sequence

sequence, in mathematics, ordered set of mathematical quantities called terms. A sequence is said to be known if a formula can be given for any particular term using the preceding terms or using its position in the sequence. For example, the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, … (the Fibonacci sequence) is formed by adding any two consecutive terms to obtain the next term. The sequence - 1/2, 1, 7/2, 7, 23/2, 17, … is formed according to the formula ( n 2  -  2)/2 for the n th, or general, term. A sequence may be either finite, e.g., 1, 2, 3, … 50, a sequence of 50 terms, or infinite, e.g., 1, 2, 3, … , which has no final term and thus continues indefinitely. Special types of sequences are commonly called progressions. The terms of a sequence, when written as an indicated sum, form a series; e.g., the sum of the sequence 1, 2, 3, … 50 is the series 1 + 2 + 3 + … + 50.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on sequence from Fact Monster:

  • main-sequence star - main-sequence star: main-sequence star: see Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
  • Spectral Classes for Main Sequence Stars (table) - Characteristics of Spectral Classes for Main Sequence Stars Class Color Surface Temperature Strong ...
  • Movie Glossary - Movie Glossary aspect ratio The width-to-height ratio of a movie frame and screen. Standard aspect ...
  • Hertzsprung-Russell diagram - Hertzsprung-Russell diagram Hertzsprung-Russell diagram [for Ejnar Hertzsprung and H. N. Russell], ...
  • limit - limit limit, in mathematics, value approached by a sequence or a function as the index or ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mathematics