Linear, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, rational, and trigonometric functions, conic sections, binomial, surds, graphs and transformations of graphs, equation- and system-solving, and other symbolic-manipulation topics.

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41
votes
21answers
17k views

Is $.999999999… = 1$?

I'm told by smart people that $0.999999999... = 1$ and I believe them, but is there a proof that explains why this is?
51
votes
4answers
7k views

Value of $\sum\limits_n x^n$

Why is $\displaystyle \sum\limits_{n=0}^{\infty} 0.7^n$ equal $1/(1-0.7) = 10/3$ ? Can we generalize the above to $\displaystyle \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} x^n = \frac{1}{1-x}$ ? Are there some ...
103
votes
14answers
8k views

Zero to the zero power - Is $0^0=1$?

Could someone provide me with good explanation of why $0^0 = 1$? My train of thought: $x > 0$ $0^x = 0^{x-0} = 0^x/0^0$, so $0^0 = 0^x/0^x = ?$ Possible answers: $0^0 * 0^x = 1 * 0^x$, so ...
38
votes
10answers
3k views

Division by $0$

I thought it was elementary to me, but I started to do some exercises and came up some definitions I have sort of difficulty to distinguish. In parentheses are my questions. $\dfrac {x}{0}$ is ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

$-1$ is not $ 1$, so where is the mistake?

I know there must be something unmathematical in the following but I don't know where it is: \begin{align} \sqrt{-1} &= i \\ \\ \frac1{\sqrt{-1}} &= \frac1i \\ \\ \frac{\sqrt1}{\sqrt{-1}} ...
25
votes
10answers
2k views

$i^2$ why is it $-1$ when you can show it is $1$? [duplicate]

We know $$i^2=-1 $$then why does this happen? $$ i^2 = \sqrt{-1}\times\sqrt{-1} $$ $$ =\sqrt{-1\times-1} $$ $$ =\sqrt{1} $$ $$ = 1 $$ EDIT: I see this has been dealt with before but at least with ...
21
votes
21answers
12k views

Proof for formula for sum of sequence $1+2+3+\ldots+n$?

Apparently $1+2+3+4+\ldots+n = \dfrac{n\times(n+1)}2$. How? What's the proof? Or maybe it is self apparent just looking at the above? Does this problem have a name and maybe a presence on the net? ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How to solve $x^3=-1$?

How to solve $x^3=-1$? I got following: $x^3=-1$ $x=(-1)^{\frac{1}{3}}$ $x=\frac{(-1)^{\frac{1}{2}}}{(-1)^{\frac{1}{6}}}=\frac{i}{(-1)^{\frac{1}{6}}}$...
65
votes
17answers
4k views

Proving the identity $\sum\limits_{k=1}^n {k^3} = {\Large(}\sum\limits_{k=1}^n k{\Large)}^2$ without induction

I recently proved that $$ \sum_{k=1}^n k^3 = \left(\sum_{k=1}^n k \right)^2 $$ Using mathematical induction. I'm interested if there's an intuitive explanation, or even a combinatorial ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Do odd imaginary numbers exist?

Is the concept of an odd imaginary number defined/well-defined/used in mathematics? I searched around but couldn't find anything. Thanks!
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Highest power of a prime $p$ dividing $N!$

How does one find the highest power of a prime $p$ that divides $N!$ and other related products? Related question: How many zeros are there at the end of $N!$? This is being done to reduce ...
13
votes
14answers
2k views

Prove $0! = 1$ from first principles

How can I prove from first principles that $0!$ is equal to $1$?
322
votes
10answers
347k views

Is this Batman equation for real?

HardOCP has an image with an equation which apparently draws the Batman logo. Is this for real?
111
votes
16answers
10k views

Why can ALL quadratic equations be solved by the quadratic formula?

In algebra, all quadratic problems can be solved by using the quadratic formula. I read a couple of books, and they told me only HOW and WHEN to use this formula, but they don't tell me WHY I can use ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the term for a factorial type operation, but with summation instead of products?

(Pardon if this seems a bit beginner, this is my first post in math - trying to improve my knowledge while tackling Project Euler problems) I'm aware of Sigma notation, but is there a function/name ...
11
votes
4answers
534 views

Proving $1^3+ 2^3 + \cdots + n^3 = \left(\frac{n(n+1)}{2}\right)^2$ using induction

How can I prove that $$1^3+ 2^3 + \cdots + n^3 = \left(\frac{n(n+1)}{2}\right)^2$$ for all $n \in \mathbb{N}$? I am looking for a proof using mathematical induction. Thanks
41
votes
15answers
10k views

What is the most elegant proof of the Pythagorean theorem?

The Pythagorean Theorem is one of the most popular to prove by mathematicians, and there are many proofs available (including one from James Garfield). What's the most elegant proof? My favorite ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Algebraic Proof that $\sum\limits_{i=0}^n \binom{n}{i}=2^n$

I'm well aware of the combinatorial variant of the proof, i.e. noting that each formula is a different representation for the number of subsets of a set of $n$ elements. I'm curious if there's a ...
44
votes
7answers
11k views

Infinity = -1 paradox

I puzzled two high school Pre-calc math teachers today with a little proof (maybe not) I found a couple years ago that infinity is equal to -1: Let x equal the geometric series: $1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 ...
6
votes
3answers
301 views

Apparently cannot be solved using logarithms

This equation clearly cannot be solved using logarithms. $$3 + x = 2 (1.01^x)$$ Now it can be solved using a graphing calculator or a computer and the answer is $x = -1.0202$ and $x=568.2993$. But ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

How to prove this binomial identity $\sum_{r=0}^n {r {n \choose r}} = n2^{n-1}$?

I am trying to prove this binomial identity $\sum_{r=0}^n {r {n \choose r}} = n2^{n-1}$ but am not able to think something except induction,which is of-course not necessary (I think) here, so I am ...
3
votes
3answers
453 views

Finding the error in a proof

I have a "proof" that has an error in it and my goal is to figure out what this error is. The proof: If x = y, then $$ \begin{eqnarray} x^2 &=& xy \nonumber \\ x^2 - y^2 &=& xy - ...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Summation of natural number set with power of $m$

Who knows about the summation of this series: $$\sum\limits_{i=1}^{n}i^m $$ where $m$ is constant and $m\in \mathbb{N}$? thanks
33
votes
7answers
45k views

Is there a general formula for solving 4th degree equations?

There is a general formula for solving quadratic equations, namely the Quadratic Formula. For third degree equations of the form $ax^3+bx^2+cx+d=0$, there is a set of thee equations: one for each ...
11
votes
3answers
966 views

Simplification of expressions containing radicals

As an example, consider the polynomial $f(x) = x^3 + x - 2 = (x - 1)(x^2 + x + 2)$ which clearly has a root $x = 1$. But we can also find the roots using Cardano's method, which leads to $$x = ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

Factoring $ac$ to factor $ax^2+bx+c$

I was watching a first-year high-school-algebra student struggle with factoring quadratics last night. Given a quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$ (I'll give you the exact example in a moment), her method — ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Integration by partial fractions; how and why does it work?

Could someone take me through the steps of decomposing $$\frac{2x^2+11x}{x^2+11x+30}$$ into partial fractions? More generally, how does one use partial fractions to compute integrals ...
9
votes
1answer
961 views

What is the standard interpretation of order of operations for the basic arithmetic operations?

What is the standard interpretation of the order of operations for an expression involving some combination of grouping symbols, exponentiation, radicals, multiplication, division, addition, and ...
27
votes
6answers
1k views

Proving : $ \bigl(1+\frac{1}{n+1}\bigr)^{n+1} \gt (1+\frac{1}{n})^{n} $

How could we prove that this inequality holds $$ \left(1+\frac{1}{n+1}\right)^{n+1} \gt \left(1+\frac{1}{n} \right)^{n} $$ where $n \in \mathbb{N}$, I think we could use the AM-GM inequality ...
15
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

Explanation of method for showing that 0 / 0 is undefined

(This was asked due to the comments and downvotes on this Stackoverflow answer. I am not that good at maths, so was wondering if I had made any basic mistakes) Ignoring limits, I would like to know ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Do values attached to integers have implicit parentheses?

Given $5x/30x^2$ I was wondering which is the correct equivalent form. According to BEDMAS this expression is equivalent to $5*\cfrac{x}{30}*x^2$ but, intuitively, I believe that it could also look ...
102
votes
9answers
4k views

What does $2^x$ really mean when $x$ is not an integer?

We all know that $2^5$ means $2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2 = 32$, but what does $2^\pi$ mean? How is it possible to calculate that without using a calculator? I am really curious about this, so ...
50
votes
4answers
3k views

Are the solutions of $x^{x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}}}=2$ correct?

Problem: Find $x$ in $$\large x^{x^{x^{x^{ \cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}} }}}}=2$$ Trick: $x^{x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}}}=2$, so, $x^{(x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}})}=x^2=2$, and, ...
33
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there any geometric way to characterize $e$?

Let me explain it better: after this question, I've been looking for a way to put famous constants in the real line in a geometrical way -- just for fun. Putting $\sqrt2$ is really easy: constructing ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Purely “algebraic” proof of Young's Inequality

Young's inequality states that if $a, b \geq 0$, $p, q > 0$, and $\frac{1}{p} + \frac{1}{q} = 1$, then $$ab\leq \frac{a^p}{p} + \frac{b^q}{q}$$ (with equality only when $a^p = b^q$). Back when I ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Proving $p\nmid \dbinom{p^rm}{p^r}$ where $p\nmid m$

A question from Advanced Modern Algebra by Joseph J.Rotman. Let $n=(p^r)m $ such that the prime $p\nmid m$.Prove that $p\nmid \dbinom{n}{p^r}$.HINT: Assume otherwise,cross multiply and apply ...
5
votes
3answers
240 views

How to solve this : $\prod^{\infty}_{n=2} \frac{n^3-1}{n^3+1}$

How to find the sum of this : $$\prod^{\infty}_{n=2} \frac{n^3-1}{n^3+1}$$ My Working : $$\prod^{\infty}_{n=2} \frac{n^3-1}{n^3+1}= 1 - \prod^{\infty}_{n=2}\frac{2}{n^3+1} = 1-0 = 1$$ Is it ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Steps to solve this system of equations: $\sqrt{x}+y=7$, $\sqrt{y}+x=11$

I want to solve this system of equations, I have been out of Maths for a long!! $$\sqrt{x}+y=7$$ $$\sqrt{y}+x=11$$ Just wondering easiest step to find values for $x$ and $y$ from the above ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Range scaling problem

I have a few ranges which I want to scale but I'm missing the formula (and common sense). For example I have a scale range from 40 to 100, but I want my data to range from 0 - 100. What formula do I ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Equation with high exponents

I would appreciate any help with this problem: $ x^8+2x^7+2x^6+5x^5+3x^4+5x^3+2x^2+2x^1+1x^0=0 $ I know that when $x$ isn't zero $x^0=1$ so the equation could be re-written as $ ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there a name for this strange solution to a quadratic equation involving a square root?

Here's an elementary question on solving the following quadratic equation (well, it's not a quadratic until the square root is eliminated): $$\sqrt{x+5} + 1 = x$$ Upon solving the above equation ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any formula for the series $1 + \frac12 + \frac13 + \cdots + \frac 1 n = ?$

Is there any formula for this series? $$1 + \frac12 + \frac13 + \cdots + \frac 1 n .$$
6
votes
2answers
808 views

How to find the sum of this series : $1+\frac{1}{2}+ \frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{4}+\dots+\frac{1}{n}$

Problem : How to find the sum of this series : $1+\frac{1}{2}+ \frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{4}+\dots+\frac{1}{n}$ This is a Harmonic progression : So is this formula correct to sum the series : ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Solve trigonometric equation: $1 = m \; \text{cos}(\alpha) + \text{sin}(\alpha)$

Dealing with a physics Problem I get the following equation to solve for $\alpha$ $1 = m \; \text{cos}(\alpha) + \text{sin}(\alpha)$ Putting this in Mathematica gives the result: $a==2 ...
4
votes
3answers
275 views

I need some advice for $ \; “ \; 3xy+y-6x-2=0 \;”\, $

PS: I edited the title again and I think, it's better now... :) Actually, almost the whole solving way is wrong but, I understood why... :D :) You can check that or add some more useful links about ...
23
votes
10answers
3k views

Direct Proof that $1 + 3 + 5 + \cdots+ (2n - 1) = n\cdot n$

Prove that for all integers $n$, $n \geq 1$, $$1 + 3 + 5 + \cdots + (2n - 1) = n\cdot n$$ How would I go about proving this?
8
votes
8answers
9k views

Calculus book recommendations (for complete beginner)

Well I have not started calculus yet but I am really keen to. I would love if you suggest some books. Points to be noted: I really don't like the way textbooks are written so please no "textbooks" ...
20
votes
5answers
772 views

How does one actually show from associativity that one can drop parentheses?

I've always heard this reasoning, and it makes obvious sense, but how do you actually show it for some arbitrary product? Would it be something like this? ...
13
votes
6answers
931 views

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

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.