# Upper Bound for Harmonic Number

## Theorem

$H_{2^m} \le 1 + m$

where $H_{2^m}$ denotes the $2^m$th harmonic number.

## Proof

$\displaystyle \sum_{n \mathop = 1}^\infty \frac 1 n = \underbrace 1_{s_0} + \underbrace {\frac 1 2 + \frac 1 3}_{s_1} + \underbrace {\frac 1 4 + \frac 1 5 + \frac 1 6 + \frac 1 7}_{s_2} + \cdots$

where $\displaystyle s_k = \sum_{i \mathop = 2^k}^{2^{k + 1} \mathop - 1} \frac 1 i$

$\forall m, n \in \N_{>0}: m > n: \dfrac 1 m < \dfrac 1 n$

so each of the summands in a given $s_k$ is less than $\dfrac 1 {2^k}$.

The number of summands in a given $s_k$ is $2^{k + 1} - 2^k = 2 \times 2^k - 2^k = 2^k$, and so:

$s_k < \dfrac {2^k} {2^k} = 1$

Hence the harmonic sum $H_{2^m}$ satisfies the following inequality:

 $\displaystyle \sum_{n \mathop = 1}^{2^m} \frac 1 n$ $=$ $\displaystyle \sum_{k \mathop = 0}^m \left({s_k}\right)$ $\displaystyle$ $<$ $\displaystyle \sum_{a \mathop = 0}^m 1$ $\displaystyle$ $=$ $\displaystyle 1 + m$

Hence the result.

$\blacksquare$