# 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 finding out what is $\overline{A}$ of this given set. And if $\overline{A} = [-1,1]$, we are through with the proof, but i having trouble here!

Similarly can one do this with cosine function also, that is proving $B= \{ \cos{n} \ : \ n \in \mathbb{N}\}$ being dense in $[-1,1]$

The hard part is to show that for any $x$ such that $0 \le x \le 2\pi$, and any $\epsilon>0$ there exists a real number $y$ and two integers $m$ and $n$ such that $|y-x|<\epsilon$ and $n=2\pi m+y$. Hint: break up $[0,2\pi]$ into small subintervals, remember that $\pi$ is irrational and apply the pigeonhole principle.

• how do you apply pigeonhole principle to solve this problem? thanks Aug 18, 2018 at 5:12
• Can you please elaborate or provide a reference Feb 19, 2019 at 5:34

Jmoy's is a good hint, but I think an even nicer approach is to prove that the points $(\cos n,\sin n)$ are dense on the unit circle, and then deduce the results for the individual terms.

• Can you prove this for me! I really appreciate this idea!
– anonymous
Sep 16, 2010 at 11:37
• From a more advanced perspective, it's a special case of an "irrational rotation" (since 1 is not a rational multiple of $2\pi$). See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrational_rotation . Many standard books on dynamical systems prove that the orbit of any point under an irrational rotation is dense on the circle. However, there are more direct proofs of the original question that appear in real analysis books and don't use the dynamics language. Sep 16, 2010 at 11:43

Try proving that for any irrational number $\alpha$, the set $A=\left \{ a+b\alpha \mid a\in \mathbb{N},b\in \mathbb{Z} \right \}$ is dense in $\mathbb{R}$. Let $\alpha =\pi$. Since the set $A$ is dense in $\mathbb{R}$, $\forall \; x\in \mathbb{R}$, there exists a sequence of terms $(z_{n})$ such that $\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty }\left ( z_{n} \right )=x$.

$(z_{n})$ can be written as the sum of two sequences of integers.

$z_{n} = x_{n} + \pi y_{n}$.

Use the continuity of $\sin(x)$, to show that a sequence from the set $\left \{\sin (n)\mid n\in \mathbb{N} \right \}$ converges to every element of $[-1,1]$.

• How shall we prove the set A is dense .. I mean it's not that obvious Feb 19, 2019 at 5:08
• @Aaqib Iqbal...use periodicity of sine. Aug 26, 2019 at 7:37
• I believe $\alpha$ should be $2\pi$ instead of $\pi$. A proof of the first sentence may be found at this link. Feb 19, 2021 at 9:11

While searching on google, i got this JSTOR link: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2688681 which answers the question in an intricate way.

An elementary proof of the fact that the set ${n+\pi k}$, $n,k\in \Bbb{Z}$ is dense in reals is equivalent to showing that the subgroup $\Bbb{Z}+\pi\Bbb{Z}$ is dense in the additive group of real line. See for detail of the proof in Theorem 0.2 in the following