# Sequences

### Arithmetic Sequences

An *arithmetic sequence* is a series of numbers obtained by adding (or subtracting) the same value with each step. A child's counting sequence (1, 2, 3, 4, . . .) is a simple arithmetic sequence, where the *common difference* is 1: that is, each adjacent number in the sequence differs by a value of one. An arithmetic sequence counting only even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, . . .) or only odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, . . .) would have a common difference of 2.

In the standard notation of sequences, a lower-case letter "a" represents an element (a single number) in the sequence. The term "a_{n}" refers to the element at the n^{th} step in the sequence. For example, "a_{3}" in an even-counting (common difference = 2) arithmetic sequence starting at 2 would be the number 6, "a" representing 4 and "a_{1}" representing the starting point of the sequence (given in this example as 2).

A capital letter "A" represents the *sum* of an arithmetic sequence. For instance, in the same even-counting sequence starting at 2, A_{4} is equal to the sum of all elements from a_{1} through a_{4}, which of course would be 2 + 4 + 6 + 8, or 20.

*Where,*

d = The "common difference"

*Example of an arithmetic sequence:*

-7, -3, 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25 . . .

**Lessons In Electric Circuits** copyright (C) 2000-2020 Tony R. Kuphaldt, under the terms and conditions of the *CC BY License**.*

**Lessons In Electric Circuits**

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Revised July 25, 2007

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