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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What is the proof-theoretic ordinal of the first-order theory of real closed fields?

I recently asked a question on MathOverflow, concerning a predicative second-order theory of real numbers. Now the standard way of developing predicativity in the case of second-order arithmetic is ...
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195 views

What are those “things that cannot be proved using only ordinary rules of inference”?

The online edition of the book Introduction to Logic by Michael Genesereth and Eric Kao, has a detail that left me confused. CHAPTER 4 [...] 4.2 Linear Proofs [...] The ...
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Curry-Howard Correspondence (Proof Theory)

As you all know, the Curry-Howard correspondance provides a link between type theory and predicate logic. Concepts featured in the former, such as $\Pi$-type and $\Sigma$-type can, by the ...
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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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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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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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63 views

Proof of existence of “peaks” in The Sequential Compactness Theorem

According to Bolzano–Weierstrass theorem: How do we guarantee that EVERY sequence of real numbers has either infinitely or finitely many "peaks"? (Note that a subsequent is ordered in a way of ...
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What is the proof-theoretic ordinal of $PA+TI(\epsilon_0)$?

what is the proof-theoretic ordinal for $PA+TI(\epsilon_0)$, where $PA+TI(\epsilon_0)$ is Peano arithmetic where transfinite induction up to $\epsilon_0$ was added? Is it known? Thank you
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Infinitely many proofs?

While compiling a list of my favorite proofs of the infinitude of primes, the following came to mind; Proposition: There are infinitely many non-isomorphic proofs of the infinitude of primes. I'm ...
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455 views

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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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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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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What are some arguments/counterarguments for Zeilberger's “proof certificates”?

Here is the quote I wish to ask about: "I speculate that similar developments will occur elsewhere in mathematics, and will 'trivialize' large parts of mathematics, by reducing mathematical ...
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Is the following derivation of Gödel's Paradox generalizable to an intuitionistic one using provability?

I will follow Goedel's original proof of Goedel's paradox located on pg. 264 of Hao Wang's A Logical Journey: From Gödel to Philosophy. With this in sight, and to also avoid confusion, I will also ...
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Using an automatic tool for checking geometric conjectures

I do a lot of research about squares, and I thought of using some automatic tool for proving / disproving some geometric conjectures. As a simple example, consider the following Square coloring ...
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297 views

Difference between soundness and correctness

Is there any actual semantic difference between soundness and correctness? Can I use these words interchangeably when talking about formal reasoning, proof, logics, etc.? Otherwise, is there a ...
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Proof by reflection and Homotopy Type Theory

I have been looking into various proof assistants, and came across the method of proof by reflection in Coq, which (from what I understand) allows one to verify a program provides the correct "answer" ...
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Clever proofs that prove one identity is equal to another, without going through the original identity?

In a previous question I attempted to formalize the argument of going from one proof of an identity to another, which turned out to be harder than I thought. The thing is, while it may be impossible ...
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Is it always possible to go from one identity to another?

This question was inspired by this Quora question. I'm sure lots of you are familiar with the fact that we have many different representations of $\pi$, things like $$ \begin{align} \pi & = ...
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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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How far can-I rewrite in lambda functions?

I am quite new with the lambda calculus. I am experimenting lambda-calculus proofs through the coq proof assistant, but the question I have is not related to coq (I guess). However, I'm going to use ...
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79 views

How much arithmetic can Predicative Second-Order EFA do?

As discussed in this MathOverflow question, I'm trying to find what the result would be of applying a Feferman-Scutte-like analysis to the predicativism of Edward Nelson and Charles Parsons, who ...
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Is it possible to nonconstructively prove that a statement can be proven or disproven within a formal system?

I've heard of many examples of statements that have been proven to be independent of a formal system, meaning that they can't be proven within that formal system (for example, the Continuum Hypothesis ...
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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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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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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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Independence of FLT over weak systems

It is known that Fermat's last theorem can be proven in finite-order arithmetic (e.g. accoridng to this site). This is still an extremely high upper bound on proof complexity (for example, compared to ...
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Is a sentence in $\Pi_1$ true given $Q \vdash \lnot\varphi$?

If $Q \vdash \lnot\varphi$ (Q is the Robinson arithmetic), and if I assume that $\varphi \in \Pi_1$; Can I say that $\varphi$ is a true sentence? My thoughts are that, given that Q is $\Sigma_1$- ...
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Do we know that if $\pi$ is normal then there is a proof of it?

We do not know whether $\pi$ is normal or it is not and many other weaker statements, e.g. (*) $\pi$ contains infinitely many $0$s. Inspired by the Godel's incompleteness theorem that there are some ...
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42 views

A question about $KP + V = L$ and $KP$ set theory.

In reading Rathjen (Choice principles in constructive set theories) and Jager (On Feferman's OST) I've come across two facts that are taken as obvious/well known, and probably are, but for which I ...
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Girard's System $F$ (also named Polymorphism)

I have been studying Girard's Polymorphism and a question came to my mind: why is it (also) called system $F$? Where does the $F$ come from? (i searched it online but didn't get any luck...)
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Proof of $(\forall x. \varepsilon(x)) \Rightarrow \bot $ in $\lambda\pi $ calculus $\equiv$

What is the right representation of the proof of $(\forall x. \varepsilon(x)) \Rightarrow \bot $ in simple type theory as a term of $\lambda\pi $ calculus $\equiv$? Note on notation: The epsilon ...
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What is the proof-theoretic strength of the predicative second-order theory of real numbers?

The first-order theory of real numbers, AKA the theory of real closed fields, is obtained by added to the axioms for ordered fields an axiom schema of completeness, which states that for each formula ...
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proof checking machine vs. provability checking machine

Let M be a proof-checking Turing machine which takes two inputs, A and B. : M(A,B) = 0 if A codes a valid proof of the sentence coded by B in ZFC. M(A,B) = 1 if A does not code a valid proof of the ...
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Examining every mathematical result in purely formal, ZFC language.

My main interest is physics. However, being self-taught in mathematics for the most part, my proofs tend to be more intuitive than it is acceptable. Yet, I recognize my inaptitude in rigor, and I ...
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Pythagorian theorem in language of Hilbert's system of geometry

How can one formulate the Pythagorian theorem in the language of Hilbert's system of geometry? How can one speak about the length of the hypotenuse for example?
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Proof of cut elimination

I am reading Proofs and types and am blocked at the proof of cut elimination in sequent calculus (chap 13). I don't see either how the cuts are being pushed up above the preceding steps to the top of ...
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Is it always possible to algebraically express a function defined by a set of rules?

Let's say you have an arbitrary function defined by a set of rules such that for example: Domain $\hspace{9mm}$ Range $\hspace{5mm}$ 1 $\hspace{23mm}$ 2 $\hspace{5mm}$ 2 $\hspace{23mm}$ 2 ...
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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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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 ...
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Law of one price theorem proof

There are two subparts to Fundamental Asset Pricing theorem. The LOOP (Law of one price) holds if and only if there exists a state price vector. In a market in which the LOOP (law of one price) ...
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Is the length of the proof of propositional tautology a PA-total function?

Suppose we have fix some interpretation of propositional (not first-order!) logic inside PA, and say $f(n) = $ {the maximum length of a proof of a tautology with $n$ propositional primitives} ...
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Theorem of Lefschetz

If anyone has the book of James D. Lewis entitled: A survey of Hodge conjecture on page $58$, There are the famous theorem of Lefschetz $(1,1)$ "without proof it seems to me." Is that so? Could you ...
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Proofs for PCA, LDA, ICA, HMM learning algorithms and other stuff

I was wondering if there is some kind of encyclopedia of website for all known math proofs. I'm more interested in statistics (PCA, ICA, LDA, Factor analysis, HMM learning, GMM learning) and algebra ...
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Is it decidable whether there are finitely or infinitely many positive integers n such that the (2^n)+1th last digit of 3^(2^n) in base 2 is 1.

It seems so obvious that there are infinitely many such n because using a probabilistic arguement, it seems like there's no chance of there only being finitely many of them. Yet, it seems impossible ...
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Are proofs for many-sorted first order logic shorter than single sorted first order logic?

I understand that the expressive power of first order logic with one sort is the same as any many sorted first order logic, and that higher order logic with general semantics is the same as a many ...
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How Do I Show that Condensed Derivable Rules of Inference Yield the Same Formula as Using Condendensed Detachment Multiple Times?

If we look at condensed detachment of two formulas $\alpha$ and $\beta$, we can see that D$\alpha$.$\beta$, where $\alpha$ has form C$\alpha$$_a$$\alpha$$_b$ is equivalent to using the rule ...
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192 views

Proof of law of reflection using Fermat's principle : are we really proving the law of reflection?

Before you skip reading this, let me tell you that this isn't a "how to derive the law of reflection using Fermat's principle" question. Also, I asked it on MSE instead of the physics site because ...
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Proof by contradiction and order of statements

Order matters, take sequences tending towards a limit: $$\forall\epsilon>0\exists N\in\mathbb{N}:n>N\implies|x_n-L|<\epsilon$$ "For all $\epsilon$ there exists an $N$" is totally different to ...