Friday, 22 October 2010

A Nice Presentation of the Harmonic Series

Here is a nice video here about the Harmonic series. I would love for all my Pre-calc and calc students to see this video just to see the really nice proof by contradiction that the series is infinite. The paradox itself is just a bonus, and the fact that the squares add up to a value involving pi is a beautiful story that ought not to be popped out as an aside... sometimes we need to take the time to dig a little deeper into what Euler has given us... but a nice presentation all the same. Enjoy, but remember the adomonition that Borovik gave to his students,
" Today I said to the calculus students, "I know, you're looking at this series and you don't see what I'm warning you about. you look at it and you think, 'I trust this series. I would take candy from this series. I would get in a car with this series.' But I'm going to warn you, this series is out to get you. Always remember: The harmonic series diverges. Never forget it.

For more about the harmonic series, here and here and one more here, but surely there are more...use the search function.

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