2
votes
1answer
665 views

Solving a recurrence relation with the characteristic equation

I have some trouble solving this due to not seeing the steps to be able to feed it into the characteristic equation. $$T(n) = 4T(n-2) +n + 2^nn^2\ \text{with}\ \ T(0)=0,\ T(1)=1$$ (don't have to ...
225
votes
26answers
10k views

Examples of apparent patterns that eventually fail

Often, when I try to describe mathematics to the layman, I find myself struggling to convince them of the importance and consequence of 'proof'. I receive responses like: "surely if the Collatz ...
33
votes
5answers
4k 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?
48
votes
8answers
4k views

Proof that $C\exp(x)$ is the only set of functions for which $f(x) = f'(x)$

I was wondering the following. And I probably know the answer already: NO. Is there another number with similar properties as $e$. So that the derivative of $\exp(x)$ is the same as the function ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Dominoes and induction, or how does induction work?

I've never really understood why math induction is supposed to work. You have these 3 steps: Prove true for base case (n=0 or 1 or whatever) Assume true for n=k. Call this the induction ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

Do odd imaginary numbers exist?

Is the concept of an odd imaginary number defined/well-defined/used in mathematics? I searched around but couldn't find anything. Thanks!
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How to prove a sequence of a function converges uniformly ???

For n $\in \mathcal{N}$, define the formula, $$f_n(x)= x/(2n^2x^2+8), x \in [0,1].$$ Prove that the sequence $f_n$ converges uniformly on [0,1], as n $\rightarrow \infty$. I know that the definition ...
176
votes
11answers
15k views

What's an intuitive way to think about the determinant?

In my linear algebra class, we just talked about determinants. So far I’ve been understanding the material okay, but now I’m very confused. I get that when the determinant is zero, the matrix doesn’t ...
37
votes
14answers
9k views

Why negative times negative = positive?

Someone recently asked me why a negative * a negative is positive, and why a negative * a positive is negative, etc. I went ahead and gave them a proof by contradiction like so: Assume $(-x) * (-y) ...
32
votes
8answers
3k views

The Monty Hall problem

I was watching the movie 21 yesterday, and in the first 15 minutes or so the main character is in a classroom, being asked a "trick" question (in the sense that the teacher believes that he'll get the ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Possibility to simplify $\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{\pi }{{\sin \pi a}}} $

Is there any way to show that $$\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{1}{a} + \sum\limits_{k = 1}^\infty {{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}\left( ...
31
votes
5answers
2k views

$x^y = y^x$ for integers $x$ and $y$

We know that $2^4 = 4^2$ and $(-2)^{-4} = (-4)^{-2}$. Is there another pair of integers $x, y$ ($x\neq y$) which satisfies the equality $x^y = y^x$?
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Simpler way to compute a definite integral without resorting to partial fractions?

I found the method of partial fractions very laborious to solve this definite integral : $$\int_0^\infty \frac{\sqrt[3]{x}}{1 + x^2}\,dx$$ Is there a simpler way to do this ?
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Sine function dense in $[-1,1]$

We know that the sine function takes it values between $[-1,1]$. So is the set $$A = \{ \sin{n} \ : \ n \in \mathbb{N}\}$$ dense in $[-1,1]$. Generally, for showing the set is dense, one proceeds, by ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Comaximal ideals in a commutative ring

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $I_1, \cdots, I_n$ pairwise comaximal ideals in $R$, e.g. $I_i + I_j = R$ for $i \neq j$. Why are the ideals $I_1^{n_1}, ... , I_r^{n_r}$ (for any $n_1,...,n_r ...
68
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
53
votes
1answer
3k views

How do we know an $ \aleph_1 $ exists at all?

I have two questions, actually. The first is as the title says: how do we know there exists an infinite cardinal such that there exists no other cardinals between it and $ \aleph_0 $? (We would have ...
64
votes
9answers
3k views

Different kinds of infinities?

Can someone explain to me how there can be different kinds of infinities? I was reading "the man who loved only numbers" and came across the concept of countable and uncountable infinities, but ...
45
votes
15answers
3k views

Why does the series $\frac 1 1 + \frac 12 + \frac 13 + \cdots$ not converge?

Can someone give a simple explanation for why the harmonic series $$\frac 1 1 + \frac 12 + \frac 13 + \cdots $$ doesn't converge, but just grows very slowly? I'd prefer an easily ...
36
votes
2answers
2k views

Convergence of $\sqrt{n}x_{n}$ where $x_{n+1} = \sin(x_{n})$

Consider the sequence defined as $x_1 = 1$ $x_{n+1} = \sin x_n$ I think I was able to show that the sequence $\sqrt{n} x_{n}$ converges to $\sqrt{3}$ by a tedious elementary method which I wasn't ...
35
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

Proof of $\int_0^\infty \left(\frac{\sin x}{x}\right)^2 dx=\frac{\pi}{2}.$

I am looking for a short proof that $$\int_0^\infty \left(\frac{\sin x}{x}\right)^2 dx=\frac{\pi}{2}.$$ What do you think? It is kind of amazing that $$\int_0^\infty \frac{\sin x}{x} dx$$ is also ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

$ \lim\limits_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite

How do I prove that $ \displaystyle\lim_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite?
8
votes
5answers
411 views

Given $y_n=(1+\frac{1}{n})^{n+1},n \in \mathbb{N},n \geq 1$ Show that $\lbrace y_n \rbrace$ is a decrasing sequence

Given $$ y_n=\left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^{n+1}\hspace{-6mm},\qquad n \in \mathbb{N}, \quad n \geq 1. $$ Show that $\lbrace y_n \rbrace$ is a decrasing sequence. Anyone can help ? I consider the ratio ...
96
votes
14answers
8k views

Why can ALL quadratic equations be solved by the quadratic formula?

In algebra, all quadratic problems can be solved by using the quadratic formula. I read a couple of books, and they told me only HOW and WHEN to use this formula, but they don't tell me WHY I can use ...
28
votes
14answers
16k views

Where to start learning Linear Algebra?

I'm starting a very long quest to learn about math, so that I can program games. I'm mostly a corporate developer, and it's somewhat boring and non exciting. When I began my career, I chose it because ...
54
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
31
votes
10answers
11k views

How to prove Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$?

Could you provide a proof of Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$ ? thanks.
19
votes
3answers
868 views

No continuous function switches $\mathbb{Q}$ and the irrationals

Is there a way to prove the following result using connectedness? Result: Let $J=\mathbb{R} \setminus \mathbb{Q}$ denote the set of irrational numbers. There is no continuous map $f: \mathbb{R} ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a name for function with the exponential property $f(x+y)=f(x) \cdot f(y)$?

I was wondering if there is a name for a function that satisfies the conditions $f:\mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ and $f(x+y)=f(x) \cdot f(y)$? Thanks and regards!
309
votes
10answers
335k views

Is this Batman equation for real?

HardOCP has an image with an equation which apparently draws the Batman logo. Is this for real?
33
votes
8answers
1k views

Does $G\cong G/H$ imply that $H$ is trivial?

Let $G$ be any group such that $$G\cong G/H$$ where $H$ is a normal subgroup of $G$. If $G$ is finite, then $H$ is the trivial subgroup $\{e\}$. Does the result still hold when $G$ is infinite ? In ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

Evaluating $\int P(\sin x, \cos x) \text{d}x$

Suppose $\displaystyle P(x,y)$ a polynomial in the variables $x,y$. For example, $\displaystyle x^4$ or $\displaystyle x^3y^2 + 3xy + 1$. Is there a general method which allows us to evaluate the ...
43
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Lagrange's theorem the most basic result in finite group theory?

Motivated by this question, can one prove that the order of an element in a finite group divides the order of the group without using Lagrange's theorem? (Or, equivalently, that the order of the group ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Highest power of a prime $p$ dividing $N!$

How does one find the highest power of a prime $p$ that divides $N!$ and other related products? Related question: How many zeros are there at the end of $N!$? This is being done to reduce ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Construction of a Borel set with positive but not full measure in each interval

I was wondering how one can construct a Borel set that doesn't have full measure on any interval of the real line but does have positive measure everywhere. To be precise, if $\mu$ denotes Lebesgue ...
15
votes
1answer
817 views

About a paper of Zermelo

This about the famous article Zermelo, E., Beweis, daß jede Menge wohlgeordnet werden kann, Math. Ann. 59 (4), 514–516 (1904), available here. Edit: Springer link to the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Finite Sum of Power?

Sorry for the remedial math but: Can someone tell me how to get a closed form for $$\sum_{k=1}^n k^x$$ For $x = 1$, it's just the classic $n(n+1)/2$. What is it for $x > 1$?
6
votes
7answers
511 views

How to show that $\lim_{n \to +\infty} n^{\frac{1}{n}} = 1$?

I've spent the better part of this day trying to show from first principles that this sequence tends to 1. Could anyone give me an idea of how I can approach this problem? $$ \lim_{n \to +\infty} ...
0
votes
2answers
997 views

Determine and classify all singular points

Determine and find residues for all singular points $z\in \mathbb{C}$ for (i) $\frac{1}{z\sin(2z)}$ (ii) $\frac{1}{1-e^{-z}}$ Note: I have worked out (i), but (ii) seems still not easy.
38
votes
8answers
1k 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. ...
36
votes
16answers
3k views

In classical logic, why is$ (p\Rightarrow q)$ True if both p and q are False?

I am studying entailment in classical first-order logic. The Truth Table we have been presented with for the statement $(p \Rightarrow q)\;$ (a.k.a. '$p$ implies $q$') is: ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Taking Seats on a Plane

This is a neat little problem that I was discussing today with my lab group out at lunch. Not particularly difficult but interesting implications nonetheless Imagine there are a 100 people in line to ...
28
votes
4answers
3k views

Probability for the length of the longest run in $n$ Bernoulli trials

Suppose a biased coin (probability of head being $p$) was flipped $n$ times. I would like to find the probability that the length of the longest run of heads, say $\ell_n$, exceeds a given number $m$, ...
27
votes
14answers
24k views

In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?

In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls? I just dipped into a book, The Drunkard's Walk - How Randomness Rules Our Lives, ...
24
votes
1answer
803 views

How does $ \sum_{p<x} p^{-s} $ grow asymptotically for $ \text{Re}(s) < 1 $?

Note the $ p < x $ in the sum stands for all primes less than $ x $. I know that for $ s=1 $, $$ \sum_{p<x} \frac{1}{p} \sim \ln \ln x , $$ and for $ \mathrm{Re}(s) > 1 $, the partial sums ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Limit of $L^p$ norm

Could someone help me prove that given a measure space $(X, \mathcal{M}, \sigma)$ and a measurable function $f:X\to\mathbb{R}$ in $L^{\infty}$ and some $L^{q}$, ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Proof that a Combination is an integer

From its definition a combination $(^n_k)$, is the number of distinct subsets of size k from a set of n elements. This is clearly an integer, however I was curious as to why the equation ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

The product of n consecutive integers is divisible by n factorial

How can we prove that the product of n consecutive integers is divisible by n factorial? Note: In this subsequent question and the comments here the OP has clarified that he seeks a proof that ...
12
votes
3answers
852 views

The cartesian product $\mathbb{N} \times \mathbb{N}$ is countable

I'm examining a proof I have read that claims to show that the Cartesian product $\mathbb{N} \times \mathbb{N}$ is countable, and as part of this proof, I am looking to show that the given map is ...

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