Is it possible to find F(n), summation of the function f(k), where k=1,2...,n ( Is there some formula, general formula, for any f(k), of course if k is in domain of function)

sum_(k=1, to n) f(k) = F(n)

If it is not possible, why?

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- Jul 16th 2012, 03:50 PMEmilijoSum solving
Is it possible to find F(n), summation of the function f(k), where k=1,2...,n ( Is there some formula, general formula, for any f(k), of course if k is in domain of function)

sum_(k=1, to n) f(k) = F(n)

If it is not possible, why? - Jul 16th 2012, 04:03 PMrichard1234Re: Sum solving
No. The sum is sometimes known as a

*Riemann sum*. There is no general formula for a Riemann sum, other than approximating that sum with the integral of the function f(n) (assuming f is integrable).

There are definitely formulas for specific functions f, e.g. , , , etc. but there is no general formula. - Jul 17th 2012, 03:43 AMEmilijoRe: Sum solving
But then how to solve this: sum_(k=1, to n) sin(1/k)

Is it possible, I put it into wolfram alpha, but I didn t get the solution.

Why is not possible to get it? Do exist conditions when the sum is possible to calculate, or is it just technical problem? - Jul 17th 2012, 09:00 AMrichard1234Re: Sum solving
Try this: \sum_{k=1}^{n} \sin(1/k). Or if you know how to type in Mathematica, you can do that as well.

Obviously, you're not going to get a general solution. But note that . - Jul 18th 2012, 06:06 AMEmilijoRe: Sum solving
Is it proven that does not exist a general formula, which are conditions?

Why does not exist a general formula...? - Jul 18th 2012, 06:59 AMemakarovRe: Sum solving
The sum is, of course, a well-defined function of n. However, in general there is no reason why some function has to be represented as a finite composition of a few basic functions and operations: addition, multiplication, sine, square root, etc. For example, the function that, given five coefficients of a quintic equation with the leading coefficient 1, returns the least real root of this equation, is also well-defined for all arguments. However, it is proven that this function cannot be expressed as a finite composition of the four arithmetic operations and roots of any degree.

I would also like to know sufficient, or, better, necessary and sufficient conditions for when a recurrence relation (note that the sum satisfies has a closed-form solution. Well, there are sufficient conditions, such as when a relation is a linear homogeneous recurrence relation with constant coefficients, but they are not very general.