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1. 11 INFINITE SEQUENCES AND SERIES

2. INFINITE SEQUENCES AND SERIES • The convergence tests that we have looked at so far apply only to series with positive terms.

3. INFINITE SEQUENCES AND SERIES 11.5Alternating Series In this section, we will learn: How to deal with series whose terms alternate in sign.

4. ALTERNATING SERIES • An alternating series is a series whose terms are alternately positive and negative. • Here are two examples:

5. ALTERNATING SERIES • From these examples, we see that the nth term of an alternating series is of the form • an = (–1)n – 1bn or an = (–1)nbn • where bn is a positive number. • In fact, bn = |an|

6. ALTERNATING SERIES • The following test states that, if the terms of an alternating series decrease toward 0 in absolute value, the series converges.

7. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST • If the alternating series • satisfies • bn+1≤ bn for all n • then the series is convergent.

8. ALTERNATING SERIES • Before giving the proof, let’s look at this figure—which gives a picture of the idea behind the proof.

9. ALTERNATING SERIES • First, we plot s1 = b1 on a number line. • To find s2,we subtract b2. • So, s2 is to the left of s1.

10. ALTERNATING SERIES • Then, to find s3, we add b3. • So,s3 is to the right of s2. • However, since b3 < b2, s3 is to the left of s1.

11. ALTERNATING SERIES • Continuing in this manner, we see that the partial sums oscillate back and forth. • Since bn→ 0, the successive steps are becoming smaller and smaller.

12. ALTERNATING SERIES • The even partial sums s2, s4, s6, . . . are increasing. • The odd partial sums s1, s3, s5, . . . are decreasing.

13. ALTERNATING SERIES • Thus, it seems plausible that both are converging to some number s, which is the sum of the series. • So, we consider the even and odd partial sums separately in the following proof.

14. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST—PROOF • First, we consider the even partial sums: • s2 = b1 – b2≥ 0 since b2 ≤ b1 • s4 = s2 + (b3 – b4) ≥ s2 since b4 ≤ b3

15. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST—PROOF • In general, • s2n = s2n – 2 + (b2n – 1 – b2n) ≥ s2n – 2 • since b2n ≤ b2n – 1 • Thus, 0 ≤ s2 ≤ s4 ≤ s6 ≤ … ≤ s2n ≤ …

16. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST—PROOF • However, we can also write: • s2n = b1 – (b2 – b3) – (b4 – b5) – … • – (b2n – 2 – b2n – 1) – b2n • Every term in brackets is positive. • So, s2n≤ b1for all n.

17. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST—PROOF • Thus, the sequence {s2n} of even partial sums is increasing and bounded above. • Therefore, it is convergent by the Monotonic Sequence Theorem.

18. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST—PROOF • Let’s call its limit s, that is, • Now, we compute the limit of the odd partial sums:

19. ALTERNATING SERIES TEST—PROOF • As both the even and odd partial sums converge to s, we have • See Exercise 80(a) in Section 11.1 • Thus, the series is convergent.

20. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 1 • The alternating harmonic series • satisfies • bn+1 < bn because • It is convergent by the Alternating Series Test.

21. ALTERNATING SERIES • The figure illustrates Example 1 by showing the graphs of the terms an = (–1)n – 1/n and the partial sums sn.

22. ALTERNATING SERIES • Notice how the values of sn zigzag across the limiting value, which appears to be about 0.7 • In fact, it can be proved that the exact sum of the series is ln 2 ≈ 0.693(Exercise 36).

23. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 2 • The series is alternating. • However, • So, condition ii is not satisfied.

24. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 2 • Instead, we look at the limit of the nth term of the series: • This limit does not exist. • So, the series diverges by the Test for Divergence.

25. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 3 • Test the series for convergence or divergence. • The given series is alternating. • So, we try to verify conditions i and ii of the Alternating Series Test.

26. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 3 • Unlike the situation in Example 1, it is not obvious that the sequence given by bn = n2/(n3 + 1) is decreasing. • However, if we consider the related function f(x) = x2/(x3 + 1), we find that:

27. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 3 • Since we are considering only positive x, we see that f’(x) < 0 if 2 – x3 < 0, that is, x > . • Thus, f is decreasing on the interval ( , ∞).

28. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 3 • This means that f(n + 1) < f(n) and, therefore, bn+1 < bn when n≥ 2. • The inequality b2 < b1 can be verified directly. • However, all that really matters is that the sequence {bn} is eventually decreasing.

29. ALTERNATING SERIES Example 3 • Condition ii is readily verified: • Thus, the given series is convergent by the Alternating Series Test.

30. ESTIMATING SUMS • A partial sum sn of any convergent series can be used as an approximation to the total sum s. • However, this is not of much use unless we can estimate the accuracy of the approximation. • The error involved in using s≈ snis the remainder Rn = s – sn.

31. ESTIMATING SUMS • The next theorem says that, for series that satisfy the conditions of the Alternating Series Test, the size of the error is smaller than bn+1. • This is the absolute value of the first neglected term.

32. ALTERNATING SERIES ESTIMATION THEOREM • If s = Σ (–1)n-1bnis the sum of an alternating series that satisfies • 0 ≤ bn+1 ≤ bn • then |Rn| = |s – sn| ≤ bn+1

33. ALTERNATING SERIES ESTIMATION THM.—PROOF • From the proof of the Alternating Series Test, we know that s lies between any two consecutive partial sums sn and sn+1. • It follows that: |s – sn| ≤ |sn+1 – sn| = bn+1

34. ALTERNATING SERIES ESTIMATION THEOREM • You can see geometrically why the theorem is true by looking at this figure. • Notice that s – s4 < b5, |s – s5| < b6, and so on. • Notice also that s lies between any two consecutive partial sums.

35. ESTIMATING SUMS Example 4 • Find the sum of the series • correct to three decimal places. • By definition, 0! = 1.

36. ESTIMATING SUMS Example 4 • First, we observe that the series is convergent by the Alternating Series Test because: • i. • ii.

37. ESTIMATING SUMS Example 4 • To get a feel for how many terms we need to use in our approximation, let’s write out the first few terms of the series:

38. ESTIMATING SUMS Example 4 • Notice that and

39. ESTIMATING SUMS Example 4 • By the Alternating Series Estimation Theorem, we know that: | s – s6 | ≤ b7 < 0.0002 • This error of less than 0.0002 does not affect the third decimal place. • So, we have s≈ 0.368 correct to three decimal places.

40. NOTE • The rule that the error (in using sn to approximate s) is smaller than the first neglected term is, in general, valid only for alternating series that satisfy the conditions of the Alternating Series Estimation Theorem. • The rule does not apply to other types of series.