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Formulas for the Remainder Term in Taylor Series

In Section 8.7 we considered functions f with derivatives of all orders and their Taylor series f na x an n! n0 The nth partial sum of this Taylor series is the nth-degree Taylor polynomial of f at a: Tn x f a We can write f x Tn x Rn x where Rn x is the remainder of the Taylor series. We know that f is equal to the sum of its Taylor series on the interval x a R if we can show that lim n l Rn x 0 for x a R. Here we derive formulas for the remainder term Rn x. The rst such formula involves an integral. f a f a f na x a x a2 x an 1! 2! n!

Theorem If f n1 is continuous on an open interval I that contains a, and x is

in I , then Rn x

1 n!

x t n f n1 t dt

Proof We use mathematical induction. For n 1,

R1 x f x T1 x f x f a f a x a and the integral in the theorem is xax x t f t dt. To evaluate this integral we integrate by parts with u x t and dv f t dt, so du dt and v f t . Thus

x x t f t dt x t f t tt a y f t dt a

0 x a f a f x f a f x f a f a x a R1 x The theorem is therefore proved for n 1. Now we suppose that Theorem 1 is true for n k, that is, Rk x 1 k!

(by FTC 2)

x tk f k1t dt

We want to show that its true for n k 1, that is Rk1 x 1 k 1!

x tk1 f k2t dt

2 FORMULAS FOR THE REMAINDER TERM IN TAYLOR SERIES

Again we use integration by parts, this time with u x t k1 and dv f k2t. Then du k 1 x t k dt and v f k1t, so 1 k 1!

x tk1 f k2t dt

1 x t k1 f k1t k 1! 0

tx

ta

k1 k 1!
x

y x t
a k

f k1t dt

1 1 x a k1 f k1a k 1! k!

y x t
a

f k1t dt

f k1a x a k1 Rk x k 1! f k1a x a k1 k 1!

f x Tk x

f x Tk1 x Rk1 x Therefore, (1) is true for n k 1 when it is true for n k. Thus, by mathematical induction, it is true for all n. To illustrate Theorem 1 we use it to solve Example 4 in Section 8.7.
EXAMPLE 1 Find the Maclaurin series for sin x and prove that it represents sin x for all x.
SOLUTION We arrange our computation in two columns as follows:

f x sin x f x cos x f x sin x f x cos x f 4 x sin x

f 0 0 f 0 1 f 0 0 f 0 1 f 40 0

Since the derivatives repeat in a cycle of four, we can write the Maclaurin series as follows: f 0 f 0 f 0 2 f 0 3 x x x 1! 2! 3!
x3 x5 x7 x 2 n1 1n 3! 5! 7! 2n 1! n0

With a 0 in Theorem 1, we have Rn x 1 n!

x tn f n1t dt

FORMULAS FOR THE REMAINDER TERM IN TAYLOR SERIES 3

Since f n1t is sin t or cos t, we know that f n1t 1 for all t. We use the fact that, for a b,

Thus, for x 0,

f t dt y

f t dt
1 n!

R x n! y
n

x tn f n1 t dt

x tn f n1 t dt

1 n!

x tn dt

1 x n1 x n1 n! n 1 n 1!

For x 0 we can write Rn x so 1 n!

x tn f n1t dt

Rn x

1 n!

y
0 x

xt

f n1 t dt

1 n!

t xn dt

x n1 n 1!

Thus, in any case, we have

x R x n 1!
n1 n

The right side of this inequality approaches 0 as n l (see Equation 8.7.10), so Rn x l 0 by the Squeeze Theorem. It follows that Rn x l 0 as n l , so sin x is equal to the sum of its Maclaurin series.

For some purposes the integral formula in Theorem 1 is awkward to work with, so we are going to establish another formula for the remainder term. To that end we need to prove the following generalization of the Mean Value Theorem for Integrals (see Section 6.4).
2 Weighted Mean Value Theorem for Integrals If f and t are continuous on a, b and t does not change sign in a, b, then there exists a number c in a, b such that

f x t x dx f c y t x dx
a

Proof Because t doesnt change sign, either t x 0 or t x 0 for a x b. For the

sake of deniteness, lets assume that t x 0. By the Extreme Value Theorem (4.2.3), f has an absolute minimum value m and an absolute maximum value M , so m f x M for a x b. Since t x 0, we have mt x f xt x Mt x axb

4 FORMULAS FOR THE REMAINDER TERM IN TAYLOR SERIES

and so
3

m y t x dx y f xt x dx M y t x dx
a a a

If xab t x dx 0, these inequalities show that xab f xt x dx 0 and so Theorem 2 is true because both sides of the equation are 0. If xab t x dx 0, it must be positive and we can divide by xab t x dx in (3): m

xab f xt x dx xab t x dx

Then, by the Intermediate Value Theorem (2.4.10), there exists a number c in a, b such that f c

xab f xt x dx xab t x dx

and so

f xt x dx f c y t x dx
a

Theorem If f n1 is continuous on an open interval I that contains a, and x is

in I , then there exists a number c between a and x such that Rn x f n1c x a n1 n 1!

Proof The function t t x t n doesnt change sign in the interval from a to x, so the

Weighted Mean Value Theorem for Integrals gives a number c between a and x such that

x t n f n1t dt f n1c y x t n dt
a

f Then, by Theorem 1, Rn x 1 n!

n1

x t n1 c n1

tx

f n1c

ta

x a n1 n1

x t n f n1t dt

1 n1 x a n1 f n1c f c x a n1 n! n1 n 1!

The formula for the remainder term in Theorem 4 is called Lagranges form of the remainder term. Notice that this expression Rn x f n1c x a n1 n 1!

is very similar to the terms in the Taylor series except that f n1 is evaluated at c instead of at a. All we can say about the number c is that it lies somewhere between x and a. In the following example we show how to use Lagranges form of the remainder term as an alternative to the integral form in Example 1.

FORMULAS FOR THE REMAINDER TERM IN TAYLOR SERIES 5

EXAMPLE 2 Prove that Maclaurin series for sin x represents sin x for all x.
SOLUTION Using the Lagrange form of the remainder term with a 0, we have

Rn x

f n1c n1 x n 1!

where f x sin x and c lies between 0 and x. But f n1c is sin c or cos c. In any case, f n1c 1 and so

f c x R x n 1! x n 1!
n1 n n1 n1

equal to the sum of its Maclaurin series.


EXAMPLE 3

R x l 0 by the Squeeze Theorem. It follows that R x l 0 as n l , so sin x is


n n
3 (a) Approximate the function f x s x by a Taylor polynomial of degree 2 at a 8. (b) How accurate is this approximation when 7 x 9?

By Equation 8.7.10 the right side of this inequality approaches 0 as n l , so

SOLUTION

(a)

3 f x s x x 13

f 8 2
1 f 8 12 1 f 8 144

23 f x 1 3x 53 f x 2 9x 83 f x 10 27 x

Thus the second-degree Taylor polynomial is T2 x f 8 f 8 f 8 x 8 x 82 1! 2!

1 1 2 12 x 8 288 x 82

The desired approximation is


1 1 3 x T2 x 2 12 x 8 288 x 82 s

(b) Using the Lagrange form of the remainder term we can write R2 x
3 f c 5 x 83 83 x 8 x 83 10 27 c 3! 3! 81c 83

where c lies between 8 and x. In order to estimate the error we note that if 7 x 9, then 1 x 8 1, so x 8 1 and therefore x 8 3 1. Also, since x 7, we have

c 8 3 7 8 3 179 and so 5 x8 R x 81c


2 8 3 3

51 0.0004 81 179

Thus if 7 x 9, the approximation in part (a) is accurate to within 0.0004.