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

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36
votes
1answer
778 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 ...
34
votes
6answers
796 views
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 ...
26
votes
14answers
5k views

Logic behind dividing negative numbers

I've learnt in school that a positive number, when divided by a negative number, and vice-versa, will give us a negative number as a result.On the other hand, a negative number divided by a negative ...
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. ...
20
votes
1answer
602 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.
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
5answers
497 views

Can you prove why consecutive diagonal intersection points show decreasing fractions inside a rectangle?

When I was in third grade, I was playing with rectangles and diagonal lines, and discovered something very interesting with fractions. I've shown several math teachers and professors over the years, ...
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 ...
17
votes
7answers
978 views

Simple proof that $8\left(\frac{9}{10}\right)^8 > 1$

This question is motivated by a step in the proof given here. $\begin{align*} 8^{n+1}-1&\gt 8(8^n-1)\gt 8n^8\\ &=(n+1)^8\left(8\left(\frac{n}{n+1}\right)^8\right)\\ &\geq ...
17
votes
2answers
998 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?
15
votes
2answers
584 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
313 views

Show the identity $\frac{a-b}{a+b}+\frac{b-c}{b+c}+\frac{c-a}{c+a}=-\frac{a-b}{a+b}\cdot\frac{b-c}{b+c}\cdot\frac{c-a}{c+a}$

I was solving an exercise, so I realized that the one easiest way to do it is using a "weird", but nice identity below. I've tried to found out it on internet but I've founded nothingness, and I ...
12
votes
2answers
439 views

proof of $\sum\nolimits_{i = 1}^{n } {\prod\nolimits_{\substack{j = 1\\j \ne i}}^{n } {\frac{{x_i }}{{x_i - x_j }}} } = 1$

i found a equation that holds for any natural number of n and any $x_i \ne x_j$ as follows: $$\sum\limits_{i = 1}^{n } {\prod\limits_{\substack{j = 1\\j \ne i}}^{n } {\frac{{x_i }}{{x_i - x_j }}} } ...
12
votes
3answers
211 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
734 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
310 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
528 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
230 views

To how many decimals is $\sum_ {k=1}^\infty \frac{k}{\sqrt{k!}} = \frac{49850839\,\pi}{29567947}$ correct?

Consider: $$\sum_ {k=1}^\infty \frac{k}{\sqrt{k!}} = \frac{49850839\,\pi}{29567947}$$ This is, as far as I'm able to check with my software, correct to at least 167 decimals. If anyone has the ...
9
votes
4answers
709 views

How do I rewrite -100+1/2 as the mixed number -99 1/2?

This has been bugging me for some time now, so I ask you to try to help me realize what is going on here. I just can't get my brain around this. I have a proper fraction and a negative integer. The ...
8
votes
3answers
640 views

Numbers whose self and reciprocal are finitely decimally expressable that are close to one?

How would I go about finding numbers x such that x and 1/x are finitely decimally reciprocal and are also close to 1? I'm not entirely certain how to phrase this question, but take for example 2. 2 ...
8
votes
4answers
192 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
151 views

$\frac{x}{10!} = \frac{1}{8!} + \frac{1}{9!}$

I have a pretty simple straightforward question. Q) Find the value of $x$ in the following: $$\frac{x}{10!} = \frac{1}{8!} + \frac{1}{9!}$$ Instinctively, I do the quickest thing I know how to ...
8
votes
1answer
700 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 $$x=\sum_{k=1}^n{\frac{1}{a_k}}$$
8
votes
4answers
164 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
931 views

Remainder when $20^{15} + 16^{18}$ is divided by 17

What is the reminder, when $20^{15} + 16^{18}$ is divided by 17. I'm asking the similar question because I have little confusions in MOD. If you use mod then please elaborate that for beginner. ...
8
votes
2answers
92 views

Integrating $\int{\frac{\sqrt{1-x^2}}{(x+\sqrt{1-x^2})^2} dx}$

I am a little bit lost with integral: $$\int{\frac{\sqrt{1-x^2}}{(x+\sqrt{1-x^2})^2} dx}$$ I have already worked on in and done substitution $x = \sin(t)$: This brings me to: ...
8
votes
1answer
143 views

cyclic permutations of periods of recurring fractions

In base 10, the recurring bits of the fractions $\frac{1}7,\ldots,\frac{6}7$ are cyclic permutations of each other. e.g. $$\frac{1}{7}=0.(142857)$$ $$\frac{2}{7}=0.(285714)$$ ...
8
votes
1answer
404 views

IMO 1979 problem

The question is $$\text{If }\, p, \ q\in \mathbb{N}, \;1-\frac12+\frac13-\frac14-\dotsb-\frac{1}{1318}+\frac{1}{1319}=\frac{p}{q}.\qquad \text{Prove that } 1979\mid p.$$ So my solution went like ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
377 views

Solving inequality $\frac{2x}{x-2}>1$

I'm trying to solve $$\frac{2x}{x-2}>1$$ but I can't seem to get the correct answer. I'm doing something wrong but I don't know what; that is why I'm asking. This is what I've got: ...
7
votes
1answer
450 views

Does it make sense to multiply slopes?

Multiplying fractions is a regular occurance. If those fractions are considered slopes, does it make any sense? For example, if these fractions are slopes,$\frac{9}{8} \times \frac{49}{48},$ does the ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Find all natural numbers such that $\sum_{k=1}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$ is an integer

Find all natural numbers such that $\sum_{k=1}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$ is an integer. I've tried to bring all fractions under commmon denominator and it didn't helped me much. With guessing I find out ...
7
votes
2answers
218 views

Rationalizing the denominator 3

It is a very difficult question. How can we Rationalizing the denominator? $$\frac{2^{1/2}}{5+3*(4^{1/3})-7*(2^{1/3})}$$
7
votes
1answer
185 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?
7
votes
2answers
97 views

Why does partial fraction decomposition always work?

Say you have a function $p(x)/q(x)$ for some polynomials $p(x)$ and $q(x)$ and $p$ has a lower degree than $q$. Say $q$ has degree three and $p$ has degree two. If you partially decompose it, you'll ...
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
1k views

How to simplify $\frac{4 + 2\sqrt6}{\sqrt{5 + 2\sqrt{6}}}$?

I was tackling through an olympiad practice book when I saw one of these problems: If $x = 5 + 2\sqrt6$, evaluate $\Large{x \ - \ 1 \over\sqrt{x}}$? The answer written is $2\sqrt2$, but I ...
6
votes
6answers
341 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
6
votes
1answer
348 views

Number of triples $(a,b,c)$ of positive integers such that $\frac{1}{a}+\frac{1}{b}+\frac{1}{c}=\frac{3}{4}$?

What is the number of triples $(a,b,c)$ of positive integers such that $\frac{1}{a}+\frac{1}{b}+\frac{1}{c}=\frac{3}{4}$ is: A) $16$ B) $25$ C) $31$ D) $19$ E) $34$ Note: ...
6
votes
3answers
198 views

Why do these fractions give $99…9$?

Today, as usual, we were doing all those boring numerical computations in our calculators. It all started when my professor replaced $0.2$ with $1/5$. I got into calculating the unit fractions one by ...
6
votes
5answers
391 views

An interesting problem with fractions

These are a few examples of how "forbidden" procedures can lead us to the correct answer: $$\displaystyle\frac{1\not4^1}{2\not8_2} = \frac{11}{22}=\frac{1}{2}$$ ...
6
votes
2answers
187 views

How to solve this rational equation for y

Greetings! On a test recently I ended up having to solve this for y: $$ x = \frac{2y}{y + 1} $$ But I kept getting stuck in cirlces... $$ \begin{aligned} x(y + 1 ) = 2y \\ xy + x = 2y \\ ...
6
votes
1answer
520 views

Check my proof of an algebraic statement about fractions

I tried to prove the part c) of "Problem 42" from the book "Algebra" by Gelfand. Fractions $\frac{a}{b}$ and $\frac{c}{d}$ are called neighbor fractions if their difference $\frac{cb-ad}{db}$ has ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Ratios make me feel like an idiot - help me mix up some Coca-Cola

I may be over-complicating things, but something doesn't seem right (and I swear this isn't homework, I'm friggin 30 years old :P). I want to see what it will cost me to make a TWO liter of Coca-Cola ...
6
votes
1answer
476 views

Faster arithmetic with finite continued fractions

I was curious about different representations of rational numbers and came across the finite continued fraction (see wp:Finite_continued_fractions ). Note: I will refer to traditional rational ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

How to best understand Euclid's definition of equal ratios? How does it relate to Dedekind cuts?

This is something I've been wondering about. When I think of "ratios" $x/y$ and $z/w$ as being "equal", with $x$, $y$, $z$, and $w$ being real numbers, this means the results of dividing the real ...
5
votes
8answers
346 views

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

If $x>0$ and $\,x+\dfrac{1}{x}=5,\,$ find $\,x^5+\dfrac{1}{x^5}$. Is there any other way find it? $$ \left(x^2+\frac{1}{x^2}\right)\left(x^3+\frac{1}{x^3}\right)=23\cdot 110. $$ Thanks