# Why does 0.999… = 1? (Part 3)

In this series, I discuss some ways of convincing students that $0.999\dots = 1$ and that, more generally, a real number may have more than one decimal representation even though a decimal representation corresponds to only one real number. This can be a major conceptual barrier for even bright students to overcome. I have met a few math majors within a semester of graduating — that is, they weren’t dummies — who could recite all of these ways and were perhaps logically convinced but remained psychologically unconvinced.

Method #4. This is a direct method using the formula for an infinite geometric series… and hence will only be convincing to students if they’re comfortable with using this formula. By definition, $0.999\dots = \displaystyle \frac{9}{10} + \frac{9}{100} + \frac{9}{1000} + \dots$

This is an infinite geometric series. Its first term is $\displaystyle \frac{9}{10}$, and the common ratio needed to go from one term to the next term is $\displaystyle \frac{1}{10}$. Therefore, $0.999\dots = \displaystyle \frac{ \displaystyle \frac{9}{10}}{ \quad \displaystyle 1 - \frac{1}{10} \quad}$ $0.999\dots = \displaystyle \frac{ \displaystyle \frac{9}{10}}{ \quad \displaystyle \frac{9}{10} \quad}$ $0.999\dots = 1$