This blog post serves as an exercise and solution to the following question:
In plain English: is the fraction a repeated decimal (0.142857142857142857…)?
How can we tackle such a problem? First note that we have to deal with a recurring pattern: a pattern that refers to itself. One useful concept to model such problems is the concept of sequences. We can model the repeated decimal by the following sequence:
How does that work? How does this sequence approximate the repeated fraction? First, take a look at . . Now, take a look at the following item in the sequence: . So, it concatenates “142857” and the recurring pattern constructed so far. By that property we know that the sequence equals the repeated decimal if approaches .
We would like to proof that . This is equal to proving that . This equals and this is equal to proving that .
Lets introduce another sequence:
Notice that the statement we need to proof is the same as the following:
Now notice that:
And thus we know that:
Thus (for ):
From this, we get that:
And from this we can deduce the earlier statement, thus:
Thus, is indeed equal to the repeated fraction ! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them below!