Common Difference

Pronunciation: /ˈkɒm ən ˈdɪf ər əns/ ?

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 mark 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. (Accessed: 2010-01-04). http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/common difference.
  2. Bettinger, Alvin K. and Englund, John A.. Algebra and Trigonometry, pp 260-262. International Textbook Company, January 1963. (Accessed: 2010-01-12). http://www.archive.org/stream/algebraandtrigon033520mbp#page/n277/mode/1up/search/progression.
  3. Rivenburg, Romeyn Henry. A Review of Algebra, pg 47. American Book Company, 1914. (Accessed: 2009-01-14). http://www.archive.org/stream/reviewofalgebra00riverich#page/47/mode/1up/search/progression.

Cite this article as:


Common Difference. 2010-01-04. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/c/commondifference.html.

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2010-01-04: Added "References" (McAdams, David.)
2008-07-07: Added understanding check (McAdams, David.)
2007-07-12: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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