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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 − ...
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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 ...
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99 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
510 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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151 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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5answers
468 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 ...
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1answer
446 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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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 ...
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54 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
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Justification, intuition and motivation for cardinal arithmetic [closed]

What justifies, provides intuition and motivation for weird cardinal arithmetic?
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934 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) ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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481 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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
72 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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790 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 ...
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1answer
60 views

Why are the Cauchy-Riemann equations in polar form 'obvious'?

In my book on complex analysis I'm asked to prove the Cauchy-Riemann equations in polar form, which I did. However, at the end of the question the author asks why these relations are 'almost obvious'. ...
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How to explain to a 14-year-old that $\sqrt{(-3)^2}$ isn't $-3$?

I had this problem yesterday. I tried to explain to the kid this: $$\sqrt{(-3)^2} = 3,$$ and he immediately said: "My teacher told us that we can cancel the square with the square root, so it's ...
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6answers
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Intuition: “If P then Q” = 'Not P or Q' [closed]

I already understand, and so ask NOT about, the Conditional Law: $P \Rightarrow Q \; \equiv \;\lnot P \vee Q$. But what's the intuition? Because I ask only for intuition, please do NOT prove formally ...
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'If you neglect your homework, then you’ll fail': Can it be expressed as $P \vee \lnot Q $?

Source: p 46, How to Prove It, by Daniel Velleman Please beware that although the author writes the original apodosis as 'You’ll fail the course', I shorten it to 'You'll fail', for convenience. ...
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Linear functionals defines projection operators?

The way I always understood linear functionals on a vector space $V$ is to consider then as measuring objects which give projections when they are given vectors. Now I wanted to make this a little bit ...
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558 views

Why the axioms for a topological space are those axioms?

This question might have even been asked here before, I don't really know, so sorry if it's duplicate. I've started to study topological spaces and I've found the axioms for such spaces kind of hard ...