In mathematics, a

**power series**is an infinite series of the form

*a*, the center

_{n}*a*, and the argument

*x*are real or complex numbers. These series usually arise as the Taylor series of some known function; the Taylor series article contains many examples.

Table of contents |

2 Differentiating and integrating power series 3 Analytic functions 4 Formal power series |

### Radius of convergence

A power series will converge for some values of the variable *x* (at least for *x* = *a*) and may diverge for others. It turns out that there is always a number *r* with 0 ≤ *r* ≤ ∞ such that the series converges whenever |*x* − *a*| < *r* and diverges whenever |*x* − *a*| > *r*. (For |*x* - *a*| = *r* we cannot make any general statement.) The number *r* is called the **radius of convergence** of the power series; in general it is given as

*r*= lim inf_{n → ∞}|*a*_{n}|^{−1/n}

*r*= lim_{n → ∞}|*a*_{n}/*a*_{n+1}|.

The series converges absolutely for |*x* - *a*| < *r* and converges uniformly on every compact subset of {*x* : |*x* − *a*| < *r*}.

### Differentiating and integrating power series

Once a function is given as a power series, it is continuous wherever it converges and is differentiable on the interior of this set. It can be differentiated and integrated quite easily, by treating every term separately:

### Analytic functions

A function *f* defined on some open subset *U* of **R** or **C** is called **analytic** if it is locally given by power series. This means that every *a* ∈ *U* has an open neighborhood *V* ⊆ *U*, such that there exists a power series with center *a* which converges to *f*(*x*) for every *x* ∈ *V*.

Every power series with a positive radius of convergence is analytic on the interior of its region of convergence. All holomorphic functions are complex analytic. Sums and products of analytic functions are analytic, as are quotients as long as the denominator is non-zero.

If a function is analytic, then it is infinitely often differentiable, but in the real case the converse is not generally true. For an analytic function, the coefficients *a*_{n} can be computed as

*f*

^{ (n)}(

*a*) denotes the

*n*-th derivative of

*f*at

*a*. This means that every analytic function is locally represented by its Taylor series.

The global form of an analytic function is completely determined by its local behavior in the following sense: if *f* and *g* are two analytic functions defined on the same connected open set *U*, and if there exists an element *a*∈*U* such that *f*^{ (n)}(*a*) = *g*^{ (n)}(*a*) for all *n* ≥ 0, then *f*(*x*) = *g*(*x*) for all *x* ∈ *U*.

If a power series with radius of convergence *r* is given, one can consider analytic continuations of the series, i.e. analytic functions *f* which are defined on larger sets than { *x* : |*x* - *a*| < *r* } and agree with the given power series on this set. The number *r* is maximal in the following sense: there always exists a complex number *x* with |*x* - *a*| = *r* such that no analytic continuation of the series can be defined at *x*.

The power series expansion of the inverse function of an analytic function can be determined using the Lagrange inversion theorem.

### Formal power series

In abstract algebra, one attempts to capture the essence of power series without being restricted to the fields of real and complex numbers, and without the need to talk about convergence. This leads to the concept of formal power series, a principle that is of great utility in combinatorics.

Note that the "is an element of" symbol, appears as a square on some fonts (such as the default display font of windows)