Questions tagged [summation]

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

The notation $\sum\limits_{i=1}^na_i$ means $a_1+\ldots +a_n$.

Use for sums of infinite series and questions of convergence; use for questions about finite sums and simplification of expressions involving sums.

16043 questions
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Calculating the length of the paper on a toilet paper 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 small error) the total paper length of a toilet…
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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 of this property. I would also like to see any…
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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 $\alpha\in A$ ($A$ need not be countable). Proof: Let…
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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{d}{2})}{\sin ( \frac{d}{2} )} \times \cos \biggl(…
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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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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…
35 answers

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".
24 answers

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 none of the $a_k$'s is a linear combination of the other ? By linear combination, we…
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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…
4 answers

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 for e.g. $$ 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 \longrightarrow 10…
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Identity for convolution of central binomial coefficients: $\sum\limits_{k=0}^n \binom{2k}{k}\binom{2(n-k)}{n-k}=2^{2n}$

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 terms gives us $$\sum_{k=0}^n…
9 answers

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

I was hoping to find a more "mathematical" proof, instead of proving logically $\displaystyle \sum_{k = 0}^n {n \choose k}^2= {2n \choose n}$. I already know the logical Proof: $${n \choose k}^2 = {n \choose k}{ n \choose n-k}$$ Hence summation can…
8 answers

Multiple-choice: sum of primes below $1000$

I sat an exam 2 months ago and the question paper contains the problem: Given that there are $168$ primes below $1000$. Then the sum of all primes below 1000 is (a) $11555$ (b) $76127$ (c) $57298$ (d) $81722$ My attempt to solve it: We know…
Sufaid Saleel
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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 problem? (This is not homework - just a problem I…
Mario Carneiro
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$\sum k! = 1! +2! +3! + \cdots + n!$ ,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 the series: $$ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + \cdots + n =…
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