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# Sequences and Series

LEARNING
OBJECTIVES

## Find the nth term of a Sequence.

Find the Sum of a Sequence.
Find the Sum to Infinity of a GP.
Solve Quadratic Equation under EQUA mode.
Evaluate .
Find the Root(s) of an Equation under GRAPH mode.
Determine the Behaviour of a Sequence.

Example 4.1
A geometric series has common ratio r, and an arithmetic series has first term a
and common difference d, where a and d are non-zero. The first three terms of
the geometric series are equal to the first, sixth and tenth terms respectively of
the arithmetic series.
(i) Show that 5r2 9r + 4 = 0.
(ii) Deduce that the geometric series is convergent and find, in terms of a, the
sum to infinity.
(iii) The sum of the first n terms of the geometric series is denoted by S. Given
that a > 0, find the least value of n for which S exceeds 99% of the sum to
infinity.

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Solution
(i)

r=

## a + (6 1)d a + (10 1)d

=
a
a + (6 1)d
If x, y an

d
1 + 9
d
a
r = 1 + 5 =
a 1 + 5 d

a
d r 1
=
r=
a
5

d z are in

y z
=
x y =r

G.P.,

r 1
1 + 9

5 r 2 = 1 + 9 r 1 5r 2 = 5 + 9 r 9

r 1
5
1 + 5

5r 2 9r + 4 = 0 (shown)
4
5
Since d 0, the three terms of GP are not the same, thus r 1.
4
Hence, r = Since r < 1, the geometric series is convergent.
5
a
And the sum to infinity =
= 5a.
4
1
5

(ii) 5r 2 9r + 4 = 0 (r 1)(5r 4) = 0 r = 1 or r =

S n > 0.99 S

(iii)

a (1 0.8n )
a
> 0.99
1 0.8
1 0.8
1 0.8n > 0.99

UNIT 4

## 0.8n < 0.01

n lg 0.8 < lg 0.01
lg 0.01
n>
lg 0.8
n > 20.6
Hence, the least value of n is 21.

## Practical Guide To GCE ALevel H2 Mathematics GC Approach

29

p1
iq
uuq
uy
0.8^
f\$,f
,1,2
00,1
kl

Select RUN.MAT
mode.
Select LIST.
Select SUM.
Select Seq.
Enter the parameters
in the following
format: Seq
(Expression, Variable,
Start, End, Increment)
is S where a = 0.8
and r = 0.8. (Here,
we assume a takes a
positive value.)

p8

eq

an = An + B.

0.8^
fl

30

0.8n.

Select SET.

1l50
ll

50 for End.
Increase the End
value if found
necessary later.

Lp

ql

Set On for
Display.

## GLM PTE LTD

Select TABL.

Press N until an
exceeds 0.99S, i.e.
0.99 4 = 3.96.
You may also
consider 0.8n falling
below 0.01.
Both approaches
arrive at the same
value of n is 21.

Example 4.2
(i)

Patrick saves \$20 on 1 January 2008. On the first day of each subsequent
month he saves \$4 more than in the previous month, so that he saves \$24
on 1 February 2008, \$28 on 1 March 2009, and so on. On what date will he
first have saved over \$5000 in total?

## Sequences and Series

(ii) Kenny puts \$20 on 1 January 2008 into a bank account which pays
compound interest at a rate of 3% per month on the last day of each month.
He puts a further \$20 into the account on the first day of each subsequent
month.
(a) How much compound interest has his original \$20 earned at the end
of 3 years?
(b) How much in total, correct to the nearest dollar, is in the account at
the end of 3 years?

## Practical Guide To GCE ALevel H2 Mathematics GC Approach

UNIT 4

(c) After how many complete months will the total in the account first
exceed \$5000?

31

Solution
(i)

T1 = 20, d = 4
n
[2(20) + 4(n 1)] > 5000 n2 + 9n 2500 > 0 n < 54.7 or n > 45.7
2

Hence, Patrick will first have saved over \$5000 in total on 1 October 2011.

pf

## Select EQUA mode.

Select F2:Polynomial.

Select Degree 2.
Enter the values of a,
b and c.

1l9l
n250
0l

Select SOLV.

q
45.7 or 54.7

## (ii) (a) The required compound interest = 20(1.03)36 20 = \$38.0 (3 s.f.)

(b) The required amount = 20(1.03) + 20(1.03) 2 + ... + 20(1.03)36
=

20(1.03) (1.03)36 1
1.03 1

= \$1303

p8
e
w

32

Select RECUR
mode.
Select TYPE.
Select
F2: an+1 = Aan + Bn
+ C.

1.03
jw+2
0kl

Enter the
recurrence
formula.
Press w for an.

Select SET.

N100
l

## Enter the start

and end value of
n as well as the
value of an.

du

Select TABL.

Keep pressing
N until the
value on the left
column reaches
36.

Record the
corresponding
value on the
right column:
1303.4.

## (c) 20(1.03) + 20(1.03) 2 + ... + 20(1.03) n > 5000

20(1.03)(1.03n 1)
> 5000
1.03 1
1.03n > 8.282
lg8.282
lg1.03

UNIT 4

n >

n > 71.5

The total in the account will first exceed \$5000 after 72 months.

## Practical Guide To GCE ALevel H2 Mathematics GC Approach

33

Keep pressing N
until the value on
the right column
first reaches 5000
or above.

Record the
corresponding
value on the right
column: 72.

Example 4.3
A sequence u1, u2, u3, is such that u1 = 1 and
un +1 = un

3n 2 + 3n + 1
, for all n 1.
n3 (n + 1)3

## (i) Use the method of mathematical induction to prove that un =

(ii) Hence find

1
.
n3

3n 2 + 3n + 1
.
3
3
n =1 n ( n + 1)
N

(iii) Give a reason why the series in part (ii) is convergent and state the sum to
infinity.
3n 2 3n + 1
.
3
3
n = 2 n ( n 1)
N

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## GLM PTE LTD

Solution
(i)

1
3n 2 + 3n + 1
where
u
=
u

and u1 = 1 for n + .
+
n
n
1
n3
n3 (n + 1)3
1
When n = 1, L.H.S. = u1 = 1 ; R.H.S. = 2 = 1.
1
L.H.S. = R.H.S.
P1 is true.
Let Pn be the statement un =

## Assume Pk is true for some k + , i.e. uk =

To prove Pk +1 is true, i.e. uk +1 =
L.H.S. = uk +1 = uk

1
(k + 1)3

1
.
k3

3k 2 + 3k + 1
k 3 (k + 1)3

1 3k 2 + 3k + 1
3
k3
k (k + 1)3

(k + 1)3 3k 2 3k 1
k 3 (k + 1)3

k 3 + 3k 2 + 3k + 1 3k 2 3k 1
k 3 (k + 1)3
1
=
(k + 1)3
= R.H.S.
is true whenever Pk is true.
=

Pk +1

(ii)

3n 2 + 3n + 1 N
= (un un +1 )
3
3
n =1 n ( n + 1)
n =1
= u1 u2
N

+ u2 u3

UNIT 4

...
+ u N 1 u N
+ u N u N +1
= u1 u N +1
=1

## GLM PTE LTD

1
( N + 1)3
Practical Guide To GCE ALevel H2 Mathematics GC Approach

35

p1

Select RUN.MAT
mode.

ruw

Select MATH, ( .

N!f\$
1B8

## Enter the initial

value 1 and the end
value 8 (randomly
chosen).

N!!!
!z3f
s+3f
+1Nf
^3\$j
f+1k
^3l

## Enter the expression.

1-z1
N9^3
l

in part (ii) when N = 8.

fraction form, press
x.

(iii) When N ,

36

N
1
1
3n 2 + 3n + 1

3
3
( N + 1)3
( N + 1)3
n =1 n ( n + 1)

Hence, the series in part (ii) is convergent and the sum to infinity is 1.

## GLM PTE LTD

(iv)

3n 2 3n + 1 N 1 3(r + 1) 2 3(r + 1) + 1
=
when n = r + 1
3
3
(r + 1)3 r 3
n = 2 n ( n 1)
r =1
N

3(r + 1) 2 3(r + 1) + 1
r 3 (r + 1)3
r =1

N 1

3r 2 + 6r + 3 3r 3 + 1
r 3 ( r + 1)3
r =1

N 1

3r 2 + 3r + 1
3
3
r =1 r ( r + 1)
1
=1
( N 1 + 1)3
1
=1 3
N
N 1

[Apply similar
keystrokes found
in part (ii).]

UNIT 4

## Practical Guide To GCE ALevel H2 Mathematics GC Approach

37

Example 4.4

The diagram shows the graph of y = 2 x e 2 . The two roots of the equation are
denoted by and . where < .
(i)

## Find the values of and , each correct to 3 decimal places.

A sequence of real numbers x1, x2, x3, satisfies the recurrence relation
1 xn
xn+1 = e 2
2

for n 1.
(ii) Prove algebraically that, if the sequence converges, then it converges to
either or .
(iii) Use a calculator to determine the behaviours of the sequence for each of
the cases x1= 0, x1= 3, x1= 6.
(iv) By considering xn+1 xn, prove that
xn +1 < xn if < xn < ,
xn +1 > xn if xn < or xn > ,

(v) State briefly how the results in part (iv) relate to the behaviours determined in
part (iii).

38

Solution
p5

2f-L
GjfM
2kl

the graph as Y1.

Select DRAW.

yq

## Find the first root .

Find the second root .
\$

UNIT 4

39

(i)

1 xn
(ii) xn +1 = e 2
2

xn

2 xn +1 = e 2

xn

2 xn +1 e 2 = 0
L

2L e 2 = 0

x

## Since and are the roots of 2 x e 2 = 0, hence xn converges to or if the

sequence converges.
(iii)

p8

## Enter RECUR mode.

Select TYPE.

Select F2:
an+1 = Aan + Bn + C .

0.5L
GjwM
2kl

y
w
1l20
l0l

du

40

## Enter the recurrence

equation.
w corresponds to an.
Enter Table Setting.
Change a0 to a1.
Apply the settings
as shown. Use a
larger value for
End if later found
insufficient.
Use a1 = 0 for the
first case.
Select TABL.

## GLM PTE LTD

While pressing N,
observe the change
in an+1.
It is noted that the
sequence converges
to 0.7148 which is
when x1= 0.

[Set a1= 3 and
apply similar
key strokes.]

UNIT 4

## It is noted that the

sequence converges
to 0.7148 also which
is when x1= 3.

41

apply similar
key strokes.]

## It is noted that the

sequence diverges
when x1= 6 as shown
by the 'ERROR'
message.

xn
1 x
1 xn
1
(iv) xn +1 xn = e 2n xn = e 2 xn = (2 xn e 2 )
2
2
2
xn
xn
1
2
If < xn < , 2xn e > 0 (2 xn e 2 ) < 0 xn +1 xn < 0 xn +1 < xn .
2
xn
xn
1
If xn < or xn > , 2xn e 2 < 0 (2 xn e 2 ) > 0 xn +1 xn > 0 xn +1 > xn .
2

(v)

42

1 x
1
For x1 = 0 where x1 < xn +1 = e 2n xn < e 2 = , hence x1 < x2 < x3 < ... < .

2
2
1 x 1
For x1 = 3 where < x1 < xn > xn +1 = e 2n > e 2 = , hence x1 > x2 > x3 > ... > .
2
2
If x1 = 6 where x1 > xn < xn +1 , hence < x1 < x2 < x3 ... .

Checklist

TECHNIQUES

4.1

4.2

mode.
Evaluate .

4.3

4.4

UNIT 4

GRAPH mode.

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