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Questions tagged [rational-numbers]

Questions about numbers expressible as the quotient of two integers. For questions on determining whether a number is rational, use the (rationality-testing) tag instead.

61
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7answers
30k views

Produce an explicit bijection between rationals and naturals?

I remember my professor in college challenging me with this question, which I failed to answer satisfactorily: I know there exists a bijection between the rational numbers and the natural numbers, but ...
14
votes
4answers
18k views

How can I prove that all rational numbers are either terminating decimal or repeating decimal numerals?

I am trying to figure out how to prove that all rational numbers are either terminating decimal or repeating decimal numerals, but I am having a great difficulty in doing so. Any help will be greatly ...
29
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9answers
22k views

Proof that every repeating decimal is rational

Wikipedia claims that every repeating decimal represents a rational number. According to the following definition, how can we prove that fact? Definition: A number is rational if it can be written ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Double limit of $\cos^{2n}(m! \pi x)$ at rationals and irrationals

I stumbled upon this "relation" (is the name correct?): $$ \lim_{m \to \infty} \lim_{n \to \infty} \cos^{2n}(m! \pi x) = \begin{cases} 1,&x\text{ is rational}\\ 0,&x\text{ is irrational}\end{...
37
votes
11answers
3k views

What are the Laws of Rational Exponents?

On Math SE, I've seen several questions which relate to the following. By abusing the laws of exponents for rational exponents, one can come up with any number of apparent paradoxes, in which a number ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

System of linear equations having a real solution has also a rational solution.

I saw this question Let $A ∈ M_{m\times n}(\mathbb{Q})$ and $b ∈ \mathbb{Q}^m$. Suppose that the system of linear equations $Ax = b$ has a solution in $\mathbb{R}^n$. Does it necessarily have a ...
37
votes
3answers
6k views

GCD of rationals

Disclaimer: I'm an engineer, not a mathematician Somebody claimed that $\gcd$ only is applicable for integers, but it seems I'm perfectly able to apply it to rationals also: $$ \gcd\left(\frac{13}{...
32
votes
5answers
35k views

Is there a rational number between any two irrationals?

Suppose $i_1$ and $i_2$ are distinct irrational numbers with $i_1 < i_2$. Is it necessarily the case that there is a rational number $r$ in the interval $[i_1, i_2]$? How would you construct such ...
1
vote
2answers
762 views

Show that $X = \{ (x,y) \in\mathbb{R}^2\mid x \in \mathbb{Q}\text{ or }y \in \mathbb{Q}\}$ is path connected. [duplicate]

How do I show that $X = \left\{ (x,y) \in \mathbb{R}^2 \mid x \in \mathbb{Q}\text{ or }y \in \mathbb{Q}\right\}$ is path connected? Note that $X$ is a topological space with subspace topology $\tau =...
37
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8answers
6k views

Can sum of a rational number and its reciprocal be an integer?

Can sum of a rational number and its reciprocal be an integer? My brother asked me this question and I was unable to answer it. The only trivial solutions which I could think of are $1$ and $-1$. ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why (directly!) does every number divide 9, 99, 999, … or 10, 100, 1000, …, or their product?

A curiosity that's been bugging me. More precisely: Given any integers $b\geq 1$ and $n\geq 2$, there exist integers $0\leq k, l\leq b-1$ such that $b$ divides $n^l(n^k - 1)$ exactly. The question ...
4
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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?
69
votes
2answers
2k views

Representing every positive rational number in the form of $(a^n+b^n)/(c^n+d^n)$

About a month ago, I got the following : For every positive rational number $r$, there exists a set of four positive integers $(a,b,c,d)$ such that $$r=\frac{a^\color{red}{3}+b^\color{red}{3}}{...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Multiplying and adding fractions

Why multiplying fractions is equal to multiply the tops, multiply the bottoms? $$\frac{a}{b}\times \frac{c}{d}=\frac{a\times c}{b \times d},$$ And why $$\frac{a}{b}\times \frac{c}{c}=\frac{a}{b},$$ ...
16
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4answers
6k views

Show that the curve $x^2+y^2-3=0$ has no rational points

Show that the curve $x^2+y^2-3=0$ has no rational points, that is, no points $(x,y)$ with $x,y\in \mathbb{Q}$. Update: Thanks for all the input! I've done my best to incorporate your suggestions and ...
27
votes
2answers
8k views

Is sin(x) necessarily irrational where x is rational?

My friend and I were discussing this and we couldn't figure out how to prove it one way or another. The only rational values I can figure out for $\sin(x)$ (or $\cos(x)$, etc...) come about when $x$ ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Proving the rationals are dense in R

I know this is a common proof. I'm following Rudin's proof and I'm following everything except for one step. Suppose $x, y \in \Bbb R$ and $x < y$. Then there exists an $n \in \Bbb N$ such that $n(...
5
votes
2answers
261 views

Proving that $x$ is irrational if $x-\lfloor x \rfloor + \frac1x - \left\lfloor \frac1x \right\rfloor = 1$

Prove : $$ \text{If } \; x-\lfloor x \rfloor + \frac{1}{x} - \left\lfloor \frac{1}{x} \right\rfloor = 1 \text{, then } x \text{ is irrational.}$$ I think the way to go here is to falsely assume that $...
0
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4answers
520 views

How can I explain $0.999\ldots=1$? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does .99999… = 1? I have to explain $0.999\ldots=1$ to people who don't know limit. How can I explain $0.999\ldots=1$? The common procedure is as follows \begin{align} x&...
78
votes
7answers
26k views

Why is $\frac{987654321}{123456789} = 8.0000000729?!$

Many years ago, I noticed that $987654321/123456789 = 8.0000000729\ldots$. I sent it in to Martin Gardner at Scientific American and he published it in his column!!! My life has gone downhill since ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Additive group of rationals has no minimal generating set

In a comment to Arturo Magidin's answer to this question, Jack Schmidt says that the additive group of the rationals has no minimal generating set. Why does $(\mathbb{Q},+)$ have no minimal ...
14
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3answers
3k views

How can we find and categorize the subgroups of $\mathbb{R}$?

$\newcommand{\R}{\Bbb R}\newcommand{\Q}{\Bbb Q}\newcommand{\Z}{\Bbb Z}$ What are all the subgroups of R = $(\R, +)$ and how can we categorize them? I started thinking about this question last night ...
6
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3answers
140 views

How to show that if $x, y, z$ are rational numbers satisfying $(x + y + z)^3 = 9(x^2y + y^2z +z^2x)$, then $x = y = z$ [closed]

Let $x,y,z$ rationals Show that if $(x+y+z)^3=9(x^2y+y^2z+z^2x)$ then $x=y=z$ I tried this : Let $x$ be the smallest variable Write $y=a+x$ and $z=b+x$ Prove $a=b=0$ by factoring the equation as ...
2
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1answer
591 views

Prove that any two nontrivial subgroups of $\mathbb{Q}$ have nontrivial intersection

I need to prove that any two nontrivial subgroups of $\mathbb{Q}$ have a nontrivial intersection as part of a larger proof that $\mathbb{Q}$ cannot be represented as a nontrivial direct product. (...
1
vote
1answer
370 views

About the continuity of the function $f(x) = \sum\limits_k2^{-k}\mathbf 1_{q_k \leq x}$

Let $q: \mathbb{N} \to \mathbb{Q}$ be a bijection and denote the image of $k \in \mathbb{N}$ by $q_k$. Let $f: \mathbb{R} \to (0,1)$, $$ f(x) = \underset{q_k \leq x}{\sum_{k \in \mathbb{N}}} 2^{-k} $$...
5
votes
2answers
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Can we ever get an irrational number by dividing two rational numbers?

If we try to divide any two random arbitrarily long rational numbers like 103850.2387209375029375092730958297836958623986868349693868398659825528365... and <...
7
votes
4answers
371 views

Are there any natural proofs of irrationality using the decimal characterization?

Mathematicians typically define rational number to mean quotient of two integers. It is not hard to show that a number is rational by that definition if and only if its decimal expansion terminates ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Show that the set of polynomials with rational coefficients is countable.

Problem: Show that the set of polynomials with rational coefficients is countable. Idea: We know that the set of rational numbers is denumerable. This implies that the set of rational numbers is ...
87
votes
12answers
12k views

Why can't calculus be done on the rational numbers?

I was once told that one must have a notion of the reals to take limits of functions. I don't see how this is true since it can be written for all functions from the rationals to the rationals, which ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What do the cosets of $\mathbb{R} / \mathbb{Q}$ look like?

$\newcommand{\R}{\Bbb R}\newcommand{\Q}{\Bbb Q}$ Looking at the group of real numbers under addition $(\R, +)$ it contains the (normal) subgroup of rational numbers $(\Q, +)$. I am wondering how to ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Infinite number of rationals between any two reals.

Let $a$ and $b$ be reals with $a<b$. Show that there are infinitely many rationals $x$ such that $a<x<b$. My plan of action was to assume that $x$ is the smallest such rational and find ...
9
votes
1answer
828 views

Predicting the number of decimal digits needed to express a rational number

The number $1/6$ can be expressed with only two digits (and a repeat sign denoted as $^\overline{}$), $$ \frac{1}{6} = \,.1\overline{6}$$ Meanwhile, it takes 49 digits to express the number $1/221$, ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Proof that Epicycloids are Algebraic Curves?

Epicycloids are most commonly described by the parametric equations, $x(t) = (R + a)\cos(t) – a \cos \left(\frac{R + a}{a} t \right),$ $y(t) = (R + a)\sin(t) – a \sin \left(\frac{R + a}{a} t \right)...
3
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3answers
512 views

Equality of positive rational numbers.

I am reading the second article Rational Numbers of the book "A Treatise on Advanced Calculus" by Philip Franklin. I have mainly 3 questions regarding this article. I am writing all these $3$ ...
2
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1answer
6k views

Prove that the difference between two rational numbers is rational

This is a terribly simple question I'm sure, but I can't find a work-around in my proof. I must prove that the difference between two rational numbers is thus rational. Here is my attempt: Let $a$ ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Show that the ring of all rational numbers, which when written in simplest form has an odd denominator, is a principal ideal domain.

Show that the ring of all rational numbers $m/n$ with $n$ an odd integer is a principal ideal domain. We haven't really discussed principal ideal domains. I've heard that this is easy, but I just ...
4
votes
3answers
814 views

Compute the period of a decimal number a priori [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Upper bound/exact length of decimal expansion of simple fraction I noticed that WolframAlpha given an operation like $\frac{n}{m},\;n,m \in N$ that result in a periodic ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Another polynomial equation

Let $r$ be a root of the polynomial $p(x)=(\sqrt{3}-\sqrt{2})x^3 + \sqrt{2}x-\sqrt{3}+1$. Find another polynomial $q(x)$, with all integer coefficients, such that $q(r)=0$.
11
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1answer
2k views

Show that $\{1, \sqrt{2}, \sqrt{3}\}$ is linearly independent over $\mathbb{Q}$.

My apologies if this question has been asked before, but a quick search gave no results. This is not homework, but I would just like a hint please. The question asks Show that $\{1, \sqrt{2}, \...
2
votes
3answers
209 views

proving $ \sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3 $ is irrational [duplicate]

I need to proof that $\sqrt{3} + \sqrt{2}$ is irrational, without using the fact that an irrational number plus a rational number equals irrational. also, i can't use the rational root theorem. that's ...
12
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2answers
379 views

Given dividend and divisor, can we know the length of nonrepeating part and repeating part?

$13/92=0.14\overline{1304347826086956521739}$ In this example, the length of nonrepeating part is $3$. The length of repeating part (repeating period) is $21$. I collected some properties related to ...
12
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4answers
9k views

Length of period of decimal expansion of a fraction

Each rational number (fraction) can be written as a decimal periodic number. Is there a method or hint to derive the length of the period of an arbitrary fraction? For example $1/3=0.3333...=0.(3)$ ...
8
votes
4answers
966 views

How to obtain all the rational numbers without repetitions?

Some days ago I've seen Cantor's diagonal argument, and it presented a table similar to the following one: $$\begin{matrix} {\frac{1}{1}}&{\frac{1}{2}}&{\frac{1}{3}}&{\frac{1}{4}}&{\...
8
votes
1answer
420 views

For each irrational number $b$, does there exist an irrational number $a$ such that $a^b$ is rational?

It is well known that there exist two irrational numbers $a$ and $b$ such that $a^b$ is rational. By the way, I've been interested in the following two propositions. Proposition 1 : For each ...
5
votes
3answers
292 views

prove that $2\sqrt5 +\sqrt{11}$ is irrational

how would you prove that $2\sqrt5 +\sqrt{11}$ is irrational? I started with a proof by contradiction that assumes that $2\sqrt5 +\sqrt{11}$ is rational and therefore there exist integers $a$ and $b$ ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

How to prove this is a rational number

I'm not sure how to prove this is a rational number $\frac{q}{m}$, can some one show me? $$\frac{q}{m}=\frac{(\frac{1+\sqrt5}{2})^n - (\frac{1-\sqrt5}{2})^n}{\sqrt5}$$
3
votes
1answer
499 views

Properties of homomorphisms of the additive group of rationals

Let $f : (\mathbb{Q},+) \longrightarrow (\mathbb{Q},+)$ be a non-zero homomorphism. Can we conclude that $f$ is bijective (or, if that fails, that $f$ is injective or surjective)? Context The ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Find the sum of reciprocals of divisors given the sum of divisors

Let $d_1, d_2, \cdots d_k$ be all the factors of a positive integer '$n$' including $1$ and $n$. Suppose $d_1 + d_2 + d_3+\cdots+d_k = 72$. Then find the value of $\frac{1}{d_1}+\frac{1}{d_2}+\cdots + ...
8
votes
1answer
877 views

What's an example of a number that is neither rational nor irrational?

Of course in regular logic, the answer is there aren't any. But in intuitionistic logic, there might be, as seen by this answer: https://math.stackexchange.com/a/1437130/49592. My question is, as per ...
8
votes
1answer
176 views

Why does the elliptic curve for $a+b+c = abc = 6$ involve a solvable nonic?

The curve discussed in this OP's post, $$\color{brown}{-24a+36a^2-12a^3+a^4}=z^2\tag1$$ is birationally equivalent to an elliptic curve. Following E. Delanoy's post, let $G$ be the set of rational ...