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.

Sequences and series are often considered as a main part of part of calculus, in addition to limits, continuity, differentiation and integration.

A sequence is an enumerated collection of objects in which repetitions are allowed. There are special types of sequences, such as arithmetic sequences (or arithmetic progressions), where the next term is a constant more than the previous; harmonic progressions, which is formed by taking the reciprocal of each term of an arithmetic progression; logarithmic progression, which is formed from a series whose progression getting smaller; and geometric progressions, where the next term is a constant multiplied by the previous term.

A sequence can be given by a direct formula (e.g. $a_n = 2^n + 3$), or by a recurrence relation. In a recurrence relation, the relation between the next term and the earlier terms is given. An example is the recurrence relation $F_{n+2}=F_{n+1}+F_n, n \geq 0.$ Together with the initial terms $F_0=0$ and $F_1=1$, this recurrence relation defines the famous Fibonacci sequence.

A series is formed by summing a sequence. A typical question is: When the number of summed terms goes to infinity, does the sum approach a finite limit? In other words, is it convergent? Several tests, such as the ratio test, the root test, the limit comparison test, the integral test, etc. can help to answer these questions.

Important note. Questions about guessing the next number in a sequence, with no explicit mathematical context, will usually be quickly closed. Consider posting these questions at Puzzling Stack Exchange instead.

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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 have no idea why this statement is true. Can someone…
Nathan Osman
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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. Can someone provide a nice proof that $$A(1,1) =…
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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 $\displaystyle \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} x^n = \frac{1}{1-x}$ ? Are there some…
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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 integers".
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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 $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2}$?" Are there any…
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Convergence of $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{\sin(n!)}{n}$

Is there a way to assess the convergence of the following series? $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{\sin(n!)}{n}$$ From numerical estimations it seems to be convergent but I don't know how to prove it.
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Motivation for Ramanujan's mysterious $\pi$ formula

The following formula for $\pi$ was discovered by Ramanujan: $$\frac1{\pi} = \frac{2\sqrt{2}}{9801} \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(4k)!(1103+26390k)}{(k!)^4 396^{4k}}\!$$ Does anyone know how it works, or what the motivation for it is?
Nick Alger
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How to sum this series for $\pi/2$ directly?

The sum of the series $$ \frac{\pi}{2}=\sum_{k=0}^\infty\frac{k!}{(2k+1)!!}\tag{1} $$ can be derived by accelerating the Gregory Series $$ \frac{\pi}{4}=\sum_{k=0}^\infty\frac{(-1)^k}{2k+1}\tag{2} $$ using Euler's Series Transformation.…
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Why is a geometric progression called so?

Just curious about why geometric progression is called so. Is it related to geometry?
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Limit of sequence in which each term is defined by the average of preceding two terms

We have a sequence of numbers $x_n$ determined by the equality $$x_n = \frac{x_{n-1} + x_{n-2}}{2}$$ The first and zeroth term are $x_1$ and $x_0$.The following limit must be expressed in terms of $x_0$ and $x_1$ $$\lim_{n\rightarrow\infty} x_n…
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A community project: prove (or disprove) that $\sum_{n\geq 1}\frac{\sin(2^n)}{n}$ is convergent

As the title says, I would like to launch a community project for proving that the series $$\sum_{n\geq 1}\frac{\sin(2^n)}{n}$$ is convergent. An extensive list of considerations follows. The first fact is that the inequality $$…
Jack D'Aurizio
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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 $\lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} n a_n = 0$. Using the definition of the…
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Arithmetic-geometric mean of 3 numbers

The arithmetic-geometric mean$^{[1]}$$\!^{[2]}$ of 2 numbers $a$ and $b$ is denoted $\operatorname{AGM}(a,b)$ and defined as follows: $$\text{Let}\quad a_0=a,\quad b_0=b,\quad a_{n+1}=\frac{a_n+b_n}2,\quad b_{n+1}=\sqrt{a_n…
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How prove this nice limit $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty}\frac{a_{n}}{n}=\frac{12}{\log{432}}$

Nice problem: Let $a_{0}=1$ and $$a_{n}=a_{\left\lfloor n/2\right\rfloor}+a_{\left\lfloor n/3 \right\rfloor}+a_{\left\lfloor n/6\right\rfloor}.$$ Show that $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\dfrac{a_{n}}{n}=\dfrac{12}{\log{432}},$$ where $\lfloor x \rfloor$ is…
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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 separate 5 from this series such…