Questions tagged [sequences-and-series]

For questions concerning sequences and series. Typical questions concern, but are not limited to: identifying sequences, identifying terms, recurrence relations, $\epsilon-N$ proofs of convergence, convergence tests, finding closed forms for sums. For questions on finite sums, use the (summation) tag instead.

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427 votes
23 answers
66k views

How can I evaluate $\sum_{n=0}^\infty(n+1)x^n$?

How can I evaluate $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{2n}{3^{n+1}}$$? I know the answer thanks to Wolfram Alpha, but I'm more concerned with how I can derive that answer. It cites tests to prove that it is ...
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  • 4,485
789 votes
49 answers
124k views

Different methods to compute $\sum\limits_{k=1}^\infty \frac{1}{k^2}$ (Basel problem)

As I have heard people did not trust Euler when he first discovered the formula (solution of the Basel problem) $$\zeta(2)=\sum_{k=1}^\infty \frac{1}{k^2}=\frac{\pi^2}{6}.$$ However, Euler was Euler ...
82 votes
5 answers
20k views

$\sqrt{c+\sqrt{c+\sqrt{c+\cdots}}}$, or the limit of the sequence $x_{n+1} = \sqrt{c+x_n}$

(Fitzpatrick Advanced Calculus 2e, Sec. 2.4 #12) For $c \gt 0$, consider the quadratic equation $x^2 - x - c = 0, x > 0$. Define the sequence $\{x_n\}$ recursively by fixing $|x_1| \lt c$ and ...
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  • 965
132 votes
7 answers
66k views

Values of $\sum_{n=0}^\infty x^n$ and $\sum_{n=0}^N x^n$

Why does the following hold: \begin{equation*} \displaystyle \sum\limits_{n=0}^{\infty} 0.7^n=\frac{1}{1-0.7} = 10/3\quad ? \end{equation*} Can we generalize the above to $\displaystyle \sum_{n=...
130 votes
35 answers
287k views

Proof $1+2+3+4+\cdots+n = \frac{n\times(n+1)}2$

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 known as "The sum of the first $n$ positive ...
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  • 1,467
138 votes
32 answers
75k views

Sum of First $n$ Squares Equals $\frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$

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 ...
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  • 1,733
251 votes
9 answers
29k views

Evaluating $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty} e^{-n} \sum\limits_{k=0}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$

I'm supposed to calculate: $$\lim_{n\to\infty} e^{-n} \sum_{k=0}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$$ By using WolframAlpha, I might guess that the limit is $\frac{1}{2}$, which is a pretty interesting and nice ...
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  • 43.2k
72 votes
12 answers
8k views

The limit of truncated sums of harmonic series, $\lim\limits_{k\to\infty}\sum_{n=k+1}^{2k}{\frac{1}{n}}$

What is the sum of the 'second half' of the harmonic series? $$\lim_{k\to\infty}\sum\limits_{n=k+1}^{2k}{\frac{1}{n}} =~ ?$$ More precisely, what is the limit of the above sequence of partial sums?
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31 votes
3 answers
14k views

Prove convergence of the sequence $(z_1+z_2+\cdots + z_n)/n$ of Cesaro means [duplicate]

Prove that if $\lim_{n \to \infty}z_{n}=A$ then: $$\lim_{n \to \infty}\frac{z_{1}+z_{2}+\cdots + z_{n}}{n}=A$$ I was thinking spliting it in: $$(z_{1}+z_{2}+\cdots+z_{N-1})+(z_{N}+z_{N+1}+\cdots+z_{n}...
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  • 1,307
38 votes
3 answers
6k views

On Cesàro convergence: If $ x_n \to x $ then $ z_n = \frac{x_1 + \dots +x_n}{n} \to x $

I have this problem I'm working on. Hints are much appreciated (I don't want complete proof): In a normed vector space, if $ x_n \longrightarrow x $ then $ z_n = \frac{x_1 + \dots +x_n}{n} \...
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30 votes
7 answers
3k views

Given $y_n=(1+\frac{1}{n})^{n+1}$ show that $\lbrace y_n \rbrace$ is a decreasing sequence

Given $$ y_n=\left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^{n+1}\hspace{-6mm},\qquad n \in \mathbb{N}, \quad n \geq 1. $$ Show that $\lbrace y_n \rbrace$ is a decreasing sequence. Anyone can help ? I consider the ...
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  • 14.1k
33 votes
7 answers
2k views

Calculating $1+\frac13+\frac{1\cdot3}{3\cdot6}+\frac{1\cdot3\cdot5}{3\cdot6\cdot9}+\frac{1\cdot3\cdot5\cdot7}{3\cdot6\cdot9\cdot12}+\dots? $

How to find infinite sum How to find infinite sum $$1+\dfrac13+\dfrac{1\cdot3}{3\cdot6}+\dfrac{1\cdot3\cdot5}{3\cdot6\cdot9}+\dfrac{1\cdot3\cdot5\cdot7}{3\cdot6\cdot9\cdot12}+\dots? $$ I can see that ...
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  • 6,383
46 votes
5 answers
12k views

Find the sum of $\sum \frac{1}{k^2 - a^2}$ when $0<a<1$

So I have been trying for a few days to figure out the sum of $$ S = \sum_{k=1}^\infty \frac{1}{k^2 - a^2} $$ where $a \in (0,1)$. So far from my nummerical analysis and CAS that this sum equals $$ ...
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177 votes
27 answers
17k 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 interpretation ...
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28 votes
3 answers
18k views

I have a problem understanding the proof of Rencontres numbers (Derangements)

I understand the whole concept of Rencontres numbers but I can't understand how to prove this equation $$D_{n,0}=\left[\frac{n!}{e}\right]$$ where $[\cdot]$ denotes the rounding function (i.e., $[x]$...
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  • 383
155 votes
25 answers
27k views

Why does the series $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1n$ not converge?

Can someone give a simple explanation as to why the harmonic series $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1n=\frac 1 1 + \frac 12 + \frac 13 + \cdots $$ doesn't converge, on the other hand it grows very slowly?...
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  • 8,461
13 votes
4 answers
9k views

Formula for calculating $\sum_{n=0}^{m}nr^n$

I want to know the general formula for $\sum_{n=0}^{m}nr^n$ for some constant r and how it is derived. For example, when r = 2, the formula is given by: $\sum_{n=0}^{m}n2^n = 2(m2^m - 2^m +1)$ ...
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  • 2,245
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

The limit of a sum $\sum_{k=1}^n \frac{n}{n^2+k^2}$ as $n\rightarrow\infty$ [closed]

How to compute this limit: $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\left(\frac{n}{n^2+1^2}+\frac{n}{n^2+2^2}+\cdots+\frac{n}{n^2+n^2}\right)$$ Please give me some hint.
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  • 321
98 votes
16 answers
43k views

If $(a_n)\subset[0,\infty)$ is non-increasing and $\sum a_n<\infty$, then $\lim{n a_n} = 0$

I'm studying for qualifying exams and ran into this problem. Show that if $\{a_n\}$ is a nonincreasing sequence of positive real numbers such that $\sum_n a_n$ converges, then $\lim_{n \rightarrow \...
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  • 4,356
44 votes
8 answers
4k views

How to prove $\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{n^2}{2^n} = 6$?

I'd like to find out why \begin{align} \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{n^2}{2^n} = 6 \end{align} I tried to rewrite it into a geometric series \begin{align} \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{n^2}{2^n} = \sum_{n=...
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  • 1,465
74 votes
3 answers
9k views

Convergence of $\sqrt{n}x_{n}$ where $x_{n+1} = \sin(x_{n})$

Consider the sequence defined as $x_1 = 1$ $x_{n+1} = \sin x_n$ I think I was able to show that the sequence $\sqrt{n} x_{n}$ converges to $\sqrt{3}$ by a tedious elementary method which I wasn't ...
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  • 79.3k
73 votes
4 answers
34k views

Every subsequence of $x_n$ has a further subsequence which converges to $x$. Then the sequence $x_n$ converges to $x$.

Is the following true? Let $x_n$ be a sequence with the following property: Every subsequence of $x_n$ has a further subsequence which converges to $x$. Then the sequence $x_n$ converges to $x$. I ...
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  • 765
56 votes
12 answers
16k views

$\lim\limits_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite

How do I prove that $ \displaystyle\lim_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite?
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  • 1,568
136 votes
16 answers
10k views

Proving an alternating Euler sum: $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k+1} H_k}{k} = \frac{1}{2} \zeta(2) - \frac{1}{2} \log^2 2$

Let $$A(p,q) = \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k+1}H^{(p)}_k}{k^q},$$ where $H^{(p)}_n = \sum_{i=1}^n i^{-p}$, the $n$th $p$-harmonic number. The $A(p,q)$'s are known as alternating Euler sums. ...
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  • 52.9k
9 votes
9 answers
4k views

How to compute the formula $\sum \limits_{r=1}^d r \cdot 2^r$?

Given $$1\cdot 2^1 + 2\cdot 2^2 + 3\cdot 2^3 + 4\cdot 2^4 + \cdots + d \cdot 2^d = \sum_{r=1}^d r \cdot 2^r,$$ how can we infer to the following solution? $$2 (d-1) \cdot 2^d + 2. $$ Thank you
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  • 203
57 votes
12 answers
70k views

Sum of the alternating harmonic series $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty}\frac{(-1)^{k+1}}{k} = \frac{1}{1} - \frac{1}{2} + \cdots $

I know that the harmonic series $$\sum_{k=1}^{\infty}\frac{1}{k} = \frac{1}{1} + \frac{1}{2} + \frac{1}{3} + \frac{1}{4} + \frac{1}{5} + \frac{1}{6} + \cdots + \frac{1}{n} + \cdots \tag{I}$$ diverges,...
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  • 35.1k
230 votes
10 answers
41k views

Is there an elementary proof that $\sum \limits_{k=1}^n \frac1k$ is never an integer?

If $n>1$ is an integer, then $\sum \limits_{k=1}^n \frac1k$ is not an integer. If you know Bertrand's Postulate, then you know there must be a prime $p$ between $n/2$ and $n$, so $\frac 1p$ ...
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74 votes
3 answers
7k views

"Closed" form for $\sum \frac{1}{n^n}$

Earlier today, I was talking with my friend about some "cool" infinite series and the value they converge to like the Basel problem, Madhava-Leibniz formula for $\pi/4, \log 2$ and similar alternating ...
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38 votes
13 answers
41k views

Show that $\left(1+\dfrac{1}{n}\right)^n$ is monotonically increasing

Show that $U_n:=\left(1+\dfrac{1}{n}\right)^n$, $n\in\Bbb N$, defines a monotonically increasing sequence. I must show that $U_{n+1}-U_n\geq0$, i.e. $$\left(1+\dfrac{1}{n+1}\right)^{n+1}-\left(1+\...
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80 votes
7 answers
8k views

Generalized Euler sum $\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{H_n}{n^q}$

I found the following formula $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{H_n}{n^q}= \left(1+\frac{q}{2} \right)\zeta(q+1)-\frac{1}{2}\sum_{k=1}^{q-2}\zeta(k+1)\zeta(q-k)$$ and it is cited that Euler proved the ...
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42 votes
4 answers
5k views

Possibility to simplify $\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{\pi }{{\sin \pi a}}} $

Is there any way to show that $$\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{1}{a} + \sum\limits_{k = 1}^\infty {{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}\left( {\...
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  • 116k
22 votes
1 answer
5k views

Sum of tangent functions where arguments are in specific arithmetic series

By looking through an book, I found this interesting series To prove that: $$\tan(\theta)+\tan \left(\theta+ \frac{\pi}{n} \right) + \tan\left(\theta + \frac{2\pi}{n}\right) + \dots + \tan \left (\...
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  • 581
37 votes
1 answer
35k views

The $ l^{\infty} $-norm is equal to the limit of the $ l^{p} $-norms. [duplicate]

If we are in a sequence space, then the $ l^{p} $-norm of the sequence $ \mathbf{x} = (x_{i})_{i \in \mathbb{N}} $ is $ \displaystyle \left( \sum_{i=1}^{\infty} |x_{i}|^{p} \right)^{1/p} $. The $ l^{\...
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  • 2,321
35 votes
12 answers
67k views

Why $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{k}{2^k} = 2$? [duplicate]

Can you please explain why $$ \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \dfrac{k}{2^k} = \dfrac{1}{2} +\dfrac{ 2}{4} + \dfrac{3}{8}+ \dfrac{4}{16} +\dfrac{5}{32} + \dots = 2 $$ I know $1 + 2 + 3 + ... + n = \dfrac{n(n+1)}{...
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  • 393
178 votes
9 answers
28k views

Self-Contained Proof that $\sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac1{n^p}$ Converges for $p > 1$

To prove the convergence of the p-series $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac1{n^p}$$ for $p > 1$, one typically appeals to either the Integral Test or the Cauchy Condensation Test. I am wondering if ...
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  • 2,654
116 votes
17 answers
48k views

Nice proofs of $\zeta(4) = \frac{\pi^4}{90}$?

I know some nice ways to prove that $\zeta(2) = \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2} = \pi^2/6$. For example, see Robin Chapman's list or the answers to the question "Different methods to compute $\sum_{...
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  • 52.9k
16 votes
10 answers
79k views

Find the sum of the series $\sum \frac{1}{n(n+1)(n+2)}$

I got this question in my maths paper Test the condition for convergence of $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n(n+1)(n+2)}$$ and find the sum if it exists. I managed to show that the series converges ...
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  • 1,529
41 votes
3 answers
11k views

Multiples of an irrational number forming a dense subset

Say you picked your favorite irrational number $q$ and looking at $S = \{nq: n\in \mathbb{Z} \}$ in $\mathbb{R}$, you chopped off everything but the decimal of $nq$, leaving you with a number in $[0,1]...
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  • 1,823
207 votes
6 answers
66k views

When can you switch the order of limits?

Suppose you have a double sequence $\displaystyle a_{nm}$. What are sufficient conditions for you to be able to say that $\displaystyle \lim_{n\to \infty}\,\lim_{m\to \infty}{a_{nm}} = \lim_{m\to \...
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  • 9,046
43 votes
8 answers
14k views

Proof of $\lim_{n\to \infty} \sqrt[n]{n}=1$

Thomson et al. provide a proof that $\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty} \sqrt[n]{n}=1$ in this book (page 73). It has to do with using an inequality that relies on the binomial theorem: I have an alternative ...
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  • 3,714
14 votes
0 answers
1k views

An interesting identity involving powers of $\pi$ and values of $\eta(s)$ [duplicate]

It happens that, for any $m\geq 1$, $$\sum_{n=0}^{+\infty}\frac{(-1)^n}{(2n+1)^{2m+1}}=\frac{E_{2m}}{2\cdot(2m)!}\left(\frac{\pi}{2}\right)^{2m+1}\tag{1}$$ where $E_{2m}$ is an integer number. My ...
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26 votes
5 answers
5k views

How to evaluate $ \lim \limits_{n\to \infty} \sum \limits_ {k=1}^n \frac{k^n}{n^n}$?

I can show that the following limit exists but I am having difficulties to find it. It is $$\lim_{n\to \infty} \sum_{k=1}^n \frac{k^n}{n^n}$$ Can someone please help me?
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  • 861
30 votes
6 answers
2k views

Closed form for the sequence defined by $a_0=1$ and $a_{n+1} = a_n + a_n^{-1}$

Today, we had a math class, where we had to show, that $a_{100} > 14$ for $$a_0 = 1;\qquad a_{n+1} = a_n + a_n^{-1}$$ Apart from this task, I asked myself: Is there a closed form for this ...
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  • 8,639
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

A group of important generating functions involving harmonic number.

How to prove the following identities: $$\small{\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{H_{n}}{n^2}x^{n}=\operatorname{Li}_3(x)-\operatorname{Li}_3(1-x)+\ln(1-x)\operatorname{Li}_2(1-x)+\frac12\ln x\ln^2(1-x)+\zeta(3)...
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  • 21.6k
6 votes
2 answers
586 views

Find the limit if it exists of $S_{n+1} = \frac{1}{2}(S_n +\frac{A}{S_n})$ [duplicate]

Suppose that $S_0$ and A are positive numbers, let $$S_{n+1} = \frac{1}{2}\left(S_n +\frac{A}{S_n}\right)$$ with $n \geq 0 $. (a)Show that $S_{n+1} \geq \sqrt{A} $ if $n \geq 0$ (b)Show ...
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  • 453
43 votes
5 answers
8k views

Show $\sum_{n=0}^\infty\frac{1}{a^2+n^2}=\frac{1+a\pi\coth a\pi}{2a^2}$

How to show the following equality? $$\sum_{n=0}^\infty\frac{1}{a^2+n^2}=\frac{1+a\pi\coth a\pi}{2a^2}$$
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  • 18.5k
27 votes
7 answers
23k views

How to prove that the Binet formula gives the terms of the Fibonacci Sequence?

This formula provides the $n$th term in the Fibonacci Sequence, and is defined using the recurrence formula: $u_n = u_{n − 1} + u_{n − 2}$, for $n > 1$, where $u_0 = 0$ and $u_1 = 1$. Show that ...
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11 votes
5 answers
1k views

Limit of $s_n = \int\limits_0^1 \frac{nx^{n-1}}{1+x} dx$ as $n \to \infty$

Let $s_n$ be a sequence defined as given below for $n \geq 1$. Then find out $\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} s_n$. \begin{align} s_n = \int\limits_0^1 \frac{nx^{n-1}}{1+x} dx \end{align} I have ...
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31 votes
6 answers
4k views

If $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n^{2}$ converges, then so does $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac {a_n}{n}$

Let $a_1,a_2,a_3,\ldots$ be reals. Prove that if $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n^{2}$ converges, then so does $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac {a_n}{n}$. For this I have shown the case for when $ a_n^{2} \le\frac ...
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  • 615
54 votes
4 answers
50k views

The generating function for the Fibonacci numbers

Prove that $$1+z+2z^2+3z^3+5z^4+8z^5+13z^6+...=\frac{1}{1-(z+z^2)}$$ The coefficients are Fibonacci numbers, i.e., the sequence $\left\{1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,...\right\}$.
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