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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Analogy of ideals with Normal subgroups in groups.

I've started with Ideals in ring theory but still not comfortable with the analogy it has with normal subgroups in group theory.Like we can visualize normal subgroups as Is there some good intutive ...
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387 views

Why does an equiangular spiral become logarithmic (intuitively)?

One of the most famous 2D-curves are logarithmic spirals (or Spira mirabilis). They can be constructed by using a machinery that ensures a constant angle between the tangent and the radial lines all ...
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Mathematical structures

Preamble: My previous education was focused either on classical analysis (which was given in quite old traditions, I guess) or on applied Mathematics. Since I was feeling lack of knowledge in 'modern' ...
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About a Property of maximal solutions of separable ODE's $y'=g(x)h(y)$ for locally Lipschitz $h : U\to\mathbb R$, $U$ open

Theorem: Let $\varphi : (a,b) \to \mathbb R$ be a maximal solution of the IVP $$ y'(x) = g(x) \cdot h(y(x)), \quad y(x_0) = y_0 \quad (1) $$ with continuous functions $g : I \to \mathbb R$ and $h : U ...
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1answer
70 views

What does it mean for a coalgebra to be cogenerated by a subspace?

The usual definition of an algebra being generated by a subspace is as follows: Let $A$ be an algebra, $X \subset A$ a subspace, $\mathrm{Alg}(X)$ the free algebra generated by $X$. Then $A$ is ...
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Confused about differentiation

I'm new to calculus and have been taught that $\displaystyle \frac{dy}{dx}$ is the rate of change of y with respect to x. Does $\displaystyle \frac{dy}{dx}$ show how much the variable y changes as x ...
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Line integration in complex analysis

In normal line integration, from what I understand, you are measuring the area underneath $f(x,y)$ along a curve in the $x\text{-}y$ plane from point $a$ to point $b$. But what is being measured with ...
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58 views

Why must closest approach occur when relative velocity is perpendicular to motion?

The first part i) I can solve correctly, but I need some advice and intuition on how to solve the second part ii). Here is the mark-scheme for the question: But for part ii) I do not understand ...
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44 views

Positive Linear Transformations: What good for?

Positivity is a concept appearing quite frequently in the study of algebras and its related spectral theory. Positive elements naturally give rise to an ordering and therefore allows to construct ...
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1answer
219 views

In a finite cyclic group of order n, number of solutions to $x^m = e$ - Fraleigh p. 68 6.53,54

(53.) Show that in a finite cyclic group G of order n, written multiplicatively, the equation $x^m = e$ has exactly m solutions $x$ in G for each $m \in \mathbb{N}$ that divides n. (54.) With ...
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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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1answer
41 views

What is a geometric shape?

I thought that the concept of "gemoetric shape" is clear enough - squares, ellipses, triangles, you know. But then I found several papers, such as this one, which define "shape" as "an ...
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2answers
488 views

Understanding of convergence of intersections of sets

If you start with an infinite set, you can have a sequence of nested sets which converge to a single point. (ie Intersection of $\left(\large\frac{-1}{n}, \frac{1}{n}\right)$ as $n\to \infty$) ...
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Intuitive Explanation of Bessel's Correction

When calculating a sample variance a factor of (N-1) appears instead of N (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_variance#Population_variance_and_sample_variance ). Does anybody have an intuitive ...
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1answer
29 views

Why does $n$ have to be a perfect square for me to construct an equilateral triangle out of equal smaller ones?

If I have $n$ unit squares and want to build a bigger square out of the ones I already have, it is obvious that $n$ itself has to be a perfect square. But after doing some elementary math it turned ...
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1answer
54 views

Intuition behind the definition of linear transformation

I have studied that given vector spaces $V_1$ and $V_2$, a function $T:V_1 \rightarrow V_2$ is called a linear transformation of $V_1$ into $V_2$, if following two properties are true for all $u, v ...
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Why do statisticians like “$n-1$” instead of “$n$”?

Does anyone have an intuitive explanation (no formulas, just words! :D) about the "$n-1$" instead of "$n$" in the unbiased variance estimator $$S_n^2 = \dfrac{\sum\limits_{i = 1}^n ...
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28answers
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Too old to start math

I'm sorry if this question goes against the meta for posting questions - I attached all the "beware, this is a soft-question" tags I could. This is a question I've been asking myself now for some ...
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1answer
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At the instant of release of an object from rest. Is the only force that can act its weight? [closed]

This is the third question from a mechanics exam past paper: I can do parts i) and ii) but for iii) in finding the angular acceleration, i used $C=I\alpha$, where $C$ is the applied couple or ...
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2answers
40 views

Why does resolving forces in one direction give a completely different answer to resolving the opposite way?

I can solve parts i), ii) and am able to show that $R=0$ for part iii). In this question $g$ is the acceleration of free fall taken to be $9.8$ Using Newtons 2nd law [$F=ma$] for the last part I ...
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1answer
218 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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3answers
66 views

Plausibility vs Probability

http://whatho.in/2013/plausibility-versus-probability/ refers to pp 155-156 of 533 of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I'll use one of Kahneman's other questions from p 156: A ...
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Looking for an intuitive explanation why the row rank is equal to the column rank for a matrix

I am looking for an intuitive explanation as to why/how row rank of a matrix = column rank. I've read the proof at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rank_of_a_linear_transformation and I understand the ...
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Interpretation of partial derivatives of vertical coordinate with respect to $x$ and time

My question is from my lecturers notes, this is what he wrote and I don't know what he is on about : What is a physical meaning of partial derivatives of $y(x,t)$? $y_x(x,t)$ is the rate of change of ...
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1answer
53 views

$1$ is not congruent because of Fermat's Last Theorem?

I would like someone to explain something I did not understand. I was reading a page called "nuking the mosquito" where they give very complex proofs for very simple results. The proof I want to talk ...
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1answer
24 views

Elements in the same coset and the Cayley Diagram

A question from Visual group theory, by Nathan Carter. In a Cayley diagram, if $aH$ is a coset of a subgroup $H$ of a group $G$ and $b$ belongs to $aH$, why is it that every node that can be reached ...
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1answer
65 views

Geometric idea behind equations of the form $|x-a|\pm|x-b|=c$

So let's say I want to solve $$|x-a|\pm|x-b|=c$$ Using the classic multiple cases approach, one can show that the solutions are given by $$x=\frac{a+b\pm c}2 $$ But how can one make sense of this ...
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78 views

Why does solving $\int \frac{v}{9.8-0.0025v^2}\mathrm{d}v=\int1{d}x$ for $v^2$ in terms of $x$ produce 2 completely different answers?

In this question $g=9.8$ (acceleration of free fall). You are also given that when $x=0$ $v=0$. My answer is $v^2=400g(1-e^\frac{x}{200})$. I obtained it by integrating both sides so that ...
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Intuition for the compactness of real projective space $\mathbb{R}\mathbb{P}^n$.

I want to have an intuition for why the $n$-dimensional real projective space defined as $$\mathbb{R}\mathbb{P}^n:=\mbox{set of 1-dimensional subspaces of }\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$$ is compact. I don't see ...
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38 views

What does local space of a given Banach space says intuitively?

We put, $\mathcal{D}(\mathbb R)=$ The space of $C^{\infty}-$ functions on $\mathbb R$ with compact support Example: For instance bump function is in $\mathcal{D}(\mathbb R)$ Let $E$ is a Banach ...
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1answer
31 views

The meaning of the connection between power spectral density and auto correlation

I know that if we have a signal $x(t)$, then its Fourier transform would be the signal in the frequency space, which I understand to be how much of each frequency exists in the x(t) signal. $ ...
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149 views

curvature of helix

Here is the curve of a helix parametrized by its arc length $\alpha(s) = ( a\cos(\frac{s}{c}), a\sin(\frac{s}{c}), b(\frac{s}{c}) ), s \in \mathbb{R}$ such that a$^2$ + b$^2$ = c$^2$. The curvature ...
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Explaining multiplication of fractions

The best way I've been able to describe multiplication is as $$ a\times b = \sum^a_{i=1} b$$ But my definition does not account for things such as $2.99792458\times8.987551787$ and ...
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3answers
106 views

Show that $q^4+2pq^2 +p^2 = 2pq -(pq)^2 -1$ becomes $p^3+q^3+3pq-1=0$.

I know that these two are exactly the same equation but I can't seem to prove it. You are also given that $p+q=1$. This is a follow up from a similar question.
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Laplace transformations for dummies

Is there a simple explanation of what the Laplace transformation 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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1answer
64 views

By plugging $p=1-q$, into the $3$ equations show that $x=y=z$

By plugging $p=1-q$, into the 3 equations: $$\begin{cases} z=py+qx \\ x=pz+qy \\ y=px+qz \end{cases}$$ show that $\boxed{x=y=z}$ This is from the final part of question 7 in this STEP paper, and is ...
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1answer
32 views

Computing of the Gamma Function

I have stumbled upon Gamma functions when dealing with Gamma distributions on my studies with basic statistics. However, I have not understood how its computation expands factorials to real and ...
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48 views

How to determine value from willingness to pay?

I use the British pounds symbol instead of dollars because $ conflicts with Mathjax. Source: p 296, The Legal Analyst, Ward Farnsworth "... one time in a thousand we do lose the film; if you’re ...
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Series problem:

Parts i) & ii) I can solve. For part iii) I get $z=py+qx$ [For $n=0$] $x=pz+qy$ [For $n=1$] $y=px+qz$ [For $n=2$] leading to $(1-pq)x=(q^2+p)z$ [1] $(1-pq)z=(q^2+p)y$ [2] ...
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2answers
68 views

Sequential Algebraic Problem:

The first part i) I can do. For part ii) this is how far I can get: If n is odd then $y=px+qy$ If n is even then $x=py+qx$ After some rearranging i end up with $y(1-q)=px$ & $x(1-q)=py$ and ...
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1answer
35 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 ...
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1answer
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Understanding Inequalities.

If $(\displaystyle\frac{2(a-1)}{a+1}\lt\ln a\lt\frac{2(a-1)}{2+\ln a})$ equals $(\displaystyle\frac{2(a-1)}{a+1}\lt\ln a \lt -1 + \sqrt{2a-1})$. Does that mean that $-1 + \sqrt{2a-1}$ = ...
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1answer
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Show that $ \frac{2+\ln a }{2}\lt\frac{a-1}{\ln a} \lt \frac{1+a}{2}$ becomes $ \frac{2(a-1)}{a+1}\lt\ln a \lt -1 + \sqrt{2a-1}$

Show that $\displaystyle \frac{2+\ln a }{2}\lt\frac{a-1}{\ln a} \lt \frac{1+a}{2}$ becomes $\displaystyle \frac{2(a-1)}{a+1}\lt\ln a \lt -1 + \sqrt{2a-1}$ The closest I can get is $$ ...
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2answers
106 views

Explain cosmic distances to a child

I seem to have lost all my sense for simple calculations. I'd like to explain to my son how long cosmic distances are. As an example: Our sun has a diameter of 1392684 kilometers. The distance to our ...
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2answers
99 views

How can one visualize a homomorphic mapping.

It has been a year or so studying Group theory and Ring theory. Funnily enough, this is the part where i am able to solve most of the questions of the book quite easily, yet not fully understanding ...
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Colored Picture for Equivalence Classes, Relations, Partitions, ..

Origin — A Book of Abstract Algebra — Charles Pinter — p120. I'm trying to sketch a colored picture for the ideas from equivalence classes, equivalence relations, partitions, etc... underneath. ...
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Trigonometric series problem: finding a second valid solution.

Given that I can do part of this question so here goes: Substituting $\theta=\frac{1\pi}{11}$ into LHS of given expression gives $$\cos\frac{1\pi}{11} + \cos\frac{2\pi}{11} + \cos\frac{3\pi}{11} ...
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16answers
10k 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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2answers
29 views

Problem involving summing exponential series:

I can show the first part (i) (a), but the second part (b) i think it should be $S=\infty$ since the denominator is zero with that value of $\theta$. However, this is not the answer, any ideas? ...
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51 views

Using De-moivres to solve the following problem:

Part (i) I can solve and understand that the solutions are $Z=e^\frac{2ki\pi}{5}$ for $k = 0,1,2,3,4$ Its the part (ii) I cannot understand. Could someone kindly give me a ...