Mathematical intuition is the instinctive impression regarding mathematical ideas which originate naturally without regard to formal mathematical proofs. It may or may not stem from a cognitive rational process.

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What is the idea behind a projection operator? What does it do?

I know what a projection operator is, but I am unable to explain it in words without using mathematical symbols. Can anyone help me? I don't need examples or the definition - I want to know why and ...
4
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4answers
80 views

In every set of $14$ integers there are two that their difference is divisible by $13$

Prove that in every set of $14$ integers there are two that their difference is divisible by $13$ The proof goes like this, there are $13$ remainders by dividing by $13$, there are $14$ numbers ...
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1answer
93 views

Everyday life examples of hyperbolic rotations

I'm trying to find some intuition in Lorentz transformations. I understand that they are basically rotations by imaginary angle of vector of the form $\{ict,x\}$ (for $1+1$ space-time dimensions), and ...
3
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0answers
22 views

Need some help understanding this exercise about injective plane curve

Let $\gamma (t) = (x(t), y(t))$ be a smooth regular plane curve $\gamma: I \to \mathbb R^2$ where $I$ is some open interval. Now consider the following exercise: Let $\varphi (u,v) = (x(u), v + ...
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10answers
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Problems that are largely believed to be true, but are unresolved

Are there unsolved problems in math that are large believed to be true, but for reasons other then statistical justification? It seems that Goldbach should be true, but this is based on heuristic ...
0
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1answer
12 views

If points of mobius transformation are given, then how to determine the mapping?

A Mobius transformation is a map $$f(x)=\frac{rx+s}{tx+u}$$ where $ru-st \neq 0$. Suppose we have $f(a)=c, f(b)=d, f(c)=a, f(d)=b$, where $a,b,c,d \in \mathbb{R}$. Then from here, the answer given by ...
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1answer
24 views

Taylor Polynomial - intuition

How do adding higher derivatives of the function on the same point gives a better approximation?
0
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2answers
601 views

Intersection of Normal Subgroups is Normal in Subgroup but Not Group - Fraleigh p. 143 14.35

Show that if H is a subgroup of a group G, and N is a normal subgroup in G, then $H \cap N$ is normal in H. Show by an example that $H \cap N$ need not be normal in G. I can condone the proof hence ...
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7answers
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Laplace transformations for dummies

Is there a simple explanation of what the Laplace transformations do exactly and how they work? Reading my math book has left me in a foggy haze of proofs that I don't completely understand. I'm ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Why is the ratio test for $L=1$ inconclusive?

One of the often used tests for convergence ($L\lt 1$) and divergence ($L\gt 1$) of an infinite series is the ratio test. The idea behind it, why it works is the geometric series which dominates (or ...
266
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10answers
34k views

What's an intuitive way to think about the determinant?

In my linear algebra class, we just talked about determinants. So far I’ve been understanding the material okay, but now I’m very confused. I get that when the determinant is zero, the matrix doesn’t ...
3
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2answers
318 views

If sup A < sup B, there exists an element b ∈ B that's an upper bound for A. (S.A. pp 18 q1.3.8)

My Figure: By definition of $\sup B$, $\sup B$ is an upper bound for $B$. Set $e = \sup B − \sup A > 0$. By Lemma 1.3.7, there exists an element $b ∈ B$ satisfying $\begin{align} & \sup B − ...
108
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6answers
7k views

In (relatively) simple words: What is an inverse limit?

I am a set theorist in my orientation, and while I did take a few courses that brushed upon categorical and algebraic constructions, one has always eluded me. The inverse limit. I tried to ask one of ...
2
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2answers
102 views

Understanding why $a+b\sqrt {2}\neq \sqrt {3} $

I want to intuitively understand why $a+b\sqrt {2}\neq \sqrt {3} $ for $a, b \in \mathbb Q $ I really have no intuition regarding this matter, and have to deal with similar concepts regularly while ...
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4answers
5k views

Why Markov matrices always have 1 as an eigenvalue

Also called stochastic matrix. Let $A=[a_{ij}]$ - matrix over $\mathbb{R}$ $0\le a_{ij} \le 1 \forall i,j$ $\sum_{j}a_{ij}=1 \forall i$ i.e the sum along each column of $A$ is 1. I ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Can an element of a power set $2^A$ be a subset of $2^A$?

This question is continued from a previous thread I started, but it had more than one question so I had to move the other question here. For this example consider an injective map $f: A \to 2^A$ then ...
0
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1answer
54 views

If $A$ is a non-empty set and $2^A$ is the power set of $A$. Is $2^A \subseteq A$?

I'm aware that if there exists an injective map $f: A \to 2^A$ then for each element $a\in A$ $\exists$ $f(a)\subseteq A$. But does this also mean $f(a)\subseteq 2^A$? I ask this because when ...
5
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2answers
70 views

Why do the interesting antihomomorphisms tend to be involutions?

Given a semigroup $S$, define that an antihomomorphism on $S$ is a function $$* :S \rightarrow S$$ satisfying $(xy)^* = y^*x^*.$ Examples abound. Consider: Transposition, where $S$ equals the set ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Geometric intuition behind gradient, divergence and curl

I learned vector analysis and multivariate calculus about two years ago and right now I need to brush it up once again. So while trying to wrap my head around different terms and concepts in vector ...
5
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3answers
517 views

Intuitive explanation for formula of maximum length of a pipe moving around a corner?

For one of my homework problems, we had to try and find the maximum possible length $L$ of a pipe (indicated in red) such that it can be moved around a corner with corridor lengths $A$ and $B$ ...
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3answers
155 views

What do groups and rings “look like”?

Taking undergraduate physics courses, I had to deal with Euclidean vectors often. In classes like Calc III, the concept was also there. I'm not sure if this is why, but I've always had a more ...
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3answers
156 views

Understanding the use of the Cartesian Product in the proof of $|\mathbb R\times \mathbb R|=|\mathbb R|$

Where the Cartesian Product of two sets $\mathbb A$ and $\mathbb B$ is such that $\mathbb A\times \mathbb B=\{{ (a,b)|a \in \mathbb{A}, b \in \mathbb{B}\}}$ In trying to understand the proof that ...
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4answers
65 views

Why Mendelson axiom schemas are true?

I'm taking course in logic. The book is available here I don't understand why is Mendelson axiom schemas are the way they are. For example implication creation schema $φ ⇒ (ψ ⇒ φ)$ My thoughts ...
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6answers
124 views

Why is $P \to Q \equiv \neg P \vee Q$?

By truth table, we know that $P \to Q$ is equivalent to $\neg P \vee Q$. But I'm trying to understand why this work? How can connective "or" be implication. I tried some examples but I still can't ...
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4answers
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An intuitive approach to the Jordan Normal form.

I want to understand the meaning behind the Jordan Normal form, as I think this is crucial for a Mathematician. As far as I understand this the idea is to get the closest representation of an ...
0
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0answers
23 views

mean value theorem applications

it is said that the mean value theorem prove that the graph between $[a,b]$ has a point where it is equal to the average change of the graph, (sorry for not being accurate) is there more information ...
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1answer
50 views

Why Does The Taylor Remainder Formula Work?

I've been studying calculus on my own and have come across Taylor series. It is very intuitive until I came across the remainder part of the formula where things got fuzzy. I understand why the ...
3
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5answers
475 views

Why do some series converge and others diverge?

Why do some series converge and others diverge; what is the intuition behind this? For example, why does the harmonic series diverge, but the series concerning the Basel Problem converges? To ...
2
votes
1answer
449 views

“Poissonization” and intuition

In a french book, "Calcul des probabilités" from Foata and Fuchs, I found this theorem, which they call "Poissonization". "Let $(I_k)_{k \in \mathbb{N}}$ be a sequence of independent variables with ...
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1answer
62 views

Trouble understanding what a measure-zero set is.

To begin with some context, I haven't had any exposure to measure theory yet. I solved the following problem. A set $A\subset \mathbb R$ such that $\forall \epsilon >0$, there exists countably ...
3
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1answer
55 views

Why are power sets called power sets?

Why are power sets called power sets? What is so powerful about them?
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1answer
20 views

Justification, intuition and motivation for cardinal arithmetic [closed]

What justifies, provides intuition and motivation for weird cardinal arithmetic?
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2answers
943 views

Direct proof. Square root function uniformly continuous on $[0, \infty)$ (S.A. pp 119 4.4.8)

(http://math.stanford.edu/~ksound/Math171S10/Hw8Sol_171.pdf) Prove for all $e > 0,$ there exists $d > 0$ : for all $x, y \ge 0$, $|x - y| < d \implies |\sqrt{x} - \sqrt{y}| < e$. (a) ...
3
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2answers
30 views

What is the best way to explain setting a restriction on $\delta$ in $\epsilon$-$\delta$ proofs?

I'm trying to prepare a somewhat informal lesson striving to provide an intuitive understanding of why for some limit proofs, we have to set an upper bound on $\delta$. For example, here's part of ...
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1answer
26 views

Geometric proof for $|| u ||^2 + || v ||^2 = \frac{1}{2}||u-v||^2 + 2||\frac{u+v}{2}||^2$

Is there an geometric proof for the following identity? $|| u ||^2 + || v ||^2 = \frac{1}{2}||u-v||^2 + 2||\frac{u+v}{2}||^2$. The norm here is normal Euclidean norm, and $u,v$ are vectors.
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0answers
48 views

Physical analogies of a math concepts [closed]

In a post Terence Tao explained a very nice way to think about convolution and noted that "one should try to use physical intuition to model mathematical concepts whenever one can". I found this very ...
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3answers
50 views

Why is $\mathbb T\cup\mathbb A = \mathbb Q \cup \mathbb I =\mathbb R$?

Where $\mathbb T $ is the set of transcendental numbers, and $\mathbb I $ is the set of irrational numbers and $\mathbb A $ is the set of algebraic numbers. The sets $\mathbb Q$ and $\mathbb R$ have ...
2
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2answers
74 views

Ordinals - motivation and rigor at the same time

Can someone provide a description of ordinals within ZFC in a rigorous way that exhibits motivation? Every description or explanation I see in the literature or on the Internet is either too formal ...
2
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1answer
45 views

matrices with determinant equals to one

we already know what does it mean the determiant of a matrix is null, it's not invertible ! but what about matrices with determinant equals to $1$ ?! I know that the determinant of matrix is the ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the practical meaning of derivatives? [closed]

I mean practically integration means sum of all components, and the integral can be visualized as the area below a curve. Is there a similar intuition or geometric meaning of the derivative?
5
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4answers
483 views

Infinitesimals - what's the intuition?

When considering an infinitesimal distance/interval/in calculus, what is the intuitive interpretation? Is it too small to be measurable but still has some distance on an unattainable scale? Are there ...
7
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6answers
115 views

Intuitively understanding $\sum_{i=1}^ni={n+1\choose2}$

It's straightforward to show that $$\sum_{i=1}^ni=\frac{n(n+1)}{2}={n+1\choose2}$$ but intuitively, this is hard to grasp. Should I understand this to be coincidence? Why does the sum of the first ...
6
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2answers
413 views

Is a circle classified as an ellipse?

I read that an ellipse had $2$ focal points. So, I thought if a circle had $2$ points that were simply infinitesimally close together wouldn't it be classified as an ellipse? Help would be ...
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4answers
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Can someone intuitively explain what the convolution integral is?

I'm having a hard time understanding how the convolution integral works (for Laplace transforms of two functions multiplied together) and was hoping someone could clear the topic up or link to sources ...
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How to come up with the gamma function?

It always puzzles me, how the Gamma functions's inventor came up with it's definition $$\Gamma(x+1)=\int_0^1(-\ln t)^x\;\mathrm dt=\int_0^\infty t^xe^{-t}\;\mathrm dt$$ Is there a nice derivation of ...
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2answers
73 views

Proofs of theorems, where picture is sufficient

A while ago I have had the pleasure to come across those lectures of Topology & Geometry by Dr Tadashi Tokieda (I do recommend watching at least the first lecture, both parts). My question is ...
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1answer
32 views

Geometric intuition of the mean value theorem of several variables

Mean value theorem Let $f:U\to \mathbb R$ be defined in the open set $U\subset \mathbb R^n$. Suppose the segment $[a,a+v]$ be contained in $U$ and the restriction $f|_{[a,a+v]}$ be continous ...
3
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2answers
45 views

Improve/extend my attempted intuitive explanation for why terms in determinant calculations have alternating signs

The determinant of a shape defined by points $(a,b)$ and $(c,d)$ as labelled in the gif below is $\left|\begin{matrix}a&c\\b&d\end{matrix}\right| = ad-bc$ The following process is the ...
20
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5answers
2k views

Where does the constant increase by 2 of differences between integer square values come from?

$1^2 = 1$, $2^2 = 4$, $3^2 = 9$, $4^2 = 16$, $5^2 = 25$, etc... Looking at the difference between those square values, we get: 3, 5, 7, 9, etc... The difference from one (integer) square to the ...
5
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1answer
798 views

Explain Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory in layman terms

What does Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory mean? According to Wikipedia, Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory is a set theory that is proposed to overcome issues in naive set theory. I really appreciate if ...