I am integrating a function which is an expression raised to a power n that I want to make as
large as my 32 Mb can handle. My Mma4.0 has no trouble with n=1 or n=10, gives the answer
in Gamma functions reasonably quickly, with 11 terms for n=10. When I do n=100, it takes
about a half hour and gives some 90 terms with Gamma functions. These solutions look as
expected when plotted. However when I do n=10000, the calculation has "never finished", i.e.
it is still continuing to say "Running ...", it has not output anything or generated any error
messages, and it has been 'running' for over seven days without overfowing the memory. The
hard drive indicator light blinks periodically about three times a second and the unix (Linux)
process listing shows the front end and the kernel are apparently running.
Is there a reliable way to diagnose whether or not Mma4.0 is really running a long calculation
as opposed to hanging up without giving any error messages? Is n=10000 totally unreasonable
for my finite lifetime?
Any help highly appreciated,