Arithmetic Sequence ConundrumDate: 10/11/2002 at 18:12:03 From: Peace Avery Subject: Arithmetic Sequence Conundrum I can't for the life of me get a handle on this problem. I have no idea where to start. For some real number T, the first three terms of an arithmetic sequence are 2T, 5T - 1, and 6T + 2. What is the numerical value of the fourth term? Date: 10/11/2002 at 18:17:34 From: Doctor Achilles Subject: Re: Arithmetic Sequence Conundrum Hi Peace, Thanks for writing to Dr. Math. That's an interesting question. A simple arithmetic sequence is something like: 13, 20, 27, 34, 41, 47, ... It is arithmetic because the difference between each term is constant (in this case, 7). For any sequence to be arithmetic the difference between each two consecutive terms must be constant. For your sequence, the difference between the first two terms is: (5T - 1) - 2T And the difference between the second and third terms is: (6T + 2) - (5T - 1) Since it's arithmetic, you know that these two expressions must be equal. So try making an equation and solving it for T. Hope this helps. If you have other questions about this or you're still stuck, please write back. - Doctor Achilles, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ Date: 10/11/2002 at 18:31:49 From: Peace Avery Subject: Thank you (Arithmetic Sequence Conundrum) It's all clear now, a thousand thanks. These SAT math questions have a way of tripping me up, especially when the solution is so straightforward. I really appreciate the help; one less thing to worry about going in to the test tomorrow. |
Search the Dr. Math Library: |
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
Ask Dr. Math^{TM}
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/