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Homework Help: Proof using the binomial theorem

  1. Mar 1, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Use the binomial theorem to rpove that for n a positive integer we have:

    (1 + 1/n)^n = 1 + sum(k=1 to n) [1/k! product(r=0 to k-1) (1 - r/n)]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    (1 + 1/n)^n = 1 + sum(k=1 to n) (n choose r) 1^n-k (1/n)^k, where (n choose r) = n!/r!(n - r)!, the binomial coefficients.

    I'm trying to fit "n!/r!(n - r)!" to an expression that involves the products, since product(k=1 to n) n = n!

    The product on the RHS I rewrite it as: product(r=0 to k-1) [(n - r)/n]

    [product(r=0 to k-1) (n - r)] x [product(r=0 to k-1) (1/n)]

    => (n - r)! (1/n)!


    (1 + 1/n)^n = 1 + sum(k=1 to n) [1/k! (n-r)! (1/n)!] or (1 + 1/n)^n = 1 + sum(k=1 to n) [(n-r)!/k!n!]

    I don't like this. I feel that all of this is taking me nowhere.

    Any ideas will be very appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2012 #2

    look at the snapshot i have attached. in the second equation, its clear that we can express
    it as the term on RHS in your expression.

    Attached Files:

    • 2.png
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  4. Mar 1, 2012 #3
    Each of the terms of the RHS sum corresponds to one of the expanded terms of the LHS.
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