# 9.1: Exploring Geometric Sequences

*This activity is intended to supplement Calculus, Chapter 8, Lesson 1.*

The height that a ball rebounds to after repeated bounces is an example of a geometric sequence. The top of the ball appears to be about 4.0, 2.8, 2.0, and 1.4 units. If the ratios of consecutive terms of a sequence are the same then it is a geometric sequence. The common ratio for these values is about 0.7.

## Changing the Common Ratio

**Explore** what happens when the common ratio changes.

Start the **Transfrm App**. Press and for , enter .

Change your settings by pressing **WINDOW** and arrow right to go to **SETTINGS**. Set and **Step**= 0.1.

Graph the function by pressing **ZOOM** and selecting ZoomStandard. Change the value of the common ratio .

1. What did you observe happens when you change the common ratio from positive to negative? Explain why this happens.

2. When the common ratio is larger than 1, explain what happens to the graph and values of .

3. What values could model the heights of a ball bounce? Explain.

##
Changing the Initial Value *and* the Common Ratio

Press and change to .

Change the **SETTINGS** so that , the and .

4. Explain your observations of what happens when changes. What is also known as?

5. If the common ratio is less than -1, describe what occurs to the terms of the sequence.

## Extension – Partial Sum Formula

The sum of a finite geometric series can be useful for calculating funds in your bank account, the depreciation of a car, or the population growth of a city.

e.g.

In this example the common ratio is 2, the first term is 4, and there are 6 terms.

The general formula

Since , substituting gives

Subtracting the previous two lines

So

Use the formula to find the sum of the following finite geometric series.

6. Find for

7.

8. Find for .

9.

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Feb 23, 2012## Last Modified:

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