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understand what a converging sequence is,

understand what a diverging sequence is,

identify whether a given sequence is converging or diverging

identify formula or rule for a given sequence

Denition:

A sequence is a list of number in a denite order:

a1 , a2 , a3 , a4 , an , a

where a1 is the rst term, a2 is the second term, ..., an is the n-th term. Or it may be

denoted as {an } or {an } .

n=1

For example:

i) 1, 2, 3, 4, ..., n, ...

ii) 3, 6, 9, 12, ..., 3n, ...

iii) 2, 2, 2, 2, , 2(1)n+1

1

1

iv) 1, 1 , 4 , 1 , , .. 2n1

2

8

Example:

List the rst four terms of the sequence

an =

n+1

,

2n 1

n Z,

n1

Solution:

2 2+1

3+1

4+1

,

,

,

,

1 2(2) 1 2(3) 1 2(4) 1

4 5

= 2,1, , ,

5 7

a1 , a2 , a3 , a4 , =

Example:

List the rst four terms of the sequence

b0 = 1 ,

bn+1 =

1

1

,

bn + 1

n0

Solution:

b0 = 1

1

1

=

=

b0 + 1

1+1

1

1

=

=

= 1

b1 + 1

+1

2

1

1

=

=

= 2

b2 + 1

+1

3

1 2 3

1, , , ,

2 3 5

b1 =

b2

b3

1

2

2

3

3

5

Let us look at the following sequences:

1

1 1 1

(i)

= 1, , , ,

n 1

2 3 4

1

n

1.2

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

n

0

fore it is possible to write

1

n

10

n

0 as n .

1

We say that 0 is the limit of the above sequence as n tends to innity. If a sequence has

a limit, we say the sequence is convergent, and that the sequence converges to the limit.

(ii) n

= 1,2,3,4,

n

5

4

3

2

1

n

0

0

The terms in the sequence {n} increases without bound, the limit does not exist or

1

innite. The sequence does not converge to a limit, we say that the sequence is divergent.

Denition:

For a given sequence converges to a limit

an

n=1

L as n

where L is some number, we mean that we can make an as close to L as we want for

all suciently large n. If the limit of the sequence exists and nite, we say that the

sequence is convergent. When

an

n=1

as n

we mean that we can make an as large as we want for all suciently large n. The value

of an get larger and larger without bound as n approaches innity, we say that the

sequence is divergent. To nd the limit of the sequence, we must calculate

lim an .

n

Example 1:

Find the limit of the sequence

an =

n2 + 1

n2

Solution:

To nd the limit,

n2 + 1

n

n2

1

1 + n2

= lim

n

1

1+0

=

=1

1

lim an =

n

lim

Example 2:

Find the limit of the sequence

an =

n2 + 2

n1

Solution:

To nd the limit,

n2 + 2

n n 1

2

n+ n

= lim

n 1 1

n

+0

=

=

10

lim an =

n

lim

II. The Limit Laws

If {an } and {bn } are convergent sequences and c is a constant,

1. lim (an + bn ) = lim an + lim bn

n

n

3. lim c an = c lim an

n

4. lim c = c

n

n

6. lim

n

an

bn

lim an

=

lim bn

if

lim bn = 0

n

n

p

7. lim (an )p =

n

lim an

provided

an 0

Theorem 1:

Let an be a sequence, let f (n) = an and suppose that f (x) exists for every real number

x 1.

i) If lim f (x) = L, then lim f (n) = L

x

x

Example:

1

If an = 1 + n , determine whether {an } converges/diverges.

Solution:

1

Let f (n) = 1 + n , then f (x) = 1 +

1

x

x

1+

1

= 1+0 =1

x

Theorem 2:

If lim |an | = 0 then lim an = 0. This theorem is useful when the limit is zero.

n

If an bn cn for all n n0 and lim an = lim cn = L, then lim bn = L.

n

Example:

Determine whether the sequence below

i.) an = 1 n2 1

4

ii.) an =

n1

2n + 1

(1)n

iii.) an =

n

5

iv.) an = (1)n1

v.) an =

ln n

n

Solution:

i.)

1 2

n

4

1 n=1 = 3 , 0 , 5 , 3 ,

4

4

To determine whether the sequence converges or diverges, we check the term at

limit n ,

1

1 2

lim

n 1 = lim n2 lim (1) =

n

n 4

4 n

Limit does not exist and the sequence diverges.

n1

1 2 3

= 0, , , ,

2n + 1 n=1

5 7 9

The limit of the sequence at n is

n1

= lim

n 2n + 1

n

lim

n

1

n

n

1

2n

+n

n

1

n 2 +

= lim

1

n

1

n

1

2

2

iii.) The sequence

(1)n

1

1 1

= 1 , , , ,

n

2

3 4

n=1

The limit of the sequence at n

lim

n

(1)n

1

= lim = 0

n n

n

By Theorem 2,

(1)n

=0

n

n

lim

iv.) The terms (1)n1 oscillates between 1 and 1 as follows

(1)n1

n=1

= 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 ,

Thus, lim (1)n1 does not exist and the sequence diverges.

n

Note: In this case, it is wrong to use Theorem 2 to show that

lim |(1)n1 | = lim |1| = 1

n

6

ln n

n

,

,

,

,

,

1

2

3

4

5

= 0 , 0.3465 , 0.365 , 0.3465 , 0.322 , 0.298 ,

=

n=1

1

ln n

n

lim

= lim

=0

n n

n 1

where we have used the LHopital rule to evaluate the limit of the sequence.

The sequence converges to 0.

Theorem 3:

The sequence {r n } is convergent if |r| <

r = 1, i.e.,

1

n

lim r =

n

undened

if

if

if

if

r = 1 , (convergent)

|r| > 1 , (divergent)

r = 1 , (divergent)

Example:

The limit

2 n

n

3

2

is convergent because r = 3 , and thus |r| = | 2 | =

3

2 n

limit lim

= 0.

n

3

The sequence converges to 0.

lim

2

3

Example:

The sequence {an } = {(1.01)n } is divergent because r = 1.01 > 1, then by Theorem 3

that the limit lim (1.01)n = .

n

Example:

Show whether the sequence represented by

cos2 n

an =

3n

7

converges/diverges.

Solution:

Since 1 < cos n < 1 and thus 0 < cos2 n < 1 for all positive n, then

0<

cos2 n

1

< n.

n

3

3

1

1

= lim

n

n 3

n 3

lim

1

3

= 0,

< 1. Hence,

cos2 n

1

< lim n

lim 0 < lim

n

n

n

n 3

3

cos2 n

0 < lim

<0

n

3n

By Squeeze Theorem, the sequence an converges to 0.

Example:

If RM1000 is invested at a rate of 6% interest, compounded annually, then after n years

the investment is worth an = 1000(1.06)n RM.

a) Find the rst 3 terms of the sequence {an }.

b) Is the sequence convergent or divergent? Explain.

Solution:

a) The rst 3 terms are

a1 = 1000(1.06)1 = 1060

a2 = 1000(1.06)2 = 1123.60

a3 = 1000(1.06)3 = 1190.01

b) The sequence is divergent because the limit

lim (1.06)n =

n

The sequence divergent.

Denition:

A sequence {an } is called monotonic increasing if an < an+1 for all n 1, i.e.,

a1 < a2 < a3 < < an <

It is called monotonic decreasing if an > an+1 for all a 1, i.e.,

a1 > a2 > a3 > > an >

Example:

Determine whether the sequence below is monotonic increasing/decreasing or not monotonic.

i) an =

1

5n

ii) an = n +

1

n

Solution:

i) The sequence

1 1 1

, , ,

5 52 53

for all n 1. It is monotonic decreasing.

{an } =

an > an+1

1

1

,3+ ,

2

3

for all n 1. It is monotonic increasing.

{an } = 1 + 1 , 2 +

an < an+1

Exercise:

Determine whether the sequence converges or diverges. If it converges nd the limit.

i) an =

ln n

ln 2n

ii) an =

2

1+

n

iii) an =

3

1+

n

1

n

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