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Math Help - Arithmetic Sequence

  1. #1
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    Arithmetic Sequence

    The rth term of an arithmetic progression is 1+4r. Find, in terms of n, the sum of the first n terms of the progression?

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  2. #2
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    Hello p4pri
    Quote Originally Posted by p4pri View Post
    The rth term of an arithmetic progression is 1+4r. Find, in terms of n, the sum of the first n terms of the progression?

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    When r=1 we get the first term, which is 1+4=5. Denote this by a.

    When r= 2, we get the second term, which is 1 + 8 = 9.

    So the common difference is 9 - 5 = 4. Denote this by d.

    Use the formula for the sum of the first n terms:
    S_n = \tfrac{1}{2}n(2a + [n-1]d)
    and there's your answer.

    Can you complete this now?

    Grandad
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  3. #3
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    Arithmetic sequences have the very nice property that the average of all numbers in the sequence is the same as the average of the first and last numbers!

    For example, the average value in the sequence 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 (an arithmetic sequence with first number 4 and "common difference 3) is (4+ 7+ 10+ 13+ 16)/5= 50/5= 10 (the middle number in the sequence of course) and (4+ 16)/2= 20/2= 10.

    Notice that Grandad's formula, S_n = \tfrac{1}{2}n(2a + [n-1]d) is, exactly, n times \frac{a+ a+(n-1)d}{2}, the average of the first and last terms.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
    Arithmetic sequences have the very nice property that the average of all numbers in the sequence is the same as the average of the first and last numbers!...
    ... and it's very easy to see why: just write the sequence down twice, one underneath the other - but the second one in reverse order. Then add each term to the one underneath it. You get the same total n times over. Multiplying this total by n, and dividing the result by 2, will then give the sum of the sequence, of course.

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