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In mathematics, **Dirichlet's test** is a method of testing for the convergence of a series. It is named after its author Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet, and was published posthumously in the *Journal de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées* in 1862.^{[1]}

## Contents

## Statement[edit]

The test states that if is a sequence of real numbers and a sequence of complex numbers satisfying

- for every positive integer
*N*

- for every positive integer

where *M* is some constant, then the series

converges.

## Proof[edit]

Let and .

From summation by parts, we have that .

Since is bounded by *M* and , the first of these terms approaches zero, as .

On the other hand, since the sequence is decreasing, is non-negative for all *k*, so . That is, the magnitude of the partial sum of , times a factor, is less than the upper bound of the partial sum (a value *M*) times that same factor.

But , which is a telescoping sum that equals and therefore approaches as . Thus, converges.

In turn, converges as well by the direct comparison test. The series converges, as well, by the absolute convergence test. Hence converges.

## Applications[edit]

A particular case of Dirichlet's test is the more commonly used alternating series test for the case

Another corollary is that converges whenever is a decreasing sequence that tends to zero.

Moreover, Abel's test can be considered a special case of Dirichlet's test.

## Improper integrals[edit]

An analogous statement for convergence of improper integrals is proven using integration by parts. If the integral of a function *f* is uniformly bounded over all intervals, and *g* is a monotonically decreasing non-negative function, then the integral of *fg* is a convergent improper integral.

## Notes[edit]

**^***Démonstration d’un théorème d’Abel.*Journal de mathématiques pures et appliquées 2nd series, tome 7 (1862), p. 253-255 Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine.

## References[edit]

- Hardy, G. H.,
*A Course of Pure Mathematics*, Ninth edition, Cambridge University Press, 1946. (pp. 379–380). - Voxman, William L.,
*Advanced Calculus: An Introduction to Modern Analysis*, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1981. (§8.B.13-15) ISBN 0-8247-6949-X.