Elementary questions about functions, notation, properties, and operations such as function composition.

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11
votes
2answers
217 views

Can every real function be represented as two shifted even functions?

I saw the theorem that every function can be represented as the sum of and even and odd function, and this made me wonder: can every function from the reals to the reals, defined on all the reals, be ...
11
votes
3answers
233 views

What function could describe this GIF animation?

I found this image on Beautiful Mathematical GIFs Will Mesmerize You and this GIF really caught my attention. From what I see, it's a 2D circle morphing into the 3D sphere. What function could ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between a function and a graph of a function?

Formally, I learned that a function $f: X \to Y$ is a subset $f \subset X \times Y$ subject to the condition that for every $x \in X$, there is exactly one $y \in Y$ such that $(x, y) \in f$. We write ...
11
votes
1answer
166 views

Differentiation of a function $f:\mathbb{Q}\to \mathbb{Q}$(Rational Calculus)

Assume that $f:\mathbb{Q}\to \mathbb{Q}$ is given such that $\forall a\in \mathbb{Q}$ the following limit, exists \begin{equation} \lim_{x\to a} \frac{f(x)-f(a)}{x-a}\in \mathbb{R} ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Why aren't the graphs of $\sin(\arcsin x)$ and $\arcsin(\sin x)$ the same?

(source for above graph) (source for above graph) Both functions simplify to x, but why aren't the graphs the same?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What was the notation for functions before Euler?

According to the Wikipedia article, [Euler] introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical ...
11
votes
2answers
85 views

Does there exist a function $g\in \mathbb{N}^\mathbb{N}$ s.t. $\{f\mid f\circ f=g\}$ is not empty and finite?

I'm struggling with this question and can't figure it out. The question was too long for the title so I will write it once more: Does there exist a function $g : \mathbb{N} \longrightarrow ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens to a function when it is undefined?

If I have the function $$f(x) = {x^2 - 2 \over x + \sqrt 2}$$ this is undefined for $x = -\sqrt 2$, am I correct? Since the denominator would be zero. But the numerator is a difference of ...
11
votes
1answer
392 views

Math Olympiad - pre-periodic function

Let $c \in \mathbb{Q}$, $f(x)=x^2+c$. Define $$f^{0}(x)=x, \ \ f^{n+1}(x)=f(f^{n}(x)), \ \forall n \in \mathbb{N}$$ We say that $x \in \mathbb{R}$ is pre-periodic if $\{f^{n}(x), n \in \mathbb{N}\}$ ...
11
votes
1answer
135 views

How do I construct a function $\operatorname{sog}$ such that $\operatorname{sog}\circ\operatorname{sog} = \log$?

Imagine a real-valued semilog function $\DeclareMathOperator{\sog}{sog}\sog$ with the property that $$\sog(\sog(x)) = \log(x)$$ for all real $x>0$. My questions: Does such a function ...
11
votes
1answer
118 views

$\max(a,b)=\frac{a+b+|a-b|}{2}$ generalization

I am aware of an occasionally handy identity: $$\max(a,b)=\frac{a+b+|a-b|}{2}$$ However, I have found I'm unable to come up with a nice similar form for $\max(a,b,c)$. Of course I could always use ...
11
votes
1answer
340 views

Additive functional inequality

The function $f:R_+\to R_+$ is continuously differentiable and increasing. Also, $f(0)=0$ and $f(\infty)=\infty$. Continuity and differentiability of higher orders can be assumed if necessary. ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Continuous and Open maps

I was reading through Munkres' Topology and in the section on Continuous Functions, these three statements came up: If a function is continuous, open, and bijective, it is a homeomorphism. If a ...
11
votes
3answers
135 views

If $B(x+y)-B(x)-B(y)\in\mathbb Z$ can we add an integer function to $B$ to make it additive?

Given a function $B:\mathbb R\to\mathbb R$ satisfying $B(x+y)-B(x)-B(y)\in\mathbb Z$ for all real numbers $x$ and $y$, is there a function $Z:\mathbb R\to\mathbb Z$ such that $B+Z$ is an additive ...
11
votes
1answer
162 views

If every point is a local maximum, is it a step function?

What are the functions $f:\mathbb R\to\mathbb R$ such that every point is a local maximum? Certainly, $f(x)=c$ works for every constant. So does $\lfloor x\rfloor$, as does ...
10
votes
8answers
335 views

Why is it important to have a discrepancy between image and codomain?

A function $f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ given by $f(x)=x^2$ has $\mathbb{R}^+$ as its codomain and $\mathbb{R}$ as its image. What's the need for this discrepancy? Why don't we just write ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

What does orthogonality mean in function space?

The functions $x$ and $x^2 - {1\over2}$ are orthogonal with respect to their inner product on the interval [0, 1]. However, when you graph the two functions, they do not look orthogonal at all. So ...
10
votes
5answers
276 views

function identity: does $\frac{x^2-4}{x-2} = x+2$

Can you tell me how to resolve the (apparent) paradox that the function: $$f(x) = \frac{x^2-4}{x-2}$$ is identical to the function: $$g(x) = x+2$$ because by factoring the numerator: $$f(x) = ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How is the codomain for a function defined?

Or, in other words, why aren't all functions surjective? Isn't any subset of the codomain which isn't part of the image rather arbitrary?
10
votes
4answers
266 views

Find all functions f such that $f(f(x))=f(x)+x$

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ be a function such that $f(f(x))=f(x)+x, \forall x\in\mathbb{R}$. Find all such functions $f$. Clearly, $f$ is an "one-to-one function". I have tried setting ...
10
votes
1answer
783 views

Who came up with the arrow notation $x \rightarrow y$?

I read that the arrow notation $x \rightarrow y$ was invented in the 20th century. Who introduced it? Each map needs both an explicit domain and an explicit codomain (not just a domain, as in ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why $f(x) = \sqrt{x}$ is a function?

Why $f(x) = \sqrt{x}$ is a function (as I found in my textbook) since for example the square root of $25$ has two different outputs ($-5,5$) and a function is defined as "A function from A to B is a ...
10
votes
3answers
147 views

Regularity of the function $|x|^ax$

Assuming $x \in \mathbb{R}$, what can we say about the regularity class ($C, C^1, C^2, ..., \text{or}\ C^\infty$) of the following function (also with respect to $a \in \mathbb{R}$)? $$f(x)=|x|^ax$$
10
votes
4answers
281 views

If $f(3x)=f(x)$ and $f$ is continuous, show that $f(x)$ is a constant function.

If $f(x)$ is a continuous function such that $f(3x)=f(x)$ and the domain of $f$ is all non-negative real numbers. Prove that $f$ is a constant function. What I did: ...
10
votes
2answers
341 views

Functions satisfying $f(m+f(n)) = f(m) + n$

I am a real newbie when it comes to funtions, and I don't understand what is supposed to happen or what I'm supposed to find when I get given an olympiad type question concerning functions. Could you ...
10
votes
1answer
253 views

Solving a special Quartic Equation.

Solve for $x$ $$(x^2-4)(x^2-2x)=2$$ I have tried the Rational Root Theorem and found that there are no rational roots. Further, the polynomial $p(x)=(x^2-4)(x^2-2x)-2$ is irreducible since ...
10
votes
1answer
744 views

What does it mean to extend a function?

What does it mean to extend a function? Can someone please give an example? Thanks in advance!
10
votes
4answers
126 views

How can you factor $x^4-6x^3+8x^2+2x-1?$

The original question is: Solve this equation for x: $$(x^2-3x+1)^2-3(x^2-3x+1)+1=x$$ I expanded and simplified it to get $$x^4-6x^3+8x^2+2x-1=0$$ Since neither -1 nor 1 are factors, it appears ...
10
votes
1answer
141 views

Does $f(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$ irreducible, imply $f(2x)$ also irreducible?

It is well known that $f(x+a) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$ is irreducible when $f(x)$ is irreducible. I was wondering whether $f(2x)$ and in general whether $f(nx)$ is irreducible as well. Though it is ...
10
votes
2answers
904 views

Finite groups of functions under function composition

Over the years I have done many questions along the lines of the following: "Given functions $\phi, \theta$ (usually defined on $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathbb{C}$, or a suitable subset of $\mathbb{R}$ or ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Show f is uniformly continuous on $(a,b)$ if it is continuous and $\lim\limits_{x\to a^+}f(x)$ and $\lim\limits_{x\to b^-}f(x)$ exist

Let $f:(a,b)\to\mathbb{R}$ be continuous at all $x\in(a,b)$. If $\lim\limits_{x\to b^-}f(x)$ and $\lim\limits_{x\to a^+}f(x)$ exist in $\mathbb R$, how can we prove that $f$ is uniformly continuous on ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What exactly is the fixed field of the map $t\mapsto t+1$ in $k(t)$?

Suppose $k$ is a field, and $k(t)$ is the rational function field. If $f(t)=P(t)/Q(t)$ for some polynomials $P(t)$ and $Q(t)\neq 0$, then the map $t\mapsto t+1$ sends $f(t)$ to $f(t+1)$. So the ...
10
votes
2answers
371 views

How to find $f$ and $g$ if $f\circ g$ and $g\circ f$ are given?

The question is: Let $f:\mathbb R\rightarrow \mathbb R$ and $g:\mathbb R\rightarrow \mathbb R$ be two functions such that $(f\circ g)(x)=4x^2+4x+1$ and $(g\circ f)(X)=x^2+2x+2$. Find $f(x)$ and ...
10
votes
1answer
462 views

A question from the dreams realm

Let $\phi:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ be a function (not necessarily continuous). Let $\phi_0(x)=\phi(x)$ and $\forall k\in\mathbb{N},\phi_{k+1}(x)=\phi(x\cdot\phi_k(x))$. 1. Let ...
10
votes
2answers
440 views

Why are fractal curves nowhere differentiable?

I am a highschool student who stumbled upon fractals when doing a math project. In my research about fractals, I have found that they are nowhere differentiable. Can someone explain this in simple ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Infinitely differentiable function with given zero set?

For each closed set $A\subseteq\mathbb{R}$, is it possible to construct a real continuous function $f$ such that the zero set, $f^{-1}(0)$, of $f$ is precisely $A$, and $f$ is infinitely ...
10
votes
3answers
28k views

Proving a function is onto and one to one

I'm reading up on how to prove if a function (represented by a formula) is one-to-one or onto, and I'm having some trouble understanding. To prove if a function is one-to-one, it says that I have to ...
10
votes
3answers
150 views

Not every function on $[0,1]$ is a pointwise limit of continuous functions on $[0,1]$

How to show that not every $\mathbb{R}$-valued function on $[0,1]$ is a pointwise limit of continuous $\mathbb{R}$-valued functions on $[0,1]$? There is a theorem that states that the set of points ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

If $f:X \to X$ is a continuous bijection and every point has finite orbit, is $f^{-1}$ continuous?

If $f:X \to X$ (codomain and domain have the same topology) is a continuous bijection and every point has finite orbit, is $f^{-1}$ continuous? Note that the orbit being finite and $f$ being a ...
10
votes
2answers
335 views

Find all functions $f:\mathbb{R}^+\to \mathbb{R}^+$ such that for all $x,y\in\mathbb{R}^+$, $f(x)f(yf(x))=f(x+y)$

Find all functions $f:\mathbb{R}^+\to \mathbb{R}^+$ such that for all $x,y\in\mathbb{R}^+$$$f(x)f(yf(x))=f(x+y)$$ A start: set y=0 to get $f(x)f(0)=f(x)$. So $f(0)=1$ unless $f$ is identically zero.
10
votes
2answers
143 views

Does equation $f(g(x))=a f(x)$ have a solution?

Suppose $g: [0,1] \to [0,1]$ is a strictly increasing, continuously differentiable function with $g(0)=0$ and $g(1) < 1$, and $a \in (0,1)$. Is there a function $f:[0,1] \to \mathbb{R}$ such that ...
10
votes
2answers
159 views

Existence and uniqueness of a function generalizing a finite sum of powers of logarithms

I hope to find a proof of the following conjecture: $(1)$ For every $a>0$ there is a convex analytic function $f_a:\mathbb R^+\to\mathbb R$ such that: $f(1)=0$ and $\forall x>1,\ ...
10
votes
1answer
104 views

Simple true/false statement about function composition

Given the functions $f,g$ from $\mathbb{R}$ to $\mathbb{R}$ is it true that If $f \circ g$ is strictly increasing and $f$ is injective then $g$ is monotonic I believe this is false but I can't ...
10
votes
0answers
215 views

Functional equation $f(x)=\frac{1}{1+f(\frac{1}{1+f(x)})}$

Problem: Find all continuous real-valued functions $f$ such that $$f(x)=\frac{1}{1+f(\frac{1}{1+f(x)})}.\tag{1}$$ Here $f$ is allowed to be defined only on a subset of $\mathbb{R}$. The only ...
10
votes
1answer
198 views

Exercise about continuous functions

Consider a continuous function $f \, : \, [0,1] \, \longrightarrow \, [0,+\infty)$ such that $f(0)=f(1)=0$ and : $\forall x \in (0,1), \; f(x) > 0$. I would like to prove that there exist ...
10
votes
1answer
283 views

Approximating the area below average of a concave function

Given a non-decreasing concave function $f:[0,1]\rightarrow \mathbb{R}^+$. Define \begin{align*} F(n)=\displaystyle\sum_{i=1}^n \min\left\{\frac{1}{n},\frac{f\left(\frac{i}{n+1}\right)}{n+1}\right\} ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

“Integer average” of two integer numbers

Suppose two arbitrary integer numbers $a$ and $b$. I'm looking for some function $f(a,b)$ with the following properties: $f(a,b)\in\mathbb{Z}$. $f(a,a)=a$. $f(a,b)=f(b,a)$. $\min\{a,b\}< ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it possible to combine two integers in such a way that you can always take them apart later?

Given two integers $n$ and $m$ (assuming for both $0 < n < 1000000$) is there some function $f$ so that if I know $f(n, m) = x$ I can determine $n$ and $m$, given $x$? Order is important, so ...
9
votes
4answers
804 views

If a function can only be defined implicitly does it have to be multivalued?

What is the general reason for functions which can only be defined implicitly? Is this because they are multivalued (in which case they aren't strictly functions at all)? Is there a proof? ...
9
votes
3answers
869 views

Must all Lebesgue integrable functions really be invertible?

I am studying Lebesgue integration after a course on Riemann integration, and the definition of measurable function is given as follows: $f:{\mathbb R}\rightarrow {\mathbb R}$ is measurable if the ...