Numbers not expressible as a ratio of two integers. Examples: $\sqrt{2},\phi,e,\pi,\zeta(3)$. Some of them are algebraic ($\sqrt{2},\phi$) and some transcendental ($e,\pi$).

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37
votes
9answers
6k views

$\sqrt a$ is either an integer or an irrational number.

I got this interesting question in my mind: How do we prove that if $a \in \mathbb N$, then $\sqrt a$ is an integer or an irrational number? Can we extend this result? That is, can it be shown ...
28
votes
8answers
3k views

How can you prove that the square root of two is irrational?

I have read a few proofs that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational. I have never, however, been able to really grasp what they were talking about. Is there a simplified proof that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational?
23
votes
9answers
5k views

Prove $2^{1/3}$ is irrational.

Please correct any mistakes in this proof and, if you're feeling inclined, please provide a better one where "better" is defined by whatever criteria you prefer. Assume $2^{1/2}$ is irrational. ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Proving that $m+n\sqrt{2}$ is dense in R

I am having trouble proving the statement: Let $S = \{m + n\sqrt 2 : m, n \in\mathbb Z\}$. Prove for every $\epsilon > 0$, The intersection of $S$ and $(0, \epsilon)$ is nonempty.
27
votes
5answers
9k views

Proof that the irrational numbers are uncountable

Can someone point me to a proof that the set of irrational numbers is uncountable? I know how to show that the set $\mathbb{Q}$ of rational numbers is countable, but how would you show that the ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

When is $\sin(x)$ rational?

Obviously, there are some points (like $\pi,30$) but I am unsure if there are more. How can it be proved that there are no more points, or what those points will be? EDIT: I largely meant to ask ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

For every irrational $\alpha$, the set $\{a+b\alpha: a,b\in \mathbb{Z}\}$ is dense in $\mathbb R$

I am not able to prove that this set is dense in $\mathbb{R}$. Will be pleased if you help in a easiest way, $\{a+b\alpha: a,b\in \mathbb{Z}\}$ where $\alpha\in\mathbb{Q}^c$ is a fixed irrational.
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Multiples of an irrational number forming a dense subset

Say you picked your favorite irrational number $q$ and looking at $S = \{nq: n\in \mathbb{Z} \}$ in $\mathbb{R}$, you chopped off everything but the decimal of $nq$, leaving you with a number in ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Irrationality proofs not by contradiction

Per now, I have basically come upon proofs of the irrationality of $\sqrt{2}$ (and so on) and the proof of the irrationality of $e$. However, both proofs were by contradiction. When thinking about ...
11
votes
1answer
392 views

Can $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m$ are perfect squares?

Can the expression $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m \in \mathbb{N}$ are perfect squares? I doesn't seem likely, the only way that could happen is if for example $\sqrt{m} = ...
28
votes
9answers
5k views

Prove that $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3$ is irrational

I have proved in earlier exercises of this book that $\sqrt 2$ and $\sqrt 3$ are irrational. Then, the sum of two irrational numbers is an irrational number. Thus, $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3$ is irrational. ...
14
votes
2answers
551 views

How come such different methods result in the same number, $e$?

I guess the proof of the identity $$ \sum_{n = 0}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n!} \equiv \lim_{x \to \infty} \left(1 + \frac{1}{x}\right)^x $$ explains the connection between such different calculations. How ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a proof that $\pi \times e$ is irrational?

A little reading suggests: It is known that either $\pi + e$ or $\pi \times e$ is transcendental (or possibly both), but no proof is known that one of those two numbers in particular is ...
0
votes
1answer
606 views

About irrational logarithms

Could someone provide, please, a proof of the theorem below? "Being $x$ and $b$ integers greater than $1$, which can not be represented as powers of the same basis (positive integer) and integer ...
-10
votes
5answers
824 views

What is $ e $? How does $ e $ relate to its limit as $n \to \infty$? [closed]

Why does $\left(\frac{\infty + 1}{\infty}\right)^{\infty} = e$? Does this account for the disparity between the countable and uncountable $\infty$? Why?
55
votes
4answers
6k views

Can an irrational number raised to an irrational power be rational?

Can an irrational number raised to an irrational power be rational? If it can be rational, how can one prove it?
37
votes
6answers
3k views

$\sin 1^\circ$ is irrational but how do I prove it in a slick way? And $\tan(1^\circ)$ is …

In the book 101 problems in Trigonometry, Prof. Titu Andreescu and Prof. Feng asks for the proof the fact that $\cos 1^\circ$ is irrational and he proves it. The proof proceeds by contradiction and ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Can you raise a number to an irrational exponent?

The way that I was taught it in 8th grade algebra, a number raised to a fractional exponent, i.e. $a^\frac x y$ is equivalent to the denominatorth root of the number raised to the numerator, i.e. ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Prove that $\sqrt 2 +\sqrt 3$ is irrational. [duplicate]

Please prove that $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3$ is irrational. One of the proofs I've seen goes: If $\sqrt 2 +\sqrt 3$ is rational, then consider $(\sqrt 3 +\sqrt 2)(\sqrt 3 -\sqrt 2)=1$, which implies ...
4
votes
1answer
373 views

rational angles with sines expressible with radicals

An angle x is rational when measured in degrees. sin(x) is can be written using radicals. What are the conditions on x? If nested square roots are allowed? What I know so far: If sin(x) can be ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

ArcTan(2) a rational multiple of $\pi$?

Consider a $2 \times 1$ rectangle split by a diagonal. Then the two angles at a corner are ArcTan(2) and ArcTan(1/2), which are about $63.4^\circ$ and $26.6^\circ$. Of course the sum of these angles ...
6
votes
1answer
746 views

Sine values being rational

Can $$\sin r\pi $$ be rational if $r$ is irrational? Either a direct or existence proof is fine.
9
votes
5answers
613 views

Algorithms for “solving” $\sqrt{2}$

The very first words out of my mouth need to be this... "Solving" is the wrong term since I am speaking about irrational numbers. I just don't know which word is the correct word... So that can be ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

irrationality of $\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}}$.

The fact that there exists irrational number $a,b$ such that $a^b$ is rational is proved by the law of excluded middle, but I read somewhere that irrationality of $\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}}$ is proved ...
22
votes
3answers
10k views

The sum of irrationals is irrational?

If $x$ and $y$ are irrational, is $x + y$ irrational? Is $x - y$ irrational? Thanks for your help
30
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is it hard to prove whether $\pi+e$ is an irrational number?

From this list I came to know that it is hard to conclude $\pi+e$ is an irrational? Can somebody discuss with reference "Why this is hard ?" Is it still an open problem ? If yes it will be helpful ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the simplest way to prove that the logarithm of any prime is irrational?

What is the simplest way to prove that the logarithm of any prime is irrational? I can get very close with a simple argument: if $p \ne q$ and $\frac{\log{p}}{\log{q}} = \frac{a}{b}$, then because ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is $n^{th}$ root of 2 an irrational number? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: $a^{1/2}$ is either an integer or an irrational number. Will every $n^{th}$ root of $2$ be an irrational number? If yes, how can I prove that?
18
votes
6answers
12k views

Proving Irrationality

How is it possible to prove a number is irrational? First part of that question: How it possible to know that a number will go on infinitely? Second part: How is it possible to know that no ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Real Numbers to Irrational Powers

In a related question we discussed raising numbers to powers. I am interested if anybody knows any results for raising numbers to irrational powers. For instance, we can easily show that there ...
3
votes
4answers
783 views

Non-existence of irrational numbers?

I realize the title of my question will probably cause the raising of some eyebrows, so let me explain. Not sure whether to file this under "math" or "philosophy". This also might be able to be ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Linear equations; real solution; rational solution?

I saw this question Let $A ∈ M_{m\times n}(\mathbb{Q})$ and $B ∈ \mathbb{Q}^m$. Suppose that the system of linear equations $AX = B$ has a solution in $\mathbb{R}^n$. Does it necessarily have ...
1
vote
8answers
4k views

Proof that dividing irrational number by an irrational number can result in an integer?

How can I prove that dividing an irrational number by an irrational number (besides himself) can result in an integer?
23
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you calculate the decimal expansion of an irrational number?

Just curious, how do you calculate an irrational number? Take $\pi$ for example. Computers have calculated $\pi$ to the millionth digit and beyond. What formula/method do they use to figure this out? ...
18
votes
3answers
925 views

Prove $x = \sqrt[100]{\sqrt{3} + \sqrt{2}} + \sqrt[100]{\sqrt{3} - \sqrt{2}}$ is irrational

Prove $x = \sqrt[100]{\sqrt{3} + \sqrt{2}} + \sqrt[100]{\sqrt{3} - \sqrt{2}}$ is irrational. I can prove that $x$ is irrational by showing that it's a root of a polynomial with integer coefficients ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a rational number between any two irrationals?

Suppose $i_1$ and $i_2$ are distinct irrational numbers with $i_1 < i_2$. Is it necessarily the case that there is a rational number $r$ in the interval $[i_1, i_2]$? How would you construct such ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Prove $\sqrt{2} + \sqrt{5}$ is irrational [duplicate]

How do you prove that $\sqrt{2} + \sqrt{5}$ is irrational? I tried to prove it by contradiction and got this equation: $a^2/b^2 = \sqrt{40}$.
26
votes
2answers
491 views

Linear independence of the numbers $\{1,e,e^2,e^3\}$

Does someone know a proof that $\{1,e,e^2,e^3\}$ is linearly independent over $\mathbb{Q}$? The proof should not use that $e$ is transcendental. $e:$ Euler's number. $\{1,e,e^2\}$ is linearly ...
11
votes
3answers
424 views

Closed form for a pair of continued fractions

What is $1+\cfrac{1}{2+\cfrac{1}{3+\cfrac{1}{4+\cdots}}}$ ? What is $1+\cfrac{2}{1+\cfrac{3}{1+\cdots}}$ ? It does bear some resemblance to the continued fraction for $e$, which is ...
5
votes
3answers
565 views

Is this proof that $\sqrt 2$ is irrational correct?

Suppose $\sqrt 2$ were rational. Then we would have integers $a$ and $b$ with $\sqrt 2 = \frac ab$ and $a$ and $b$ relatively prime. Since $\gcd(a,b)=1$, we have $\gcd(a^2, b^2)=1$, and the fraction ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

What rational numbers have rational square roots?

All rational numbers have the fraction form $$\frac a b,$$ where a and b are integers($b\neq0$). My question is: for what $a$ and $b$ does the fraction have rational square root? The simple answer ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is sin(x) necessarily irrational where x is rational?

My friend and I were discussing this and we couldn't figure out how to prove it one way or another. The only rational values I can figure out for $\sin(x)$ (or $\cos(x)$, etc...) come about when $x$ ...
7
votes
5answers
289 views

Sum of two periodic functions is periodic?

I have following paragraph taken from the Stanford's study material. Question: Is the sum of two periodic functions periodic? Answer: I guess the answer is no if you are Mathematician, yes ...
6
votes
3answers
686 views

Proving that a series converges to an irrational number

How do we show that if $g \geq 2$ is an integer, then the two series $$\sum\limits_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{1}{g^{n^{2}}} \quad \ \text{and} \ \sum\limits_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{1}{g^{n!}}$$ both converge ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

For which $a$ is $n\lfloor a\rfloor+1\le \lfloor na\rfloor$ true for all sufficiently large $n$?

Inspired by this question I ask this. For which $a$ is $n\lfloor a\rfloor+1\le \lfloor na\rfloor$ true for all sufficiently large $n$? The original question concerned $a=e$, the usual ...
5
votes
4answers
301 views

Existence of irrationals in arbitrary intervals

I was studying for my analysis mid-term paper and was going over the properties of real numbers. I was wondering how to prove the following statement: (Not a textbook problem, it just popped into my ...
17
votes
2answers
929 views

Why is $\pi$ irrational if it is represented as $c/d$?

$\pi$ can be represented as $C/D$, and $C/D$ is a fraction, and the definition of an irrational number is that it cannot be represented as a fraction. Then why is $\pi$ an irrational number?
4
votes
2answers
867 views

About powers of irrational numbers

Square of an irrational number can be a rational number e.g. $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational but its square is 2 which is rational. But is there a irrational number square root of which is a rational ...
3
votes
3answers
140 views

How can you proof that the sum of three roots is irrational?

I would like to know how to prove that $\sqrt{2} + \sqrt{5} + \sqrt{7}$ is an irrational number. I know how to do the proof for a sum of two roots. Can I just define $\sqrt{2} + \sqrt{5} :=c$ and then ...
3
votes
3answers
480 views

Sum of all real number for any interval.

We know that sum of natural numbers over any interval always exists. For example sum from 0 to 10 of all natural numbers is $$S=\sum_{n=0}^{10}{n}=\frac{0+10}{2}\times{10}=55$$ But what about real ...