Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Here is a funny exercise $$\sin(x - y) \sin(x + y) = (\sin x - \sin y)(\sin x + \sin y).$$ (If you prove it don't publish it here please). Do you have similar examples?

share|improve this question
3  
Maybe a moderator should put the zeta ones together since there are three already? –  anon Nov 3 '10 at 22:29
3  
Perhaps this should be a community wiki question. –  Nuno Nov 3 '10 at 22:31
7  
This is related. –  J. M. Nov 3 '10 at 22:35
97  
I have tripped up many calculus students with this one: $log(1+2+3)=log1+log2+log3$. I am evil... –  user641 Dec 8 '12 at 1:23
5  
@SteveD If only we could find an odd example... –  peoplepower Jan 13 '13 at 0:31

63 Answers 63

up vote 139 down vote accepted

$$\int_0^1\frac{\mathrm{d}x}{x^x}=\sum_{k=1}^\infty \frac1{k^k}$$

share|improve this answer
4  
I had to do something about my accept range :) –  AD. May 17 '12 at 4:47
21  
Sophomore's Dream? –  rotskoff Jun 19 '12 at 20:50
1  
$$\int_0^1 {x^x}\mathrm{d}x=\sum_{k=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^{k-1}}{k^k}$$ –  LTS Nov 2 '13 at 18:29

$${\Large% \sqrt{\,\vphantom{\huge A}\color{#00f}{20}\color{#c00000}{25}\,}\, =\ \color{#00f}{20}\ +\ \color{#c00000}{25}\ =\ 45} $$

share|improve this answer

If we define $P$ as the infinite lower triangular matrix where $P_{i,j} = \binom{i}{j}$ (we can call it the Pascal Matrix), then $$P^k_{i,j} = \binom{i}{j}k^{i-j}$$

where $P^k_{i,j}$ is the element of $P^k$ in the position $i,j.$

share|improve this answer

$$ 71 = \sqrt{7! + 1}. $$

Besides the amusement of reusing the decimal digits $7$ and $1$, this is conjectured to be the last solution of $n!+1 = x^2$ in integers. ($n=4$ and $n=5$ also work.) Even finiteness of the set of solutions is not known except using the ABC conjecture.

share|improve this answer

$$\sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty} n = 1 + 2 + 3 + \cdots \text{ad inf.} = -\frac{1}{12}$$

You can also see many more here: The Euler-Maclaurin formula, Bernoulli numbers, the zeta function, and real-variable analytic continuation

share|improve this answer
3  
What am I missing here? –  Fernando Martin Nov 6 '10 at 5:42
4  
@J.M.: I still fail to see how an infinite summation of positive numbers can result in a negative number. –  Fernando Martin Nov 15 '10 at 23:26
4  
@fmartin: I agree it's counterintuitive; properly explaining this mathematical joke requires a foray into complex analysis (the magic words are "analytic continuation"), which I'll leave to more eloquent users to explain. –  J. M. Nov 16 '10 at 7:05
6  
It's particularly a string theory joke, since this is the trick they use to regularize certain sums in their theories. That's how they arrive at 26 dimensions (in non-supersymmetric theories), because the regularization only works for that many dimensions. I suppose the argument works in the same way in supersymmetric theories, but they then get 10 dimensions. –  Raskolnikov Nov 27 '10 at 11:25
4  
Isn't this Ramanujan's interpretation of $\zeta(-1)$. –  pbs Aug 14 '12 at 11:43

$$\left(\sum\limits_{k=1}^n k\right)^2=\sum\limits_{k=1}^nk^3 .$$

The two on the left is not a typo.

share|improve this answer
5  
@Daron nope -- it is in fact a $2$. –  oldrinb Nov 3 '13 at 17:36

$$ \sum_{n=1}^{+\infty}\frac{\mu(n)}{n}=1-\frac12-\frac13-\frac15+\frac16-\frac17+\frac1{10}-\frac1{11}-\frac1{13}+\frac1{14}+\frac1{15}-\cdots=0 $$ This relation was discovered by Euler in 1748 (before Riemann's studies on the $\zeta$ function as a complex variable function, from which this relation becomes much more easier!).

Then one of the most impressive formulas is the functional equation for the $\zeta$ function, in its asimmetric form: it highlights a very very deep and smart connection between the $\Gamma$ and the $\zeta$: $$ \pi^{\frac s2}\Gamma\left(\frac s2\right)\zeta(s)= \pi^{\frac{1-s}2}\Gamma\left(\frac{1-s}2\right)\zeta(1-s)\;\;\;\forall s\in\mathbb C\;. $$

Moreover no one seems to have wrote the Basel problem (Euler, 1735): $$ \sum_{n=1}^{+\infty}\frac1{n^2}=\frac{\pi^2}{6}\;\;. $$

share|improve this answer

$$\frac{\pi}{4}=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\arctan\frac{1}{f_{2n+1}}, $$ where $f_{2n+1}$ there are fibonacci numbers, $n=1,2,...$

share|improve this answer

$$\int_0^\infty\frac1{1+x^2}\cdot\frac1{1+x^\pi}dx=\int_0^\infty\frac1{1+x^2}\cdot\frac1{1+x^e}dx$$

share|improve this answer

$(x-a)(x-b)(x-c)\ldots(x-z) = 0$

share|improve this answer

$$ \frac{1}{2}=\frac{\frac{1}{2}}{\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\frac{1}{2}}{\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\frac{1}{2}}{\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\frac{1}{2}}{\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\frac{1}{2}}{\frac{1}{2}+\frac{\frac{1}{2}}{\frac{1}{2}+\cdots}}}}}} $$

and more generally we have $$ \frac{1}{n+1}=\frac{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}}{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}+\frac{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}}{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}+\frac{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}}{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}+\frac{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}}{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}+\frac{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}}{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}+\frac{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}}{\frac{1}{n(n+1)}+\ddots}}}}}} $$

share|improve this answer

Here's one clever trigonometric identity that impressed me in high-school days. Add $\sin \alpha$, to both the numerator and the denominator of $\sqrt{\frac{1-\cos \alpha}{1 + \cos \alpha}}$ and get rid of the square root and nothing changes. In other words:

$$\frac{1 - \cos \alpha + \sin \alpha}{1 + \cos \alpha + \sin \alpha} = \sqrt{\frac{1-\cos \alpha}{1 + \cos \alpha}}$$

If you take a closer look you'll notice that the RHS is the formula for tangent of a half-angle. Actually if you want to prove those, nothing but the addition formulas are required.

share|improve this answer

\begin{align} \frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dx}(x^x) &= x\cdot x^{x-1} &\text{Power Rule?}&\text{False}\\ \frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dx}(x^x) &= x^{x}\ln(x) &\text{Exponential Rule?}&\text{False}\\ \frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dx}(x^x) &= x\cdot x^{x-1}+x^{x}\ln(x) &\text{Sum of these?}&\text{True}\\ \end{align}

share|improve this answer
4  
This is a special case of $\frac{d}{dx} h(f(x),g(x)) = \partial_1 h f' + \partial_2h g'$ –  ronno Dec 20 '13 at 13:56
1  
"I just add those 2 together so that I can get partial credit." –  Derek 朕會功夫 Aug 11 at 5:33

$$ \frac{\pi}{2}=1+2\sum_{k=1}^{\infty}\frac{\eta(2k)}{2^{2k}} $$ $$ \frac{\pi}{3}=1+2\sum_{k=1}^{\infty}\frac{\eta(2k)}{6^{2k}} $$ where $ \eta(n)=\sum_{k=1}^{\infty}\frac{(-1)^{k+1}}{k^{n}} $

share|improve this answer

For all $n\in\mathbb{N}$ and $n\neq1$ $$\prod_{k=1}^{n-1}2\sin\frac{k \pi}{n} = n$$

For some reason, the proof involves complex numbers and polynomials.

Link to proof: Prove that $\prod_{k=1}^{n-1}\sin\frac{k \pi}{n} = \frac{n}{2^{n-1}}$

share|improve this answer

Best near miss

$$\int_{0}^{\infty }\cos\left ( 2x \right )\prod_{n=0}^{\infty}\cos\left ( \frac{x}{n} \right )~\mathrm dx\approx \frac{\pi}{8}-7.41\times 10^{-43}$$

One can easily be fooled into thinking that it is exactly $\dfrac{\pi}{8}$.

References:

share|improve this answer

Let $\sigma(n)$ denote the sum of the divisors of $n$.

If $$p=1+\sigma(k),$$ then $$p^a=1+\sigma(kp^{a-1})$$ where $a,k$ are positive integers and $p$ is a prime such that $p\not\mid k$.

share|improve this answer

$$27\cdot56=2\cdot756,$$ $$277\cdot756=27\cdot7756,$$ $$2777\cdot7756=277\cdot77756,$$ and so on.

share|improve this answer

\begin{align}\frac{64}{16}&=\frac{6\!\!/\,4}{16\!\!/}\\&=\frac41\\&=4\end{align}

For more examples of these weird fractions, see "How Weird Are Weird Fractions?", Ryan Stuffelbeam, The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 44, No. 3 (May 2013), pp. 202-209.

share|improve this answer

$$ \sin \theta \cdot \sin \bigl(60^\circ - \theta \bigr) \cdot \sin \bigl(60^\circ + \theta \bigr) = \frac{1}{4} \sin 3\theta$$

$$ \cos \theta \cdot \cos \bigl(60^\circ - \theta \bigr) \cdot \cos \bigl(60^\circ + \theta \bigr) = \frac{1}{4} \cos 3\theta$$

$$ \tan \theta \cdot \tan \bigl(60^\circ - \theta \bigr) \cdot \tan \bigl(60^\circ + \theta \bigr) = \tan 3\theta $$

share|improve this answer
1  
See also the comments here: math.stackexchange.com/q/8385/1242 –  Hans Lundmark Nov 4 '10 at 8:53
1  
I just wanted to mention that your first identity is equivalent to the case $n=3$ of the formula for $\sin nx$ given there. (Just replace $\sin(60^{\circ}-\theta)$ by $\sin(\theta+120^{\circ})$.) –  Hans Lundmark Nov 4 '10 at 9:56
1  
considering your first two identities the thirth should be $$ \tan \theta \cdot \tan \bigl(60 - \theta \bigr) \cdot \tan \bigl(60 + \theta \bigr) = \tan 3\theta $$ –  Neves Mar 6 '11 at 16:08

$\textbf{Claim:}\quad$$$\frac{\sin x}{n}=6$$ for all $n,x$ ($n\neq 0$).

$\textit{Proof:}\quad$$$\frac{\sin x}{n}=\frac{\dfrac{1}{n}\cdot\sin x}{\dfrac{1}{n}\cdot n}=\frac{\operatorname{si}x}{1}=\text{six}.\quad\blacksquare$$

share|improve this answer

$\tan^{-1}(1)+\tan^{-1}(2)+\tan^{-1}(3) = \pi$ (using the principal value), but if you blindly use the addition formula $\tan^{-1}(x) + \tan^{-1}(y) = \tan^{-1}\dfrac{x+y}{1-x y}$ twice, you get zero:

$\tan^{-1}(1) + \tan^{-1}(2) = \tan^{-1}\dfrac{1+2}{1-1*2} =\tan^{-1}(-3)$; $\tan^{-1}(1) + \tan^{-1}(2) + \tan^{-1}(3) =\tan^{-1}(-3) + \tan^{-1}(3) =\tan^{-1}\dfrac{-3+3}{1-(-3)(3)} = 0$.

share|improve this answer

$$\lim_{\omega\to\infty}3=8$$ The "proof" is by rotation through $\pi/2$. More of a joke than an identity, I suppose.

share|improve this answer
2  
Remind me of this: http://xkcd.com/184/ –  alex.jordan Nov 3 '13 at 17:31

$$2592=2^59^2$$ Found this in one of Dudeney's puzzle books

share|improve this answer

Heres a interesting one again
$3435=3^3+4^4+3^3+5^5%$

share|improve this answer

$$ \begin{array}{rcrcl} \vdots & \vdots & \vdots & \vdots & \vdots \\[1mm] \int{1 \over x^{3}}\,{\rm d}x & = & -\,{1 \over 2}\,{1 \over x^{2}} & \sim & x^{\color{#ff0000}{\large\bf -2}} \\[1mm] \int{1 \over x^{2}}\,{\rm d}x & = & -\,{1 \over x} & \sim & x^{\color{#ff0000}{\large\bf -1}} \\[1mm] \int{1 \over x}\,{\rm d}x & = & \ln\left(x\right) & \sim & x^{\color{#0000ff}{\LARGE\bf 0}} \color{#0000ff}{\LARGE\quad ?} \\[1mm] \int x^{0}\,{\rm d}x & = & x^{1} & \sim & x^{\color{#ff0000}{\large\bf 1}} \\[1mm] \int x\,{\rm d}x & = & {1 \over 2}\,x^{2} & \sim & x^{\color{#ff0000}{\large\bf 2}} \\[1mm] \vdots & \vdots & \vdots & \vdots & \vdots \end{array} $$

share|improve this answer
1  
Hmm, considering that logarithms get at the exponent, and $x$ has a constant exponent ... Since $\ln\left(x^a\right)=a\ln\left(x\right)$ (the log of an expression equals the exponent times the log of the base), then $\ln\left(x^1\right)=1\ln\left(x\right)=x^0\ln\left(x\right)$ might be saying something to the effect that it's more important that your exponent is a constant, than the fact that the log of your base $\ln\left(x\right)$ is growing slowly. –  Travis Bemrose Sep 28 '13 at 10:11

$$ \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}{\sin\left(x\right) \over x}\,{\rm d}x = \pi\int_{-1}^{1}\delta\left(k\right)\,{\rm d}k $$

share|improve this answer

\begin{align} E &= \sqrt{\left(pc\right)^{2} + \left(mc^{2}\right)^{2}} = mc^{2} + \left[\sqrt{\left(pc\right)^{2} + \left(mc^{2}\right)^{2}} - mc^{2}\right] \\[3mm]&= mc^{2} + {\left(pc\right)^{2} \over \sqrt{\left(pc\right)^{2} + \left(mc^{2}\right)^{2}} + mc^{2}} = mc^{2} + {p^{2}/2m \over 1 + {\sqrt{\left(pc\right)^{2} + \left(mc^{2}\right)^{2}} - mc^{2} \over 2mc^{2}}} \\[3mm]&= mc^{2} + {p^{2}/2m \over 1 + {p^{2}/2m \over \sqrt{\left(pc\right)^{2} + \left(mc^{2}\right)^{2}} + mc^{2}}} = mc^{2} + {p^{2}/2m \over 1 + {p^{2}/2m \over 1 + {p^{2}/2m \over \sqrt{\left(pc\right)^{2} + \left(mc^{2}\right)^{2}} - mc^{2}}}} \end{align}

share|improve this answer

\[\sqrt{n^{\log n}}=n^{\log \sqrt{n}}\]

share|improve this answer
5  
$a^{\log b} = b^{\log a}$ for a and b at least 1. –  Wok Nov 30 '10 at 10:03

Here is an Asian kid paradox - perhaps they will understand (apologies for not being strictly mathematical). If $$Study=No \;Fail$$ and $$No \; Study=Fail$$ then $$Study+No\;Study=Fail+No\;Fail$$ $$\implies (1+No)Study=(1+No)Fail$$ Cancelling gives $$Study=Fail$$ Isn't that weird???

share|improve this answer
21  
$1+No$ is 0 in both sides. You can't cancel zero... –  CODE Jun 4 '13 at 16:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.