For questions about the formulation of a proof, not about the mathematics behind it.

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6
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4answers
420 views

Suppose $f:[0,1] \Rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ is continuous and $\int_0^x f(x)dx = \int_x^1 f(x)dx$. Prove that $f(x) = 0$ for all $x$

Suppose $f:[0,1] \Rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ is continuous and $\int_0^x f(x)dx = \int_x^1 f(x)dx$. Prove that $f(x) = 0$ for all $x$. So, I can intuitively see that this is true. My proof mostly makes ...
6
votes
4answers
333 views

How to show that a limit cannot be another number?

Let: $$ G(x) = \left\{ \begin{array} {cc} x \sin \frac{1}{x} , & x\neq 0 \\ 0, & x=0 \end{array} \right. $$ I can understand that the function is continuous at $x=0$ because: For ...
6
votes
2answers
932 views

Can you prove why Popsicle Stick Multiplication works?

This is a unique way of multiplying numbers by using sticks. Let's call it "Popsicle Stick Multiplication". Or maybe "Linear Algebra" quite literally. Take a look at both images that I've drawn ...
6
votes
4answers
164 views

prove $\lceil{x}\rceil=-\lfloor-x\rfloor$

i am trying to prove that $\lceil{x}\rceil=-\lfloor-x\rfloor$, but having difficulties to prove. the definitions are: $\lceil{x}\rceil:=m-1<x\leq m$ and $\lfloor{x}\rfloor:=n\leq x<n+1$. how ...
6
votes
3answers
123 views

How to structure long proofs

How do you structure proofs that are longer than say half a page? I have already encountered a variety of styles (in my short math life), some of which I list below and I just hoped to hear some wise ...
6
votes
4answers
188 views

Prove that if $A \mathop \triangle B \subseteq A$ then $B\subseteq A$

I'm having trouble with the logic in this proof and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction (if I'm wrong)? Prove that if $A\mathop\triangle B\subseteq A$ then $B\subseteq A$. ...
6
votes
1answer
482 views

Supposed proof of dirichlets theorem on primes

I think theirs somthing wrong with this proof as it was not hard to create, if someone could find a mistake I would greatly appreiciate it: Define a function $[k\equiv b \bmod a]$, to be equal to ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

help me understand a line in an “$A^TA$ is positive, semi-definite” proof

I am looking at a proof for why $A^TA$ is positive semi-definite when $A$ is $n\times n$ and it has this line. $$ v^TAA^Tv = A^Tv \cdot A^Tv ≥ 0. $$ I understand what $v^TAA^Tv$ means and the purpose ...
6
votes
2answers
51 views

prove/disprove that if $f\circ g$ injective and g is surjective, then f is injective

Question would be: prove/disprove that if $f\circ g$ injective and g is surjective, then f is injective. after thinking, I came to the conclusion that it's a proof. tried to prove it but it looks not ...
6
votes
4answers
263 views

Any commutative associative operation can be extended to a function on nonempty finite sets

This is a fact we use very frequently in general mathematics when we write such notations as $1+2+3+4$: since we know that $+$ is commutative and associative, we can just "drop the parentheses" and ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Proof of Non-Ordering of Complex Field

Let $\mathcal F$ be a field. Suppose that there is a set $P \subset \mathcal F$ which satisfies the following properties: For each $x \in \mathcal F$, exactly one of the following statements holds: ...
6
votes
1answer
41 views

Show that if $x^2 y=2x+y$, then if $y \neq 0$ then $x \neq 0$

Prove if $x^2 y=2x+y$, then if $y \neq 0$ then $x \neq 0$. Obviously, $x,y \in \mathbb R$. I know this is rather simple. It is more about the process than this example. Is it logically correct to do ...
6
votes
2answers
152 views

How can I prove whether a $9\times 9$ square can be filled with L-shaped pieces in a completely “regular” way?

There are a great many ways to fill a $9\times 9$ square with L-shaped pieces. One of them is below. Now, note that there are eleven $2\times 3$ rectangles that are formed, as well as a larger L ...
6
votes
2answers
264 views

Sipser Pumping Lemma Clarification

In a Theory of Computation book I am using, the explanation of Pumping Lemma is not bad, but some parts of it are not clear to me. Here is the Definition of Pumping Lemma: If A is a regular ...
6
votes
2answers
219 views

What is an instance of a mousetrap proof?

A part of the first chapter of the book The spirit and the uses of the mathematical sciences talks about the beauty of mathematics. The author quotes from a lecture of Hasse and introduces the notion ...
6
votes
1answer
446 views

Rudin's 'Principle of Mathematical Analysis' Exercise 3.14

Since I'm studying real analysis using this book by myself, I'm not sure whether or not my method to prove convergence of sequence is right. I'm working on the above question's (d), and my solution ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Prove that P(A) ∪ P(B) ⊆ P(A ∪ B).

I have a presentation on this Monday. I thought it was pretty straight forward but my professor wrote "You need to show why x is in P(AUB), not just state that it is." I thought that I had. Here's ...
6
votes
3answers
309 views

Let $a,b \in R$ where $ a < b$. Prove that there exist a rational number $c$ and an irrational number $d$ such that $ a <c<b$ and $ a<d<b$.

Question : Let $a,b \in R$ where $ a < b$. Prove that there exist a rational number $c$ and an irrational number $d$ such that $ a <c<b$ and $ a<d<b$. Hint: consider decimal expansions ...
6
votes
3answers
322 views

Proving {$b_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$ converges given {$a_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$ and {$a_n b_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$

Suppose {$a_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$ and {$b_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$ are sequences such that {$a_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$ coverges to A$\neq$0 and {$a_n b_n$}$_{n=1}^\infty$ converges. Prove that ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

The author of my book simplifies his solutions to an extent that I am uncomfortable with, so are my solutions to homework over doing it?

This question can be summarized as: How explicit does one need to be when writing proofs? To what extent can one implicity write a proof safely? The first chapter of our text in elementary discrete ...
6
votes
4answers
198 views

Prove A is an open set if and only if $A \cap Bd(A) = \emptyset $

Prove A is an open set if and only if $A \cap Bd(A) = \emptyset $ Here is my start: Suppose A is an open set. We know $X-A$ is closed. Need to show $A \cap Bd(A) = \emptyset$ Let $ x \in A$. ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

A proof by strong induction that $a_n\le3^n$ where $a_n=a_{n-1}+a_{n-2}+a_{n-3}$

I am not sure whether this is right. Can anyone verify, whether this proof is valid? Thanks! Define a sequence $\{a_n\}_{n\ge0}$ as follows: ...
6
votes
2answers
359 views

Proofs in undergraduate mathematics [closed]

What are the best introduction books to mathematical proofs in undergraduate mathematics? I know of "Proofs from the Book" by M. Aigner and G. Ziegler, but also need one that shoots to analysis kind ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Prove that $\sup(A+B) = \sup(A) + \sup(B)$ and why does $\sup(A+B)$ exist?

We want to show that $\sup(A)+\sup(B)$ is the least upper bound of the set $A + B$. First, we need to show that $\sup(A) + \sup(B)$ is an upper bound for the set $A + B$. Indeed, if $z\in A + B$, then ...
6
votes
1answer
565 views

Flaw in induction proof that the Fibonacci sequence is bounded by $(5/3)^n$

The Fibonacci sequence is defined by $a_1 = 1, a_2 = 1$ and for all $n \ge 2, a_{n+1} = a_n + a_{n-1}$. Thus the sequence begins $$1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,...$$ Prove that for all $n \ge 1, a_n ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

British maths style guide

For British maths style, is this punctuation OK? so if $x=-3$, then $\left|x\right|=3$, and if $x=7$, then $\left|x\right|=7$, etc with commas before "then" and "and".
6
votes
2answers
704 views

Image of closed unit ball under a compact operator

Let $X,Y$ be Banach spaces and $A\in\mathcal L(X,Y)$ . The task is to prove the following: $A$ is compact if and only if the image of the closed unit ball in $X$ is compact in $Y$. I have proven ...
6
votes
2answers
304 views

natural language proof assistant

I was wondering whether there has been any attempt to create a proof assistant that you write in it, in english, I mean you write your proof the usual way in TeX(maybe use a 'simpler english') then ...
6
votes
0answers
334 views

In a math paper, what is a remark?

I sometimes see paragraphs labeled 'Remark.' However, papers that include remarks also include unlabeled explanatory paragraphs (i.e. all the other writing in the article) that seem to be remarks. ...
6
votes
0answers
155 views

Olympic number theory problem: is this solution fine and sufficiently well written?

Determine all the positive integers $m$ such that both the ratios $$ \frac{2(5^m+5)}{3^m+1}, \frac{9^m+1}{5^m+5}$$ are integers. Attempt to a solution: If the ratios are both integers, than their ...
6
votes
0answers
410 views

Proof Strategy for a Dynamical System of Points on the Plane

I have a rather simple-looking system which exhibits a particular behaviour in simulation, and I would now like to attempt to prove this formally. The problem is, I don't really know where to start, ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Prove that $x^3 + x^2 = 1$ has no rational solutions?

Is this enough for a proof?: $$x^3+x^2 = 1$$ I would factor and get: $x^2(x+1) = 1$ I would show that $x = \sqrt1$, which is irrational but then do I have to show more? $x+1=1$ which gives me $x=0$ ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Is it too much rigor to turn a set into a vector space?

I was reading some online notes on vector spaces and one authors insisted on turning a set $\mathbb{X}$ into a vector space. I thought it was quite insane but maybe I am not seeing the point. The ...
5
votes
7answers
814 views

What are some examples of subtle logical pitfalls?

Here's an example: Demonstrating that the assumption $A=B$ leads to a true statement is a vacuous truth. In order the show that $A=B$, prove that the difference $\Delta =A-B$ is zero. The subtle ...
5
votes
5answers
304 views

Proving $n^3$ is even iff $n$ is even

I am trying to prove the following statement: Prove $n^3$ is even iff n is even. Translated into symbols we have: $n^3$ is even $\iff$ $n$ is even Since it's a double implication, I ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Prove that $(a-b) \mid (a^n-b^n)$

I'm trying to prove by induction that for all $a,b \in \mathbb{Z}$ and $n \in \mathbb{N}$, that $(a-b) \mid (a^n-b^n)$. The base case was trivial, so I started by assuming that $(a-b) \mid (a^n-b^n)$. ...
5
votes
5answers
144 views

Proving $n+3 \mid 3n^3-11n+48$

I'm really stuck while I'm trying to prove this statement: $\forall n \in \mathbb{N},\quad (n+3) \mid (3n^3-11n+48)$. I couldn't even how to start.
5
votes
3answers
202 views

Prove that the real root of $x^3 + x + 1$ is irrational

Using wolframalpha.com we get that the real root of this polynomial is $-0.68233$ The only way that I have found how to prove it is using the Rational Root theorem. Using that theorem the possible ...
5
votes
3answers
233 views

In a proof that is reliant on proven theorems, does one assume the reader's familiarity with said theorems, or explicitly include their logic?

In composing a proof that is reliant on proven theorems, does one simply assume the reader's familiarity with said theorems, or does one explicitly include their logic in the new logic?
5
votes
6answers
433 views

“$n$ is even iff $n^2$ is even” and other simple statements to teach proof-writing

I am supposed to teach undergraduate students who do not major in mathematics and I would like to give them a short introduction to mathematical reasoning and to the concept of proof. I am looking for ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Prove the following using induction on n (matrices)

Prove the following using induction on n: $$\begin{pmatrix} 2 & 1 \\ -1 & 0 \end{pmatrix}^{n} = \begin{pmatrix} n+1 & n \\ -n & -n+1 \end{pmatrix}$$ I know that multiplication of ...
5
votes
5answers
652 views

Some elementary number theory proofs.

I'm solving some problems in Apostol's Intro to Analytic Number Theory. He asks to prove $$(a,b)=1 \wedge c|a \wedge d|b\Rightarrow (c,d)=1$$ My take is $$\tag 1(a,b)=1 \Rightarrow 1=ax+by$$ $$ ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Proving the so-called “Well Ordering Principle”

Is there anything wrong with the following proof? Theorem. Every non-null subset $B \subset\mathbb{N}$ has a least member. Proof. Assume not. Then, of necessity, we'd have to have $B=\varnothing$, ...
5
votes
5answers
259 views

Minimum of $x^2 + 3x - 1$ on $[0,1]$ and $[-2,2]$

Consider the problem of finding the absolute minimum of the function $f : [0,1] \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ that satisfies $f(x)=x^2 + 3x - 1$ everywhere. Suppose we suspect, by graphical methods, that ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Prove that such an inverse is unique

Given $z$ is a non zero complex number, we define a new complex number $z^{-1}$ , called $z$ inverse to have the property that $z\cdot z^{-1} = 1$ $z^{-1}$ is also often written as $1/z$
5
votes
2answers
522 views

How do you get a paper to be peer reviewed

I have a proof that I want to undergo peer review. I unfortunately am not affiliated with any university. How should I go about getting it reviewed and either rejected or published? Thanks!
5
votes
4answers
233 views

Help in proving $ \left( 1 + \frac{1}{n} \right)^{n} \leq \sum\limits_{k=0}^{n} \frac{1}{k!} < 3 $.

I am trying to prove this statement for all $ n \geq 1 $ using induction: $$ \left( 1 + \frac{1}{n} \right)^{n} \leq \sum_{k=0}^{n} \frac{1}{k!} < 3. $$ I said: Base case $ n = 1 $: $$ \left( ...
5
votes
4answers
577 views

Proof of $n^2 \leq 2^n$.

I am trying to prove that $n^2 \leq 2^n$ for all natural $n$ with $n \ne 3$. My steps are: induction base case: $n=0:$ $0² \leq 2⁰$ which is okay. inductive step: $n \rightarrow n+1:$ ...
5
votes
3answers
466 views

Is “$n$ is an integer and $\frac{n}{n+1}$ is an integer” true or false?

I am working through a suggested exercise "If $n$ is an integer, $\frac{n}{n+1}$ is not an integer" - I can prove this is false, and I can prove the converse is false, and I can prove the ...
5
votes
4answers
185 views

prove $s(x+y)=s(x)s(y)$

I am asked to prove the following: Let $s(x):=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\binom{x}{n}$. Then $s(x+y)=s(x)s(y)$. I don't know how to start. I am thinking about $\exp(x)$ function with ...