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Muralidharan 1

Arjun Muralidharan

Mr. Acre

AP Calculus

10 April 2017

Seductive Sequences & Stimulating Series

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

determine the values of functions.

A sequence is formally defined as an ordered list of number or terms, while a series is

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,

but both produce different values and uses.

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
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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

A phenomenon sometimes occurs where a sequence of terms converges while the


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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

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converges. For the series, the sum of n
diverges as the small terms are infinitely added together

to continually to increase the sum as the number of terms approach infinite.

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 (x) = f (a) + f (a)(x a) + 1


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.
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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.

f(x) = 15x5 f(1) = 15

f(x) = 75x4 f(1) = 75

f(x) = 300x3 f(1) = 300

f(x) = 900x2 f(1) = 900

f 4 (x) = 1800x f 4 (1) = 1800

Then, each value is substituted in the original Taylor series form.

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.

f(x) = cos(x) f(0) = 1

f(x) = -sin(x) f(0) = 0

f(x) = -cos(x) f(0) = -1

f(x) = sin(x) f(0) = 0

Finally, each value is substituted in the original Taylor series form as a = 0.

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

approximation will be to the actual value.


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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.

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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 = | Real V alue Estimate | = |e5 143.68945657...|

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.

f (n+1) (z)(xa)n+1 f (9+1) (5)(50)9+1 f (10) (5)(5)10


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

e5 (5)10
Rn(x) (10)!

E rror bound 399.40125


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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

using the fourth partial sum of sin(3).


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.

First term of the tail = 1 9


9!
x = 1
9!
(3)9 = 0.05424107
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~~~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

a) Find the interval of convergence of the power series for f. Justify.

| (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

interval of convergence is 2 < x < 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
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explain why g(-0.5) cannot be determined.



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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
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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).

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


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

h(x) = 1 + (x2 ) + (x4 ) + ...



iii) h(0.5) = 0.52n = 1.3333
n=0

2. Which of the following series diverges? Test used?



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.

iii) P = 0.5 which is < 1

iv) Diverges!

b) ( 1)n 1
ln(n)
= 1.4427 - 0.9102 + 0.7213 - 0.6213
n=2

i) Alternating Series Test!

ii) Terms alternating (+, -, +, -)

iii) Strictly decreasing (0.9102 < 1.4427)

iv) lim 1 =0
n ln(n)

v) Does not diverge, but instead it converges!



n
c) ( 1)n ( 43 )
n=0
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i) Geometric Series Test!

ii) If the ratio is greater than 1, then the series diverges.


4 4
iii) r= 3
& 3
>1, so the series diverges!

3. Find the interval of convergence. Be sure to check endpoints.



(2x)n
n+1
n=0

Limit Comparison Test:

| 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

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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

Alternating series test:

Terms alternating Converges!

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

Direct comparison test:


1 1 1 1
Directly compare to the harmonic series ( n
=1+ 2
+ 3
+ 4
+ ... )

Since the harmonic series, so does the series! Diverges!


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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

. Discuss the error in your estimate.


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

Actual value: e0.1 = 1.1051709180

Error: |1.1051709180 1.105170833| = 8.4742210-8

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

power series for ex , and there was an error of 0.0000000847422.