Last Updated : 31 Jul, 2024

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A conditionally convergent series is a concept in mathematical analysis that describes a particular type of convergent series. In this article, we will learn about the definition of series, convergence in series, related examples and others in detail.

Table of Content

- What is a Series?
- Convergence in Series
- Absolute Convergence
- Conditional Convergence
- Examples of Convergence Series
- What is a Conditionally Convergent Series?
- Conditionally Convergent Series Uses
- Methods to Determine Conditional Convergence

## What is a Series?

A series is the total adding of the terms of a sequence. They are like figures that you add some other numbers from a list one after the other. Mathematically let there be a sequence,

[Tex]a_1, a_2, a_3. .[/Tex].

When the value of the series starts increasing, collecting terms and the sum starts getting closer to a fixed value then it is stated that the series is convergent and the series is represented by [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n[/Tex]

## Convergence in Series

Convergence in series is a vital concept, determining whether the sum of an infinite series approaches a specific value. Let’s explore two main types of convergence:

- Absolute Convergence
- Conditional Convergence

### Absolute Convergence

A series [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n[/Tex] is absolutely convergent if the series of absolute values [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} |a_n| [/Tex] converges. This means that even if you ignore the signs of the terms, the series still sums up to a finite number. Mathematically, if [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} |a_n| < \infty[/Tex], the series is absolutely convergent.

### Conditional Convergence

A series [Tex] \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n[/Tex] is conditionally convergent if it converges, but the series of absolute values [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} |a_n|[/Tex] diverges. Here, the series sums to a finite value, but only because of the particular arrangement of positive and negative terms. Mathematically, if [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n = L[/Tex] (a finite number) but [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} |a_n| = \infty[/Tex], the series is conditionally convergent.

## Examples of Convergence Series

Consider series [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{n+1}}{n} = \ln(2)[/Tex]

Series [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} 1/n[/Tex] (harmonic series) diverges, thus the original series does not converge absolutely.**Absolute Convergence:**

Alternating harmonic series [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{n+1}}{n}[/Tex] converges to ln(2).**Conditional Convergence:**

Series [Tex] \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n} [/Tex] converges, so the original series also converges absolutely.**Absolute Convergence:**

## What is a Conditionally Convergent Series?

A conditionally convergent series is a series that converges, but not absolutely. This means the series [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n[/Tex] converges to some limit L, but the series of absolute values [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} |a_n| [/Tex] diverges. For example, the alternating harmonic series [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{n+1}}{n}[/Tex] converges conditionally to ln(2). Here, the terms [Tex]\frac{(-1)^{n+1}}{n}[/Tex] alternate in sign and decrease in magnitude, leading to convergence.

**Example: Leibniz Series for π:**

[Tex]\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^n}{2n+1} = \frac{\pi}{4}[/Tex]

This series converges conditionally, used in calculating π.

## Conditionally Convergent Series Uses

Conditionally convergent series holds great significance in mathematics due to their unique properties and applications. They demonstrate the importance of term arrangement in convergence and are pivotal in understanding series behavior in various contexts.

Some of its applications in real life are as follows:

Understanding convergence helps in analyzing signals.**Signal Processing:**

Used in perturbation theory and series solutions.**Quantum Physics:**

Essential in modeling economic and financial series.**Finance:**

Applied in control systems and stability analysis.**Engineering:**

Vital in the convergence of series for probability distributions.**Statistics:**

## Methods to Determine Conditional Convergence

To determine if a series is conditionally convergent, various tests are employed:

### Alternating Series Test

Ensure the series terms alternate in sign.**Check Alternation:**

Verify the absolute value of terms is decreasing.**Decreasing Magnitude:**

The limit of the terms as n approaches infinity should be zero.**Limit to Zero:**

**Mathematically, for a series**

- [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} (-1)^{n+1} b_n[/Tex] if b
_{n}is decreasing and lim_{n→∞}b_{n}= 0, the series converges.

### Comparison Test

Use a series with known convergence properties.**Compare with a Known Series:**

Ensure the terms of your series are less than or equal to the terms of a convergent series.**Inequality:**

- If [Tex]0 ≤ a_n ≤ b_n[/Tex] and [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} b_n[/Tex] converges, then [Tex]\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} a_n[/Tex] also converges.

### Ratio Test

Compute the ratio**Form Ratio:**

[Tex]\left| \frac{a_{n+1}}{a_n} \right|[/Tex]

Find the limit L of this ratio as n approaches infinity.**Limit Calculation:**

If L < 1, the series converges absolutely; if L > 1, it diverges.**Convergence Check:**

### Root Test

Compute**Nth Root Calculation:**

[Tex]\sqrt[n]{|a_n|}[/Tex]

Find the limit L of this root as n approaches infinity.**Limit:**

If L < 1, the series converges; if L > 1, it diverges.**Convergence Decision:**

**Read More:**

- Sequence and Series
- Sequence and Series Formulas
- Radius of Convergence

## Conclusion

Conditionally convergent series are fascinating and crucial in mathematics. They show that convergence isn’t just about summing up numbers but also about how they are arranged. From signal processing to quantum physics, their applications are vast. Understanding and identifying these series is key to mastering higher-level mathematical concepts.

## FAQs on Conditionally Convergent Series

### What is the condition for a conditionally convergent series?

A series is conditionally convergent if it converges, but the series of its absolute values diverges.

### Can a series be both absolutely convergent and conditionally convergent?

No, if a series is convergent (the series of absolute values converges), it cannot be conditionally convergent.

### What is the idea of conditional convergence?

Conditional convergence is the scenario with a series where convergence arises from the cancellation of positive terms with negative terms though the sum of the absolute value of the terms does not converge.

### Does every conditionally convergent series have a rearrangement that diverges?

Yes, according to the Riemann series theorem, a conditionally convergent series can be rearranged to diverge or to sum to any desired value.

### Can a power series be conditionally convergent?

Yes, a power series can be conditionally convergent within its interval of convergence, especially at the boundary points.

### What is the interval of convergence?

The interval of convergence is the set of all values for which a power series converges. It includes the interior points and may or may not include the boundary points.

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