Proof theory is an area of logic that studies proof as formal mathematical objects. For questions asking how to write proofs or for checking an informal proof, please use the proof-writing or proof-strategy tags instead.

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Using the notion of provability only, how to show that $\Gamma \nvdash \varphi$?

For a practical example, suppose I want to show that $\{ P\} \nvdash Q$. From completeness, this is trivial: just find a model where $P$ is true and $Q$ false. But suppose I am stubborn and I don't ...
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If $T$ a consistent set of sentences and $a,b$ sentences such that $T\vdash (a\rightarrow b)$and $T\vdash (\lnot a\rightarrow b)$ Then $T\vdash b$ [on hold]

I am stucked at this problem for a long time: Let $T$ be a consistent set of first-order sentences and let $\alpha,\beta$ be sentences. Prove that if $T\vdash( \alpha\rightarrow \beta)$ and ...
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Idea of a proof by contradiction

Is the idea of a proof by contradiction to prove that the desired conclusion is both true and false or can it be any derived statement that is true and false (not necessarily relating to the ...
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Proving that $\sum_{i=2}^n(5i-4)=\frac{n(5n-3)-2}{2}$ for all $n\geq 1$ by mathematical induction

I have this question: Show, using mathematical induction, that for all natural numbers $n$, $$6 + 11 + 16 + 21 + \cdots + (5n-4) = \frac{n(5n-3)-2}{2}$$ I am confused in that that question states ...
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Prove by Natural deduction that $\lnot\exists xP(x)\rightarrow\forall x\lnot P(x)$

I got this problem: Prove by Natural deduction in First Order Logic that $\lnot\exists xP(x)\rightarrow\forall x \lnot P(x)$ I tried to prove it using the Contradiction Theorem but I got ...
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What exactly is wrong with this argument (Lucas-Penrose fallacy)

Argument "For every computer system, there is a sentence which is undecidable for the computer, but the human sees that it is true, therefore proving the sentence via some non-algorithmic method." ...
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Mathematical Induction. Horses made me question my understanding

I recently read about the false inductive proof that all horses are the same colour. There are some mathSE threads about this already (MathSE_thread_1, MathSE_thread_2). After reading this, I now ...
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The ethics of Borel determinacy

I was speaking with a friend the other day, and I happened to say "morally, Borel determinacy is as strong as ZF." I was riffing on the well-known result of Harvey Friedman, that we need ...
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On provability within minimal logic

In its most naive form my question boils down to this: when is a proposition that is provable "by contradiction" also provable "directly"? IOW, is it possible to know, a priori, that a ...
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What is the meaning of proof of a proof?

After reading about Curry-Howard corrsepondence and looking at some proofs written in coq i've thinked about meaning of proof of a proof. We can express proofs as a computer program Proof is correct ...
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Left and Right hand associativity equivalent first order logic

Say we are in a first order theory, and one of our inference rules is the associative rule saying that we can infer $(A \vee B) \vee C$ from $A \vee (B \vee C)$. Using the other logical inference ...
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particular property and completeness?

I was puzzeling with the almost standard definition of completeness: In mathematical logic and metalogic, a formal system is called complete with respect to a particular property if every formula ...
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Showing that language $L^{'}$ is regular given $L$ is regular [duplicate]

Say $L \subseteq \{a,b\}^*$ is a regular language with words whose length is divisible by 3. Each word $w \in L$ has the form $w=xyz$ with $|x|=|y|=|z|$, where $y$ is then called the middle third of ...
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Series Proof Question [duplicate]

By considering the partial sums for S, that is Sn =1+2+3+···n show that the infinite series S does not converge. However in this video http://www.numberphile.com/videos/analytical_continuation1.html ...
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Who stole the axioms in Natural Deduction?

The study of Gentzen's sequent calculus give me the opportunity to propose some reflections about the concept of logical truth. I'll refer to the english edition of Gentzen's works : The collected ...
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Josephine problem

So the problem is Suppose there are 2n people in a circle; the first n are “good guys” and the last n are “bad guys.” Show that there is always an integer m (depending on n) such that, if we go ...
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Proof for equalities remaining

Imagine the relation x@y = z, where @ is some operation (and so is #). We often use the property that (x@y)# = z# to solve for variables. For example, $$2x = 9/2$$ We say that it will still be equal ...
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proof of validity of tautology in first order logic

Every first-order logic formula which has a tautological shape in propositional logic is a valid formula. Will it be possible to give a formal proof for the above ? Thanks and Regards.
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When are two proofs “the same”?

Often, we find different proofs for certain theorems that, on the surface, seem to be very different but actually use the same fundamental ideas. For example, the topological proof of the infinitude ...
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proof by contradiction

I have the following theorem: and I want to prove it by contradiction. I have started by negating the consequence, so I will have that so if I rearrange these terms I will have that: which ...
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Clarification when using Mean Value Property to prove Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

We say that $f$ satisfies the Mean Value Property (MVP) on a ball $B(a,R) = \{z; |z-a| <R \}$ if $$ f(a) = \frac{1}{2 \pi} {\int_0}^{2\pi} f(a + te^{i \phi}) d \phi$$ for $0 < t <R.$ It is ...
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Show that if A and B are strictly convex, then A + B is strictly convex or provide a counter example.

We have: If A is open: $\exists x,y \in A,$ $x \neq y$ such that $\lambda x+(1-\lambda y)\in \dot A $ (the interior) and $\exists u,v \in B,$ $x \neq y$ such that $\lambda u+(1-\lambda v)\in ...
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What is meant by “constant” in Liouville's Theorem?

Liouville's Theorem states that: Every holomorphic* function for which there exists a positive number M such that $|f(z)| \le M$ for all $z \in \mathbb C$ is constant. I'm using this to prove ...
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Discrete Math Informal Proofs Using Mathematical Induction

Need to do a proof by mathematical induction using 4 steps to show that the following statement is true for every positive integer n and to help use the weak principle of mathematical induction. $2 + ...
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Why is $n^2+4$ never divisible by $3$?

Can somebody please explain why $n^2+4$ is never divisible by $3$? I know there is an example with $n^2+1$, however a $4$ can be broken down to $3+1$, and factor out a three, which would be divisible ...
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role of definitions in proofs

Definitions are needed to define objects and such, however I am confused as to where definitions come from. I feel that they cannot be something that we arbitrarily define because simply saying ...
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How to go about a “not divisible by..” proof

I need to show the following proof: For any integer x, x^2 + 4 is not divisible by 3. I was trying proof by contraposition, but I do not believe that is the most efficient way to go about this. ...
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Prove using PMI that if $A$ is denumerable and $B$ is finite, then $A \cup B$ is denumerable.

This is what I have thus far: Claim: If $A$ is denumerable and $B$ is finite, then $A \cup B$ is denumerable. Proof. Suppose $A$ is denumerable and $B$ has $n$ elements and $B = \{b_1, b_2, b_3, ...
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Proof of infinite monkey theorem. [duplicate]

I was just wondering, does the infinte monkey theorem also has a proof? And why is this called a theorem? It is sheer common sense. And what are its applications. I have heard about PHP and IEP and I ...
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Proof of the Dirichlet–Dini Criterion for Pointwise convergence of Fourier series

I have tried and failed to prove the Dirichlet–Dini Criterion for Pointwise convergence of Fourier series which is as follows (and is described here: ...
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How can I start to learn proof theory?

I'm studying computer science and I realized that I have problems in working with mathematical proofs. They are for example part of my class Formal Systems and Automata. I'm really interested in ...
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A provability puzzle

This is a problem I came up with on my own, and it has me stumped, so I am going to pose it as a kind of puzzle. Let $F$ be a formal proof system, recursively axiomatizable, with an acceptable ...
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Legendre polynomial related simple proof question

Given the set of orthogonal polynomials {Qi(x)}i=0 to n , a polynomial Pn(x) of degree ≤ n, can be written as: Pn(x) = a0*Q0(x) + a1*Q1(x) + · · · + an*Qn(x) for some a0, a1, . . . , an. Please help ...
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Proof by Strong Induction

$a_0 = 1, a_1 = 1, a_k = 2a_{k-1} + 2a_{k_2}$ for $k≥2$ For all integers $n≥0$, $a_n= \frac{1}2[3^{n}+(-1)^n$] Proof By Strong Induction: Basis: $F(0), F(1), F(2), F(3), F(4), F(5)$ Inductive ...
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Proof by Strong Induction for $a_k = 2~a_{k-1} + 3~a_{k-2}$

$$\begin{align} a_0 &= 1 \\ a_1 &= 1 \\ a_k &= 2~a_{k-1} + 3~a_{k-2} \quad \text{ for } k \ge 2 \end{align}$$ Proof by Strong Induction: For all non-negative integers $n$, $a_n$ is an ...
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What does it mean by Proving false

With respect to the recent finding of a bug in a Coq theorem prover in which false was proved, I'm asking this question. As a hobbyist studying maths, I'm ...
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Proof of L'Hospital with power series

I'm having a bit of problem with this question. I feel like I have to prove the l'hospital's rule but I don't know where to start especially because I have to use the power series. Suppose that the ...
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Prove that if $n \in \Bbb{N}$ and $n > 1$ is not prime, then $\exists p$ prime such that $p \mid n$ and $p \leq \sqrt{n}$

Not really sure how to do this question this is what I have so far $n = a \cdot b$ $(a \leq b)$ $a > \sqrt{n}$ $b > \sqrt{n}$ $ab > n$
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Is the full strength of first-order logic needed for dealing with equational theories?

More specifically, if we have an equational theory $T$ (a set of equations understood as being implicitly universally quantified), are the (equational) consequences of $T$ that can be proved with ...
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Coplanar Vectors Proof

I came across this question in a math textbook: Prove that the vectors a=3i+j-4k, b= 5i-3j-2k, c= 4i-j-3k, are coplanar. This was my attempt at a solution: If (a x b) x c = 0, then c is orthogonal ...
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Ellipses Conics Proof

We are covering conics in our school and we just finished the ellipse section. An ellipse, by definition, is the "set of points such that the sum of the distances from any point on the ellipse to two ...
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Proving or Disproving statements using sets

I just don't seem to get proofs or set theory so hopefully my question makes sense. I'm not sure when I should or shouldn't use an example to prove or disprove a statement? One example question is, ...
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Prove by contradiction that a circle chord is no longer than its diameter

Can anyone help me with this homework question of mine? I'm actually new to discrete mathematics and to be specific, with proofs. Here's the question, "Prove, by contradiction, that no chord of a ...
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Maximal Principle: Why using the new transition matrix $\tilde{P}$?

First some notation: Let $(X,E,P)$ denote a finite, irreducible Markov chain with finite state space $E$ and transition matrix $P$. Choose and fix a subset $E^°$ of $E$, which will be called ...
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Proving Roots by Theorems

Prove that the polynomial $p(x)=x^3-x+\frac{1}{4}$ has at least one root on the interval $[0,1]$, by using the Mean Value Theorem. Since we know that polynomials are continuous every where, $p(x)$ ...
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What is the least ordinal $\beta$ for which the function $f_\beta(n)$ in fast-growing hierarchy is incomputable?

Fast-growing hierarchy consists of a transfinite succession of faster growing functions $f_\alpha$: $f_0(n) := n+1$, $f_{\alpha+1}(n) := f^n_\alpha(n)$, $f_{\alpha}(n) := f_{\alpha[n]}(n)$ if ...
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DAG proof by numbering nodes

Prove that a directed graph is acyclic if and only if there is a way to number the nodes such that every edge goes from a lower number node to a higher numbered node. I know this is true and that ...
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Disproving $\neg Q$ proves Q in all cases?

Does disproving the negation of a claim prove the claim in all scenarios and sufficient enough to say Q is true? Even if Q is an implication, or an equality, or etc? What about vacuous truths? Can ...
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Prove that the following Horn satisfiability problem is P-complete

Show that the following Horn satisfiability problem is P-complete: given a set of Horn clauses, is there a variable assignment which satisfies them? This is P's version of the Boolean satisfiability ...
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Proof the Restricted Case of CVP is P-complete

Show that the following Restricted Case of CVP is P-complete: Like CVP, except the input circuit satisfying the following conditions: All gates are placed int layers; the inputs of a gate come from ...