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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Is $(-1)^{1/8} + (-1)^{7/8}$ ever a value whose real component is $0$?

Is $$(-1)^{1/8} + (-1)^{7/8}$$ ever a value whose real component is $0$? Is this ever true in modular arithmetic, hypercomplexes, and/or both?
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3answers
27 views

explanation for a combinatorial identity involving the binomial coefficient

I am looking for an intuitive explanation for the identity: $$\binom{n}{h}\binom{n-h}{k} = \binom{n}{k}\binom{n-k}{h}$$ Thanks!
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2answers
62 views
+50

Intuition/How to determine if onto or 1-1, given composition of g and f is identity. [GChart 3e P239 9.72]

9.72. $A,B$ are nonempty sets. $f: A \rightarrow B$ and $g: B \rightarrow A$ are functions. Suppose $g \circ f = $ the identity function on $A$. (♦) Are the following true or false? $1.$ $f$ ...
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3answers
98 views

An intutive way to think about odd and even numbers. [on hold]

What is an intuitive way to think about odd and even numbers? And about divisibility also...
0
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1answer
24 views

What is a zero morphism in an abelian category

I am trying to familiarize myself with some basic category theory and I am getting confused with what a $0$-morphism is. If we are in category of say $k$-vector spaces then I am guessing ...
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2answers
91 views

Intuition behind $\vec{e_i} \times \vec{e_j}=\epsilon_{ijk} \vec{e_k}$ (Levi Civita)

Let $\vec{e_i}$ denote a unit vector. Then we can write: $\vec{e_i} \times \vec{e_j}=\epsilon_{ijk} \vec{e_k}$, where $\epsilon_{ijk}$ is the Levi Civita symbol. Can someone intuitively explain me ...
2
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0answers
22 views

Intuition - Countable iff Surjection iff Injection [Velleman P310 Thm 7.1.5] [duplicate]

Define $I_n = \{1, 2, ..., n \} $. Let $A$ be a nonempty set. TFAE : (i) $A$ is finite (ie: a bijection $h:A\rightarrow I_{N}$ exists) or A is countably infinite (ie: a bijection ...
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3answers
492 views

Intuition behind topological spaces

I'm studying topology since a few months ago and I have never caught a good intuition of the topological spaces, but now I think that I did. My intuition is the next; as many people point out the ...
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0answers
39 views

Countable iff Surjection iff Injection [Velleman P310 Thm 7.1.5] [on hold]

Define $I_n = \{1, 2, ..., n \} $. Let $A$ be a nonempty set. TFAE : (i) $A$ is finite (ie: a bijection $h:A\rightarrow I_{N}$ exists) or A is countably infinite (ie: a bijection $h:A\rightarrow ...
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2answers
30 views

Intuitive significance of harmonicity

I'm nearing the end of the semester of an introductory-level complex variables class. (Very introductory -- it's the version of the class that's only required for engineering and physics majors, as it ...
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0answers
291 views

How to present calculus? Asking for some excellent intuitive referance.

$\text{Dear}$ mathematicians, amateurs, learners, students et al; I learned calculus when I was 13 years old, I was at the time able to evaluate some easy derivatives, integrals, some tricky limits ...
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2answers
38 views

Proof strategy - If $g \circ f = id_A$, then f onto $\iff$ g 1-1. [Chartrand 3Ed P239 9.72]

For nonempty sets A and B and functions f : A → B and g : B → A, suppose that $g \circ f =$ the identity function on A. $(♦)$ (d) $(=>)$ Assume that $f$ is onto. This means there exist ...
3
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1answer
230 views

Intuition - If $Ax = b$ has infinitely many solutions, why can't $Ax = c$ have only one solution? [Strang P165 3.4. 22]

If $\mathbf{Ax = b}$ has infinitely many solutions, why is it impossible for $\mathbf{Ax = c}$ (where $\mathbf{c}$ is a new right side) to have only one solution? Proof : Take two solutions of ...
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12answers
2k 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 ...
8
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3answers
76 views

Intuition behind Descartes' Rule of Signs

I have read several places that Descartes' Rule of Signs was familiar to both Descartes and Newton, and that both considered it too "obvious" to merit a proof. I know how to prove it, but I would like ...
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3answers
24 views

Intuition - Divisibility results - If c divides some integers, then c divides any linear combination of them.

Not querying about proofs here. I don't want to memorize, thence are there intuitions or illustrations for them? As a student, how else can I remember these results? Origin - Elementary Number ...
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1answer
36 views

Intuition - If a = qb + r, then gcd(a,b) = gcd(b, r)

Origin - Elementary Number Theory, Jones, p5, Lemma 1.5 Are there any illustrations? I tried en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_algorithm and the first picture to the right - ...
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3answers
74 views

Intuition — An integer $n > 1$ is composite $\iff \color{purple}{p \le \sqrt{n}}$ divides it.

Origin — Elementary Number Theory — Jones — p32 — Lemma 2.14 Backward direction — I need to prove there exists a divisor $d$ of $n$ satisfying $1<d<n$. Because $p$ is prime, $1 < p$. ...
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2answers
97 views

Proof - There're infinitely many primes of the form 3k + 2 — origin of $3q_1..q_n + 2$

Origin — Elementary Number Theory — Jones — p28 — Exercise 2.6 To instigate a contradiction, postulate $q_1,q_2,\dots,q_n$ as all the primes $\neq 2 (=$ the only even prime) of the form $3k+2$. ...
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5answers
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What is the 'implicit function theorem'?

Please give me an intuitive explanation of 'implicit function theorem'. I read some bits and pieces of information from some textbook, but they look too confusing, especially I do not understand why ...
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2answers
90 views

Intuition — If $k \in \mathbb{Z}$ and $n \ge 2$, then the n$^{th}$ root of k is either an integer or irrational.

Origin — Elementary Number Theory — Jones — p25 — Exercise 2.4 (1) How do you prefigure the answer? Proofwiki start after 'auguring' the answer. (2) What's the intuition? This answer delineates ...
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0answers
27 views

Descartes' Rule of Signs

I have read several places that Descartes' Rule of Signs was familiar to both Descartes and Newton, and that both considered it too "obvious" to merit a proof. I know how to prove it, but I would like ...
3
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1answer
29 views

Motivation behind steps in proof of Hoeffding Inequality

The lemma that is proved for proving Hoeffding's inequality is: If $a\leq X\leq b$ and $E[X]=0$, $E[e^{tX}] \leq e^{\frac{t^2(b-a)^2}{8}}$ Here's a link to the proof: ...
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3answers
90 views

Intuition — c|a and c|b if and only if $c| \gcd(a,b)$.

(1) ― What's the intuition? Is Bezout Identity supposed to be intuitive? (2) — Why doesn't this try work? Let $c$ be any common divisor of $a, b$. Therefore $c|a, c|b \iff cj_1 = a, cj_2 = b$ for ...
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4answers
107 views

Maximizing the Magnitude of the Resultant Vector

Given a set of $n$ two-dimensional unit vectors: $\left\{ \mathbf{v}_1, \dots, \mathbf{v}_n \right\}$, I want to find the coefficients $\left\{ \alpha_1, \dots, \alpha_n \right\}$, $0 \leq \alpha_i ...
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0answers
13 views

Intuition about the where the beta distribution has its maximum

I've stumped myself trying to develop an intuition about why the beta distribution should have its maximum where it does. I can differentiate easily enough, and I can manage a simple argument based on ...
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1answer
42 views

Intuition behind a convergent subsequence of $\sin(n)$

$\let\eps\varepsilon$ I was looking through a Real Analysis exam paper one day and was stuck on a question; fortunately there is a solution provided which I will sketch below, but I have no intuition ...
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2answers
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Find the area of the curved shape

How to find area of this curved shape?
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3answers
90 views

When does one proof of one direction of an If and Only If proof suffice?

Would someone please explain when this is admissible (please expound on $\color{darkred}{sometimes}$)? In advance of starting an Iff proof, how would one divine/previse if this convenience (of a ...
5
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1answer
66 views

Existence of a real uncountable $\aleph_{\alpha}$ without $\mathsf{AC}$

Set theory (Jech) $\text{p.}\;27:$ It is an open problem whether one can prove without the axiom of choice that there exists a regular uncountable $\aleph_{\alpha}\;($the informed guess is that ...
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6answers
3k views

Intuition explanation of taylor expansion?

Could you provide a geometric explanation of taylor expansion?
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3answers
53 views

what problem do quadratics solve?

Areas of Math were developed to deal with problems which couldn't be tackled with preexisting methods. So, for example, 2D geometry was used to solve measuring problems with land, basic algebra for ...
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1answer
111 views

Intuition behind the Jacobi triple product

Jacobi's triple product identity states that: $\displaystyle \sum_{n = -\infty}^{\infty}z^{n}q^{n^{2}} = \prod_{n = 1}^{\infty}(1 - q^{2n})(1 + zq^{2n - 1})(1 + z^{-1}q^{2n - 1})$ I've seen a messy ...
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1answer
39 views

What values or form of values can we get for these multiplications modulo a prime?

If we have four complex values, all of the form $a + b i$, for integers $a$ and $b$, we can label them $c$, $d$, $e$ and $f$. Now if we want to find $g$ and $h$ such that $$g \equiv ce \equiv df ...
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2answers
185 views

About the hyperplane conjecture.

I have recently heard about the hyperplane conjecture and I would like to understand better the problematic behind this conjecture. The hyperplane conjecture: There exists a universal constant ...
4
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2answers
97 views

What does the Yoneda lemma say for the identity functor and finite sets?

So I try to plug in the simplest arguments into the Yoneda lemma and see how to interpret it. I'll try it for the identity functor and the category of finite sets, in particular, I use an three ...
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1answer
37 views

Mentally visualizing functions of complex numbers

I've recently been learning about functions of complex numbers (to complex numbers), and I can't quite fit them into my head. When I think about real functions, I tend to mentally visualize them as ...
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0answers
236 views

Class group and factorizations

There is a common characterization of the class group ${\rm Cl}(R)$ as a kind of measure of how badly factorization fails to be unique. The most obvious justification for this sentiment is that the ...
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1answer
21 views

Seeing complex roots on the graph of a polynomial

When I sketch the graph for a general second degree polynomial $y = ax^2 + bx + c$ it is easy to "see" its roots by looking at the points where $y=0$. This is true also for any $n$-degree polynomial. ...
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1answer
34 views

Borsuk–Ulam theorem for $n=2$

How one can intuitively prove the following statement: At any moment there is always a pair of antipodal points on the Earth's surface with equal temperatures. What about a rigorous proof?
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2answers
924 views

Modus Operandi. Formulae for Maximum and Minimum of two numbers with a + b and $|a - b|$

I came across the following problem in my self-study of real analysis: For any real numbers $a$ and $b$, show that $$\max \{a,b \} = \frac{1}{2}(a+b+|a-b|)$$ and $$\min\{a,b \} = ...
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8answers
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Am I wrong in thinking that $e^{i \pi} = -1$ is hardly remarkable?

I believe my trouble is that the identity, $e^{i \pi} = -1$, comes down to the definition of the exponentiation of $i$, which seems rather obscure to me. This is my current understanding of ...
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1answer
25 views

How can we prove that we can get any $f$ modulo a prime $p$, that satisfies these equations?

We can suppose that we have four naturals not equal to zero: $a, b, c, d$. Further, we're working modulo a prime $p$. Now if we find $a, b, c, d$ that satisfy: $$f \equiv a \cdot c \equiv b \cdot d ...
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2answers
31 views

Limit Point of a Set

Definition. A point $x$ is a limit point of a set A if every $\varepsilon$-neighborhood of $x$ intersects the set A in some point other than $x$. I understand the definition in that $x$ is our limit ...
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2answers
73 views

Is there an intuition for why power sets come in powers of $2?$

My title is a bit sloppy. First let me say that I perfectly understand the proof that $|P(S)|=2^{|S|}$, I am not asking for an easy to understand proof. My question is more whether there is an ...
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1answer
2k views

Intuitive explanation of covariant, contravariant and Lie derivatives

I would be glad if someone could explain in intuitive terms what these different derivatives are, and possibly give some practical, understandable examples of how they would produce different results. ...
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2answers
70 views

Can we get the formula for $\prod\limits_{k=0}^n{(1+2^k)^2}$ in terms of $n$?

Can we get the formula for $\prod\limits_{k=0}^n{(1+2^k)^2}$ in terms of $n$?
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1answer
66 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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16answers
9k views

How do you explain the concept of logarithm to a five year old?

Okay I understand that it cannot be explained to a 5 year old. But, how do you explain the logarithm to primary school students?
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4answers
64 views

Intuitive idea of axiom of choice

I'm currently reading a book on set theory and it gives the following formulation of the axiom of choice: Let $X$ be a non-empty set. Then there is a function $g: ...