Questions about evaluating summations, especially finite summations. For infinite series, please consider the (sequences-and-series) tag instead.

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245
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15answers
28k views

Why does $1+2+3+\cdots = -\frac{1}{12}$?

$\displaystyle\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^s}$ only converges to $\zeta(s)$ if $\text{Re}(s) > 1$. Why should analytically continuing to $\zeta(-1)$ give the right answer?
234
votes
8answers
15k views

The length of toilet roll

Fun with Math time. My mom gave me a roll of toilet paper to put it in the bathroom, and looking at it I immediately wondered about this: is it possible, through very simple math, to calculate (with ...
97
votes
21answers
7k views

Proving the identity $\sum_{k=1}^n {k^3} = \big(\sum_{k=1}^n k\big)^2$ without induction

I recently proved that $$ \sum_{k=1}^n k^3 = \left(\sum_{k=1}^n k \right)^2 $$ Using mathematical induction. I'm interested if there's an intuitive explanation, or even a combinatorial ...
82
votes
23answers
12k views

Can an infinite sum of irrational numbers be rational?

Let $S = \sum_ {k=1}^\infty a_k $ where each $a_k$ is positive and irrational. Is it possible for $S$ to be rational, considering the additional restriction that non of the $a_k$'s is a linear ...
81
votes
13answers
16k views

How to find a general sum formula for the series: 5+55+555+5555+…?

I have a question about finding the sum formula of n-th terms. Here's the series: $5+55+555+5555$+...... What is the general formula to find the sum of n-th terms? My attempts: I think I need to ...
75
votes
5answers
15k views

Value of $\sum\limits_n x^n$

Why does the following hold: \begin{equation*} \displaystyle \sum\limits_{n=0}^{\infty} 0.7^n=\frac{1}{1-0.7} = 10/3 ? \end{equation*} Can we generalize the above to $\displaystyle \sum_{n=0}^{\...
67
votes
4answers
5k views

$x$, $y$, $x+y$ and $x-y$ are prime numbers. What is their sum?

Here is the question: The $x$, $y$, $x−y$ and $x+y$ are all positive prime integers. What is the sum of all the four integers? Well, I just put some values and I got the answer. $x=5$, $y=2$, $x-...
64
votes
27answers
20k views

Prove that $\sum\limits_{k=1}^nk^2 = \frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$?

I am just starting into calculus and I have a question about the following statement I encountered while learning about definite integrals: $$\sum_{k=1}^n k^2 = \frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$$ I really ...
50
votes
4answers
7k views

The sum of an uncountable number of positive numbers

Claim:If $(x_\alpha)_{\alpha\in A}$ is a collection of real numbers $x_\alpha\in [0,\infty]$ such that $\sum_{\alpha\in A}x_\alpha<\infty$, then $x_\alpha=0$ for all but at most countably many $\...
48
votes
16answers
4k views

How can you prove that $1+ 5+ 9 + \cdots +(4n-3) = 2n^{2} - n$ without using induction?

Using mathematical induction, I have proved that $$1+ 5+ 9 + \cdots +(4n-3) = 2n^{2} - n$$ for every integer $n > 0$. I would like to know if there is another way of proving this result ...
47
votes
2answers
4k views

Identity for convolution of central binomial coefficients: $\sum_{k=0}^n \binom{2k}{k}\binom{2(n-k)}{n-k}=2^{2n}$

It's not difficult to show that $$(1-z^2)^{-1/2}=\sum_{n=0}^\infty \binom{2n}{n}2^{-2n}z^{2n}$$ On the other hand, we have $(1-z^2)^{-1}=\sum z^{2n}$. Squaring the first power series and comparing ...
45
votes
4answers
8k views

How can we sum up $\sin$ and $\cos$ series when the angles are in arithmetic progression?

How can we sum up $\sin$ and $\cos$ series when the angles are in arithmetic progression? For example here is the sum of $\cos$ series: $$\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}\cos (a+k \cdot d) =\frac{\sin(n \times \frac{...
44
votes
1answer
2k views

Is $\sqrt1+\sqrt2+\dots+\sqrt n$ ever an integer?

Related: Can a sum of square roots be an integer? Except for the obvious cases $n=0,1$, are there any values of $n$ such that $\sum_{k=1}^n\sqrt k$ is an integer? How does one even approach such a ...
43
votes
2answers
1k views

Xmas Greeting 2015

Simplify the expression below into a seasonal greeting using commonly-used symbols in commonly-used formulas in maths and physics. Colours are purely ornamental! $$\large \begin{align} \frac{ \color{...
42
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does this ratio of sums of square roots equal $1+\sqrt2+\sqrt{4+2\sqrt2}=\cot\frac\pi{16}$ for any natural number $n$?

Why is the following function $f(n)$ constant for any natural number $n$? $$f(n)=\frac{\sum_{k=1}^{n^2+2n}\sqrt{\sqrt{2n+2}+{\sqrt{n+1+\sqrt k}}}}{\sum_{k=1}^{n^2+2n}\sqrt{\sqrt{2n+2}-{\sqrt{n+1+\...
42
votes
2answers
1k views

Geometric interpretation for sum of fourth powers

Summing the first $n$ first powers of natural numbers: $$\sum_{k=1}^nk=\frac12n(n+1)$$ and there is a geometric proof involving two copies of a 2D representation of $(1+2+\cdots+n)$ that form a $n\...
38
votes
3answers
821 views

Calculate the following infinite sum in a closed form $\sum_{n=1}^\infty(n\ \text{arccot}\ n-1)$?

Is it possible to calculate the following infinite sum in a closed form? If yes, please point me to the right direction. $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty(n\ \text{arccot}\ n-1)$$
37
votes
25answers
35k views

Proof for formula for sum of sequence $1+2+3+\ldots+n$?

Apparently $1+2+3+4+\ldots+n = \dfrac{n\times(n+1)}2$. How? What's the proof? Or maybe it is self apparent just looking at the above? PS: This problem is know as "The sum of the first $n$ positive ...
37
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it possible to write a sum as an integral to solve it?

I was wondering, for example, Can: $$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{(3n-1)(3n+2)}$$ Be written as an Integral? To solve it. I am NOT talking about a method for using tricks with integrals. But ...
36
votes
4answers
839 views

$\lfloor \sqrt n+\sqrt {n+1}+\sqrt{n+2}+\sqrt{n+3}+\sqrt{n+4}\rfloor=\lfloor\sqrt {25n+49}\rfloor$ is true?

I found the following relational expression by using computer: For any natural number $n$, $$\lfloor \sqrt n+\sqrt {n+1}+\sqrt{n+2}+\sqrt{n+3}+\sqrt{n+4}\rfloor=\lfloor\sqrt {25n+49}\rfloor.$$ Note ...
36
votes
4answers
988 views

Proving $\sum_{n=-\infty}^\infty e^{-\pi n^2} = \frac{\sqrt[4] \pi}{\Gamma\left(\frac 3 4\right)}$

Wikipedia informs me that $$S = \vartheta(0;i)=\sum_{n=-\infty}^\infty e^{-\pi n^2} = \frac{\sqrt[4] \pi}{\Gamma\left(\frac 3 4\right)}$$ I tried considering $f(x,n) = e^{-x n^2}$ so that its ...
35
votes
9answers
2k views

Is difference of two consecutive sums of consecutive integers (of the same length) always square?

I am an amateur who has been pondering the following question. If there is a name for this or more information about anyone who has postulated this before, I would be interested about reading up on it....
34
votes
6answers
1k views

Infinite Series $‎\sum_{n=2}^{\infty}\frac{\zeta(n)}{k^n}$

‎If $f\left(z \right)=\sum_{n=2}^{\infty}a_{n}z^n$ and $\sum_{n=2}^{\infty}|a_n|$ converges then‎, $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}f\left(\frac{1}{n}\right)=\sum_{n=2}^{\infty}a_n\zeta\left(n\right)‎.$$ ‎Since ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

Identity involving Euler's totient function: $\sum \limits_{k=1}^n \left\lfloor \frac{n}{k} \right\rfloor \varphi(k) = \frac{n(n+1)}{2}$

Let $\varphi(n)$ be Euler's totient function, the number of positive integers less than or equal to $n$ and relatively prime to $n$. Challenge: Prove $$\sum_{k=1}^n \left\lfloor \frac{n}{k} \right\...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the sum of the inverses of the sums of the primes converge?

$$\sum_{m=0}^∞ \frac{1}{\sum_{n=0}^m p_n} = \frac{1}{2} + \frac{1}{5} + \frac{1}{10} + \frac{1}{17} ... $$ Where $p_n$ is the $n$th prime number, does $\sum_{m=0}^∞ \frac{1}{\sum_{n=0}^m p_n}$ ...
33
votes
10answers
10k views

Proving $1^3+ 2^3 + \cdots + n^3 = \left(\frac{n(n+1)}{2}\right)^2$ using induction

How can I prove that $$1^3+ 2^3 + \cdots + n^3 = \left(\frac{n(n+1)}{2}\right)^2$$ for all $n \in \mathbb{N}$? I am looking for a proof using mathematical induction. Thanks
33
votes
1answer
978 views

Finding the sum- $x+x^{2}+x^{4}+x^{8}+x^{16}\cdots$

If $S = x+x^{2}+x^{4}+x^{8}+x^{16}\cdots$ Find S. Note:This is not a GP series.The powers are in GP. My Attempts so far: 1)If $S(x)=x+x^{2}+x^{4}+x^{8}+x^{16}\cdots$ Then $$S(x)-S(x^{2})=x$$ ...
33
votes
3answers
813 views

Interesting representation of $e^x$

So I discovered the following formula by using the Taylor series for $\ln (x+1)$ $$x= \ln (x+1)+\frac{1}{2}\ln(x^2+1)-\frac{1}{3}\ln(x^3+1)+\frac{1}{2}\ln(x^4+1)-\frac{1}{5}\ln(x^5+1)-\frac{1}{6}\ln(x^...
32
votes
5answers
12k views

What is the term for a factorial type operation, but with summation instead of products?

(Pardon if this seems a bit beginner, this is my first post in math - trying to improve my knowledge while tackling Project Euler problems) I'm aware of Sigma notation, but is there a function/name ...
32
votes
4answers
1k views

Is $\sum_{k=1}^{m-1}\frac{1}{\sin^2\frac{k\pi}{m}}=\frac{m^2-1}{3}$ true for $m\in\mathbb N$?

Question : Is the following true for any $m\in\mathbb N$? $$\begin{align}\sum_{k=1}^{m-1}\frac{1}{\sin^2\frac{k\pi}{m}}=\frac{m^2-1}{3}\qquad(\star)\end{align}$$ Motivation : I reached $(\star)$ ...
32
votes
3answers
14k views

$\sum k! = 1! +2! +3! + \cdots + n!$ ,is there a generic formula for this?

I came across a question where I needed to find the sum of the factorials of the first $n$ numbers. So I was wondering if there is any generic formula for this? Like there is a generic formula for ...
31
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does Wolframalpha think that this sum converges?

Looking at the sum: $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\tan\left(\frac\pi{2^n}\right)$$ I'd say that it does not converge, because for $n=1$ the tangent $\tan\left(\frac\pi 2\right)$ should be undefined. But ...
31
votes
9answers
3k views

why is $\sum\limits_{k=1}^{n} k^m$ a polynomial with degree $m+1$ in $n$

why is $\sum\limits_{k=1}^{n} k^m$ a polynomial with degree $m+1$ in $n$? I know this is well-known. But how to prove it rigorously? Even mathematical induction does not seem so straight-forward. ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

Xmas Combinatorics 2014

Inspired the various** algebraic X'mas greetings sent to me over the festive period, I thought I would try to devise one of my own. $$\Large \color{red}{\sum_{i=a-1}^{r-1}}\color{green}{\sum_{j=s-1}^...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

An inequality: $1+\frac1{2^2}+\frac1{3^2}+\dotsb+\frac1{n^2}\lt\frac53$

$n$ is a positive integer, then $$1+\frac1{2^2}+\frac1{3^2}+\dotsb+\frac1{n^2}\lt\frac53.$$ please don't refer to the famous $1+\frac1{2^2}+\frac1{3^2}+\dotsb=\frac{\pi^2}6$. I want to find a ...
29
votes
4answers
20k views

Combinatorial proof of summation of $\sum_{k = 0}^n {n \choose k}^2= {2n \choose n}$

Can you guys help me prove this? There is a way of proving this logically but I was hoping to find a more "mathematical" proof, if possible. $$\displaystyle \sum_{k = 0}^n {n \choose k}^2= {2n \...
29
votes
2answers
754 views

If $\left(1^a+2^a+\cdots+n^{a}\right)^b=1^c+2^c+\cdots+n^c$ for some $n$, then $(a,b,c)=(1,2,3)$?

Question : Is the following conjecture true? Conjecture : Let $a,b(\ge 2),c,n(\ge 2)$ be natural numbers. If $$\left(\sum_{k=1}^nk^a\right)^b=\sum_{k=1}^nk^c\ \ \ \ \ \cdots(\star)$$ for some $n$, ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

How find this sum $\sum\limits_{n=0}^{\infty}\frac{1}{(3n+1)(3n+2)(3n+3)}$

Find this sum $$I=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\dfrac{1}{(3n+1)(3n+2)(3n+3)}$$ My try: let $$f(x)=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\dfrac{x^{3n+3}}{(3n+1)(3n+2)(3n+3)},|x|\le 1$$ then we have $$f^{(3)}(x)=\sum_{n=...
27
votes
2answers
809 views

Proof or derivation of this identity $\lim_{n\to \infty}{\frac1{2^n}\sum_{k=0}^n\binom{n}{k}\frac{an+bk}{cn+dk}}\;\stackrel?=\;\frac{2a+b}{2c+d}$?

I just came up with the following identity while solving some combinatorial problem but not sure if it's correct. I've done some numerical computations and they coincide. $$\lim_{n\to \infty}{\frac{1}{...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you calculate a sum over a polynomial?

I know that given a polynomial $p(i)$ of degree $d$, the sum $\sum_{i=0}^n p(i)$ would have a degree of $d + 1$. So for example $$ \sum_{i=0}^n \left(2i^2 + 4\right) = \frac{2}{3}n^3+n^2+\frac{13}{3}...
25
votes
2answers
528 views

$\pi$ in terms of $4$?

I'm trying to define $\pi$ in terms of $4$ by placing a unit circle inside a square, and subtracting the corners of the square. I'm attempting to use summation to define the area of a corner, then ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

What is $\sum\limits_{i=1}^n \sqrt i\ $?

What is $\sum\limits_{i=1}^n\sqrt i\ $? Also I noticed that $\sum\limits_{i=1}^ni^k=P(n)$ where $k$ is a natural number and $P$ is a polynomial of degree $k+1$. Does that also hold for any real ...
24
votes
1answer
709 views

Simplify $\left({\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10+{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}\right)\left({\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10-{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}\right)^{-1}$

Simplify $$\frac{\displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10+{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}{\displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10-{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}$$ I don't have any good idea. I need your help.
23
votes
3answers
778 views

Finding the value of $\sum\limits_{k=0}^{\infty}\frac{2^{k}}{2^{2^{k}}+1}$

Does this weighted sum of reciprocals of Fermat numbers, $$ F=\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}\dfrac{2^{k}}{2^{2^{k}}+1} $$ have a nice closed form? Wolfram says it's $1$. Thanks.
23
votes
4answers
919 views

How close can $\sum_{k=1}^n \sqrt{k}$ be to an integer?

How close can $S(n) = \sum_{k=1}^n \sqrt{k}$ be to an integer? Is there some $f(n)$ such that, if $I(x)$ is the closest integer to $x$, then $|S(n)-I(S(n))|\ge f(n)$ (such as $1/n^2$, $e^{-n}$, ...). ...
23
votes
2answers
502 views

How to prove $\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{1}{1+n^2} = \frac{\pi+1}{2}+\frac{\pi}{e^{2\pi}-1}$

How can we prove the following $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \dfrac{1}{1+n^2} = \dfrac{\pi+1}{2}+\dfrac{\pi}{e^{2\pi}-1}$$ I tried using partial fraction and the famous result $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \...
23
votes
1answer
653 views

Is this algebraic identity obvious? $\sum_{i=1}^n \prod_{j\neq i} {\lambda_j\over \lambda_j-\lambda_i}=1$

If $\lambda_1,\dots,\lambda_n$ are distinct positive real numbers, then $$\sum_{i=1}^n \prod_{j\neq i} {\lambda_j\over \lambda_j-\lambda_i}=1.$$ This identity follows from a probability calculation ...
23
votes
4answers
609 views

How find this sum $I_n=\sum_{k=0}^{n}\frac{H_{k+1}H_{n-k+1}}{k+2}$

$$I_n=\sum_{k=0}^{n}\dfrac{H_{k+1}H_{n-k+1}}{k+2}$$ where $$H_{n}=1+\dfrac{1}{2}+\cdots+\dfrac{1}{n}$$ my try:since $$I_n=\dfrac{1+\dfrac{1}{2}+\cdots+\dfrac{1}{n+1}}{2}+\dfrac{\left(1+\dfrac{1}{2}\...
22
votes
3answers
699 views

A (probably trivial) induction problem: $\sum_2^nk^{-2}\lt1$

So I'm a bit stuck on the following problem I'm attempting to solve. Essentially, I'm required to prove that $\frac{1}{2^2}+\frac{1}{3^2}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n^2} < 1$ for all $n$. I've been toiling ...
22
votes
3answers
622 views

Closed form for $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^n n^4 H_n}{2^n}$

Please help me to find a closed form for the sum $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^n n^4 H_n}{2^n},$$ where $H_n$ are harmonic numbers: $$H_n=\sum_{k=1}^n\frac{1}{k}=\frac{\Gamma'(n+1)}{n!}+\gamma.$$