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Homework Help: Series expansion

  1. Oct 16, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Show that 1- x/2 + x^2/3 - x^3/4 + x^4/5.... (-1)^n (x^n)/(n+1) = ln(1+x)/x
    with |x| < 1

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    finding derivative of the function multiplied by x
    d/dx(xS(x))
    = 1 -x + x^2 - x^3 + x^4 - x^5 +....

    absolute value of this function = 1 + x + x^2 + x^3 + x^4.... = 1/1-x ( geometric series)
    the integral of that gives us -ln(1-x) + c

    drawing a blank now. not really sure where to go.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2013 #2

    haruspex

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    No it isn't. But it is a geometric series, so you can sum it quite easily.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2013 #3
    ok the absolute value part is wrong, but what do you mean i can sum it up easily? i dont get it. is the integral still -ln(1-x) + c..? i know the geometric series for 1 + x + x^2 + .... = 1/1-x, but how does that change with alternating signs? is it going to be (-1)^n*(1/1-x)? so the integral is (-1)^n*-ln(1-x)? how do i go from that to ln(1+x)/x?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  5. Oct 16, 2013 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    An alternating series involves (1)n which can easily be incorported into the geometric series.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2013 #5

    haruspex

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    I think you meant (-1)n.
    Thercias, what is the ratio of consecutive terms in your alternating series? If it's independent of n then it's a geometric series.
     
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