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Questions tagged [inequality]

Questions on proving, manipulating and applying inequalities.

246
votes
2answers
13k views

How does one prove the determinant inequality $\det\left(6(A^3+B^3+C^3)+I_{n}\right)\ge 5^n\det(A^2+B^2+C^2)$?

Let $\,A,B,C\in M_{n}(\mathbb C)\,$ be Hermitian and positive-definite matrices such that $A+B+C=I_{n},$ where $I_{n}$ is the identity matrix. Show that $$\det\left(6(A^3+B^3+C^3)+I_{n}\right)\...
120
votes
10answers
18k views

Is the blue area greater than the red area?

Problem: A vertex of one square is pegged to the centre of an identical square, and the overlapping area is blue. One of the squares is then rotated about the vertex and the resulting overlap is ...
91
votes
7answers
10k views

Prove $\left(\frac{2}{5}\right)^{\frac{2}{5}}<\ln{2}$

Inadvertently, I find this interesting inequality. But this problem have nice solution? prove that $$\ln{2}>(\dfrac{2}{5})^{\frac{2}{5}}$$ This problem have nice solution? Thank you. ago,I find ...
90
votes
5answers
5k views

Prove elementarily that $\sqrt[n+1] {(n+1)!} - \sqrt[n] {n!}$ is strictly decreasing

Prove without calculus that the sequence $$L_{n}=\sqrt[n+1] {(n+1)!} - \sqrt[n] {n!}, \space n\in \mathbb N$$ is strictly decreasing.
82
votes
1answer
3k views

Is this continuous analogue to the AM–GM inequality true?

First let us remind ourselves of the statement of the AM–GM inequality: Theorem: (AM–GM Inequality) For any sequence $(x_n)$ of $N\geqslant 1$ non-negative real numbers, we have $$\frac1N\sum_k x_k ...
82
votes
12answers
24k views

Olympiad Inequality $\sum\limits_{cyc} \frac{x^4}{8x^3+5y^3} \geqslant \frac{x+y+z}{13}$

$x,y,z >0$, prove $$\frac{x^4}{8x^3+5y^3}+\frac{y^4}{8y^3+5z^3}+\frac{z^4}{8z^3+5x^3} \geqslant \frac{x+y+z}{13}$$ Note: Often Stack Exchange asked to show some work before answering the ...
81
votes
18answers
19k views

Proofs of AM-GM inequality

The arithmetic - geometric mean inequality states that $$\frac{x_1+ \ldots + x_n}{n} \geq \sqrt[n]{x_1 \cdots x_n}$$ I'm looking for some original proofs of this inequality. I can find the usual ...
80
votes
4answers
124k views

Reverse Triangle Inequality Proof

I've seen the full proof of the Triangle Inequality \begin{equation*} |x+y|\le|x|+|y|. \end{equation*} However, I haven't seen the proof of the reverse triangle inequality: \begin{equation*} ||x|-|...
79
votes
24answers
14k views

Simplest or nicest proof that $1+x \le e^x$

The elementary but very useful inequality that $1+x \le e^x$ for all real $x$ has a number of different proofs, some of which can be found online. But is there a particularly slick, intuitive or ...
79
votes
11answers
10k views

Comparing $\pi^e$ and $e^\pi$ without calculating them

How can I calculate, without calculator or similar device, the values of $\pi^e$ and $e^\pi$ in order to compare them?
68
votes
8answers
5k views

How can one prove that $e<\pi$?

This question is inspired by another one, asking to prove that something approximately equal to $1.2$ is bigger than something approximately equal to $0.9$. The numerical answer to this question was (...
68
votes
2answers
6k views

Fastest way to check if $x^y > y^x$?

What is the fastest way to check if $x^y > y^x$ if I were writing a computer program to do that? The issue is that $x$ and $y$ can be very large.
67
votes
29answers
15k views

How to explain for my daughter that $\frac {2}{3}$ is greater than $\frac {3}{5}$?

I was really upset while I was trying to explain for my daughter that $\frac 23$ is greater than $\frac 35$ and she always claimed that $(3$ is greater than $2$ and $5$ is greater than $3)$ then $\...
67
votes
8answers
26k views

Much less than, what does that mean?

What exactly does $\ll$ mean? I am familiar that this symbol means much less than. ...but what exactly does "much less than" mean? (Or the corollary, $\gg$) On Wikipedia, the example they use is ...
66
votes
8answers
6k views

What is Cauchy Schwarz in 8th grade terms?

I'm an 8th grader. After browsing aops.com, a math contest website, I've seen a lot of problems solved by Cauchy Schwarz. I'm only in geometry (have not started learning trigonometry yet). So can ...
64
votes
5answers
8k views

If $a+b=1$ so $a^{4b^2}+b^{4a^2}\leq1$

Let $a$ and $b$ be positive numbers such that $a+b=1$. Prove that: $$a^{4b^2}+b^{4a^2}\leq1$$ I think this inequality is very interesting because the equality "occurs" for $a=b=\frac{1}{2}$ and ...
60
votes
13answers
16k views

Why does $\frac{1}{x} < 4$ have two answers?

Solving $\frac{1}{x} < 4$ gives me $x > \frac{1}{4}$. The book however states the answer is: $x < 0$ or $x > \frac{1}{4}$. My questions are: Why does this inequality has two answers (...
56
votes
2answers
1k views

How prove this inequality $\sin{\sin{\sin{\sin{x}}}}\le\frac{4}{5}\cos{\cos{\cos{\cos{x}}}}$

Nice Question: let $x\in [0,2\pi]$, show that: $$\sin{\sin{\sin{\sin{x}}}}\le\dfrac{4}{5}\cos{\cos{\cos{\cos{x}}}}?$$ I know this follow famous problem(1995 Russia Mathematical olympiad) $$\...
55
votes
6answers
11k views

Why does the Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality even have a name?

When I came across the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality the other day, I found it really weird that this was its own thing, and it had lines upon lines of proof. I've always thought the geometric definition ...
55
votes
3answers
7k views

A very general method for proving inequalities. Too good to be true?

Update I 'repaired' this method, but it changed a lot and I have some different questions, so I posted it separately here. As training for the olympiad, I have to solve a lot of inequalities. ...
54
votes
16answers
7k views

Which is larger? $20!$ or $2^{40}$?

Someone asked me this question, and it bothers the hell out of me that I can't prove either way. I've sort of come to the conclusion that 20! must be larger, because it has 36 prime factors, some of ...
52
votes
11answers
16k views

Which of the numbers $1, 2^{1/2}, 3^{1/3}, 4^{1/4}, 5^{1/5}, 6^{1/6} , 7^{1/7}$ is largest, and how to find out without calculator?

$1, 2^{1/2}, 3^{1/3}, 4^{1/4}, 5^{1/5}, 6^{1/6} , 7^{1/7}$. I got this question in an Application of Derivatives test. I think log might be used here to compare the values, but even then the values ...
50
votes
5answers
4k views

Inequality from Chapter 5 of the book *How to Think Like a Mathematician*

This is from the book How to think like a Mathematician, How can I prove the inequality $$\sqrt[\large 7]{7!} < \sqrt[\large 8]{8!}$$ without complicated calculus? I tried and finally obtained ...
48
votes
5answers
2k views

AM-GM-HM Triplets

I want to understand what values can be simultaneously attained as the arithmetic (AM), geometric (GM), and harmonic (HM) means of finite sequences of positive real numbers. Precisely, for what points ...
46
votes
14answers
3k views

Simplest way to get the lower bound $\pi > 3.14$

Inspired from this answer and my comment to it, I seek alternative ways to establish $\pi>3.14$. The goal is to achieve simpler/easy to understand approaches as well as to minimize the calculations ...
46
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you prove Gautschi's inequality for the gamma function?

A few answers here on math.SE have used as an intermediate step the following inequality that is due to Walter Gautschi: $$x^{1-s} < \frac{\Gamma(x+1)}{\Gamma(x+s)} < (x+1)^{1-s},\qquad x > ...
44
votes
13answers
6k views

How to prove that $\log(x)<x$ when $x>1$?

It's very basic but I'm having trouble to find a way to prove this inequality $\log(x)<x$ when $x>1$ ($\log(x)$ is the natural logarithm) I can think about the two graphs but I can't find ...
43
votes
8answers
17k views

How to prove and interpret $\operatorname{rank}(AB) \leq \operatorname{min}(\operatorname{rank}(A), \operatorname{rank}(B))$?

Let $A$ and $B$ be two matrices which can be multiplied. Then $$\operatorname{rank}(AB) \leq \operatorname{min}(\operatorname{rank}(A), \operatorname{rank}(B)).$$ I proved $\operatorname{rank}(AB) \...
43
votes
2answers
1k views

there exist infinite many $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $S_n-[S_n]<\frac{1}{n^2}$

recent conjecture :Let $S_n=1+\frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{3}+\ldots+\frac{1}{n}$, where $n$ is a positive integer. Prove that :there exist infinite many $n\in\mathbb{N^{+}}$ such that $$S_n-[S_n]<\dfrac{1}...
43
votes
3answers
2k views

A generalization of IMO 1983 problem 6

Note: This question has a bounty that will expire in just a few days. Let $a,b,c$ and $d$ be the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral. Show that $$ab^2(b-c)+bc^2(c-d)+cd^2(d-a)+da^2(a-b)\ge 0$$ ...
42
votes
2answers
12k views

How do you show that $l_p \subset l_q$ for $p \leq q$?

I can't seem to work out the inequality $(\sum |x_n|^q)^{1/q} \leq (\sum |x_n|^p)^{1/p}$ for $p \leq q$ (which I'm assuming is the way to go about it).
42
votes
3answers
3k views

Inequality for expected value

A colleague popped into my office this afternoon and asked me the following question. He told me there is a clever proof when $n=2$. I couldn't do anything with it, so I thought I'd post it here and ...
42
votes
1answer
5k views

A proof of the Isoperimetric Inequality - how does it work?

Here is a nice proof of the isoperimetric inequality (equality part ommited): Isoperimetric Inequality If $\gamma$ is any simple closed piecewise $C^1$ curve of length $l$, with it's interior having ...
41
votes
8answers
4k views

Inequality: $(a^3+a+1)(b^3+b+1)(c^3+c+1) \leq 27$

Let be $a,b,c \geq 0$ such that: $a^2+b^2+c^2=3$. Prove that: $$(a^3+a+1)(b^3+b+1)(c^3+c+1) \leq 27.$$ I try to apply $GM \leq AM$ for $x=a^3+a+1$, $y=b^3+b+1,z=c^3+c+1$ and $$\displaystyle \...
40
votes
2answers
1k views

Possible distinct positive real $x,y,z \neq 1$ with $x^{(y^z)} = y^{(z^x)} = z^{(x^y)}$ in cyclic permutation?

Can we have distinct positive real $x,y,z \neq 1$ with $$ x^{\left( y^z \right)} = y^{\left( z^x \right)} = z^{\left( x^y \right)} $$ in cyclic permutation? It does not work well if any ...
39
votes
1answer
981 views

Stronger version of AMM problem 11145 (April 2005)?

How to show that for $a_1,a_2,\cdots,a_n >0$ real numbers and for $n \ge 3$: $$\sum_{k=1}^{n}\dfrac{k}{a_{1}+a_{2}+\cdots+a_{k}}\le\left(2-\dfrac{7\ln{2}}{8\ln{n}}\right)\sum_{k=1}^{n}\dfrac{1}{...
38
votes
9answers
123k views

Proof of triangle inequality

I understand intuitively that this is true, but I'm embarrassed to say I'm having a hard time constructing a rigorous proof that $|a+b| \leq |a|+|b|$. Any help would be appreciated :)
38
votes
4answers
13k views

Purely “algebraic” proof of Young's Inequality

Young's inequality states that if $a, b \geq 0$, $p, q > 0$, and $\frac{1}{p} + \frac{1}{q} = 1$, then $$ab\leq \frac{a^p}{p} + \frac{b^q}{q}$$ (with equality only when $a^p = b^q$). Back when I ...
38
votes
7answers
3k views

$x,y,z \geqslant 0$, $x+y^2+z^3=1$, prove $x^2y+y^2z+z^2x < \frac12$

$x,y,z \geqslant 0$, $x+y^2+z^3=1$, prove $$x^2y+y^2z+z^2x < \frac12$$ This inequality has been verified by Mathematica. $\frac12$ is not the best bound. I try to do AM-GM for this one but not ...
38
votes
5answers
1k views

Prove inequality $\arccos \left( \frac{\sin 1-\sin x}{1-x} \right) \leq \sqrt{\frac{1+x+x^2}{3}}$

I was trying to figure out if the following function can serve as a mean (see mean value theorem): $$\arccos \left( \frac{\sin y-\sin x}{y-x} \right)$$ And turns out that for $x,y \leq \pi$ it does ...
37
votes
10answers
5k views

Why does this way of solving inequalities work?

Here is what I had to prove. Question: For positive reals $a$ and $b$ prove that $a^2+b^2 \geq 2ab$. Here is how my teacher did it: First assume that it is in fact, true that $a^2+b^2 \geq 2ab$. ...
37
votes
4answers
2k views

Which is bigger: $9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9}}}}}}}}}$ or $9!!!!!!!!!$?

In my classes I sometimes have a contest concerning who can write the largest number in ten symbols. It almost never comes up, but I'm torn between two "best" answers: a stack of ten 9's (exponents) ...
37
votes
2answers
2k views

Prove that $a\sqrt{a^2+bc}+b\sqrt{b^2+ac}+c\sqrt{c^2+ab}\geq\sqrt{2(a^2+b^2+c^2)(ab+ac+bc)}$

Let $a$, $b$ and $c$ be non-negative numbers. Prove that: $$a\sqrt{a^2+bc}+b\sqrt{b^2+ac}+c\sqrt{c^2+ab}\geq\sqrt{2(a^2+b^2+c^2)(ab+ac+bc)}.$$ I have a proof, but my proof is very ugly: it's ...
37
votes
1answer
1k views

Prove this inequality with $xyz\le 1$

if $x,y,z>0$ and $\color{red}{xyz\le 1}$, show that $$\color{blue}{\dfrac{x^2-x+1}{x^2+y^2+1}+\dfrac{y^2-y+1}{y^2+z^2+1} +\dfrac{z^2-z+1}{z^2+x^2+1}\ge 1}$$
36
votes
3answers
1k views

A combinatorial proof of $n^n(n+2)^{n+1}>(n+1)^{2n+1}$?

The statement is simply that the sequence $\left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^n$ is increasing. Since the numbers $n^m$ have quite natural combinatorial interpretations, it makes me wonder if a ...
36
votes
1answer
1k views

How prove this geometry inequality $R_1^4+R_2^4+R_3^4+R_4^4+R_5^4\geq {4\over 5\sin^2 108^\circ}S^2$

Zhautykov Olympiad 2015 problem 6 This links discusses the olympiad problem which none of students could solve , meaning it is very hard. Question: The area of a convex pentagon $ABCDE$ is $S$, ...
36
votes
4answers
2k views

Proving that $e^{\pi}-{\pi}^e\lt 1$ without using a calculator

Prove that $e^{\pi}-{\pi}^e\lt 1$ without using a calculator. I did in the following way. Are there other ways? Proof : Let $f(x)=e\pi\frac{\ln x}{x}$. Then, $$e^{\pi}-{\pi}^e=e^{f(e)}-{e}^{f(\pi)}...
35
votes
16answers
4k views

Which one is bigger: $\;35{,}043 × 25{,}430\,$ or $\,35{,}430 × 25{,}043\;$?

Which of the two quantities is greater? Quantity A: $\;\;35{,}043 × 25{,}430$ Quantity B: $\;\;35{,}430 × 25{,}043$ What is the best and quickest way to get the answer without using ...
34
votes
10answers
3k views

If both $a,b>0$, then $a^ab^b \ge a^bb^a$ [closed]

Prove that $a^a \ b^b \ge a^b \ b^a$, if both $a$ and $b$ are positive.
34
votes
7answers
19k views

prove that $\frac{(2n)!}{(n!)^2}$ is even if $n$ is a positive integer

Prove that $\frac{(2n)!}{(n!)^2}$ is even if $n$ is a positive integer. For clarity: the denominator is the only part being squared. My thought process: The numerator is the product of the ...