Questions tagged [sequences-and-series]

For questions concerning sequences and series. Typical questions concern, but are not limited to: recurrence relations, convergence tests, identifying sequences, identifying terms. For questions on finite sums, use the (summation) tag instead.

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384
votes
19answers
34k 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 ...
678
votes
43answers
99k 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 ...
67
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
114
votes
5answers
30k 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}^{\...
91
votes
31answers
189k 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 known as "The sum of the first $n$ positive ...
118
votes
31answers
61k 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 ...
204
votes
9answers
17k 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 W|A, i may guess that the limit is $\frac{1}{2}$ that is a pretty interesting and nice result. I ...
30
votes
7answers
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 ...
25
votes
3answers
9k 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}...
28
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
40
votes
3answers
8k views

Find the sum of $\sum 1/(k^2 - a^2)$ 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 $$ ...
155
votes
25answers
12k 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 ...
131
votes
25answers
9k 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?...
60
votes
12answers
5k 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? $$\lim\limits_{k\to\infty}\sum\limits_{n=k+1}^{2k}{\frac{1}{n}} =~ ?$$ More precisely, what is the limit of the above sequence of partial ...
116
votes
11answers
8k 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. ...
67
votes
14answers
24k views

Series converges implies $\lim{n a_n} = 0$

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 \...
7
votes
9answers
2k 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
71
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
3k 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} \...
184
votes
10answers
28k 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 $\frac 1p$ ...
66
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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: $\sum_{n=0}^{m}n2^n = 2(m2^m - 2^m +1)$ ...
50
votes
12answers
8k views

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

How do I prove that $ \displaystyle\lim_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite?
18
votes
3answers
13k 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., $[x]$...
42
votes
9answers
48k 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,...
152
votes
9answers
15k 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 ...
101
votes
15answers
39k 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_{...
14
votes
0answers
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 ...
13
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
33
votes
12answers
26k 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)}{...
24
votes
1answer
24k 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^{\...
17
votes
1answer
3k 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 (\...
36
votes
6answers
2k 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=...
26
votes
10answers
25k 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+\...
33
votes
3answers
7k 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]...
41
votes
4answers
34k 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 $\left\{1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,...\right\}$.
144
votes
6answers
46k 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 \...
36
votes
2answers
3k 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( {\...
20
votes
7answers
19k 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 ...
66
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
5k 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? $$\sum_{n=0}^\infty\frac{1}{a^2+n^2}=\frac{1+a\pi\coth a\pi}{2a^2}$$
28
votes
6answers
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 ...
28
votes
2answers
9k views

Convergence of Ratio Test implies Convergence of the Root Test

In Elias Stein and Rami Shakarchi's Complex Analysis textbook, we have the following exercise: Show that if $\{a_n\}_{n=0}^\infty$ is a sequence of complex numbers such that $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\...
33
votes
5answers
12k views

How to find the sum of this series : $1+\frac{1}{2}+ \frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{4}+\dots+\frac{1}{n}$

Problem : How to find the sum of this series : $1+\frac{1}{2}+ \frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{4}+\dots+\frac{1}{n}$ This is a Harmonic progression : So is this formula correct to sum the series : $\frac{(...
37
votes
8answers
3k views

What's the value of $\sum\limits_{k=1}^{\infty}\frac{k^2}{k!}$?

For some series, it is easy to say whether it is convergent or not by the "convergence test", e.g., ratio test. However, it is nontrivial to calculate the value of the sum when the series converges. ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

A closed form of $\sum_{k=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^{k+1}}{k!}\Gamma^2\left(\frac{k}{2}\right)$

I am looking for a closed form of the following series \begin{equation} \mathcal{I}=\sum_{k=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^{k+1}}{k!}\Gamma^2\left(\frac{k}{2}\right) \end{equation} I have no idea how to ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Positive series problem: $\sum\limits_{n\geq1}a_n=+\infty$ implies $\sum_{n\geq1}\frac{a_n}{1+a_n}=+\infty$

Let $\sum\limits_{n\geq1}a_n$ be a positive series, and $\sum\limits_{n\geq1}a_n=+\infty$, prove that: $$\sum_{n\geq1}\frac{a_n}{1+a_n}=+\infty.$$
20
votes
1answer
6k views

Can you please check my Cesaro means proof [duplicate]

I wanted to prove the following: if $x_n \to x$ then $y_n \to x$ where $$ y_n = {x_1 + \dots + x_n \over n}$$ Please can you tell me if my proof is correct? My proof is this: Let $\varepsilon > ...
37
votes
5answers
6k views

Showing that $\frac{\sqrt[n]{n!}}{n}$ $\rightarrow \frac{1}{e}$ [duplicate]

Show:$$\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{\sqrt[n]{n!}}{n}= \frac{1}{e}$$ So I can expand the numerator by geometric mean. Letting $C_{n}=\left(\ln(a_{1})+...+\ln(a_{n})\right)/n$. Let the numerator be called $...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the limit of the sequence $\lim\limits_{n \to\infty} \frac{n!}{n^n}$?

$$\lim_{n \to\infty} \frac{n!}{n^n}$$ I have a question: is it valid to use Stirling's Formula to prove convergence of the sequence?