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Advanced Geometric Sequence Problems

Some problems involving geometric sequences involve much manipulation.

Example: The first three terms of a geometric sequence areandFindthe first term and the common ratio.

The common ratio is equal to the second term divided by the first and also equal to the third term divided by the second, hence

Cross multiplication gives

Expanding both sides and simplifying gives



Ifthe first three terms are 1,-2, 4. The first term is 1 and the common ratio is -2

Ifthe first three terms are 5, 10, 20. The first term is 5 and the common ratio is 2.

Example: The first first, second and fourth terms of a geometric sequence are the first, second and third terms of an arithmetic sequence. Find the common ratio of the geometric sequence.

The first four terms of the geometric sequence may be writtenso the first second and fourth terms are

Since these are the first, second and third terms of an arithmetic sequence,

Movingto the right hand side,becomes a common factor so we can factorise with

Henceoris a root of

Ifthen the terms of the sequence are all the same. The common difference is then 0.

Ifthen the terms of the sequence will alternate in sign so there cannot be a single number added to each term to give the next term, so