or as
0
( 1)
k
k
k
a
where 0
k
a > for all k.
c) A series
0
k
k
a
is convergent.
If a series is absolutely convergent, it is convergent. The reverse might not be true. For example, if
1
( 1)
k
k
a
k
= , then
0
k
k
a
=
0
1
k
k
diverges. There is a name for this situation, as follows:
d) A series
0
k
k
a
is conditionally convergent if
0
k
k
a
converges but
0
 
k
k
a
diverges.
Some basic tips for doing power series problems
1. You MUST start each convergence question with the kth term test: The series is divergent if
lim
k
k
a
a) does not exist or b) is not 0. If that limit is 0, you must continue with other tests. So
you need to know stuff about limits, as follows.
i) exponential functions grow faster than polynomials.
50
lim 0
2
k
k
k
= and
50
2
lim
k
k
k
=
ii) factorials grow faster than exponential functions:
2
lim 0
!
k
k k
= and
50
!
lim
2
k
k
=
iii) limits pull inside functions:
2 2
lim cos cos lim cos(0) 1
! !
k k
k k k k
   
= = =
 
 
\ . \ .
.
Example:
2
cos
!
k
k
 


\ .
is 1, not 0.
2. Remember that cos 1 x s and  sin  1 x s for all x.
Example: Does
0
k
k
a
=
2
0
cos 12sin
k
k k
k
=
+
=
2
0
cos 12sin
k
k k
k
=
+
= 0.
Some consequences:
a)
0
( )
( 1)
( )
k
k
p k
q k
=
0
( )
( 1)
( )
k
k
p k
q k
is divergent by the nth term test if degree(p) >= degree(q). Thats because
lim
k
k
a
=
( )
lim
( ) k
p k
q k
= lim lim
m
m n
n
k k
k
k
k
= is 1 if m = n and is infinity if m >n .
Example:
2
4
17 500 12
( 1)
500 12
n
n n
n n
+ +
+ +
behaves like
2
4 4
17 17 n
n n
=
which converges by the ptest with p = 2.
Example:
2
3
17 500 12
( 1)
500 12
n
n n
n n
+ +
+ +
behaves like
2
3
17 17 n
n n
=
which diverges by the ptest with p = 1. However, the AST does
apply (degree(top) =2 is less than degree(bottom) = 3) and so the Alternating Series is convergent.
Therefore the original series is conditionally convergent.