I just learned Continued Fractions and I was asked to evaluate the simple continued fractions $[\bar{1}]$ , $[\bar{2}]$ , and $[1,\bar{2}]$

so far all I know about Quadratic Irrationalities and Infinite Continued Fractions is this excerpt from Elementary Number Theory, by Charles Vanden Eynden:

" *If the irrational number $S$ is of the form $A\sqrt{d}+B$, where $A$ and $B$ are rational numbers and $d$ is a positive integer, then we can find its (infinite) continued fraction expansion explicitly. In fact, although we will not prove it here, it turns out that such numbers are exactly those having expansions that repeat past some point.*

DEFINITION. periodic continued fraction

*An infinite continued fraction $[q_1,q_2,...]$ is said to be periodic if it repeats from some point on, that is, if there exist positive integers $m$ and $r$ such that $q_n=q_{n+r}$ for $n>m$.* "

For the homework assignment I wrote $[\bar{1}]=\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}, [\bar{2}]=1+\sqrt{2},$ and then I deduced that $[1,\bar{2}]$ must be $\sqrt{2}$. I doubled checked these before handing in my assignment...

I used the methods provided in the book to find the above answers, expect for the last one, I just subtracted $1$ because the first entry is $1$ instead of $2$, thus I thought $[\bar{2}]=1+\sqrt{2} \Longrightarrow [1,\bar{2}]=\sqrt{2}$

Let $R_n = \underbrace{[1,1,...,1]}_{n-terms}$, then for $[\bar{1}]$, we compute some values of $R_i$ and find a pattern

$1, 1+\frac{1}{1}, 1+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{1}},..., R_{2n+2}=1+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{R_{2n}}}$

*Theorem 6.14**Let $q_1,q_2,...$ be an infinite sequence of integers, with $q_i>0$ for $i>1$. Then $\lim\limits_{r\rightarrow \infty}[q_1,q_2,...,q_r]$ exists, and is an irrational number.*

Let $n\rightarrow \infty$ then $R=1+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{R}}$ because a subsequence must converge to same limit, and we have $R^2-R-1=0$ through some manipulation. Take $R=\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}$, the positive root because every element of the sequence is positive.

Similarly I deduced that $[\bar{2}]=1+\sqrt{2}$.

But then I received a comment that *yes my answers were right, but to note that some continued fractions may not converge at all, and so convergence may be an issue for other, not so simple continued fractions.*

**I'm wondering what this comment refers to? Is the comment useful? Given the limited information I have, it seems like the exercises were simple enough to just get my foot in the door, should I heed the warning? At least how the book explains it, it looks like there's a one-to-one correspondence between quadratic irrationals and periodic continued fractions? However, I wouldn’t know due to the standard write-off “although we will not prove it here” in many introductory books. So why worry about periodic continued fractions then? Obviously in general I should heed the warning, maybe for more complicated continued fractions, sure they do not converge in general.**

All in all I wish Vanden Eynden would just go into more detail! So I could have a better idea as to usefulness of the comment.