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# Section 9.

## 3 • Geometric Sequences and Series 159

Name______________________________________________
Section 9.3 Geometric Sequences and Series

## Objective: In this lesson you learned how to recognize, write, and

manipulate geometric sequences.

## Important Vocabulary Define each term or concept.

Geometric sequence A sequence in which the ratios of consecutive terms are the
same.
Common ratio The ratio r between consecutive terms of a geometric sequence. That
is, r = a2/a1 = a3/a2 = a4/a3 = . . . , r ≠ 0.
Infinite geometric series or geometric series The summation of the terms of an
infinite geometric sequence.

## I. Geometric Sequences (Pages 663−665) What you should learn

How to recognize, write,
The nth term of a geometric sequence has the form and find the nth terms of
an = a1rn−1 , where r is the common ratio of geometric sequences

## consecutive terms of the sequence. So, every geometric sequence

can be written in the following form:
a1, a1r, a1r2, a1r3, a1r4, . . . , a1rn−1, . . . .
A geometric sequence may be thought of as a(n)
exponential function whose domain is the set of
natural numbers.

## Example 1: Determine whether or not the following sequence

is geometric. If it is, find the common ratio.
60, 30, 0, − 30, − 60, . . .
No

## To find the (n + 1)th term of a geometric sequence given the nth

term of the same sequence, . . . multiply the nth term by the
common ratio r.

## Example 2: Write the first five terms of the geometric

sequence whose first term is a1 = 5 and whose
common ratio is − 3.
5, − 15, 45, − 135, 405

## Example 3: Find the eighth term of the geometric sequence

that begins with 15 and 12.

3.145728

## Larson/Hostetler Precalculus/Precalculus with Limits Notetaking Guide IAE

160 Chapter 9 • Sequences, Series, and Probability

II. The Sum of a Finite Geometric Sequence (Page 666) What you should learn
How to find nth partial
The sum of the finite geometric sequence a1, a1r, a1r2, a1r3, a1r4, sums of geometric
. . . , a1rn−1 with common ratio r ≠ 1 is given by sequences

Sn = a1(1 − rn)/(1 − r) .

## When using the formula for the sum of a geometric sequence, be

n
careful to check that the sum is of the form ∑a r
i =1
1
i −1
, where the

## exponent on r is i − 1 . If the sum is not of this form, . . .

you must adjust the formula for the nth partial sum.

10
Example 4: Find the sum ∑ 2(0.5) i .
i =1

1.998046875

## III. Geometric Series (Page 667) What you should learn

How to find the sum of
If | r | < 1, the sum of the infinite geometric series a1, a1r, a1r2, an infinite geometric
a1r3, a1r4, . . ., a1rn−1, . . . is S = a1/(1 − r) . series

## If | r | ≥ 1, then the series does not have a sum .

Example 5: If possible, find the sum: ∑ 9(0.25) i−1 .
i =1

12

IV. Applications of Geometric Sequences (Page 668) What you should learn
How to use geometric
Describe a real-life problem that could be solved by finding the sequences to model and
sum of a finite geometric sequence. solve real-life problems