Theoretical foundations of calculus: limits, convergence of sequences, construction of the real numbers, least upper bound property, and related analysis topics such as continuity, differentiation, integration through the fundamental theorem of calculus.

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151
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The Integral that Stumped Feynman?

In "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!," Nobel-prize winning Physicist Richard Feynman said that he challenged his colleagues to give him an integral that they could evaluate with only complex methods ...
114
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17answers
9k views

Zero to the zero power - Is $0^0=1$?

Could someone provide me with good explanation of why $0^0 = 1$? My train of thought: $x > 0$ $0^x = 0^{x-0} = 0^x/0^0$, so $0^0 = 0^x/0^x = ?$ Possible answers: $0^0 * 0^x = 1 * 0^x$, so ...
114
votes
1answer
7k views

Evaluate $ \int_{0}^{\frac{\pi}{2}}\frac{1}{(1+x^2)(1+\tan x)}\,\mathrm dx$

Evaluate the following integral$$\int_{0}^{\Large\frac{\pi}{2}}\frac{1}{(1+x^2)(1+\tan x)}\,\mathrm dx$$ My Attempt: Let $$\tag1 I = \int_{0}^{\Large\frac{\pi}{2}}\frac{1}{(1+x^2)(1+\tan ...
103
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6answers
8k views

How can you prove that a function has no closed form integral?

I've come across statements in the past along the lines of "function $f(x)$ has no closed form integral", which I assume means that there is no combination of the operations: addition/subtraction ...
91
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7answers
4k views

Continuous function $f:\mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $f(f(x)) = -x$?

I've been perusing the internet looking for interesting problems to solve. I found the following problem and have been going at it for the past 30 minutes with no success: Find a continuous ...
87
votes
9answers
5k views

Why is Euler's Gamma function the “best” extension of the factorial function to the reals?

There are lots (an infinitude) of smooth functions that coincide with f(n)=n! on the integers. Is there a simple reason why Euler's Gamma function $\Gamma (z) = \int_0^\infty t^{z-1} e^t dt$ is ...
84
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1answer
4k views

How discontinuous can a derivative be?

There is a well-known result in elementary analysis due to Darboux which says if $f$ is a differentiable function then $f'$ satisfies the intermediate value property. To my knowledge, not many ...
76
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8answers
4k views

Self-Contained Proof that $\sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac1{n^p}$ Converges for $p > 1$

To prove the convergence of $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac1{n^p}$$ for $p > 1$, one typically appeals to either the Integral Test or the Cauchy Condensation Test. I am wondering if there is a ...
70
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3answers
3k views

Is there an integral that proves $\pi > 333/106$?

The following integral, $$ \int_0^1 \frac{x^4(1-x)^4}{x^2 + 1} \mathrm{d}x = \frac{22}{7} - \pi $$ is clearly positive, which proves that $\pi < 22/7$. Is there a similar integral which proves ...
70
votes
6answers
2k views

Contest problem about convergent series

The following is probably a math contest problem. I have been unable to locate the original source. Suppose that $\{a_i\}$ is a set of positive real numbers and the series $$\sum_{n = 1}^\infty ...
65
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8answers
3k views

Evaluating $\lim_{n\to\infty} e^{-n} \sum\limits_{k=0}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$

I'm supposed to calculate: $$\lim_{n\to\infty} e^{-n} \sum_{k=0}^{n} \frac{n^k}{k!}$$ By using W|A, i may guess that the limit is $\frac{1}{2}$ that is a pretty interesting and nice result. I ...
63
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is $1^{\infty}$ considered to be an indeterminate form

From Wikipedia: In calculus and other branches of mathematical analysis, an indeterminate form is an algebraic expression obtained in the context of limits. Limits involving algebraic operations are ...
62
votes
3answers
2k views

How did Hermite calculate $e^{\pi\sqrt{163}}$ in 1859?

Pretend you are in 1859. What is a fast, efficient, and accurate way to numerically evaluate constants like that to, say, 20 decimal places, using ONLY pen and paper?
61
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11answers
2k views

Proving an alternating Euler sum: $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k+1} H_k}{k} = \frac{1}{2} \zeta(2) - \frac{1}{2} \log^2 2$

Let $$A(p,q) = \sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{(-1)^{k+1}H^{(p)}_k}{k^q},$$ where $H^{(p)}_n = \sum_{i=1}^n i^{-p}$, the $n$th $p$-harmonic number. The $A(p,q)$'s are known as alternating Euler sums. ...
58
votes
3answers
4k views

Getting Students to Not Fear Confusion

I'm a fifth year grad student, and I've taught several classes for freshmen and sophomores. This summer, as an "advanced" (whatever that means) grad student I got to teach an upper level class: Intro ...
56
votes
5answers
5k views

Continuous bijection from $(0,1)$ to $[0,1]$

Does there exist a continuous bijection from $(0,1)$ to $[0,1]$? Of course the map should not be a proper map.
54
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible for a function to be in $L^p$ for only one $p$?

I'm wondering if it's possible for a function to be an $L^p$ space for only one value of $p \in [1,\infty)$ (on either a bounded domain or an unbounded domain). One can use interpolation to show that ...
54
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a function with a removable discontinuity at every point?

If memory serves, ten years ago to the week (or so), I taught first semester freshman calculus for the first time. As many calculus instructors do, I decided I should ask some extra credit questions ...
54
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1answer
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Direct proof that $\pi$ is not constructible

Is there a direct proof that $\pi$ is not constructible, that is, that squaring the circle cannot be done by rule and compass? Of course, $\pi$ is not constructible because it is transcendental and ...
46
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5answers
5k views

Is $[0,1]$ a countable disjoint union of closed sets?

Can you express $[0,1]$ as a countable disjoint union of closed sets, other than the trivial way of doing this?
45
votes
4answers
2k views

Showing that $\int\limits_{-a}^a \frac{f(x)}{1+e^{x}} \mathrm dx = \int\limits_0^a f(x) \mathrm dx$, when $f$ is even

I have a question: Suppose $f$ is continuous and even on $[-a,a]$, $a>0$ then prove that $$\int\limits_{-a}^a \frac{f(x)}{1+e^{x}} \mathrm dx = \int\limits_0^a f(x) \mathrm dx$$ How can I ...
44
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there any series whose convergence is unknown?

Are there any infinite series about which we don't know whether it converges or not? Or are the convergence tests exhaustive, so that in the hands of a competent mathematician any series will ...
43
votes
2answers
4k views

The Monster Integral

Compute the following integral \begin{equation} \int_0^{\Large\frac{\pi}{4}}\left[\frac{(1-x^2)\ln(1+x^2)+(1+x^2)-(1-x^2)\ln(1-x^2)}{(1-x^4)(1+x^2)}\right] x\, ...
43
votes
17answers
20k views

Good book for self study of a First Course in Real Analysis

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book to use for the self study of real analysis? Several years ago when I completed about half a semester of Real Analysis I, the instructor used "Introduction ...
42
votes
7answers
5k views

What is integration by parts, really?

Integration by parts comes up a lot - for instance, it appears in the definition of a weak derivative / distributional derivative, or as a tool that one can use to turn information about higher ...
42
votes
5answers
2k views

Calculating the integral $\int_{0}^{\infty} \frac{\cos x}{1+x^2}\mathrm{d}x$ without using complex analysis

Suppose that we do not know anything about the complex analysis (numbers). In this case, how to calculate the following integral in closed form? $$\int_0^\infty\frac{\cos\;x}{1+x^2}\mathrm{d}x$$
42
votes
3answers
1k views

Is $n \sin n$ dense on the real line?

Is $\{n \sin n | n \in \mathbb{N}\}$ dense on the real line? If so, is $\{n^p \sin n | n \in \mathbb{N}\}$ dense for all $p>0$? This seems much harder than showing that $\sin n$ is dense on ...
42
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3answers
891 views

Show that $\sum{\frac{x^n}{(1+x^n)^n}}$ converges uniformly

Show that $$\sum{\frac{x^n}{(1+x^n)^n}}$$ converges uniformly on $[0,1].$ I am sorry but for this exercise I got exactly nothing. It seems to be difficult.
40
votes
5answers
4k views

Evaluate the integral: $\int_{0}^{1} \frac{\ln(x+1)}{x^2+1} \mathrm dx$

Compute $$\int_{0}^{1} \frac{\ln(x+1)}{x^2+1} \mathrm dx$$
40
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I define a bijection between $(0,1)$ and $(0,1]$?

How do I define a bijection between $(0,1)$ and $(0,1]$? Or any other open and closed intervals? If the intervals are both open like $(-1,2)\text{ and }(-5,4)$ I do a cheap trick (don't know if ...
40
votes
3answers
906 views

Prove that $\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$

Prove that $$\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$$
39
votes
5answers
5k views

Completion of rational numbers via Cauchy sequences

Can anyone recommend a good self-contained reference for completion of rationals to get reals using Cauchy sequences?
39
votes
9answers
2k views

Is $dx\,dy$ really a multiplication of $dx$ and $dy$?

On the answers of the question Is $\frac{dy}{dx}$ not a ratio? it was told that $\frac{dy}{dx}$ cannot be seen as a quotient, even though it looks like a fraction. My question is: does $dxdy$ in the ...
38
votes
8answers
3k views

$\lim_{x \to 1} \frac{x + x^2 + \dots + x^n - n}{x - 1} = \frac{n(n + 1)}{2}$

I am able to evaluate the limit $$\lim_{x \to 1} \frac{x + x^2 + \dots + x^n - n}{x - 1} = \frac{n(n + 1)}{2}$$ for a given $n$ using l'Hôspital's (Bernoulli's) rule. The problem is I don't quite ...
37
votes
5answers
2k views

Convergence/Divergence of infinite series $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{(\sin(n)+2)^n}{n3^n}$

$$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{(\sin(n)+2)^n}{n3^n}$$ Does it converge or diverge? Can we have a rigorous proof that is not probabilistic? For reference, this question is supposedly a mix of real ...
37
votes
3answers
784 views

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\longrightarrow \mathbb{R}$ a differentiable function such that $f'(x)=0$ for all $x\in\mathbb{Q}$

Let $f:\mathbb{R}\longrightarrow \mathbb{R}$ a differentiable function such that $f'(x)=0$ for all $x\in\mathbb{Q}.$ $f$ is a constant function?
36
votes
8answers
1k views

Evaluate $\int_0^1\left(\frac{1}{\ln x} + \frac{1}{1-x}\right)^2 \mathrm dx$

Evaluate $$\int_0^1\left(\frac{1}{\ln x} + \frac{1}{1-x}\right)^2 \mathrm dx$$
36
votes
3answers
751 views

How to prove that $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{(H_n)^2}{n^3}=\frac{7}{2}\zeta(5)-\zeta(2)\zeta(3)$

Prove that $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{(H_n)^2}{n^3}=\frac{7}{2}\zeta(5)-\zeta(2)\zeta(3)$$ $H_n$ denotes the harmonic numbers.
36
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1answer
860 views

In which ordered fields does absolute convergence imply convergence?

In the process of touching up some notes on infinite series, I came across the following "result": Theorem: For an ordered field $(F,<)$, the following are equivalent: (i) Every Cauchy ...
35
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5answers
2k views

An exotic sequence

Let $a=\frac{1+i\sqrt 7}{2}$ and $u_n=\Re(a^n)$ show that $(|u_n|)\to +\infty$ I think basics method does not works here. Any ideas ?
35
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3answers
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Does the series $ \sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{1 + |\sin(n)|}} $ converge or diverge?

Does the following series converge or diverge? I would like to see a demonstration. $$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{1 + |\sin(n)|}}. $$ I can see that: $$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{1 + ...
35
votes
1answer
872 views

Prove that $\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \large\frac{k}{\text{e}^{2\pi k}-1}=\frac{1}{24}-\frac{1}{8\pi}$

Prove that $$\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \frac{k}{\text{e}^{2\pi k}-1}=\frac{1}{24}-\frac{1}{8\pi}$$
35
votes
2answers
1k views

Prime powers, patterns similar to $\lbrace 0,1,0,2,0,1,0,3\ldots \rbrace$ and formulas for $\sigma_k(n)$

Some time ago when decomponsing the natural numbers, $\mathbb{N}$, in prime powes I noticed a pattern in their powers. Taking, for example, the numbers $\lbrace 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 ...
34
votes
15answers
4k views

Why are real numbers useful?

A question (by a fellow CS student taking a first course in calculus, presumably after the lecture in which continuity was introduced: was as follows. In the real, physical world, we deal with ...
34
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5answers
604 views

Computing $\lim\limits_{n\to\infty} \Big(\sum\limits_{i = 1}^n \sum\limits_{j = 1}^n \frac1{i^2+j^2}-\frac{\pi}{2} \log(n)\Big)$.

In the chatroom we discussed about the asymptotic of $\displaystyle \sum_{i = 1}^n \sum_{j = 1}^n \frac1{i^2+j^2}$, and if we think of the inverse tangent integral, it's easy to see that ...
34
votes
5answers
1k views

A question on Taylor Series and polynomial

Suppose $ f(x)$ that is infinitely differentiable in $[a,b]$. For every $c\in[a,b] $ the series $\sum\limits_{n=0}^\infty \cfrac{f^{(n)}(c)}{n!}(x-c)^n $ is a polynomial. Is true that $f(x)$ is a ...
33
votes
6answers
2k views

Is Complex Analysis equivalent Real Analysis with $f:\mathbb R^2 \to \mathbb R^2$?

Am I correct in noticing that Complex Analysis seems to be a synonym for analysis of functions $\mathbb R^2 \to \mathbb R^2$? If this is the case, surely all the results from complex analysis carry ...
33
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there any geometric way to characterize $e$?

Let me explain it better: after this question, I've been looking for a way to put famous constants in the real line in a geometrical way -- just for fun. Putting $\sqrt2$ is really easy: constructing ...
33
votes
2answers
1k views

Prove $\int_0^1 \left| \frac{f^{''}(x)}{f(x)} \right| dx \geq4$

$f''(x)$ is continuous in $[0,1]$, $f(0)=f(1)=0$, $f(x)\neq 0$ when $x \in(0,1)$, try to prove: $$\int_0^1 \left| \frac{f''(x)}{f(x)} \right| dx \geq 4.$$
33
votes
2answers
2k views

Integration of forms and integration on a measure space

In Terence Tao's PCM article: DIFFERENTIAL FORMS AND INTEGRATION, it is pointed out that there are three concepts of integration which appear in the subject(single-variable calculus): the ...