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Taylor expansion technique

  1. Jan 16, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone,
    Is there a certain technique or a program for converting Taylor expansion to summation notation form and vice versa.
    Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2013 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    Your question isn't completely clear. Can you give a specific example where converting from one notation to the other is difficult?
  4. Jan 16, 2013 #3
    let's say I expend a certain function using Taylor series. Is there a specific method I can apply to represent that string of terms in sigma notation.
  5. Jan 16, 2013 #4
    Unless you can find an expression for the nth derivative of the function at a certain point in terms of n, there's no point in trying.
  6. Jan 16, 2013 #5

    Stephen Tashi

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    Well, that's more specific question, but not a specific example.

    I think your question amounts to asking whether there is a concise way to represent the n-th derivative of a particular function ( like f(x) = (x sin x)/(x+3) ) as an expression with a finite number of symbols in it that only involves specific functions and the variables 'x' and 'n'.

    I don't know of any technique that works for all functions. The higher derivatives of some functions involve more and more terms. You might have to write sums-of-sums or sums-of-sums-of-sums to represent them.

    You could approach the problem as a task in computer algebra. It would involve algorithms that manipulate strings. This makes it a very specialized question. I don't know whether any programmers doing computer algebra hang-out in the computer sections of the forum. I don't recall seeing any computer algebra algorithms discussed in these mathematics sections.
  7. Jan 16, 2013 #6
    Let's say i need to rewrite 2+7(x-2)+4(x-2)^2+(x-2)^3+O((x-2^4) in sigma notation.Is there any systematic way to do that?
  8. Jan 16, 2013 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    To write a series in summation notation, you have to have a general pattern for the n-th term of the series. I don't see any particular pattern in what you showed.
  9. Jan 16, 2013 #8
    Maybe different example: 1 + x + (5/4)x^2 + (7/4)x^3 +...+O(x^4). I am looking for general approach for rewriting expansions like this in sigma notation.
  10. Jan 16, 2013 #9
    There are infinitely many functions f such that f(0)=1*0!, f(1)=1*1!, f(2)=5/4*2!, f(3)=7/4*3!. Without knowing every term, it's impossible to find a summation that continues to be consistent with the taylor expansion of the function forever, in this case, we need the O(x^4)'s expansion.

    (Or you can just use your induction skills to find [itex]f^{\left(n\right)}\left(k\right)[/itex] in terms of n and k to find the expansion around k.)
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