Questions about Turing computability and recursion theory, including the halting problem and other unsolvable problems. Questions about the resources required to solving particular problems should be tagged (computational-complexity).

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25
votes
5answers
3k views

Are some real numbers “uncomputable”?

Is there an algorithm to calculate any real number. I mean given $a \in \mathbb{R}$ is there an algorithm to calculate $a$ at any degree of accuracy ? I read somewhere (I cannot find the paper) that ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there any examples of non-computable real numbers?

Is this true, that if we can describe any (real) number somehow, then it is computable? For example, $\pi$ is computable although it is irrational, i.e. endless decimal fraction. It was just a luck, ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to solve any Euclidean geometry problem using a computer?

By "problem", I mean a high-school type geometry problem. If no, is there other set of axioms that allows that? If yes, are there any software that does that? I did a search, but was not able to ...
9
votes
1answer
446 views

Algorithm to answer existential questions - Reduction

Lemma 1. For any $x$ in the ring $F[t,t^{-1}]$ ($F[t,t^{-1}]$: the polynomials in $t$ and $t^{-1}$ with coefficients in the field $F$), $x$ is a power of $t$ if and only if $x$ divides $1$ and ...
4
votes
1answer
319 views

Show $f$ is primitive recursive, where $f(n) = 1$ if the decimal expansion of $\pi$ contains $n$ consecutive $5$'s

Let $f:\mathbb{N}\to\mathbb{N}$ be given by $f(n)=1$ if the decimal expansion of $\pi$ contains $n$ consecutive $5$'s, and $f(n)=0$ otherwise. How would you go about showing such a function is ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Any problem computable in $k$ memory slots can be computed with polynomials.

Let our memory slots be represented by elements of $\Bbb{Z}_p$ for a prime $p$. $k$ memory slots would be $k$ copies of the ring: $R = (\Bbb{Z}_p)^k$. Suppose that for a problem $f : X \to Y$, ...
18
votes
3answers
675 views

How can Busy beaver($10 \uparrow \uparrow 10$) have no provable upper bound?

This wikipedia article claims that the number of steps for a $10 \uparrow \uparrow 10$ state (halting) Turing Machine to halt has no provable upper bound: "... in the context of ordinary ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What philosophical consequence of Goedel's incompleteness theorems?

I want to write a philosophical essay centered about Goedel's incompleteness theorem. However I cannot find any real philosophical consequences that I can write more than half a page about. I read the ...
13
votes
1answer
301 views

Primitive recursive function which isn't $\Delta_0$

What is the simplest/cutest example (and/or example with the most student-friendly proof that it is an example) of a primitive recursive function which isn't representable by a $\Delta_0$ wff?
7
votes
4answers
151 views

Is the logarithm of $\aleph_0$ infinite?

In classical mathematics $2^{\aleph_0}=\aleph_1$, right? So if $2^x=\aleph_0$, what does $x$ equal? In other words, can we define a logarithm for $\aleph_0$, and what should it be. Is it infinite? ...
7
votes
1answer
381 views

Is there an infinite set of strings whose Kolmogorov complexities are computable?

Is there an infinite set of strings whose Kolmogorov complexities are computable?
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Markov's paper on insolubility of the homeorphy problem

I am looking for an English translation of Markov's 1958 paper, On insolubility of the homeorphy problem, which I remember coming across on a website for a computational topology course (taught by ...
17
votes
3answers
867 views

Is the Collatz conjecture in $\Sigma_1 / \Pi_1$?

Prompted by some of the comments on this question, I'm wondering if anything is known about the place of the Collatz Conjecture in the arithmetic hierarchy. More specifically, is Collatz known to be ...
10
votes
4answers
314 views

Countable choice and term extraction

The constructive Axiom of Countable Choice (ACC) is widely accepted due to its computational content. It states that: $$ \forall n\in \mathbb{N} . \exists x \in X . \varphi [n, x] \implies \exists f: ...
4
votes
1answer
225 views

The existential theory is undecidable

Lemma 1. For any $x$ in the ring $F[t,t^{-1}]$ ($F[t,t^{-1}]$: the polynomials in $t$ and $t^{-1}$ with coefficients in the field $F$), $x$ is a power of $t$ if and only if $x$ divides $1$ and ...
4
votes
1answer
614 views

Why doesn't diagonalization prove that integers are not countable?

I understand how Cantor's diagonalization argument works with respect to disproving that a bijection between integers and real numbers can exist. What I don't get is why the same reasoning doesn't ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

A Turing machine for which halting is outside ZFC

If, given Turing machine T, "T halts" or "T doesn't halt" could be derived from axioms of ZFC, halting problem would be in R. As it isn't, there must exist a Turing machine for which truth or ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Example of a not recursively enumerable set $A \subseteq \mathbb{N}$

Can someone give me an example if a not recursively enumerable set $A \subseteq \mathbb{N}$ ? I came up with this question, when trying to show, that there exist partial functions $f: \mathbb{N} ...
6
votes
1answer
459 views

What are $\Sigma _n^i$, $\Pi _n^i$ and $\Delta _n^i$?

Sometimes reading on wikipedia or in this site (and in very different context like topology, arithmetic and logic) I have found these symbols $\Sigma _n^i$, $\Pi _n^i$ and $\Delta _n^i$. They are ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Why do $\omega$-models of subsystems of $\mathsf{Z}_2$ satisfy full induction?

Richard Shore, in his 2010 paper in the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, 'Reverse Mathematics: The Playground of Logic', writes that Obviously, if an $\omega$-model $\mathcal{M}$ (those with $M = ...
3
votes
3answers
903 views

Is the language of all strings over the alphabet “a,b,c” with the same number of substrings “ab” & “ba” regular?

Is the language of all strings over the alphabet "a,b,c" with the same number of substrings "ab" & "ba" regular? I believe the answer is NO, but it is hard to make a formal demonstration of it, ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Restricted read twice BDDs and context free grammars

Several papers give poly-time algorithms for constrained paths on labelled graphs, e.g. [1] Quote: Given an alphabet Σ, a (directed) graph G whose edges are weighted and Σ-labeled, and a formal ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

Why is there a $p\in \mathbb{N}$ such that $mr - p < \frac{1}{10}$?

I am reading the following part of the paper of Denef : Let $R$ be a commutative ring with unity and let $D(x_1,\dots , x_n)$ be a relation in $R$. We say that $D (x_1,\dots , x_n)$ is diophantine ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

set of Kolmogorov-random strings is co-re

given RC = {x : C(x) ≥ |x|} is a set of Kolmogorov-random strings. How can I show that RC is co-re I have been reading this paper What Can be Efficiently Reduced to the Kolmogorov-Random ...
1
vote
1answer
344 views

Converse of Collatz Conjecture

How to write a pseudocode program that halts only if the Collatz Conjecture is false. Thanks much in advance!!!
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Recursive relation and predicate

If we let P(x,y) be a primitive recursive relation and g(x) be a primitive recursive function. Then how to show that there exists a y < g(x)*P(x,y) is a primitive recursive relation? And how can ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

is differ between distributive lattice vs semi-lattice on Turing Degrees

We know a Posed Closed under suprema but not necessarily under infima is an upper semi-lattice. We now r.e set forms a distributive lattice. But my question is why following statement is hold? I ...
0
votes
0answers
192 views

A is recursive iff A is the range of an increasing function which is recursive

Working a problem stated in Enderton, but stated better and apparently stronger in Soare. All citations hereon are for Soare (1987). Would appreciate help on the proof. I know there has to be a more ...
0
votes
1answer
284 views

Simultaneous recursion

I have no idea how to even start proving the following theorem: If $f_0, f_1: \mathbb{N}^r \rightarrow \mathbb{N}$ and $g_0, g_1: \mathbb{N}^{r+3} \rightarrow \mathbb{N}$ are primitive recursive, ...
-2
votes
1answer
120 views

Why is $x\mapsto x$-th prime number a partial recursive function?

I think that partial recursive functions correspond to all computable functions. Thus, if we can write a computer program to represent a function, the function is partial recursive. In computability ...
31
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do we believe the Church-Turing Thesis?

The Church-Turing Thesis, which says that the Turing Machine model is at least as powerful as any computer that can be built in practice, seems to be pretty unquestioningly accepted in my exposure to ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Density of halting Turing machines

If we enumerate all Turing machines, $T_1$, $T_2$, $T_3,\ldots,T_n,\ldots$, What is $$\lim_{m\to\infty}\frac{\#\{k\mid k\lt m \text{ and }T_k\text{ halts}\}}{m}\quad?$$ Or does this depend on how we ...
9
votes
1answer
449 views

Irrationality measure of the Chaitin's constant $\Omega$

What is known about irrationality measure of the Chaitin's constant $\Omega$? Is it finite? Can it be a computable number? Can it be $2$?
8
votes
4answers
561 views

Consequences of solving the Halting problem

What impact would a device (ie super-computer or relativistic computer or other method) that solves the halting problem have on math? Would there be any mathematical problems left to solve? What ...
15
votes
2answers
19k views

Recognizable vs Decidable

What is difference between "recognizable" and "decidable" in context of Turing machines?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Prove Gödel's incompleteness theorem using halting problem

How can you prove Gödel's incompleteness theorem from the halting problem? Is it really possible to prove the full theorem? If so, what are the differences between original proof and proof by ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

FRACTRAN for natural numbers

Is there a simple analogue of FRACTRAN that maps a natural number to a natural number, instead of mapping a list of fractions to a natural number? One could use Gödel encoding to translate FRACTRAN ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Who first discovered that some R.E. sets are not recursive?

Who first discovered that some recursively enumerable sets are not recursive, or equivalently that some semidecidable sets are undecidable? And in what context? Was the earliest formulation of this ...
6
votes
0answers
186 views

Recursive and Primitive recursive functions

According to the book that I'm reading, we can define the $\mu-$recursive functions inductively, as follows: The constant, projection, and successor functions are all $\mu-$recursive. If $g_1, ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

Ordinals definable over $L_\kappa$

Suppose $\kappa$ is an uncountable cardinal, with $L_\kappa$ an admissible set (i.e. a model of Kripke–Platek set theory). Let $<_\gamma \subseteq \kappa \times \kappa$ denote a wellordering of ...
5
votes
3answers
311 views

Numbers which are “Provably Difficult to Compute”?

We recall that a computable number $\alpha \in \mathbb{R}$ satisfies the following: there exists a computable function $f$ such that, given any positive rational error bound, $f$ outputs a rational ...
5
votes
5answers
713 views

Can a polynomial size CFG over large alphabet describe a language, where each terminal appears even number of times?

Can a CFG over large alphabet describe a language, where each terminal appears even number of times? If yes, would the Chomsky Normal Form be polynomial in |Σ| ? EDIT: What about a language where ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Different models of ZF disagree on equality of explicit recursively enumerable sets

Assuming that ZF is consistent, are there two recursively enumerable sets defined by explicit enumerators that are the same in one model of ZF+Con(ZF) but different in another model of ZF+Con(ZF)? If ...
3
votes
2answers
56 views

Number of $1$s in the binary representation of $n$

Trying to define the function $b(n)$ which counts the number of $1$s in the binary representation of $n$ arithmetically I came up with the following definition: $$b(n)=m :\equiv (\exists k_1\dots ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Proving Richardson's theorem for constants

(I also asked this 18 hours ago on mathoverflow, but did not yet get any responses there.) Richardson's theorem is given in this wikipedia article. $\:$ In this answer, Eric Towers states that ...
8
votes
1answer
381 views

$F[t]$ has undecidable positive existential theory in the language $\{+, \cdot , 0, 1, t\}$

Consider the ring $F[t, t^{-1}]$ (the polynomials in $t$ and $t^{-1}$ with coefficients in the field $F$). Theorem 1. Assume that the characteristic of $F$ is zero. Then the existential theory ...
8
votes
2answers
368 views

Existence of a utility function on the reals

Suppose I have $\preceq$, a total order on $\mathbb R^n$. I wish to show that there is a utility function $u:\mathbb R^n\to\mathbb R$ such that $x\preceq y \leftrightarrow u(x)\leq u(y)$. I came up ...
6
votes
0answers
136 views

Simplify these “basis functions” for universal computation?

Background: The following three functions (which map naturals to naturals) form a "complete basis" for universal computation, in the sense that any Turing machine can be simulated by iterating some ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Uncomputability of subset relation

I suppose this obvious question should already be answered in plenty of places, but for some reasons I cannot find a proof of this anywhere. Prove or disprove that their exist a set $X$ that is ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

An effective coding of $\mathbb N^*$

Problem: Assume $\Pi:\mathbb N^2\to\mathbb N\setminus\{0\}$ is a primitive recursive coding of the pairs of numbers, that is also a bijection and $(\forall (x,y)\in\mathbb N^2)(\Pi(x,y)>max(x,y))$. ...