How to integrate $\frac{1}{x\,(x+1)\cdots(x+n)}$ has been closed. Should it be reopened, this should be merged with it. Having spent some time writing up this answer, just to have it closed shortly before I posted an answer, was irritating, since I have a lot of other stuff to get on with .

How do you get Mathematica to evaluate the following integral?:

Integrate[1/Product[x + k, {k, 0, n}], {x, 1, Infinity}]


Integrate[1/Product[x + k, {k, 0, n}], {x, 1, Infinity}, 
 Assumptions -> n ∈ Integers && n >= 1]

which return in V11.1

Integrate[1/(x Pochhammer[1 + x, n]), {x, 1, ∞}]

2 Answers 2


In my comments to How to integrate $\frac{1}{x\,(x+1)\cdots(x+n)}$, in which it was unclear whether the question was a mathematics question or a Mathematica question, I gave a number of hints how to approach the problem. Since the mathematical question has been answered, I would like to present my way of doing it in Mathematica.

First, use the "well-known identity" (see, e.g. Knuth, ex. 48, sect. 1.2.6, The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental algorithms, Wikipedia, or, for a spoiler, MSE 715706)

1/(x Pochhammer[1 + x, n]) == Sum[((-1)^k Binomial[n, k])/n!/(x + k), {k, 0, n}] //
(* True  *)

The antiderivative is clearly

ad = Sum[((-1)^k Binomial[n, k])/n! Log@(x + k), {k, 0, n}]

Now evaluate at limits (I used Series to find the limit at infinity):

upper = Simplify[Normal@Series[ad, {x, Infinity, 0}], 
  Assumptions -> n >= 1 && n ∈ Integers]
(*  0  *)

lower = ad /. x -> 1;
upper - lower
(*  -Sum[((-1)^k*Binomial[n, k]*Log[1 + k])/n!, {k, 0, n}]  *)

If you want to use the extra checking of Limit, then we need to add the assumption that x is real:

Assuming[n >= 1 && n ∈ Integers && x ∈ Reals,
 upper = Limit[ad, x -> Infinity]]
(*  0  *)

Technical remark

Due to the unexpected closure of the original question I moved my answer from there to here.

My answer

Trying to understand the solution given by Michael E4 in a comment.

Let the integral in question be

$$h(n) =\int_1^{\infty } f(x,n) \, dx$$

With the integrand

$$f(x,n)=\frac{1}{\prod _{k=0}^n (k+x)}$$

First we transform $f$ into the partial fraction representation

$$f_p(x,n) = \sum _{k=0}^n \frac{a(k)}{k+x}$$


$$a(k)=\lim_{x\to -k} \, (k+x) f(x,n)$$.

Explicitly we have

$$\frac{1}{a_k} =\lim_{x\to -k} \, x(x+1)...(x+k-1)\;(*(x+k)\; missing*)\; (x+k+1) ... (x+n)$$

and replacing $x$ by $-k$ gives

$$\frac{1}{a_k} = (-k)(-k+1)...(-1) (1)(2) ... (-k+n) \\= (-1)^k (k) (k-1) ... (1) (1)(2) ... (n-k) = (-1)^k k! (n-k)!$$


$$a_k = (-1)^k \binom{n}{k}\frac{1}{n!}$$

Now we take the $x$-integral of $f_p$

But attention ! The definite integrals of each summand are divegent ! Hence we take the indefinite intergrals (the antiderivative)

$$\int \frac{1}{k+x} \, dx=\log (k+x)$$

Which gives for the indefinite integral of $f_p$

$$g(x,n)= \sum _{k=0}^n (-1)^k \binom{n}{k} \log (k+x)\frac{1}{n!}$$

Now, luckily, the $\lim g({x\to \infty})$ is zero so that we are left with the integrals at the lower border $x = 1$ giving finally (notice the additional minus sign)

$$h(n)= \frac{1}{n!}\sum _{k=0}^n (-1)^{k+1} \binom{n}{k} \log (k+1)$$


In Mathematica we would write

h0[n_] := 
 Integrate[Product[1/(x + k), {k, 0, n}], {x, 1, \[Infinity]}]

h[n_] := 
 1/n! Sum[(-1)^(k - 1) Binomial[n, k] Log[k + 1], {k, 0, n}]   

and check the equivalence as follows

And @@ Table[hh[n] == h[n], {n, 1, 10}]

(* Out[89]= True *)

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