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Compute the limit:

$$\lim_{n\to\infty} \left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)\left(1+\frac{2}{n}\right)^{\frac{1}{2}}\cdots\left(1+\frac{n}{n}\right)^{\frac{1}{n}}$$

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I realise the question has been answered, but can someone please explain to me why one can't simply take the logarithm of the product, show that each term in that sum goes to zero, and conclude that the limit is 1? – Daniel Littlewood Aug 17 '12 at 10:03
@DanLitt A posteriori: because the limit is not 1. A priori: because no theorem says that the limit of some sums is the sum of the limits when the number of terms in the sums is not bounded. – Did Aug 17 '12 at 10:14
Thank you, I needed the a priori statement – Daniel Littlewood Aug 17 '12 at 10:19
$1= \lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} 1 = \lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} (\sum_{i= 1}^{n} \frac{1}{n} )= \lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} \frac{1}{n} +\lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} \frac{1}{n} \ldots \lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} \frac{1}{n} =0+0+\ldots+0 = 0$ – clark Aug 17 '12 at 11:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Note at the onset that $1+\frac{k}n\leqslant\mathrm e^{k/n}$ for every $k$ hence the $n$th product $P_n$ is such that $P_n\leqslant\mathrm e$, in particular, the sequence $(P_n)_{n\geqslant1}$ is bounded.

To show that $(P_n)_{n\geqslant1}$ actually converges and to identify its limit, note that, for every $n$, $$ \log(P_n)=\frac1n\sum\limits_{k=1}^nf\left(\frac{k}n\right), \qquad\text{with}\quad f(x)=\frac{\log(1+x)}x. $$ The function $f$ is continuous on $[0,1]$ (define $f(0)=1$) hence its Riemann sums converge to its integral and $P_n\to\mathrm e^\ell$ with $$ \ell=\int_0^1f(x)\mathrm dx=\int_0^1\left(\sum_{n\geqslant1}(-1)^{n+1}\frac{x^{n-1}}n\right)\mathrm dx=\sum_{n\geqslant1}\frac{(-1)^{n+1}}{n^2}=\frac{\pi^2}{12}. $$

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Thanks for your nice answer. The integral way seems to be very useful here. – OFFSHARING Aug 17 '12 at 9:46
in fact, on the second line you already have a Riemann sum and that is $-Li_{2}(-1)=\frac{\pi^2}{12}$. Oh, I missed this nice point :( – OFFSHARING Aug 17 '12 at 9:52
+1: nice! (and nontrivial) – Fabian Aug 17 '12 at 12:21
I got $\frac 4 e$ for the answer and Wolfram Alpha agrees. Shouldn't $f$ be $f(x) = \ln (1+x)$? – Ennar Jul 23 at 15:35
@Ennar No. You misread $(1+k/n)^{1/\color{red}{n}}$ for $(1+k/n)^{1/\color{red}{k}}$. – Did Jul 23 at 15:39

The limit is $+\infty$: Let's call $P_n = \displaystyle\prod_{i=1}^n(1+\frac{i}{n})^{\frac{1}{i}}$, and $S_n=\ln P_n = \displaystyle\sum_{i=1}^n\frac{1}{i}\ln(1+\frac{i}{n})$.

Then you have $S_n-S_{[\frac{n}{2}]}=\displaystyle\sum_{i\geq\frac{n}{2}}^n\frac{1}{i}ln(1+\frac{i}{n})\geq[\frac{n}{2}]\times\frac{1}{n}\times\ln(1+\frac{\frac{n}{2}}{n})\rightarrow \frac{1}{2}\ln(\frac{3}{2})\neq 0$ which means that $S_n$ diverges (if $(S_n)$ had a limit , $S_n - S_{[\frac{n}{2}]}$ would go to $0$).

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it's not $\infty$. See did's answer. – OFFSHARING Aug 17 '12 at 10:04
a short practical computational checkout (for instance Pari/GP) should have made that wrong answer not appear... – Gottfried Helms Aug 17 '12 at 10:10

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