

The actual value of e0.1 was subtracted by the estimated value of the fifth partial sum of the

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