Common Difference

Pronunciation: /ˈkɒm ən ˈdɪf ər əns/ Explain

The common difference in an arithmetic sequence is the constant difference between any term and the term after it.[1]

For example, the arithmetic sequence { 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 } has a common difference of 2. You can see that 3 - 1 = 2, and 5 - 3 = 2. Check the rest of the terms. Each term is 2 more than the term before it.

Check box Understanding check

Write down the answer to the question, then click on Click here for answer to see the answer.

  1. What is the common difference of { 4, 7, 10, 13 }? Click here for answer
  2. What is the common difference of { -1, 1, 3, 5 }? Click here for answer
  3. What is the common difference of { 4, 6, 9, 13 }? Click here for answer
  4. What is the next number in the sequence { 1, 5, 9, ? }? Click here for answer
  5. What is the next number in the sequence { 2, 4, 6, ? }? Click here for answer

References

  1. common difference. merriam-webster.com. Encyclopedia Britannica. Merriam-Webster. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/common difference.
  2. Bettinger, Alvin K. and Englund, John A.. Algebra and Trigonometry. pp 260-262. www.archive.org. International Textbook Company. January 1963. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/algebraandtrigon033520mbp#page/n277/mode/1up/search/progression. Buy the book
  3. Rivenburg, Romeyn Henry. A Review of Algebra. pg 47. www.archive.org. American Book Company. 1914. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/reviewofalgebra00riverich#page/47/mode/1up/search/progression. Buy the book

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Common Difference. 6/25/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/c/commondifference.html.

Image Credits

Revision History

6/25/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup, updated GeoGebra apps. (McAdams, David E.)
1/4/2010: Added "References". (McAdams, David E.)
7/7/2008: Added understanding check. (McAdams, David E.)
7/12/2007: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

All Math Words Encyclopedia is a service of Life is a Story Problem LLC.
Copyright © 2018 Life is a Story Problem LLC. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License