9.2: Infinite Geometric Series
This activity is intended to supplement Calculus, Chapter 8, Lesson 2.
Problem 1 – Investigating Infinite Geometric Series
Explore what happens when the common ratio changes for an infinite geometric series.
For each of the
a. create lists
b. determine if the series converges
c. if it does converge, create and view the scatter plot
Press STAT Edit… to open the list editor.
Create list
Create list
Create list
Note: Press
1. Look at the partial sums (in
Record your results in the table. If it converges, then what does it appear to converge to?

2  0.5  0.25  0.25  0.5  2 

Converges or Diverges 
Press
2. For what range of values of
3. What do you notice about the scatter plot when the series converges?
Problem 2 – Deriving a Formula for the Sum of a Convergent Infinite Geometric Series
Recall that a finite geometric series is of the form
4. Let

10  100  1000  10000 


If
5. How does the formula
Therefore, if
Problem 3 – Apply what was learned
Use the formulas for the sums of finite and infinite geometric series to complete this problem.
6. A patient is prescribed a 240 mg dose of a longterm, painreducing drug that should be taken every 4 hours. It is known that after each hour, 15% of the original dosage leaves the body. Under these conditions, the amount of drugs remaining in the body (at 4hour intervals) forms a geometric series.
a. What is the common ratio of the geometric series?
b. How many milligrams of the drug are present in the body after 4 hours (
c. Complete the table for the amount of the drug in the body for several 4 hour intervals.
Hours  0 (1st dosage) 
4 ( 
8 ( 
12  16 

Amount in the Body 
d. How many milligrams of the drug are in the body after 24 hours?
e. How many milligrams of the drug are in the body after 72 hours?
f. How many milligrams of the drug are in the body after t hours?
g. The minimum lethal dosage of the painreducing drug is 600 mg. Will the patient ever have this much of the drug in his or her system if he or she continuously (infinitely) takes the drug every four hours?
h. If the patient decides to take the drug every 2 hours, against the doctor’s orders, then will the patient reach the minimum lethal dosage?
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