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Math 2300: Calculus II

Comparison Test Practice

The Comparison Test Suppose that a n and b n are series with positive terms.

If b n converges and a n b n , then a n also converges.

If b n diverges and a n b n , then a n also diverges.

The Limit Comparison Test Suppose a n > 0 and b n > 0 for all n.

series a n and b n either both converge or both diverge.

If

lim

n→∞

a n

b n

= c, where c is finite and c > 0, then the two

Each of the following series can be proven to converge or diverge by comparing to a known series. For some of these series you can compare the term-size to get a result. For others, simple comparison doesn’t work quite right and instead you must use the Limit Comparison Test. For each of the following, determine what known series to compare to, and which test should be used. Use that test to show convergence or divergence of the series.

1.

arctan n

2

n

n=1

Solution:

are positive.

I’ll use the Term-size Comparison Test. Let a n = arctan n

2

n

and b n =

2 n , both

2

Since arctan n 2 for all n, arctan 2 n n

2

2 n

for all n > 0.

n=1

b n =

n=1

2

2 n = 2

n=1

1

2 n

is a convergent geometric series (r = 1 2 < 1).

Therefore, by the Term-size Comparison Test,

n=1

arctan n

2 n

also converges.


2.

n=1

arctan n

n

Solution:

Term-size Comparison Test. Let a n =

are positive.

1 n arctan n

n

for n > 1.

1

n

and b n = arctan n

n

We saw previously that

n=1

a n =

n=1

1

n diverges (p-series with p =

1

2 < 1).

Therefore, by the Term-size Comparison Test,

n=1

arctan n

n

also diverges.

, both sequences

1

Math 2300: Calculus II

Comparison Test Practice

3.

4.

n=1

1

e n + n 2

Solution:

Term-size Comparison Test. Let a n =

1 1

e n + n 2

n 2

for any n > 0.

e n + n 2 and b n = 1 2 (both positive).

1

n

We saw previously that

n=1

b n =

n=1

1

2 converges (p-series, p = 2 > 1).

n

n=1

1

e n + n 2 also converges.

Therefore, by the Term-size Comparison Test,

1

e n n 2

n=1

Solution:

Limit Comparison Test. Let a n = 1 n and b n =

e

1

e n n 2 (both positive).

a n

b

n

=

lim

e n n 2

=

1

lim

n→∞

e

n

n→∞

n 2

e

n

lim

n→∞

and not zero, so the Limit Comparison Test applies.

= 1 (By L’Hopital’s Rule).

The limit is finite

5.

n=1

1

e n =

n=1 1

e n

is a convergent geometric series (r = 1 e < 1).

n=1

1

e n n 2 also converges.

Therefore, by the Limit Comparison Test,

n=1

3n 2

2n 3 + 5

Solution:

Term-size Comparison Test. Let a n = 3n 2 5 and b n = 3n

2n 3 +

n

3

3n 2 5 3n

2n 3 +

n

3

for any n > 0.

(both positive).

n=1

b n =

n=1

3n

n

3

= 3

n=1

1

2 converges (p-series, p = 2, which is greater than 1).

n

Therefore, by the Term-size Comparison Test,

n=1

3n 2

2n 3 + 5

also converges.

6. n 2 n + 5

n 3 3n + 6

Solution:

n=1

Limit Comparison Test. Let a n = n 2 n + 5 6 and b n =

n 3 3n +

1

n (both positive).

a

n

b

n

n 3 n 2 + 5

n 3 3n +

6

lim

n→∞

so the Limit Comparison Test applies.

=

lim

n→∞

=

lim

n→∞

1

1

n +

5

n

3

1

3

2 +

n

6

n

3

=

1.

The limit is finite and not zero,

n=1

b n =

n=1

1

n diverges (p-series, p = 1).

Therefore, by the Limit Comparison Test,

n=1

2

n 2 n + 5

n 3 3n + 6

also diverges.