Tag Archives: differentiation

Deriving the Taylor Series from scratch

[Please note: In order to derive the Taylor Series, you will need to understand how to differentiate. If you know how to differentiate, finding the Taylor Series won’t be much of a problem. You also need to know that 0!=1, 1!=1, 2!=2, 3!=6, x^0=1, x^1=x.]

In this post I will be demonstrating how one can produce the Taylor Series from absolute scratch.

taylor series function

First of all, let’s look at the diagram above. Now, let’s suppose that the equation of the function above is:

f\left( x+a \right) ={ C }_{ 0 }+{ C }_{ 1 }x+{ C }_{ 2 }{ x }^{ 2 }+{ C }_{ 3 }{ x }^{ 3 }+...

Ok, so we have the equation for the function, however, it isn’t complete. C_0, C_1, C_2, C_3 etc are hidden constants. This means that our second task will be to discover these constants. We need to discover these constants to find the complete equation of the function so that we can arrive at the Taylor Series. Fortunately, this task won’t be too difficult. Let me show you how C_0, C_1, C_2, C_3 etc can be found fairly easily…

When x=0:

{ f }^{ \left( 0 \right) }\left( a \right) ={ C }_{ 0 }\quad \therefore \quad \frac { 1 }{ 0! } { f }^{ \left( 0 \right) }\left( a \right) ={ C }_{ 0 }

Now:

{ f }^{ \left( 1 \right) }\left( x+a \right) ={ C }_{ 1 }+2{ C }_{ 2 }x+3{ C }_{ 3 }{ x }^{ 2 }+...

When x=0:

{ f }^{ \left( 1 \right) }\left( a \right) ={ C }_{ 1 }\quad \therefore \quad \frac { 1 }{ 1! } { f }^{ \left( 1 \right) }\left( a \right) ={ C }_{ 1 }

Also:

{ f }^{ \left( 2 \right) }\left( x+a \right) =2{ C }_{ 2 }+6{ C }_{ 3 }x+...

When x=0:

{ f }^{ \left( 2 \right) }\left( a \right) =2{ C }_{ 2 }\quad \therefore \quad \frac { 1 }{ 2! } { f }^{ \left( 2 \right) }\left( a \right) ={ C }_{ 2 }

And, finally:

{ f }^{ \left( 3 \right) }\left( x+a \right) =6{ C }_{ 3 }+...

When x=0:

{ f }^{ \left( 3 \right) }\left( a \right) =6{ C }_{ 3 }\quad \therefore \quad \frac { 1 }{ 3! } { f }^{ \left( 3 \right) }\left( a \right) ={ C }_{ 3 }

Alright, so now that we have discovered the hidden constants C_0, C_1, C_2 and C_3, our third task is to write down the complete equation of the function f(x+a). Thanks to the information we have above, the fact that x^0=1 and x^1=x, plus our ability to spot patterns, we will be able to do this quite quickly…

taylor series (1)

[*Image can be seen here if it appears to be too small on this page.]

And it turns out that the equation we have just above is the Taylor Series function. It can be simplified to look like this…

taylor seriesWhat is also interesting is that if we transform a=0, we get the Maclaurin Series function which can be used to discover formulas for things such as e^x.

maclaurin series

If you have any questions regarding this post, please leave your comments below. Once again, thanks for stopping by! 🙂


Related:

How to derive Euler’s Identity using the Maclaurin Series