**Table of Contents**Show

## Understanding Geometric Sequences

A geometric sequence is a sequence of numbers in which each term after the first is found by multiplying the previous term by a constant called the common ratio. This common ratio is denoted by the letter “r”. The general form of a geometric sequence can be expressed as:

*a _{1}*,

*a*,

_{1}r*a*,

_{1}r^{2}*a*, …

_{1}r^{3}Where *a _{1}* is the first term and

*r*is the common ratio.

## Recursive Formula for Geometric Sequences

The recursive formula for a geometric sequence defines each term in the sequence as a function of the preceding term. In other words, it allows us to find any term in the sequence by performing a specific operation on the previous term. The formula is typically given in the form:

*a _{n}* =

*a**

_{n-1}*r*,

where *a _{n}* represents the

*n*-th term in the sequence,

*a*is the previous term, and

_{n-1}*r*is the common ratio.

## Finding the Recursive Formula

To find the recursive formula for a geometric sequence, we need to identify the pattern in the sequence and express it mathematically. Let’s consider an example:

Suppose we have the following geometric sequence: 2, 6, 18, 54, …

To find the recursive formula for this sequence, we first need to identify the common ratio. We can do this by dividing any term by its preceding term. In this case, if we divide 6 by 2, we get 3, and if we divide 18 by 6, we also get 3.

So, the common ratio *r* in this sequence is 3.

Now, let’s use the general form of the recursive formula: *a _{n}* =

*a**

_{n-1}*r*. Substituting the common ratio

*r*into the equation, we get:

*a _{n}* =

*a** 3.

_{n-1}This is the recursive formula for the given geometric sequence.

## Using the Recursive Formula to Find Terms

One of the advantages of having the recursive formula for a geometric sequence is that it allows us to find any term in the sequence without having to calculate all the preceding terms. Let’s use the recursive formula to find the 5th term in the sequence 2, 6, 18, 54, …

Using the formula: *a _{n}* =

*a** 3, and knowing that the first term is 2 (

_{n-1}*a*= 2), we can find the 5th term as follows:

_{1}*a _{5}* =

*a** 3,

_{4}*a*= 54 * 3,

_{5}*a*= 162.

_{5}So, the 5th term in the sequence is 162.

## Limitations of the Recursive Formula

While the recursive formula is useful for finding specific terms in a geometric sequence, it has some limitations. One of the main limitations is that it can be inefficient when trying to find terms further along in the sequence, especially if the sequence is long. In such cases, it may be more practical to use the explicit formula for geometric sequences, which allows for the direct calculation of any term without having to calculate all the preceding terms.

## Explicit Formula for Geometric Sequences

The explicit formula for a geometric sequence is another way to define the terms in the sequence and is given by the formula:

*a _{n}* =

*a**

_{1}*r*

^{(n-1)},

where *a _{n}* is the

*n*-th term in the sequence,

*a*is the first term,

_{1}*r*is the common ratio, and

*n*is the position of the term in the sequence.

The explicit formula provides a direct way to calculate any term in the sequence without having to find all the preceding terms, making it more efficient for finding terms further along in the sequence.

## Comparing Recursive and Explicit Formulas

Let’s compare the two formulas using the same example sequence: 2, 6, 18, 54, …

Using the recursive formula, we found the 5th term to be 162. Now, let’s find the 5th term using the explicit formula:

*a _{5}* = 2 * 3

^{(5-1)},

*a*= 2 * 3

_{5}^{4},

*a*= 2 * 81,

_{5}*a*= 162.

_{5}As we can see, both formulas give us the same result for the 5th term, but the explicit formula allows us to find the term more efficiently and directly.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, the recursive formula for a geometric sequence defines each term in the sequence as a function of the preceding term, with the common ratio being a key factor. While the recursive formula is useful for finding specific terms in a sequence, it can be inefficient for finding terms further along in the sequence. In such cases, the explicit formula for geometric sequences provides a more direct and efficient way to calculate any term in the sequence. Both formulas have their strengths and limitations, and understanding how to use them can be beneficial in various mathematical applications.