Video: Using the Properties of Sequences to Find Unknown Terms given the General Term of a Sequence

The 𝑛th term in a sequence is given by π‘Ž_(𝑛) = π‘Ž + 𝑛𝑏. Given that π‘Žβ‚ = 65 and π‘Žβ‚ƒ = 3, find the values of π‘Ž and 𝑏.

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Video Transcript

The 𝑛th term in a sequence is given by π‘Ž sub 𝑛 is equal to π‘Ž plus 𝑛𝑏. Given that π‘Ž sub one is equal to 65 and π‘Ž sub three is equal to three, find the values of π‘Ž and 𝑏.

In this question, we are given the general rule π‘Ž sub 𝑛 is equal to π‘Ž plus 𝑛𝑏. As π‘Ž sub one is equal to 65, we can substitute 𝑛 equals one into the general formula. This gives us π‘Ž plus one 𝑏 is equal to 65. As one 𝑏 is just 𝑏, this can be rewritten as π‘Ž plus 𝑏 is equal to 65. We will call this equation one.

We are also told that π‘Ž sub three, or the third term, is equal to three. In this case, 𝑛 is equal to three. Therefore, π‘Ž plus three 𝑏 equals three. We will call this equation two. And we now have a pair of simultaneous equations that we can solve by elimination or substitution.

We can eliminate the π‘Žβ€™s from the equations by subtracting equation one from equation two. π‘Ž minus π‘Ž is equal to zero. Three 𝑏 minus 𝑏 is equal to two 𝑏. Three minus 65 is equal to negative 62. Dividing both sides of this equation by two gives us 𝑏 is equal to negative 31. We can now substitute this value into equation one or equation two to calculate the value of π‘Ž.

Replacing 𝑏 with negative 31 in equation one gives us π‘Ž plus negative 31 equals 65. Adding 31 to both sides of this equation gives us π‘Ž is 96. The values of π‘Ž and 𝑏 are 96 and negative 31, respectively. This means that the 𝑛th term in the sequence is given by π‘Ž sub 𝑛 is equal to 96 minus 31𝑛.

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