For questions concerning a specific proof, asking for verification, identifying errors, suggestions for improvement, etc.

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44
votes
12answers
6k views

Proof that every number ≥ $8$ can be represented by a sum of fives and threes.

Can you check if my proof is right? Theorem. $\forall x\geq8, x$ can be represented by $5a + 3b$ where $a,b \in \mathbb{N}$. Base case(s): $x=8 = 3\cdot1 + 5\cdot1 \quad \checkmark\\ x=9 = 3\cdot3 ...
34
votes
1answer
2k views

Checking a Proof of a Theorem

Theorem 1.2 of Bennett and Skinner (Canad. J. Math., 2004) asserts that the Diophantine equation $x^{p} - 4y^{p} = z^{2}$ is unsolvable for every prime $p \geq 7.$ The following is a possible proof ...
34
votes
3answers
2k views

Fascinating Lampshade Geometry

Today, I encountered a rather fascinating problem in a waiting room: Notice how the light is being cast on the wall? There is a curve that defines the boundary between light and shadow. In my ...
31
votes
7answers
1k views

Find the value of $\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10…}}}$

I found a question that asked to find the limiting value of $$10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{...}}}}}$$If you make the substitution $x=10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{10\sqrt{...}}}}}$ it ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

Lamport claims there is an error in Kelley's proof of the Schroeder-Bernstein theorem. What is it?

In section 4.1 of his note How to write a proof, Leslie Lamport mentions an error in Kelley's exposition of the Schroeder-Bernstein theorem: Some twenty years ago, I decided to write a proof of ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Can't find mistake in an easy proof.

Consider the following theorem. $\textbf{Theorem:}$ for any sets $A, B, C, D$, if $A \times B \subseteq C \times D$ then $A \subseteq C$ and $B \subseteq D$. Then the following proof is given. ...
23
votes
3answers
638 views

The series $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1n$ diverges

We all know that the following harmonic series $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1n=\frac 1 1 + \frac 12 + \frac 13 + \cdots $$ diverges and grows very slowly!! I have seen many proofs of the result but ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Is a brute force method considered a proof?

Say we have some finite set, and some theory about a set, say "All elements of the finite set $X$ satisfy condition $Y$". If we let a computer check every single member of $X$ and conclude that the ...
22
votes
10answers
4k views

Proving $\sqrt 3$ is irrational.

There is a very simple proof by means of divisibility that $\sqrt 2$ is irrational. I have to prove that $\sqrt 3$ is irrational too, as a homework. I have done it as follows, ad absurdum: Suppose ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Proof of $(\mathbb{Z}/m\mathbb{Z}) \otimes_\mathbb{Z} (\mathbb{Z} / n \mathbb{Z}) \cong \mathbb{Z}/ \gcd(m,n)\mathbb{Z}$

I've just started to learn about the tensor product and I want to show: $$(\mathbb{Z}/m\mathbb{Z}) \otimes_\mathbb{Z} (\mathbb{Z} / n \mathbb{Z}) \cong \mathbb{Z}/ \gcd(m,n)\mathbb{Z}.$$ Can you tell ...
19
votes
10answers
7k views

Assume that the square matrix A has an eigenvalue of 0. Is A invertible? Why or why not?

Just wanted some input to see if my proof is satisfactory or if it needs some cleaning up. Here is what I have. Proof:Suppose $A$ is square and invertible and for the sake of contradiction let $0$ ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this proof of the infinitude of primes valid?

The current issue (May 2015) of the American Mathematical Monthly has a one-line proof that there are an infinite number of primes, and I don't see why it is correct. Here is the proof: If the set ...
18
votes
3answers
856 views

My first induction proof (very simple number theory). Please mark/grade.

What do you think about my first induction proof? Please mark/grade. Theorem The sum of the cubes of three consecutive natural numbers is a multiple of 9. Proof First, introducing a predicate ...
18
votes
1answer
318 views

Proof of $\zeta(2)=\frac{\pi^2}{6}$

While messing around with some integrals, I have found the following proof for $\zeta(2)=\frac{\pi^2}{6}$, but I'm not sure if it is valid: We take a look at the integral $I=\int_0^{\frac{\pi}{2}} ...
16
votes
2answers
345 views

Question from Putnam '89: Primes of the form $101\ldots01$

I'm not a math major, but would like to compete in the Putnam. As suggested in other questions here, I'm working some old contest problems. I'd like some input on this attempted proof--general input ...
16
votes
1answer
299 views

Flaw or not flaw in Excel's RNG?

I have a question about my understanding of an article of B.D. McCullough (2008) about Excel's implementation of the Wichmann-Hill random number generator (1982). First, a bit of context The ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Proving that there are infinitely many primes with remainder of 2 when divided by 3

I need to prove that there are infinitely many primes with remainder of 2 when divided by 3. I started out similarly to Euclid's classic proof of an infinite number of prime numbers: Suppose there is ...
14
votes
1answer
776 views

A Weaker Version of the ABC Conjecture

The ABC conjecture states that there are a finite number of integer triples (a,b,c) such that $\frac {\log \left( c \right)}{\log \left( \text{rad} \left( abc \right) \right)}>1+\varepsilon $, ...
14
votes
3answers
148 views

Given $2015$ points, show that it is possible to separate them such that $1007$ of them lie inside the circle

Suppose there are $2015$ points on a plane, no three collinear. Show that you can draw a circle such that exactly $1007$ lie inside the circle. Here is my solution: First draw a line that ...
14
votes
0answers
142 views

There's no cardinal $\kappa$ such that $2^\kappa = \aleph_0$

I am trying to prove that there is no cardinal $\kappa$ such that $2^\kappa = \aleph_0$ . My attempt: We suppose it exists. Since $\kappa<2^\kappa$, in particular, $\kappa<\aleph_0$. But ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

No simple group of order $300$

So I've been trying to prove that there's no simple group of order $300$. This is what I did and I was wondering if it was enough. $|G|=2^2 \cdot 3 \cdot 5^2$. Suppose $G$ is simple. Then there ...
13
votes
3answers
199 views

If $p$ is a prime and $p \mid ab$, then $p \mid a$ or $p \mid b$.

The proof is already given in the textbook but I tried other way around. Proof by contradiction: Let's assume that $p$ doesn't divide $a$ and $p$ doesn't divide $b$, but $p$ divides $ab$. So ...
13
votes
2answers
667 views

Prove that the multiplicative groups $\mathbb{R} - \{0\}$ and $\mathbb{C} - \{0\}$ are not isomorphic.

Is my proof correct? I have made use of the fact isomorphism preserves order of elements, which I proved couple of exercises back. I am also interested in other ways of proving it. Is there a more ...
13
votes
2answers
223 views

Let $f$ and $g$ be two group homomorphisms from $G$ to $G'$. Is $H$ a subgroup of $G$?

Can someone please verify this? Let $f$ and $g$ be two group homomorphisms from $G$ to $G'$. Let $H \subset G$ be the subset $\{x \in G: f(x)=g(x)\}$. Is $H$ a subgroup of $G$? Let $e$ and $e'$ ...
13
votes
0answers
297 views

My first proof that uses the well-ordering principle (very simple number theory). Please mark/grade.

What do you think about my first proof that uses the well-ordering principle? Please mark/grade. Theorem The sum of the cubes of three consecutive natural numbers is a multiple of 9. Proof ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Show that the product of two consecutive natural numbers is never a square.

I'd like to have my proof verified and if possible, to see other solutions that are interesting. Proof: Suppose $n(n+1)$ is a square. Then we write $$n(n+1) = \prod_{p} p^{c(p)}$$ where $c(p) = a(p) ...
12
votes
5answers
444 views

Where's the problem with a false “proof”: $\;1^0 = 1^2 \overset{?}\implies 0 = 2$

What's wrong with this: $$\large 1^0=1^2$$ Since bases are same, therefore $$\large 0=2$$ My thinking: Since the function $\,f(x)=1^x\,$ is not one to one, therefore whenever $\,f(x)=f(y),\,$ ...
12
votes
5answers
274 views

How to prove $n < \left(1+\frac{1}{\sqrt{n}}\right)^n$

I want to know how to prove the following inequality. For $n = 1, 2, 3, \ldots $ $$ n < \left(1+\frac{1}{\sqrt{n}} \right)^n $$ I tried with math induction but I failed.
12
votes
3answers
65 views

Prove that $4x^2-8xy+5y^2\geq0$ - is this a valid proof?

I need to prove that $4x^2-8xy+5y^2\geq0$ holds for every real numbers $x, y$. First I start with another inequality, i.e. $4x^2-8xy+4y^2\geq0$, which clearly holds as it can be factorized into ...
12
votes
1answer
278 views

Teaser or fun calc equation to surprise husband (physicist/EE) at work

I am a geneticist and unfortunately have not worked much with advanced calc since undergrad. In genetics, as you likely know, a male is denoted as XY and a female as XX. I plan to leave a riddle for ...
12
votes
3answers
191 views

Prove that $\frac{(p^{n}-1)(p^{n}-p)…(p^{n}-p^{n-1})}{n!} \in \mathbb{N}$ with $p$ a prime number and $n \in \mathbb{N}$

Apparently this question requires a method linked with linear algebra but I was wondering if it was possible to solve it in a formal way like an induction on $n$ or by using an identity for $p^{n}-1$ ...
11
votes
4answers
594 views

How can I complete this proof by contradiction?

This problem is from Discrete Mathematics and its Applications: Prove that there are no solutions in integers $x$ and $y$ to the equation $2x^2 + 5y^2 = 14$. I am trying to use proof by ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

Prove that $\sqrt 5$ is irrational

I have to prove that $\sqrt 5$ is irrational. Proceeding as in the proof of $\sqrt 2$, let us assume that $\sqrt 5$ is rational. This means for some distinct integers $p$ and $q$ having no common ...
11
votes
2answers
105 views

Proof that $\sqrt{F!-1}$ is irrational

Please tell me whether my proof is valid. (1) Suppose $\sqrt{F!-1}= \frac p q$ where $p, q$ are integers $>0$ with no common factors. (If there are any common factors we cancel them in the ...
11
votes
1answer
192 views

A proof involving the Euler phi function

Problem: Let $\varphi$ be the Euler phi function, where for any $n \in \mathbb{Z^+}$, $\varphi(n)$ is the number of positive integers less than $n$ that are relatively prime with $n$. ...
11
votes
1answer
270 views

Let $f$ be a cont. on $\mathbb{R}$ and define $G(x)=\int_0^{\sin (x)}f(t) dt $. Show that $G$ is differentiable on $\Bbb{R}$ and compute $G'$.

Let $f$ be a continuous function on $\mathbb{R}$ and define $$G(x)=\int_0^{\sin (x)}f(t) dt $$ Show that $G$ is differentiable on $\mathbb{R}$ and compute $G'$. This is an exercise from ...
11
votes
1answer
98 views

Valid proof of Young's Inequality?

Part of an exercise to prove Holder's inequality in Rudin involves proving Young's Inequality... That is, given $\frac{1}{p}+\frac{1}{q} = 1$, prove $$ab \leq \frac{a^p}{p} + \frac{b^q}{q}.$$ ...
10
votes
1answer
282 views

Counterexample to “Measurable in each variable separately implies measurable”

Some fellow classmates are preparing for a qualifying exam on real analysis, and asked me for help on the following question: Let $ \ f:[0,1]^2\longrightarrow\mathbb{R}$ be such that: (i) $\ ...
10
votes
4answers
769 views

Scratch work for delta-epsilon proof for $\lim_{x \to 13} \sqrt{x-4} = 3$

Prove $\lim_{x \to 13} \sqrt{x-4} = 3$. We need to show for all $E> 0$ there exists $D > 0$ such that if $0 < |x - 13| < D$, then $|\sqrt{x-4} - 3| < E$. Let me write D for ...
10
votes
1answer
98 views

There is no continuous mapping from $L^1([0,1])$ onto $L^\infty([0,1])$

There is no continuous mapping from $L^1([0,1])$ onto $L^\infty([0,1])$. Proof: suppose $T:L^1 \rightarrow L^\infty$ continuous and onto. $L^1$ is separable, let $\{f_n\}$ be a countable dense ...
10
votes
2answers
510 views

Why does this cube root trick work?

So, I found that you can work out cube roots between $1$ and $100$ using this method: For example the number: $185193$ If the last digit $x$ is $2$, $8$, $3$, or $7$, the last digit in the answer ...
10
votes
1answer
106 views

Every function $f: \mathbb{N} \to \mathbb{R}$ is continuous?

This is a question that came up as a true false question in my textbook, and I was wondering what you thought of my reasoning. I claim that even though a graph of such a function doesn't look ...
10
votes
1answer
340 views

Separation in compact spaces

There was recently a question that I cannot find about separation in compact spaces. The answer to that question was no for trivial reasons. Motivated by that, let me ask a less trivial version of ...
10
votes
1answer
264 views

Showing a sequence of integrals converges to zero

Let $\varphi$ be a complex-valued function which is analytic on $\{z \in \mathbb C : |z| \leq 2\}$, let $\gamma$ be the unit circle in the complex plane, and define $$ F_n(z) = \int_\gamma ...
10
votes
0answers
251 views

Show that in any group of order $23 \cdot 24$, the $23$-Sylow subgroup is normal.

Show that in any group of order $23 \cdot 24$, the $23$-Sylow subgroup is normal. Let $P_k$ denote the $k$-Sylow subgroup and let $n_3$ denote the number of conjugates of $P_k$. $n_2 \equiv 1 ...
9
votes
5answers
608 views

If $\mathcal{P}(A)=\mathcal{P}(B)$, then $A=B$? [duplicate]

Prove, disprove, or give a counterexample: If $\mathcal{P}(A)=\mathcal{P}(B)$, then $A=B$. Assume $\mathcal{P}(A)=\mathcal{P}(B)$. Since we know $A \subseteq A$, we know $A \in ...
9
votes
5answers
976 views

Number Theory : Infinitude Of Primes - a different proof

I was doing some basic Number Theory problems and came across this problem : Show that the integer : $Q_{n} = n ! + 1$, where $n$ is a positive integer, has a prime divisor greater than $n$. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Prove that there is no smallest positive real number

I have to prove the following: $$\text{Prove that there is no smallest positive real number}$$ Argument by contradiction Suppose there is a smallest positive real number. Let $x$ be the smallest ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Is my proof correct for: $\sqrt[7]{7!} < \sqrt[8]{8!}$

I have to show that $$\sqrt[7]{7!} < \sqrt[8]{8!}$$ and I did the following steps \begin{align} \sqrt[7]{7!} &< \sqrt[8]{8!} \\ (7!)^{(1/7)} &< (8!)^{(1/8)} \\ (7!)^{(1/7)} - ...
9
votes
1answer
804 views

If $\phi: G \mapsto H$ is an isomorphism, prove that $G$ is abelian if and only if $H$ is abelian

I would like to know if my proof is correct. Specifically, I would like you to check that surjectivity is needed for proving the first part and injectivity is needed for proving the second part. ...