Anda di halaman 1dari 5

Rational Bounds for the Logarithm Function

with Applications
Robert Bosch

Abstract
We find rational bounds for the logarithm function and we show applications to problem-solving.

1 Introduction
Let  n
1
an = 1 + ,
n
solving the problem U385 from the journal Mathematical Reflections I realized that I needed good
lower and upper bounds for an depending on n. The classical an < e was not enough. The problem

U385 was proposed by Angel Plaza, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain:

Evaluate r s !
(n + 1)n nn1
lim n .
n nn1 (n 1)n2
More precisely, I conjectured that r
an 1
1 + 2.
an1 n
To prove this conjecture I used the double inequality
2n 2n + 1
e < an < e, (1)
2n + 1 2n + 2
that I found in . Exactly, problem 170, page 38 with solution in page 216. The source of this
problem is old, from 1872 in Nouvelles Annales de Mathematiques, , the proposer is unknown and
was solved by C. Moreau in . Here we present a new proof. Later we will show how this result
helps to find the limit. Our proof of (1) is based on non-standard bounds for the logarithm function,
these bounds are rational functions (quotient of two polynomials) and the seed inequalities (the proof
is iterative) are the well-known

ex x + 1, for x R, (2)
1
ln x > 1 , for x > 1. (3)
x

2 Main Theorem
Let us begin with the proof of (2) and (3).

Mathematical Reflections 1 (2017) 1

increasing function for x 0. So, f (x) f (0) or equivalently ex x + 1. If x 1 then
x + 1 is negative and ex is positive. When 1 < x < 0 the function f (x) is also positive
because f (1) = e1 > 0 and f (0) = 0. Suppose by contradiction that exist x0 (1, 0) such
that f (x0 ) < 0, then since f (x) is clearly continuous by Bolzanos theorem there is a value
x1 (1, x0 ) with f (x1 ) = 0, contradiction since f (x) = 0 only for x = 0. To prove this last
b (x, 0) such that f 0 (b
result suppose that f (x) = 0 and x 6= 0. By Rolles theorem exist x x) = 0,
x
or e = 1, hence x
b
1
ln x > 1 x
for x > 1.

Proof: Z x Z x
1 1
dt > dt.
1 t 1 t2

Now we are ready to find the rational bounds.

Theorem:

I1 : ln(1 + x) x, x > 1,
x(x + 2)
I2 : ln(1 + x) , x 0,
2(x + 1)
x(x + 6)
I3 : ln(1 + x) , x 0,
2(2x + 3)
2(x 1)
I4 : ln x > , x > 1.
x+1
Proof:

Z x Z x
ln(1 + t)dt tdt.
0 0

Z x Z x
t(t + 2)
ln(1 + t)dt dt.
0 0 2(t + 1)

Finally I4 follows from integrate (3),

Z x Z x  
1
ln tdt > 1 dt.
1 1 t
Notice that in each step the new inequalities are refinements of the previous ones. Holds
x(x + 6) x(x + 2)
x,
2(2x + 3) 2(x + 1)
for x 0. Also
2(x 1) x1
,
x+1 x
for x > 1. The result of continuing this algorithm are not rational bounds. To see how to find new
refinements that are rational bounds look at .

Mathematical Reflections 1 (2017) 2

3 Applications
We show a proof of the Arithmetic-Geometric Mean inequality using inequality (2).

x1 +x2 ++xn
Let = n
. By (2),
x1 x2 xn x1 x2 xn
e( 1) e( 1) e( 1) .

After simple transformations this inequality is equivalent to AM-GM:

n x1 x2 xn .

Let us see the proof of the double inequality (1). Taking logarithms on both sides we need to
prove      
2n 1 2n + 1
ln + 1 < n ln 1 + < ln + 1.
2n + 1 n 2n + 2
The left hand inequality is
   
1 2n + 1
n ln 1 + + ln > 1.
n 2n

The lower bound provided by (3) is not effective here, but I4 it is,
2n 2
+ > 1 2 > 1.
2n + 1 4n + 1
The right hand inequality becomes
   
1 1
n ln 1 + + ln 1 + < 1.
n 2n + 1

I1 and I2 are not good enough, but I3 it is,

6n + 1 12n + 7
+ < 1 3n + 1 > 0.
2(3n + 2) 2(6n + 5)(2n + 1)

lim an = e.
n

Prove the following inequality holds for all positive integers n 2,

    
1 1 1
1+ 1+ 1 + < 3.
1+2 1+2+3 1 + 2 + 3 + + n

Mathematical Reflections 1 (2017) 3

The published solution is due to Albert Stadler, Herrliberg, Switzerland using the inequality
I1 .
n   n  
Y 1 Y 2
1+ = 1+ ,
k=2
1 + 2 + + k k=2
k(k + 1)
n  !
X 2
= exp ln 1 + ,
k=2
k(k + 1)
n
!
X 1
exp 2 ,
k=2
k(k + 1)
n  !
X 1 1
= exp 2 ,
k k + 1
 k=2 
2
= exp 1 e < 3.
n+1

We need to show that n  

Y 2
1+ < 6.
k=1
k(k + 1)
Or equivalently
n  
X 2
ln 1 + < ln 6.
k=1
k(k + 1)
By I2 it is enough to prove that

X 1 X 1
+ 2
ln 6.
k=1
k(k + 1) k=1 k + k + 2

The first series telescopes to 1 and the second one can be found from the series for z cot(z) for
an appropriate z, the value using Wolfram Alpha is
!
7

tanh
X 1 2 1
2
= 0.686827.
k=1
k +k+2 7 2

Notice that e1.686827 5.4023 < 5.4365 2e.

To finish let us see our solution to problem U385, the before mentioned limit.

e
The value of the limit is . Denoting
2
 n
1
an = 1 + e,
n

Mathematical Reflections 1 (2017) 4

the expression to find the limit is
r 
an p
an1 n n(n 1) .
an1

1
It only remains to show that the expression inside parenthesis tend to . We shall use the
2
double inequality r
an 1
1 1 + 2.
an1 n
The lower bound is because the sequence an is increasing, the upper bound is hard and is true
because the double inequality
2n 2n + 1
e < an < e.
2n + 1 2n + 2
We obtain s
4n2 1
r
an 1
< 2
< 1 + 2.
an1 4n 4 n
To finish, note that p
p 1 1 1/n
lim n n(n 1) = lim ,
n n 1/n
and doing x = 1/n, we have

1 1x 1 1
lim = lim = .
x0 x x0 2 1 x 2

By LHopitals rule.

References
 G. Po . Problems and Theorems in Analysis. Vol. I. Springer, (1998).
lya - G. Szego

 Problem 1098. Nouv. Annls. Math. Ser. 2, Vol. 11, p. 480. (1872)

 C. Moreau. Nouv. Annls. Math. Ser. 2, Vol. 13, p. 61. (1874)

 Flemming Topsoe. Some bounds for the logarithmic function. University of Copenhagen. (avail-
able on the Internet.)

Robert Bosch
USA.
bobbydrg@gmail.com