Questions tagged [proof-writing]

For questions about the formulation of a proof. This tag should not be the only tag for a question and should not be used to ask for a proof of a statement.

19
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5answers
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Proof writing: how to write a clear induction proof?

What is an effective way to write induction proofs? Essentially, are there any good examples or templates of induction proofs that may be helpful (for beginners, non-English-native students, etc.)? ...
51
votes
13answers
12k views

How can you prove that the square root of two is irrational?

I have read a few proofs that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational. I have never, however, been able to really grasp what they were talking about. Is there a simplified proof that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational?
19
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2answers
15k views

Prove the inequality $n! \geq 2^n$ by induction

I'm having difficulty solving an exercise in my course. The question is: Prove that $n!\geq 2^n$. We have to do this by induction. I started like this: The lowest natural number where the ...
100
votes
5answers
23k views

Can an irrational number raised to an irrational power be rational?

Can an irrational number raised to an irrational power be rational? If it can be rational, how can one prove it?
28
votes
2answers
14k views

Proof: How many digits does a number have? $\lfloor \log_{10} n \rfloor +1$

I read recently that you can find the number of digits in a number through the formula $\lfloor \log_{10} n \rfloor +1$ What's the logic behind this rather what's the proof?
38
votes
3answers
57k views

Prove: If a sequence converges, then every subsequence converges to the same limit.

I need some help understanding this proof: Prove: If a sequence converges, then every subsequence converges to the same limit. Proof: Let $s_{n_k}$ denote a subsequence of $s_n$. Note that $n_k \...
314
votes
14answers
18k views

Can every proof by contradiction also be shown without contradiction?

Are there some proofs that can only be shown by contradiction or can everything that can be shown by contradiction also be shown without contradiction? What are the advantage/disadvantages of proving ...
13
votes
4answers
26k views

Sum of $k {n \choose k}$ is $n2^{n-1}$

Proof that $\suṃ̣_{k=1}^{n}k {n \choose k}$ for $n \in \mathbb N$ is equal to $n2^{n-1}$. As a hint I got that $k {n \choose k} = n {n-1\choose k-1} $. I tried solving this by induction but, in the ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

$A \oplus B = A \oplus C$ imply $B = C$?

I don't quite yet understand how $\oplus$ (xor) works yet. I know that fundamentally in terms of truth tables it means only 1 value(p or q) can be true, but not both. But when it comes to solving ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

prove $\sqrt{a_n b_n}$ and $\frac{1}{2}(a_n+b_n)$ have same limit

I am given this problem: let $a\ge0$,$b\ge0$, and the sequences $a_n$ and $b_n$ are defined in this way: $a_0:=a$, $b_0:=b$ and $a_{n+1}:= \sqrt{a_nb_n}$ and $b_{n+1}:=\frac{1}{2}(a_n+b_n)$ for all $n\...
51
votes
7answers
30k views

how to be good at proving?

I'm starting my Discrete Math class, and I was taught proving techniques such as proof by contradiction, contrapositive proof, proof by construction, direct proof, equivalence proof etc. I know how ...
13
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2answers
13k views

Differentiability implies continuity - A question about the proof

I have a question, to aid my understanding, about the proof that differentiabiility implies continutity. Differentiability Definition When we say a function is differentiable at $x_0$, we mean that ...
4
votes
4answers
15k views

Sum of cubes proof [duplicate]

Prove that for any natural number n the following equality holds: $$ (1+2+ \ldots + n)^2 = 1^3 + 2^3 + \ldots + n^3 $$ I think it has something to do with induction?
40
votes
3answers
7k views

How would one be able to prove mathematically that $1+1 = 2$?

Is it possible to prove that $1+1 = 2$? Or rather, how would one prove this algebraically or mathematically?
16
votes
2answers
9k views

Inductive Proof for Vandermonde's Identity?

I am reading up on Vandermonde's Identity, and so far I have found proofs for the identity using combinatorics, sets, and other methods. However, I am trying to find a proof that utilizes mathematical ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

Logarithm proof problem: $a^{\log_b c} = c^{\log_b a}$

I have been hit with a homework problem that I just have no idea how to approach. Any help from you all is very much appreciated. Here is the problem Prove the equation: $a^{\log_b c} = c^{\log_b a}$ ...
18
votes
2answers
24k views

What exactly is the difference between weak and strong induction?

I am having trouble seeing the difference between weak and strong induction. There are a few examples in which we can see the difference, such as reaching the $k^{th}$ rung of a ladder and proving ...
15
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4answers
11k views

$f\geq 0$, continuous and $\int_a^b f=0$ implies $f=0$ everywhere on $[a,b]$

This is problem 6.2 from the 3rd edition of Principles of Mathematical Analysis. Problem 6.2: Suppose $f\geq 0$, f is continuous on $[a, b]$, and $\int_a^b f(x) \, dx = 0$. Prove that $f(x)=0$ for ...
12
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5answers
4k views

Show that if $g \circ f$ is injective, then so is $f$.

The Problem: Let $X, Y, Z$ be sets and $f: X \to Y, g:Y \to Z$ be functions. (a) Show that if $g \circ f$ is injective, then so is $f$. (b) If $g \circ f$ is surjective, must $g$ be surjective? ...
12
votes
2answers
13k views

Prove that $\mathcal{P}(A)⊆ \mathcal{P}(B)$ if and only if $A⊆B$. [duplicate]

Here is my proof, I would appreciate it if someone could critique it for me: To prove this statement true, we must proof that the two conditional statements ("If $\mathcal{P}(A)⊆ \mathcal{P}(B)$, ...
0
votes
1answer
489 views

Proving the Apollonian circle formula

Proposition: Let: $c,d\in\mathbb{C} \space : c\neq d$ Then: $\forall k \in \mathbb{R}^{+}\setminus\{1\} \forall z \in \mathbb{C}: |z-c|=k|z-d|$ represents Appolonius circle. What was already done: ...
20
votes
3answers
143k views

Limit of $(1+ x/n)^n$ when $n$ tends to infinity [duplicate]

Does anyone know the exact proof of this limit result? $$\lim_{n\to\infty} \left(1+\frac{x}{n}\right)^n = e^x$$
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Prove that $1^2+2^2+\cdots+n^2=\frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$ for $n \in \mathbb{N}$.

Problem: Prove that $1^2+2^2+\cdots+n^2=\frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$ for $n \in \mathbb{N}$. My work: So I think I have to do a proof by induction and I just wanted some help editing my proof. My attempt:...
18
votes
3answers
570 views

Showing that $1^k+2^k + \dots + n^k$ is divisible by $n(n+1)\over 2$

For any odd positive integer $k\geq1$, the sum $1^k+2^k + \dots + n^k$ is divisible by $n(n+1)\over 2$. I used induction principle for the solution but cannot prove it. I took $P(k) = 1^k+2^k+\dots+...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

Prove the integral of $f$ is positive if $f ≥ 0$, $f$ continuous at $x_0$ and $f(x_0)>0$

Prove that $\int_a^b f(x)\,dx \gt 0$ if $f \geq 0$ for all $x \in [a,b]$ and $f$ is continuous at $x_0 \in [a,b]$ and $f(x_0) \gt 0$ EDIT. Please ignore below. It is very confusing actually -.- ...
2
votes
4answers
25k views

Proof by induction that $ \sum_{i=1}^n 3i-2 = \frac{n(3n-1)}{2} $ [closed]

I'm starting to understand how induction works (with the whole $k \to k+1$ thing), but I'm not exactly sure how summations play a role. I'm a bit confused by this question specifically: $$ \sum_{i=1}^...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

how to prove $f^{-1}(B_1 \cap B_2) = f^{-1}(B_1) \cap f^{-1}(B_2)$

I am given this equation: $f^{-1}(B_1 \cap B_2) = f^{-1}(B_1) \cap f^{-1}(B_2)$ I want to prove it: what i did is I take any $a \in f^{-1}(B_1 \cap B_2)$, then there is $b \in (B_1 \cap B_2)$ so ...
4
votes
1answer
448 views

Is the proof I am using, sufficient/ correct for the system of equation?

I want to ask MSE to confirm the correctness of the alternate solution and its mistake. I know possible solution: https://math.stackexchange.com/a/2557094/456510 If $x,y,z\in {\mathbb R}$, Solve ...
3
votes
2answers
17k views

Proving $\sum_{i=0}^n 2^i=2^{n+1}-1$ by induction. [duplicate]

Firstly, this is a homework problem so please do not just give an answer away. Hints and suggestions are really all I'm looking for. I must prove the following using mathematical induction: For ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I prove the completeness of $\ell^p$?

Say $\{x_n\}$ is Cauchy in $\ell^p$ and $x$ is its pointwise limit. To argue that $x \in \ell^p$ would the following be correct: Let $\varepsilon > 0$ and let $N$ be s.t. $n,m > N$ $\Rightarrow$...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Prove that $\cot^2{(\pi/7)} + \cot^2{(2\pi/7)} + \cot^2{(3\pi/7)} = 5$

Prove that $\cot^2{(\pi/7)} + \cot^2{(2\pi/7)} + \cot^2{(3\pi/7)} = 5$ . I am sure this is derived from using roots of unity and Euler's complex number function, but I am very uncomfortable in these ...
1
vote
4answers
22k views

proof by induction: sum of binomial coefficients $\sum_{k=0}^n (^n_k) = 2^n$ [duplicate]

Question: Prove that the sum of the binomial coefficients for the nth power of $(x + y)$ is $2^n$. i.e. the sum of the numbers in the $(n + 1)^{st}$ row of Pascal’s Triangle is $2^n$ i.e. prove $$\...
8
votes
6answers
8k 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 $(a-b) \mid (a^n-b^n)$. ...
7
votes
9answers
491 views

Proving $\gcd \left(\frac{a}{\gcd (a,b)},\frac{b}{\gcd (a,b)}\right)=1$

How would you go about proving that $$\gcd \left(\frac{a}{\gcd (a,b)},\frac{b}{\gcd (a,b)}\right)=1$$ for any two integers $a$ and $b$? Intuitively it is true because when you divide $a$ and $b$ by $...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Intuition of Addition Formula for Sine and Cosine

The proof of two angles for sine function is derived using $$\sin(A+B)=\sin A\cos B+\sin B\cos A$$ and $$\cos(A+B)=\cos A\cos B-\sin A\sin B$$ for cosine function. I know how to derive both of the ...
9
votes
3answers
293 views

Stuck with proof for $\forall A\forall B(\mathcal{P}(A)\cup\mathcal{P}(B)=\mathcal{P}(A\cup B)\rightarrow A\subseteq B \vee B\subseteq A)$

I came to point where I suppose for case 1 that $A\subseteq B$ and conclusion is trivial. For case 2 I suppose that $A\not\subseteq B$ and try to prove $B\subseteq A$, but that gets me nowhere. Any ...
4
votes
4answers
11k views

Proving the sum of the first $n$ natural numbers by induction [duplicate]

I am currently studying proving by induction but I am faced with a problem. I need to solve by induction the following question. $$1+2+3+\ldots+n=\frac{1}{2}n(n+1)$$ for all $n > 1$. Any ...
-2
votes
1answer
642 views

Singular value decomposition proof

I need help in the following question. I'm not sure how to even begin to answer this. What is a possible proof for the following question? If $A$ is an $m \times n$ matrix and $b$ is an $m$-vector, ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

H0w t0 prove that periodic decimal numbers are rational? $a_1…a_k(b_1b_2..b_l)={m \over n}$

Given $a_1...a_k(b_1b_2..b_l)={m \over n}$ how can I prove that periodic decimal numbers are rational? Where do I even begin?
67
votes
4answers
4k views

A strange integral: $\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} {dx \over 1 + \left(x + \tan x\right)^2} = \pi.$

While browsing on Integral and Series, I found a strange integral posted by @Sangchul Lee. His post doesn't have a response for more than a month, so I decide to post it here. I hope he doesn't mind ...
35
votes
8answers
172k views

What is the integral of 0?

I am trying to convince my friend that the integral of $0$ is $C$, where $C$ is an arbitrary constant. He can't seem to grasp this concept. Can you guys help me out here? He keeps saying it is $0$.
25
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1answer
4k views

Prove that the multiplicative groups $\mathbb{R} - \{0\}$ and $\mathbb{C} - \{0\}$ are not isomorphic.

Is my proof correct? I have made use of the fact isomorphism preserves order of elements, which I proved couple of exercises back. I am also interested in other ways of proving it. Is there a more ...
9
votes
2answers
17k views

Proof of $\gcd(a,b)=ax+by$

Here is my proof of $\gcd(a,b)=ax+by$ for $a, b, x, y \in \mathbb{Z}$. Am I doing something wrong? Are there easier proofs? $a,b \in \mathbb{Z}, g=\gcd(a,b)$ and suppose $g \neq ax + by$. Let $c$ be ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Proving an infinite number of primes of the form 6n+1

The proofs given on other sites weren't that clear and used different methods that I have yet to learn. Prove that there are an infinite number of primes of the form 6n+1. The hint that was given ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Complex numbers - Exponential numbers - Proof

Let $z$ be a complex number, and let $n$ be a positive integer such that $z^n = (z + 1)^n = 1$. Prove that $n$ is divisible by 6. For this problem I am stumped...how should I begin? Also there's a ...
3
votes
2answers
993 views

Infinum & Supremum: An Analysis on Relatedness

$\require{color}$ Question: I need some help in proving that $\color{green}{\text{if $k\geq 0$, then $\sup (kS) = k\sup(S)$ and $\inf (kS) = k\inf (S)$}}$, and also that $\color{red}{\text{if $k<...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

If $\gcd(a,n) = 1$ and $\gcd(b,n) = 1$, then $\gcd(ab,n) = 1$. [duplicate]

If $\gcd(a,n) = 1$ and $\gcd(b,n) = 1$, then $\gcd(ab,n) = 1$. Also... $a,b$ and $n$ are natural numbers. I feel I should begin with EEA to multiply out the gcd's, but I don't know where to go from ...
5
votes
4answers
3k 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: $n \rightarrow n+1:$ $(n+1)²\...
3
votes
3answers
382 views

Prove $A = (A \setminus B) \cup (A \cap B)$

Prove $A = (A \setminus B) \cup (A \cap B)$ Logically, this is clearly true. I can explain why: start with $A$, remove all elements in $B$ and then add in any elements in both $A$ and $B$, which ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Proving the inequality $|a-b| \leq |a-c| + |c-b|$ for real $a,b,c$

Let $a,b,c$ real numbers. Prove the inequality $|a-b| \leq |a-c| + |c-b|$. Prove that equality holds if and only if $a \leq c \leq b$ or $b \leq c \leq a$. I've tried starting with just $a \leq c$ ...