Questions on fractions, numbers of the form $p/q$ where $p$ and $q$ are integers, and $q$ is not zero.

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8
votes
1answer
674 views

Prove that any rational can be expressed in the form $\sum\limits_{k=1}^n{\frac{1}{a_k}}$, $a_k\in\mathbb N^*$

Let $x\in\mathbb{Q}$ with $x>0$. Prove that we can find $n\in\mathbb{N}^*$ and distinct $a_1,...,a_n \in \mathbb{N}^*$ such that $$x=\sum_{k=1}^n{\frac{1}{a_k}}$$
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Can you raise a number to an irrational exponent?

The way that I was taught it in 8th grade algebra, a number raised to a fractional exponent, i.e. $a^\frac x y$ is equivalent to the denominatorth root of the number raised to the numerator, i.e. ...
32
votes
7answers
1k views

Bad Fraction Reduction That Actually Works

$$\frac{16}{64}=\frac{1\rlap{/}6}{\rlap{/}64}=\frac{1}{4}$$ This is certainly not a correct technique for reducing fractions to lowest terms, but it happens to work in this case, and I believe there ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the decimal representation of $\frac17$ “cyclical”?

$\frac17 = 0.(142857)$... with the digits in the parentheses repeating. I understand that the reason it's a repeating fraction is because $7$ and $10$ are coprime. But this...cyclical nature is ...
18
votes
1answer
566 views

Simplify $\left({\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10+{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}\right)\left({\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10-{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}\right)^{-1}$

Simplify $$\frac{\displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10+{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}{\displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{2499}\sqrt{10-{\sqrt{50+\sqrt{k}}}}}$$ I don't have any good idea. I need your help.
2
votes
2answers
311 views

Approximation of irrationals by fractions

If $\alpha$ is an irrational, and I'm trying to judge the suitability of of a rational $p/q$ as its approximation by the error $\Delta = |\alpha - p/q|$. For a given denominator $q$, I am finding a ...
8
votes
2answers
268 views

Writing $1$ in form of $\frac{1}{t_1}+\cdots+\frac{1}{t_n}$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Prove that any rational can be expressed in the form $\sum\limits_{k=1}^n{\frac{1}{a_k}}$, $a_k\in\mathbb N^*$ Can anyone help me with this problem? It's a little ...
7
votes
1answer
184 views

Number to the exponent divided by exponent value

Can someone explain including working out how to solve this? $$\dfrac{5^x}{x} = 79.85957$$ I know that the answer is $x = 3.5$, but how does one normalise the equation so that the x is on one side?
0
votes
5answers
96 views

largest fraction less than 1 [duplicate]

What is the mathematically rigorous way to answer the question: "what is the largest fraction less than 1"? (or to explain why it cannot be answered in the manner worded).
35
votes
1answer
751 views

Why does this ratio of sums of square roots equal $1+\sqrt2+\sqrt{4+2\sqrt2}=\cot\frac\pi{16}$ for any natural number $n$?

Why is the following function $f(n)$ constant for any natural number $n$? $$f(n)=\frac{\sum_{k=1}^{n^2+2n}\sqrt{\sqrt{2n+2}+{\sqrt{n+1+\sqrt ...
11
votes
2answers
307 views

Is $\sum_{k=1}^{m-1}\frac{1}{\sin^2\frac{k\pi}{m}}=\frac{m^2-1}{3}$ true for $m\in\mathbb N$?

Question : Is the following true for any $m\in\mathbb N$? $$\begin{align}\sum_{k=1}^{m-1}\frac{1}{\sin^2\frac{k\pi}{m}}=\frac{m^2-1}{3}\qquad(\star)\end{align}$$ Motivation : I reached ...
17
votes
12answers
3k views

Why is $\frac{1}{\frac{1}{X}}=X$?

Can someone help me understand in basic terms why $$\frac{1}{\frac{1}{X}} = X$$ And my book says that "to simplify the reciprocal of a fraction, invert the fraction"...I don't get this because isn't ...
5
votes
7answers
314 views

If $x+\dfrac{1}{x}=5$, find the value of $x^5+\dfrac{1}{x^5}$.

If $x>0$ and $x+\dfrac{1}{x}=5$, find the value of $x^5+\dfrac{1}{x^5}$. Is there some other way to do find it? $$ \left(x^2+\frac{1}{x^2}\right)\left(x^3+\frac{1}{x^3}\right)=23\cdot 110. $$ ...
4
votes
4answers
510 views

What is the non-trivial, general solution of these equal ratios? [closed]

Provide non-trivial solution of the following: $$\frac{a}{b+c}=\frac{b}{c+a}=\frac{c}{a+b}$$ $a=?, b=?, c=?$ The solution should be general.
17
votes
2answers
956 views

Why is $\pi$ irrational if it is represented as $c/d$?

$\pi$ can be represented as $C/D$, and $C/D$ is a fraction, and the definition of an irrational number is that it cannot be represented as a fraction. Then why is $\pi$ an irrational number?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to simplify $\frac{\sqrt{4+h}-2}{h}$

The following expression: $$\frac{\sqrt{4+h}-2}{h}$$ should be simplified to: $$\frac{1}{\sqrt{4+h}+2}$$ (even if I don't agree that this second is more simple than the first). The problem is ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

When is the $lcm$ of a fraction sum the actual denominator.

Consider a sum $$\frac{a}{b}+\frac{c}{d} = \frac{x}{y}$$ where each fraction is reduced. Alternatively using the familiar process of lowest common denominators, we have $$\frac{a}{b}+\frac{c}{d} = ...
4
votes
3answers
299 views

Constructing Farey sequences inductively

Objective: I'd like to prove that $F_{n+1}$ (the Farey sequence of order $n+1$) is obtained form the Farey sequence $F_n$ of order $n$ by adding all fractions of the form $\frac{a+c}{b+d}$ when ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

How do you calculate how many decimal places there are before the repeating digits, given a fraction that expands to a repeating decimal?

If you have a fraction such as $$\frac{7}{26}=0.269230\overline{769230}$$ where there are a number of digits prior to the repeating section, how can you tell how many digits there will be given just ...
2
votes
1answer
340 views

Upper bound/exact length of decimal expansion of simple fraction

E.g. 1/8=0.125 has three decimals when written out in base 10, but what is a good example of a simple fraction where the decimal sequence terminates but is very large? Is there some sort of rule ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How do I go about simplifying this complex radical?

I'm having a difficult time trying to simplify the radical below. When I type the radical to the left into my calculator, I arrive at the correct answer to the right. But I cannot seem to figure out ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Solving a literal equation containing fractions.

I know this might seem very simple, but I can't seem to isolate x. $$\frac{1}{x} = \frac{1}{a} + \frac{1}{b} $$ Please show me the steps to solving it.
0
votes
6answers
286 views

Why Not Define $0/0$ To Be $0$?

For every number $x$, $x\times 0=0$, hence $\dfrac{0}{0}$ can be any number! So $\dfrac{0}{0}$ "is knows as indeterminate" [1]. But what if we define it to be $0$? I already have an answer, but ...
0
votes
5answers
417 views

Is this a weighted average/percentage problem?

Let's say a Marketing company has a total turnover of 10000 \$ There are 3 salesmen A,B,C with the following turnovers A = 2000 $ B = 3000 $ C = 5000 $ Now, ...
12
votes
3answers
207 views

Any 'odd fraction' can be represented as the finite sum of different 'odd unit fractions'?

Let us call a fraction whose denominator is odd 'odd fraction'. Also, let us call an odd fraction whose numerator is $1$ 'odd unit fraction'. Then, here is my question. Question : Is the ...
15
votes
2answers
582 views

What is the max of $n$ such that $\sum_{i=1}^n\frac{1}{a_i}=1$ where $2\le a_1\lt a_2\lt\cdots\lt a_n\le 99$?

What is the max of $n$ such that $$\sum_{i=1}^n\frac{1}{a_i}=1$$ where $a_{i}\ (i=1,2,\cdots,n)$ are integers which satisfy $2\le a_1\lt a_2\lt\cdots\lt a_n\le 99$ ? Also, I need how to prove that ...
4
votes
2answers
262 views

Bound on lcm of denominators of rational numbers that sum to 1.

This is related to the question If a finite set of rational numbers sums to one, does one of the rationals have a denominator equal to the LCM of all the denominators? Suppose $1 = ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Existence of a simultaneous rational approximation of real numbers in (0,1)

I have a simple question the rational approximation of real vectors. Dirichlet's simultaneous approximation theorem states: Given any $d$ real numbers $\alpha_1,\ldots,\alpha_d$ and for every ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Is 1 divided by 3 equal to 0.333…?

I have been taught that $\frac{1}{3}$ is 0.333.... However, I believe that this is not true, as 1/3 cannot actually be represented in base ten; even if you had ...
8
votes
4answers
154 views

Primary/Elementary Pedagogy: What is the rationale for the absent '+' in mixed fractions?

Why are elementary students taught to represent one and a half as 1 1/2 rather than 1 + 1/2? This mode of expression seems standard throughout at least North America. I think it is bad pedagogy for a ...
8
votes
4answers
191 views

What is the 'physical' explanation of a division by a fraction?

For example, dividing by 2, means we cut something in two. But dividing by 0.5, can only be explained with multiplying something by 2. So, is there a "physical" explanation of dividing by 0.5? Is it ...
3
votes
3answers
553 views

How to find a “simple” fraction between two other fractions?

If we have two fractions $a = { a_1 \over a_2} $ and $c = {c_1 \over c_2}$ with $a<c$, how to find the fraction $b = { b_1 \over b_2 }$ , $a < b < c$ for which some measure of ...
3
votes
2answers
316 views

Adding a different constant to numerator and denominator

Suppose that $a$ is less than $b$ , $c$ is less than $d$. What is the relation between $\dfrac{a}{b}$ and $\dfrac{a+c}{b+d}$? Is $\dfrac{a}{b}$ less than, greater than or equal to ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Assuming there exist infinite prime twins does $\prod_i (1+\frac{1}{p_i})$ diverge?

Assume there are an infinite amount of prime twins. Let $p_i$ be the smallest of the $i$ th prime twin. Does that imply that $\prod_i (1+\frac{1}{p_i})$ diverges ?
1
vote
3answers
9k views

Most efficient method for converting flat rate interest to APR.

A while ago, a rather sneaky car salesman tried to sell me a car financing deal, advertising an 'incredibly low' annual interest rate of 1.5%. What he later revealed that this was the 'flat rate' ...
11
votes
1answer
729 views

Interesting pattern in the decimal expansion of $\frac1{243}$

There appears to be an interesting pattern in the decimal expansion of $\dfrac1{243}$: $$\frac1{243}=0.\overline{004115226337448559670781893}$$ I was wondering if anyone could clarify how this ...
10
votes
2answers
525 views

Is there any toy for learning algebraic manipulation of fractions?

Is there any toy for learning algebraic manipulation of fractions? If you don't know of any, how would you design one? What I'm imagining is something similar to a Rubik's cube whose manipulation ...
6
votes
9answers
1k views

Are all integers fractions?

In a college class I was asked this question on a quiz in regards to sets: All integers are fractions. T/F. I answered False because if an integer is written in fraction notation it is then ...
6
votes
6answers
340 views

How to show that $\frac{x^2}{x-1}$ simplifies to $x + \frac{1}{x-1} +1$

How does $\frac{x^2}{(x-1)}$ simplify to $x + \frac{1}{x-1} +1$? The second expression would be much easier to work with, but I cant figure out how to get there. Thanks
4
votes
3answers
348 views

Fractions with radicals in the denominator

I'm working my way through the videos on the Khan Academy, and have a hit a road block. I can't understand why the following is true: $$\frac{6}{\quad\frac{6\sqrt{85}}{85}\quad} = \sqrt{85}$$
3
votes
3answers
122 views

What is $\lim_{n \to \infty} \sum_{x=0}^{n-1} \frac{n-x}{n+x}$?

These are two little questions that came to mind while I was looking at this problem. What is $\displaystyle \lim_{n \to \infty} \sum_{x=0}^{n-1} \frac{n-x}{n+x}$? I am fairly certain that the ...
3
votes
1answer
224 views

length of period

Each rational number (fraction) can be written as decimal periodic number. Does exists a method or hint that show how long will be the period of arbitrary fraction. For example $1/3=0.3333...=0.(3)$ ...
3
votes
1answer
526 views

Nested Division in the Ceiling Function

During class, we were introduced to a proof that used the ceiling function. We assumed (without proof) that: $$ \left\lceil{\frac{n}{2^i}}\right \rceil= ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Integers and fractions

How would I write this as an integer or a fraction in lowest terms? $(1-\frac12)(1+\frac 12)(1-\frac13)(1+\frac13)(1-\frac14)(1+\frac14).....(1-\frac1{99})(1+\frac1{99})$ I really need to understand ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

If a finite set of rational numbers sums to one, does one of the rationals have a denominator equal to the LCM of all the denominators?

I was experimenting with an algorithm for generating random numbers from a discrete distribution and came across an interesting observation. Suppose that you have any finite set of rational numbers ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Cyclic rearrangements of periods of certain periodic numbers

A student of mine observed the following \begin{align} \frac{1}{7}=0.\overline{142857} &\qquad \frac{2}{7}=0.\overline{285714} &\qquad \frac{3}{7}=0.\overline{428571} \\ ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

How much can a fraction reduce?

Assume $x/a$ and $y/b$ are positive fractions in it's reduced form. If $x/a+y/b=z/c$, where $z/c$ is also reduced. What can we say about $c$? Does $\frac{ab}{\gcd(a,b)^2}|c$? If it's not true. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
485 views

Interesting problem on “neighbor fractions”

This is from I. M. Gelfand's Algebra book. Fractions $\displaystyle\frac{a}{b}$ and $\displaystyle\frac{c}{d}$ are called neighbor fractions if their difference $\displaystyle\frac{ad - bc}{bd}$ ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

If you add the same constant to the numerator and denominator, what is the relation between the new fraction and the original fraction?

If I add a constant $\varepsilon < 1$ to the numerator and denominator of a fraction, is the new fraction always greater than the original? That is, do I have $$ \frac{a}{b} \leq ...
1
vote
3answers
229 views

If the sum of two irreducible fractions is an integer, then the denominators are equal

I have to show the following:"If the sum of two irreducible fractions with positive denominators is an integer, then the denominators are equal." $$\frac{a}{b}+\frac{c}{d}=k, \text{ where k an integer ...