= +
= + = +
= + + =
which is a constant. Hence, the sequence is an A.P.
Common Mistake:
2 1
3 2
13 8 5
18 13 5
u u
u u
= =
= =
thus sequence is an A.P.
Note: Do NOT merely use any two specific terms to prove a sequence is an A.P., use
general terms instead.
Example 2.3
The third term of an arithmetic progression is 10 and the seventh term is 34. Find the first
term and the common difference. Hence find the twelfth term.
Solution:
12
2 10 (1)
6 34 (2)
(2) (1) : 4 24 6
2
( 2) 11(6) 64
a d
a d
d d
a
u
+ =
+ =
= =
=
= + =
1
constant, where denotes the general th term of the sequence.
n n n
u u u n
=
This is not a substantial proof.
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 2.4
Three consecutive terms of an arithmetic progression have sum 21 and product 315. Find the
three numbers of the arithmetic progression.
Solution:
Let the 3 terms be a d, a, a + d.
2
2
( ) ( ) 21 7
(7 )(7)(7 ) 315
(7 )(7 ) 45
49 45
4 2
a d a a d a
d d
d d
d
d d
+ + + = =
+ =
+ =
=
= =
Hence the three numbers are 5, 7, 9 or 9, 7, 5.
3 Arithmetic Series
Let
n
S denote the sum of the first n terms of the arithmetic progression. Then
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
1
2 3 ... 1 ( 1)
n
n
i
S a a d a d a d a n d a i d
=
= + + + + + + + + + = + (
where a is the first term and d is the common difference.
n
S is called an arithmetic series.
( ) 2 1 ( )
2 2
n
n n
S a n d a l = + = + (
where l is the last term, i.e. ( )d n a l 1 + = .
Proof:
+( ) ( 2 ) ... ( ( 1) ) (1)
( ( 1) ) ( ( 2) ) ( ( 3) ) ... (2)
n
n
S a a d a d a n d
S a n d a n d a n d a
= + + + + + +
= + + + + + + +
Taking (1) + (2), we have
2 (2 ( 1) )
(2 ( 1) )
2
( ( 1) )
2
( )
2
n
n
S n a n d
n
S a n d
n
a a n d
n
a l
= +
= +
= + +
= +
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 3.1
Evaluate the following series:
(i)
( ) [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
( )
( )
2
2 1 2(2) 1 2(3) 1 2(4) 1 ... 2( ) 1
5 7 9 ... (2 1)
2 1
5 2 1
2
1
2 6
2
n
r
r n
n
n
n
n
n
=
+ = + + + + + + + +
= + + + + +
+
= + + (
= +
(ii)
( ) ( )
( )
2
1
1 2
2
5 1
2
n
r n
n
r n n n n n
n
n
= +
+ = + + + +
= +
Note that in both series above, the rth term forms an arithmetic progression. Thus we can
easily apply the formula for finding the sum of an arithmetic series. Alternatively, you may
apply the rules of summation (which you have learnt earlier) to evaluate the sum.
Example 3.2
The sum of the first nine terms of an arithmetic progression is 75 and the twentyfifth term is
also 75. Find the common difference and the sum of the first hundred terms.
Solution:
Let a be the first term and d be the common difference.
( )
100
9
2 8 75
2
25
4 (1)
3
24 75 (2)
200 10
(2) (1) : 20 , 5
3 3
100 10
2( 5) 99 16000
2 3
a d
a d
a d
d d a
S
+ =
+ =
+ =
= = =
(  
= + =
 (
\
3.1 Finding General Term Formula from Sum Formula
The sum formula for an arithmetic series can be used to find a formula for its general term,
n
u
.
S
n
=
1 2 3 1
....
n n
u u u u u
+ + + + +
S
n 1
=
1 2 3 1
....
n
u u u u
+ + + +
Therefore, S
n
S
n 1
=
n
u
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 3.3
The sum of the first n terms of a series is given by n n S
n
3
2
= . Show that the terms of the
series are in an arithmetic progression. Hence, find the first term, a and the common
difference, d.
Solution:
2
2 2
1
2 2
1
1
1
3
( 1) 3( 1) 5 4
3 ( 5 4) 2 4
2( 1) 4 2 6
(2 4) (2 6) 2
n
n
n n n
n
n n
S n n
S n n n n
u S S n n n n n
u n n
u u n n
=
= = +
= = + =
= =
= =
Hence, the terms are in A.P.
1
1 3 2 a S = = = ; d = 2.
4 Geometric Progression
Definition
A geometric progression (G.P.) is a sequence of numbers in which each term other than the
first term is obtained from the preceding one by the multiplication of a nonzero constant
number called the common ratio. Therefore, if we let a be the first term and r be the
common ratio of the sequence, then the sequence is a G. P. of the form
a, ar, ar
2
, ar
3
,
Can you deduce the formula for the general nth
term of a G.P.?
Give the values of a, r, and the general term
n
u for the following geometric progressions:
Sequences First Term, a Common Ratio, r General Term,
n
u
1) 2, 6, 18, 54, . 2 3
1
2(3 )
n
n
u
=
2)
1 1 3 9
, , , ,....
3 2 4 8
1
3
3
2
1
1 3
3 2
n
n
u
  
=
 
\ \
1 n
n
u ar
=
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 4.1
Find the number of terms in the following geometric progression:
1 1 1
8, 4, 2,1, , ,....,
2 4 2048
.
Solution:
Let n be the number of terms.
First term, a = 8 Common ratio, r =
1
2
Then,
1
1
1 1
8
2048 2
1 1
16384 2
1 1
ln ( 1) ln
16384 2
1 14 15
n
n
n
n n
 
=

\
 
=

\
 
=

\
= =
In a geometric progression, the ratio of any 2 consecutive terms always gives the same
constant. Thus, to prove that a sequence is a geometric progression, we need to show that
1
nonzero constant
n
n
u
u
=
Note: Use general terms to prove that a sequence is a G.P. and not specific terms.
Example 4.2
The nth term of a sequence is
1
3(2) ,
n
n
T n
+ +
= Z . Show that the sequence is a geometric
progression.
Solution:
1
1
1
1
3(2)
3(2)
3(2)
2
3(2)
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
T
T
T
T
+
=
=
= =
which is a nonzero constant.
Hence, the sequence is a G.P.
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 4.3
The first 3 consecutive terms of a geometric progression are 3 4 , 4 2 , 3 k k k . Find the
value of k, the first term and the common ratio.
Solution:
2
2 2
2 4 4 3
3 2 4
( 3)(4 3) (2 4)
4 3 12 9 4 16 16
7
k k
k k
k k k
k k k k k
k
=
=
+ = +
=
First term 7 3 4
2(7) 4 5
Common Ratio
7 3 2
= =
= =
Example 4.4
Three consecutive terms of a geometric progression have a sum of 24.5 and a product of 343.
Find the three numbers.
Solution:
3
2
Let the three terms be , , .
24.5 (1)
( )( ) 343
Since is nonzero,
343 7
Subst into (1)
7 49
7 7
2
2 5 2 0
(2 1)( 2) 0
1
, 2.
2
a
a ar
r
a
a ar
r
a
a ar
r
r
a a
r
r
r r
r r
r
+ + =
=
= =
+ + =
+ =
=
=
Hence, the three numbers are 14, 7,
7
2
or
7
, 7,14
2
.
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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5 Geometric Series
Let
n
S denote the sum of the first n terms of the geometric progression. Then
2 3 1 1
1
...
n
n i
n
i
S a ar ar ar ar ar
=
= + + + + + =
.
where a is the first term and r is the common ratio.
n
S is called a geometric series.
n
S =
Proof :
2 3 1
For 1,
... (1)
n
n
r
S a ar ar ar ar
= + + + + +
Multiply throughout by r,
2 3
... (2)
n
n
rS ar ar ar ar = + + + +
Taking (1) (2):
(1 ) (1 )
1
1
n
n n
n
n
n
n
S rS a ar
S r a r
r
S a
r
=
=
 
=

\
For r = 1,
n
S = a + a + + a = an.
Example 5.1
The third term of a geometric progression is 36 and the sixth term is 121.5. Find the first
term, common ratio and the sum of the first eight terms.
Solution:
2
3
5
6
36 (1)
121.5 (2)
u ar
u ar
= =
= =
Taking (2) (1):
Thus,
8
8
16(1 1.5 )
788.125
1 1.5
S
= =
.
n times
( )
1
, 1
1
, 1
n
a r
r
r
an r
=
3
2
3.375
1.5
36
16
1.5
r
r
a
=
=
= =
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 5.2
The sum of the first n terms of a series is given by the expression
1
1
3
2
6
n
n
. By finding an
expression for the nth term of the series, show that this is a geometric series. State the values
of the first term and the common ratio.
Solution:
1
1
1 2
1 1
1 1 2 1 2 2 2 1
1
1 2
2
6
3
2
6
3
2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2
6 6 1
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
2
3
n
n n
n
n n
n n n n n n n
n n n n n n n n n n
n
n n
S
S
u S S
u
+
+ +
=
=
   
 
= = = + = + = =
  
\
\ \
=
2
1
1 1 1
1
2
2
1
0
1
2
2 3 2
3
2 3 2 3
3
Hence, it is a G. P.
2
First term 6 2
3
2
Common Ratio .
3
n
n n
n
n
n n n
n
n
n
n
u
u
S
T
T
= = =
= = =
= =
6 Infinite Geometric Series
Consider the following sequences:
1, 2, 4, 8, 16, a G.P. with first term 1 and common ratio 2.
1 1 1 1
1, , , , ,...
2 4 8 16
a G.P. with first term 1 and common ratio
1
2
.
1, 2, 4, 8, 16, a G.P. with first term 1 and common ratio 2.
Let us find the sum of the first n terms for each sequence and denote the sum as
n
S .
(You may use your GC to generate the series)
Series
n
S
10
S
50
S
100
S
200
S
1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 +
2 1
n
1023
15
1.13 10
30
1.26 10
60
1.61 10
1 1 1 1
1 ...
2 4 8 16
+ + + + +
1
2 1
2
n
 

\
1.998 2 2 2
1 + (2) + 4 + (8) +
16 +
( )
1 ( 2)
3
n
341
14
3.75 10
29
4.23 10
59
5.35 10
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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For each of the series, what can you say about the value of
n
S as n ?
Both the first and third series get larger (either positively or negatively) as n gets larger. But
the second series gives the same value of 2 as n increases.
Thus we say that the sum to infinity of the second series is finite and equals to 2. In other
words, the series is convergent and it converges to the limit 2,
i.e.
n
S =
1
2 1
2
n
 

\
2 when n (because
1
0 when
2
n
n ).
When will the sum to infinity of a geometric series be finite? ,
Observe that for 1 1 r < < , 0 when .
n
r n
Hence,
1
when
1 1
n
n
r a
S a n
r r
 
=

\
, and we say that the sum to infinity, denoted by
S .
Example 6.1
Evaluate the sum ...
1000000
52
10000
52
100
52
+ + + . Hence, or otherwise, express the recurring
decimal of 3.525252. as a rational number.
Solution:
52 52 52 1 1 1
... 52 ...
100 10000 1000000 100 10000 1000000
1
52
100
52
1
99
1
100
52 52 52 52
3.525252... 3 ... 3 .
100 10000 1000000 99
 
+ + + = + + +

\
(
(
= =
(
(
= + + + + =
1
a
S
r
1 1, where denotes the common ratio r r < <
GP:
First term =
1
100
Common ratio
=
1
100
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 6.2
The sum to infinity of a geometric series is 162. The sum of the first 3 terms is 114. Find the
least value of n for which the sum to n terms differs from the sum to infinity by less than
0.02.
Solution:
3
3
3
3
162 162 (1)
1
(1 )
114 114 (2)
1
Substitute (1) into (2)
162(1 ) 114
114 8 2
1
162 27 3
Subst into (1)
2
162(1 ) 54
3
a
S
r
a r
S
r
r
r r
a
= =
= =
=
= = =
= =
0.02
2
162 162 1 0.02
3
2
162 1 1 0.02
3
2 0.02 2
( ( ) 0 for all
3 162 3
modulus sign is removed)
2 0.02
lg lg
3 162
0.02
lg
162
22.2
2
lg
3
n
n
n
n
n
S S
n
n
n
+
<
 
 
<



\
\
(  
 
< ( 


\
(
\
 
< >

\
 
<

\
> =
 

\
Therefore, the least n = 23.
Example 6.3 (Miscellaneous)
The nth
term of a series is
1
2 5 2
n
n
= + + + = + +
OR
Notice that
1
2
n
n
U
= ( th n term of a G.P. with a = 1 & r = 2) and 5 2
n
U n = + ( th n term of
an A.P. with a = 7)
2 1
(7 5 2) 2 1 (9 5 )
2 1 2 2
N
N
N
N N
S N N
= + + + = + +
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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Example 6.4 (Miscellaneous)
The fifth, tenth and twentieth terms of a convergent geometric progression, G, are the first
three consecutive terms of an arithmetic progression, A.
(i) Determine the common ratio of G.
Given that the first term of G is 2,
(ii) evaluate the sum to infinity for G.
(iii) find the sum of the first 10 oddnumbered terms in A.
[NJC/2008/H2Promo/Q8]
Solution:
(i)
9 4 19 9
ar ar ar ar =
( ) ( )
4 5 9 10
5
5
10
5
5
10 5
1 1
1
1
1
1
1 0
0.908
ar r ar r
r
r
r
r
r
r r
r
=
=
+
+ =
=
(ii)
2
21.8
1 0.908
S
(iii) Sum of the first 10 oddnumbered terms
( ) ( )( )
4 9 4
10
2 2 9 2 2 2
2
33.2
r r r
(
= +
=
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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National Junior College
2010 H2 Mathematics (Senior High 1)
Arithmetic and Geometric Series (Tutorial)
Basic Mastery Questions
1. If the rth term of an arithmetic progression is 4r 7, find the sum of the first 2n terms.
2. The first term of an arithmetic progression is 2. The sum of the first 8 terms is 58 and the
sum of the whole series is 325. Calculate
(i) the common difference,
(ii) the number of terms,
(iii)the last term.
3. The first three terms, all positive, of a certain geometric progression are x 4, x and 5x
12.
Find (i) the value of x,
(ii) the value of the fourth term.
4. The second term of a geometric progression is 18 and its sum to infinity is
81
2
. Find the
value of the common ratio and the first term of the geometric progression.
Tutorial Questions
1. The rth term of a series is given by21 3r .
(i) Show that the series is an arithmetic series.
(ii) Find the sum of the first n terms of the series.
(iii)Find the nth term given that the sum of the first n terms is zero.
2. The sum of the first n terms of an arithmetic progression is given by
2
qn pn S
n
+ = , and
that 6
3
= S and 11
5
= S .
(i) Find the values of p and q.
(ii) Hence, or otherwise, find an expression for the nth term and the value of the common
difference.
3. The sum of the first 20 terms of an arithmetic progression is 50 and the sum of the next
20 terms is 50. Find the sum of the first 100 terms of this progression.
4. An arithmetic progression has first term, a and common difference, 10. The sum of the
first n terms is 10000. Express a in terms of n, and show that the nth term is
( )
10000
5 1 n
n
+ . Given that the nth term is less than 500, show that
0 2000 101
2
< + n n , and hence find the largest possible value of n.
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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5. A man earns $30000 for the first year and he receives a fixed annual increment of $100
for the second and each subsequent year. He deposits 20% of his yearly salary in a safe
deposit box with a bank as part of his liquid assets. Calculate the amount of money in his
safe deposit box after 15 years? (Note that any deposit in the safe deposit box does not
yield any interest.)
6. The sum of the first n terms of a series is given by
1
2
5
5
n
n
.
(i) Show that the series is a geometric series.
(ii) Explain why this series converges and find its sum to infinity.
[DHS/2008/H2Prelim/P1/Q1]
7. An infinite geometric series has first term 1 a and second term
2
3 2 a a + . Given that
all the terms of the series are positive, find the set of values of a for which the series
converges.
Given that
11
4
a = , find the least value of n for which the sum of the first n terms of
the series exceeds 6.999.
[MJC/2008/H2Prelim/P2/Q2]
8. It is given that a, b, c are the first three terms of a geometric progression. It is also given
that a, c, b are the first three terms of an arithmetic progression.
(i) Show that
2
and
2
a b
b ac c
+
= = .
(ii) Hence show that
2
2 1 0
b b
a a
   
=
 
\ \
.
(iii)Given that the sum to infinity of the geometric progression is S, find S in terms of a.
9. (a) An infinite geometric series has first term a and common ratio r. The sum of the first
fourteen terms of the series is 127 times the sum to infinity of the remaining terms of
the series. Find the two possible values of r in exact form.
(b) From a ribbon, pieces of decreasing lengths are cut. The lengths of the pieces cut
follow an arithmetic progression with the 6th piece and the 26th piece cut being of
lengths 19 cm and 15 cm respectively.
(i) Find the length of the first piece cut and the common difference of the arithmetic
progression.
(ii) Assuming that the ribbon is sufficiently long, find the number of such pieces that
can be cut from the ribbon and also the least possible length of the ribbon.
[RI(JC)/2009/H2Promo/Q3]
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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10. A flag pole is being driven into the ground by a mechanical hammer. The distance it is
driven by the first blow is 8 cm. Subsequently, the distance it is driven by each blow is
9
10
of the distance it was driven by the previous blow.
(i) The pole is to be driven a total of at least 70 cm into the ground. Find the smallest
number of blows needed.
(ii) Explain why the pole can never be driven a total distance of more than 80 cm into the
ground.
11. Benny, a selfemployed businessman has a sum of money and he decides to make a
yearly contribution to his Central Provident Fund (CPF) Special Account as part of his
investment plans. Interest is added to his Special Account at the end of each year at a rate
of 4 % of the amount in the account at the start of that year.
Benny contributes $X to his Special Account at the beginning of one year and then
deposits a further of $X to the same account at the start of each subsequent year. He also
decides that he will not draw any money including the interest out of the account. He
wishes to retire once he has saved more than $30X in his Special Account.
(i) Calculate how much money he will receive at the end of ten years?
(ii) Find the least number of years he needs to continue contributing to his CPF Special
Account before he can retire?
Challenging Questions
1. The positive integers, starting at 1, are grouped into sets containing 1, 2, 4, 8,
integers, as indicated below, so that the number of integers in each set after the first is
twice the number of integers in the previous set.
{1}, {2, 3}, {4, 5, 6, 7} {8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15}, ..
(i) Write down expressions, in terms of r, for
(a) the number of integers in the rth set,
(b) the first integer in the rth set,
(c) the last integer in the rth set.
(ii) Given that the integer 1000000 occurs in the rth set, find the value of r.
(iii) The sum of all the integers in the 20th set is denoted by S, and the sum of all
the integers in all of the first 20 sets is denoted by T. Show that S may be
expressed as
( )
18 19
2 3 2 1 , and evaluate
T
S
, correct to 4 decimal places.
National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
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2.
Snowflake curves are generated by the following constructions:
Step 1: Start with an equilateral triangle,
0
C .
Step 2: On the middle third of each side, draw an equilateral triangle and
erase the base of each of the new triangles (shown in
1
C ).
Step 3: Step 2 is repeated to get figures
2
C ,
3
C ,.
Let
n
U denote the number of sides and
n
P denote the perimeter of figure
n
C .
Given that
0
3 P = cm,
(i) find
0 1 2 3
, , , and U U U U . Deduce
n
U in terms of n, where n = 0, 1, 2, 3,
(ii) find the least value of n such that
n
C has more than
20
10 sides.
(iii) find a relation between
n
P and
0
P , and hence, discuss the behaviour of
n
P as n tends to infinity.
(iv) find
0
k
n
n
P
=
, where k
+
Z . Explain if
0
n
n
P
=
converges?
Show that the area,
n
A , enclosed by
n
C , is
0
1 4
8 3
5 9
n
A
(
 
(

\
(
.
Discuss the behaviour of
n
A as n tends to infinity.
Assignment Questions
1. The 10
th
term of an arithmetic progression is 20 and the sum of the first 20 terms is 500.
Find the sum of the first 50 oddnumbered terms.
2. The seventh, third and first term of an arithmetic progression with nonzero common
difference are the first three terms of a geometric progression respectively. Prove that the
geometric progression is convergent.
The seventh term of the arithmetic progression is 3. Find the smallest value of n such that
the sum of the first n terms in the arithmetic progression exceeds the sum of the first n
terms in the geometric progression by at least 100.
[AJC/2008/H2Prelim/P2/Q2]
0
C
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National Junior College Mathematics Department 2010
2010 / SH1 / H2 Math / APGP (Teachers Edition) Page 18 of 18
3. Each time a ball falls vertically on to a horizontal floor, it rebounds to threequarters of
the height from which it fell. It is initially dropped from a point 4 metres above the floor.
Find, and simplify, an expression for the total distance the ball travels until it is about to
touch the floor for the (n + 1)th time. Hence, find the number of times the ball has
bounced when it has travelled 24 metres and also the total distance it travels before
coming to rest. (The dimensions of the ball are to be ignored)
Numerical Answers to Arithmetic and Geometric Series Tutorial
Basic Mastery Questions
1.
2
8 10 n n 2.
3
(i) , (ii) 20, (iii)30.5
2
3. (i) 6, (ii) 54 4.
1
;54
3
Tutorial Questions
1.
(39 3 )
(ii) , (iii) 13
2
n n
2. (i) p = 1.7, q = 0.1, (ii)0.2n + 1.6; 0.2 3. 750
4.
10000
5( 1) n
n
; 73 5. $92100 6. (ii) 5 7. { } : 2 3 a a < < ; 31
8. (iii)
2
3
a
S = 9. (a)
1
2
r = , (b)(i) 20cm, 0.2cm, (ii) 100, 1010cm
10. (i) 20 11. (i) $12.49X, (ii) 20
Challenging Questions
1. (i)
1 1
2 ; 2 ; 2 1
r r r
, (ii) 20, (iii) 1.3333
2. (ii) 33 (iii)
0
4
3
n
n
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(iv)
1
0
4
9 1
3
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