For questions about or involving the absolute value function.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

25
votes
1answer
289 views

Is there an easy way to see that this simple recurrence is 9-periodic?

In a colloquium talk yesterday, Robert Bryant pointed out that for all initial values $a_0, a_1 \in \mathbb{R}$, the sequence generated by the recurrence relation $$ a_{n+1} = |a_n| - a_{n-1} $$ turns ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Show that the $\max{ \{ x,y \} }= \frac{x+y+|x-y|}{2}$.

Show that the $\max{ \{ x,y \} }= \dfrac{x+y+|x-y|}{2}$. I do not understand how to go about completing this problem or even where to start.
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Significance of $\displaystyle\sqrt[n]{a^n} $?

There is a formula given in my module: $$ \sqrt[n]{a^n} = a \text{ if $n$ is odd } $$ $$ \sqrt[n]{a^n} = |a| \text{ if $n$ is even } $$ I don't really understand the differences between them, ...
18
votes
2answers
43k views

Reverse Triangle Inequality Proof

I've seen the full proof of the Triangle Inequality \begin{equation*} |x+y|\le|x|+|y|. \end{equation*} However, I haven't seen the proof of the reverse triangle inequality: \begin{equation*} ||x|-|...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

When I was teaching absolute function properties, I suddenly made this question …

I was teaching absolute function properties in a K-12 class. I made this question in my mind. Suppose $f(x)$ is a one-to-one function, and its definition is $f(x)=max\left \{ x,3x\right \}=ax+b|x|+c$...
16
votes
4answers
799 views

How find this inequality $\max{\left(\min{\left(|a-b|,|b-c|,|c-d|,|d-e|,|e-a|\right)}\right)}$

let $a,b,c,d,e\in R$,and such $$a^2+b^2+c^2+d^2+e^2=1$$ find this value $$A=\max{\left(\min{\left(|a-b|,|b-c|,|c-d|,|d-e|,|e-a|\right)}\right)}$$ I use computer have this $$A=\dfrac{2}{\sqrt{10}}$$ ...
13
votes
4answers
41k views

Proof of triangle inequality

I understand intuitively that this is true, but I'm embarrassed to say I'm having a hard time constructing a rigorous proof that $|a+b| \leq |a|+|b|$. Any help would be appreciated :)
13
votes
2answers
215 views

Finding all solutions to the equation $|||||x|-1|-1|-1|-1|=0$

I was presented this question by a student I was tutoring: Suppose $x \in \mathbb{R}$. Find all solutions of the equation $$|||||x|-1|-1|-1|-1|=0.$$ What I explained to the student: Given $||||...
12
votes
3answers
139 views

Why $|x|$ is not rational expression?

I'm 9th grade student, and my teacher said that $|x|$ is not rational expression ( expression like $\frac{p(x)}{q(x)}$ s.t $p(x)$ and $q(x)\neq 0$ are polynomial) but he didn't have convincing reason. ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

what does $|x-2| < 1$ mean?

I am studying some inequality properties of absolute values and I bumped into some expressions like $|x-2| < 1$ that I just can't get the meaning of them. Lets say I have this expression $$ |x|&...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How to calculate with absolute value.

Calculate:$$\frac{ \left| x \right| }{2}= \frac{1}{x^2+1}$$ How do I write the whole process so it will be correct? I need some suggestions. Thank you!
10
votes
5answers
6k views

The median minimizes the sum of absolute deviations

Suppose we have a set $S$ of real numbers. Show that $$\sum_{s\in S}|s-x| $$ is minimal if $x$ is equal to the median. This is a sample exam question of one of the exams that I need to take and ...
10
votes
5answers
489 views

Is -5 bigger than -1?

In everyday language people often mix up "less than" and "smaller than" and in most situations it doesn't matter but when dealing with negative numbers this can lead to confusion. I am a mathematics ...
10
votes
2answers
464 views

Could we invent a new number with $|p|=-1$?

We know that how a single definition $i^2=-1$ revolutionized our mathematics and solved many many problems. I wonder whether the definition $|p|=-1$ could have the potential of creating a new ...
10
votes
1answer
444 views

How to determine all valuations of the field $\mathbb{Q(\sqrt[n]{2})}$?

This is an exercise from the book Algebraic Number Theory by Jurgen Neukirch, on page 166. And, after solving several previous exercises, I found this to be particularly difficult to solve. I am ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

What's wrong with solving absolute value equations in this way?

Say I have $3x-2 = |x|$. Why can't I just do this: $3x - 2 = -x$ and $3x - 2 = x$ and then get two values for $x$: $1$ and $0.5$? I know the answer $0.5$ doesn't work if you plug this in. However, I ...
9
votes
2answers
214 views

Modulus Equations

$$ |x + 1| + |x − 1| = x + 4$$ The only way I can solve this equation is to graph it...Through graphing, I get the following solutions: $$x = -\frac{4}{3}, 4$$ Is their a general algebraic method ...
8
votes
5answers
942 views

If three complex numbers $z_k$ have modulus $1$, then $|z_1+z_2+z_3| = |\frac{1}{z_1}+\frac{1}{z_2}+\frac{1}{z_3}|$

Our teacher gave us a hard question (according to her, it is pretty hard for our level): Given that $|z_1| = |z_2|= |z_3|=1,z \in\mathbb{C}$, prove that $|z_1+z_2+z_3| = |\frac{1}{z_1}+\frac{1}{...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Question regarding usage of absolute value within natural log in solution of differential equation

The problem from the book. $\dfrac{\mathrm{d}y}{\mathrm{d}x} = 6 -y$ I understand the solution till this part. $\ln \vert 6 - y \vert = x + C$ The solution in the book is $6 - Ce^{-x}$ ...
8
votes
1answer
21k views

Derivatives of functions involving absolute value

I noticed that if the absolute value definition $\lvert{x}\rvert=\sqrt{x^2}$ is used then we can get derivatives of functions with absolute value, without having to redefine them as piece-wise. For ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Why is the absolute sign needed in the definition of a bounded function

A function $f$ is bounded if there exists a real number $M$ such that $|f(x)| \le M$ for all $x \in \operatorname{dom}(f)$. Why is the absolute sign needed?
7
votes
2answers
628 views

A ''strange'' integral from WolframAlpha

I want integrate: $$ \int \frac{1}{\sqrt{|x|}} \, dx $$ so I divide for two cases $$ x>0 \Rightarrow \int \frac{1}{\sqrt{x}} \, dx= 2\sqrt{x}+c $$ $$ x<0 \Rightarrow \int \frac{1}{\sqrt{-x}} \, ...
7
votes
2answers
102 views

Basic absolute value property

Hello all I am wondering if anyone has the correct proof that I should use for Spivak calculus ( chapter 1, question 12 ) that says $$|xy|=|x| \cdot |y|$$ from past times I know it is true , but I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one DERIVE the formula for the maximum of two numbers

I want to derive (not prove that this is true) the formula $\max (x,y) = \dfrac{x + y + |y-x|}{2}$ I was reading a proof (which they have the result ahead of time already) that we do cases and then ...
7
votes
4answers
443 views

Inequality for absolute values

How do you show either of the equivalent inequalities: $$2(|a|+|b|+|c|)\leq |a+b+c|+|a+b-c|+|a-b+c|+|a-b-c|$$ or $$|x+y|+|x+z|+|y+z|\leq |x|+|y|+|z|+|x+y+z|$$ Hold for complex numbers or in $n$ ...
7
votes
3answers
89 views

Solving modulus inequality $|x - 1| + |x - 6|\le11$ geometrically

Find all possible values of $x$ for which $x$ for which the inequality $$|x - 1| + |x - 6|\le11$$ is true. I know this can be easily solved by taking $3$ cases for$x$ and then taking the intersection ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How to use triangle inequality to establish Reverse triangle inequality

I need to use $|a+b| \leq |a|+|b|$ to show that $||a|-|b|| \leq |a-b|$ . I have tried to represent $||a|-|b||$ as $||a|+(-|b|)|$ , and then get $||a|+(-|b|)| \leq |a|+|-|b||$ , but that isn't ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a lower-bound version of the triangle inequality for more than two terms?

The triangle inequality $|x+y|\leq|x|+|y|$ can be generalized by induction to $$|x_1+\ldots+ x_n|\leq|x_1|+\ldots+|x_n|.$$ Can we generalize the version $|x+y|\geq||x|-|y||$ to $n$ terms too? I need ...
7
votes
2answers
167 views

Maximum of the difference

What is the maximum value of $f(… f(f(f(x_{1} – x_{2}) – x_{3})-x_{4}) … – x_{2012})$ where $x_{1}, x_{2}, … , x_{2012}$ are distinct integers in the set ${1, 2, 3, …, 2012}$ and $f$ is the absolute ...
6
votes
3answers
513 views

Absolute value graph sketching

Where would you start if you were told to plot: $$||x-1|-1|$$ I looked at just $f(x) = |x-1|$ and noticed that the two equations are: $\pm (x-1)$ for $x \geq 1$ and $x < 1$. Extrapolating then: $\...
6
votes
3answers
873 views

A basic inequality: $a-b\leq |a|+|b|$

Do we have the following inequality: $$a-b\leq |a|+|b|$$ I have considered $4$ cases: $a\leq0,b\leq0$ $a\leq0,b>0$ $a>0,b\leq0$ $a>0,b>0$ and see this inequality is true. However I ...
6
votes
5answers
378 views

Absolute value and max/min function: why $a + b + |a - b|=2\max(a,b)$? [duplicate]

I am being told that $a + b + |a - b|$ is equal to $2\max(a,b)$. What is the reasoning behind this?
6
votes
4answers
9k views

Proving square root of a square is the same as absolute value

Lets say I have a function defined as $f(x) = \sqrt {x^2}$. Common knowledge of square roots tells you to simplify to $f(x) = x$ (we'll call that $g(x)$) which may be the same problem, but it isn't ...
6
votes
3answers
753 views

How prove this inequality: $\sum_{i,j=1}^{n}|x_{i}+x_{j}|\ge n\sum_{i=1}^{n}|x_{i}|$? [duplicate]

Let $x_{1},x_{2},\cdots,x_{n}$ be real numbers. Show that $$\sum_{i,j=1}^{n}|x_{i}+x_{j}|\ge n\sum_{i=1}^{n}|x_{i}|.$$ I think this problem may be solved using nice methods, but I can't find ...
6
votes
6answers
128 views

why minimum of these functions happen at a special place?

why minimum of these functions happen at a special place? how to use derivative to find the minimum of these functions? $$|x-1| + |x-2| + \dots + |x-9|$$ minimum is for $x = 5$ $$|x-1| + |x-2| + \dots ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Arranging problem: 4 couples, 8 seats in a row… Am I making this too simple?

I am in a prob and stats course... haven't taken one in awhile and would like some help on these two problems. I think I am probably making these a little two simple. Four married couples have ...
6
votes
3answers
267 views

How would I prove $|x + y| \le |x| + |y|$?

How would I write a detailed structured proof for: for all real numbers $x$ and $y$, $|x + y| \le |x| + |y|$ I'm planning on breaking it up into four cases, where both $x,y < 0$, $x \ge 0$ ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Using the Mean Value Theorem, prove that $|\sin{a} - \sin{b}| \leq |a - b|$ $\forall a, b \in \mathbb{R}$

Using the Mean Value Theorem, prove that $|\sin{a} - \sin{b}| \leq |a - b|$ $\forall a, b \in \mathbb{R}$. I'm working towards figuring out an approach for finding that $|\sin{a} - \sin{b}| \leq |a ...
6
votes
6answers
12k views

Inequality with two absolute values

I'm new here, and I was wondering if any of you could help me out with this little problem that is already getting on my nerves since I've been trying to solve it for hours. Studying for my next ...
6
votes
5answers
178 views

How to find $\int|\cos x|\,dx$?

How do I find closed form for $\int|\cos x|\,dx$ for all real $x$? It can be expressed as incomplete elliptic integral of the second kind: $$\int|\cos x|\,dx=\int\sqrt{1-1^2\sin^2x}\,dx=E(x,1)$$ ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the absolute value needed with the scaling property of fourier tranforms?

I understand how to prove the scaling property of Fourier Transforms, except the use of the absolute value: If I transform $f(at)$ then I get $F\{f(at)\}(w) = \int f(at) e^{-jwt} dt$ where I can ...
6
votes
2answers
299 views

Prove $||a| - |b|| \leq |a - b|$ [duplicate]

I'm trying to prove that $||a| - |b|| \leq |a - b|$. So far, by using the triangle inequality, I've got: $$|a| = |\left(a - b\right) + b| \leq |a - b| + |b|$$ Subtracting $|b|$ from both sides yields, ...
6
votes
3answers
264 views

Absolute values in $\int \frac{dx}{(x+2)\sqrt{(x+1)(x+3)}}$

in my math class we were given a list of indefinite integrals, and one of them was: $$\int \frac{dx}{(x+2)\sqrt{(x+1)(x+3)}}$$ My working: $$\int \frac{dx}{(x+2)\sqrt{(x+1)(x+3)}}=\int \frac{dx}{(x+...
6
votes
2answers
349 views

Sum of two absolute values in complex plane

I'm trying to find out all $z \in C$ that satisfy the following condition: $|z+1|+|z-i|=3$ I understand that $|z|=r$ represents a circle with a radius of $r$. I also understand that $|z+1|=r$ can ...
6
votes
1answer
70 views

Basic question $|x^2| < 9$

I have a rather basic question. Let's assume that $|x^2| < 9$, where $x\in \mathbb{R}$. Then everyone knows that $x \in$ (-3,3). However, I have trouble arriving at the answer based on basic ...
6
votes
1answer
175 views

Lower bound on absolute value of determinant of sum of matrices

I needed to find a lower bound on $|\det(A+B)|$ where $|.|$ is the absolute value operator. Because I was unable to get such a bound so I was trying to guess a bound and prove it. But $||\det(A)|-|\...
5
votes
5answers
350 views

Prove:$|x-1|+|x-2|+|x-3|+\cdots+|x-n|\geq n-1$

Prove:$|x-1|+|x-2|+|x-3|+\cdots+|x-n|\geq n-1$ example1: $|x-1|+|x-2|\geq 1$ my solution:(substitution) $x-1=t,x-2=t-1,|t|+|t-1|\geq 1,|t-1|\geq 1-|t|,$ square, $t^2-2t+1\geq 1-2|t|+t^2,\text{...
5
votes
5answers
286 views

Evaluating the following integral: $ \int \frac{x^2}{\sqrt{x^2 - 1}} \text{ d}x$

For this indefinite integral, I decided to use the substitution $x = \cosh u$ and I've ended up with a $| \sinh u |$ term in the denominator which I'm unsure about dealing with: $$\int \dfrac{x^2}{\...
5
votes
6answers
165 views

Prove that $|-x| = |x|$

Using only the definition of Absolute Value: $\left|x\right| = \begin{cases} x & x> 0 \\ -x & x < 0 \\ 0 & x = 0,\end{cases}$ Prove that $|-x| = |x|.$ This seems so simple, but I ...
5
votes
5answers
671 views

How to write an expression in an equivalent form without absolute values?

The question I have in front of me is the very first problem in Trench's Introduction to Real Analysis: Write the following expression in equivalent form not involving absolute values: $a+b+|a-b|$ ...