Types of Series

HARMONIC SERIES

This series does not converge, because its sequence of partial sums is unbounded.

GEOMETRIC SERIES

Where r is called the ratio. This series diverges if r is greater than or equal to 1. If r is between 0 and 1, then the series converges and the sum is given by:

P-SERIES

Wwhere the common exponent p is a positive real constant. This series clearly diverges if p is less than or equal to 1, by comparison with the harmonic series. It converges if p is strictly greater than 1.

ALTERNATING SERIES

Any series in which the terms alternate in sign. Any such series converges if and only if its terms decrease (in absolute value), with zero as a limit.

POWER SERIES

It can be shown that any such series either converges at x = 0, or for all real x, or for all x with –R < x < R for some positive real R. The interval (–R, R) is called the radius of convergence. This important series should be thought of as a function in x for all x in the radius of convergence. Where defined, this function has derivatives of all orders, and may be differentiated and integrated “term-by-term.” That is,

Convergence Tests

A series ** converges **when its
sequence of partial sums converges, that is, if the sequence of values given
by the first term, then the sum of the first two
terms, then the sum of the first three terms, etc., converges as a sequence.
A series is said to

N th-TERM TEST

In any series, if the terms of the series do not diminish in absolute value to zero (i.e., if the limit of the sequence of terms is not zero), then the series diverges. This important test must be used with care: it is not a test for convergence, and must not be interpreted to mean that any series whose sequence of terms does limit to zero necessarily converges. The harmonic series (above) is a good counter example.

COMPARISON TEST

If for any two series, all of whose terms are non-negative, such that an < bn for all but finitely many n, then if the first series diverges the second one does also. Conversely, if the second series converges the first one does also.

LIMIT COMPARISON TEST

If for are any two series, all of whose terms are non-negative, and if the limit exists and is a finite real number greater than zero, then either both series converge or both series diverge.

INTEGRAL TEST

If the terms of a series are positive and decreasing, then the series and the integral either both converge or both diverge.

RATIO TEST

If the terms of a given series are all non-negative, and if the limit exists, then the series converges if L is less than 1, and diverges if L is greater than 1. If L is equal to 1, the test is inconclusive.

ROOT TEST

If the terms of a given series are all non-negative, and if the limit exists, then the series converges if L is less than 1, and diverges if L is greater than 1. If L is equal to 1, the test is inconclusive.