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Questions tagged [rationality-testing]

For questions on determining whether a number is rational, and related problems. If applicable, use this tag instead of (rational-numbers) and (irrational-numbers). Consider adding a tag (radicals) or (logarithms), depending on what the question is about.

139
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12answers
32k views

How to prove: if $a,b \in \mathbb N$, then $a^{1/b}$ is an integer or an irrational number?

It is well known that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational, and by modifying the proof (replacing 'even' with 'divisible by $3$'), one can prove that $\sqrt{3}$ is irrational, as well. On the other hand, clearly ...
115
votes
1answer
21k views

Can $x^{x^{x^x}}$ be a rational number?

If $x$ is a positive rational number, but not an integer, then can $x^{x^{x^x}}$ be a rational number ? We can prove that if $x$ is a positive rational number but not an integer, then $x^x$ can not ...
88
votes
3answers
2k views

A real number $x$ such that $x^n$ and $(x+1)^n$ are rational is itself rational

Let $x$ be a real number and let $n$ be a positive integer. It is known that both $x^n$ and $(x+1)^n$ are rational. Prove that $x$ is rational. What I have tried: Denote $x^n=r$ and $(x+1)^n=s$ ...
83
votes
18answers
6k views

What is the most unusual proof you know that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational?

What is the most unusual proof you know that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational? Here is my favorite: Theorem: $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational. Proof: $3^2-2\cdot 2^2 = 1$. (That's it) That is a ...
80
votes
6answers
3k views

Graph theoretic proof of irrational number.

Let there be six irrational numbers. Prove that there exists three irrational numbers among them such that the sum of any two of those irrational numbers is also irrational. I have tried to prove ...
74
votes
2answers
23k views

Why is it hard to prove whether $\pi+e$ is an irrational number?

From this list I came to know that it is hard to conclude $\pi+e$ is an irrational? Can somebody discuss with reference "Why this is hard ?" Is it still an open problem ? If yes it will be helpful ...
54
votes
6answers
100k views

Is the sum and difference of two irrationals always irrational?

If $x$ and $y$ are irrational, is $x + y$ irrational? Is $x - y$ irrational?
51
votes
2answers
1k views

Prove that $\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{n!}{n^n}$is irrational.

Let $$S= \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{n!}{n^n}$$ (Does anybody know of a closed form expression for $S$?) It is easy to show that the series converges. Prove that $S$ is irrational. I tried the sort of ...
49
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?
49
votes
2answers
2k views

Irrationality of $\sqrt{2\sqrt{3\sqrt{4\cdots}}}$

In this question it is stated that Somos' quadratic recurrence constant $$\alpha=\sqrt{2\sqrt{3\sqrt{4\sqrt{\cdots}}}}$$ is an irrational number. [update: the author of that question is no longer ...
48
votes
7answers
8k views

$\sin 1^\circ$ is irrational but how do I prove it in a slick way? And $\tan(1^\circ)$ is …

In the book 101 problems in Trigonometry, Prof. Titu Andreescu and Prof. Feng asks for the proof the fact that $\cos 1^\circ$ is irrational and he proves it. The proof proceeds by contradiction and ...
42
votes
9answers
64k views

Prove that $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3$ is irrational [duplicate]

I have proved in earlier exercises of this book that $\sqrt 2$ and $\sqrt 3$ are irrational. Then, the sum of two irrational numbers is an irrational number. Thus, $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3$ is irrational. ...
38
votes
1answer
19k views

irrationality of $\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}}$.

The fact that there exists irrational number $a,b$ such that $a^b$ is rational is proved by the law of excluded middle, but I read somewhere that irrationality of $\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}}$ is proved ...
36
votes
9answers
16k views

Prove $2^{1/3}$ is irrational.

Please correct any mistakes in this proof and, if you're feeling inclined, please provide a better one where "better" is defined by whatever criteria you prefer. Assume $2^{1/2}$ is irrational. $2^{...
36
votes
1answer
810 views

Is $\ln(\ln(n))$ irrational for any integer $n>1$?

Is there $n\in \mathbb{N}$ such that $\ln(\ln(n)) \in \mathbb{Q}$? If such $n$ exists, we will get $$\ln(\ln(n)) = \frac{p}{q}, \quad p, q \in \mathbb{Z}.$$ Hence we will get $n = e^{e^{p/q}},$ ...
35
votes
6answers
3k views

Test of being a rational number for $(1-\frac13+\frac15-\frac17+\cdots)/(1+\frac14+\frac19+\frac1{16}+\cdots)$

Is the following expression a rational number? $$\frac{1-\dfrac13+\dfrac15-\dfrac17+\cdots}{1+\dfrac14+\dfrac19+\dfrac1{16}+\cdots}$$ My thoughts: The sum and product of two rational numbers is a ...
33
votes
8answers
3k views

Can a pre-calculus student prove this?

a and b are rational numbers satisfying the equation $a^3 + 4a^2b = 4a^2 + b^4$ Prove $\sqrt a - 1$ is a rational square So I saw this posted online somewhere, and I kind of understand what the ...
29
votes
6answers
4k views

How to prove that $\sqrt[3] 2 + \sqrt[3] 4$ is irrational? [duplicate]

So while doing all sorts of proving and disproving statements regarding irrational numbers, I ran into this one and it quite stumped me: Prove that $\sqrt[3]{2} + \sqrt[3]{4}$ is irrational. I tried ...
29
votes
10answers
5k views

Proving $\sqrt 3$ is irrational.

There is a very simple proof by means of divisibility that $\sqrt 2$ is irrational. I have to prove that $\sqrt 3$ is irrational too, as a homework. I have done it as follows, ad absurdum: Suppose $$\...
29
votes
5answers
3k views

Can $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m$ are perfect squares?

Can the expression $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m \in \mathbb{N}$ are perfect squares? It doesn't seem likely, the only way that could happen is if for example $\sqrt{m} = a-\sqrt{n}...
29
votes
2answers
691 views

Can both $x$ and $\sin(x)$ be rational at the same time?

Can both $x$ and $\sin(x)$ be rational at the same time? Except, of course, trivial $x=0$ case ($\sin0=0$); $x$ is measured in radians. The question turned out to be more complicated than it seemed ...
23
votes
8answers
20k views

What rational numbers have rational square roots?

All rational numbers have the fraction form $$\frac a b,$$ where a and b are integers($b\neq0$). My question is: for what $a$ and $b$ does the fraction have rational square root? The simple answer ...
22
votes
6answers
7k views

Prove that $\sqrt 2 +\sqrt 3$ is irrational. [duplicate]

Please prove that $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3$ is irrational. One of the proofs I've seen goes: If $\sqrt 2 +\sqrt 3$ is rational, then consider $(\sqrt 3 +\sqrt 2)(\sqrt 3 -\sqrt 2)=1$, which implies that ...
22
votes
4answers
10k views

When is $\sin(x)$ rational?

Obviously, there are some points (e.g. $\pi$, $30^\circ$) but I am unsure if there are more. How can it be proved that there are no more points, or, if there are, what those points will be? EDIT: I ...
21
votes
10answers
8k views

Critiques on proof showing $\sqrt{12}$ is irrational.

My only exposure to proofs was in a math logic class I took in University. I was wondering if my attempt at proving that $\sqrt{12}$ is irrational is OK. $$\Big(\frac{m}{n}\Big)^2 = 12$$ $$\Big(\frac{...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Homework 8th grader: $\pi^2$ is irrational

I'm tutoring a girl in 8th grade (so she is 14 years old) and she recently had a mathematics chapter about numbers. In the last paragraph they introduced the difference between rational and irrational ...
21
votes
2answers
603 views

Irrationality of sum of two logarithms: $\log_2 5 +\log_3 5$

I try to prove that the number $$\log_2 5 +\log_3 5$$ is irrational. But I have no idea how to do it. Any hints are welcome.
21
votes
1answer
316 views

$\log_2 13$ is irrational

Is it true that $\log_2 13$ is irrational? Let $x=\log_2 13\implies 2^x=13$. So, it will be an irrational number, if not,$$x=\frac p q$$ and $$2^{\frac p q}=13$$ $$\implies 2^p=13^{q}$$ Since, $...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Prove that $5^{1/3}+7^{1/2}$ is irrational

Goal: Prove that $5^{1/3}+7^{1/2}$ is irrational. Idea: We can prove this is irrational by supposing it is rational and finding a contradiction. So, $5^{1/3}+7^{1/2} = p/q$ where $p$ and $q$ are ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is $\sum_{i=1}^n a$ always irrational if $n>0$ and $a$ is irrational?

I'm asking this question because I was unable to find an answer elsewhere as most questions are about the summation of different irrational numbers, which is not what this question is about. Here, I'm ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Why aren't all square roots irrational? [duplicate]

The more known proof of square root of $2$ is by contradiction when we assume it can be expressed as an irreducible fraction and later finding that it isn't irreducible, but... if we assume the same ...
15
votes
5answers
34k views

Prove that $\sqrt 5$ is irrational

I have to prove that $\sqrt 5$ is irrational. Proceeding as in the proof of $\sqrt 2$, let us assume that $\sqrt 5$ is rational. This means for some distinct integers $p$ and $q$ having no common ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Proving the irrationality of $e^n$

Let $n$ be a positive integer. I know the traditional proof that $e$ is irrational. How do we show that $e^n$ is irrational in some sort of similar line? I am of course assuming it is but I would be ...
14
votes
5answers
795 views

$0.101001000100001000001$… is irrational. [duplicate]

How do I show that $0.101001000100001000001...$ is irrational? How do I generalize this to decimal expansions of a similar type, i.e. what is a criterion for decimal expansions with $0$'s and $1$'s ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Proof that $\sqrt6 - \sqrt2 - \sqrt3$ is irrational. [duplicate]

I want to prove that: $$\sqrt6 - \sqrt2 - \sqrt3$$ is irrational. I have tried using squares, the $p/q$ definition of rationality and the facts that 1)rational$\times$ irrational=irrational (unless ...
13
votes
3answers
358 views

Prove or disprove that $\sqrt{2+\frac{1}{n}}$ is irrational for $n \in \mathbb{Z}^+$

I have good reason to suspect that $\sqrt{2+\frac{1}{n}}$ is irrational for all $n \in \mathbb{Z}^+$ but a proof of this eludes me. I've tried proof by contradiction have had no success. I've also ...
13
votes
4answers
291 views

Show that $({\sqrt{2}\!+\!1})^{1/n} \!+ ({\sqrt{2}\!-\!1})^{1/n}\!\not\in\mathbb Q$

How could we prove that for every positive integer $n$, the number $$({\sqrt{2}+1})^{1/n} + ({\sqrt{2}-1})^{1/n}$$ is irrational? I think it could be done inductively from a more general expression,...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Proof that $\sin10^\circ$ is irrational

Today I was thinking about proving this statement, but I really could not come up with an idea at all. I want to prove that $\sin10^\circ$ is irrational. Any ideas?
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Proving that $\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}$ is irrational [duplicate]

This is from Spivak. Prove that $\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}$ is irrational. So far, I have this: If $\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}$ is rational, then it can be written as $\frac{p}{q}$ with integral $p, q$ and in ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Prove that 2.101001000100001… is an irrational number.

My try: This number is non-terminating and non-repeating, so this is an irrational number. But how do I prove it more formally in a more mathematically rigorous way?
11
votes
1answer
711 views

Irrationality of $\pi^2$ and $\pi^3$

I wonder if there is any book and/or article you can recommend on the topic "Irrationality of $\pi^2$ and $\pi^3$" for me to study on. In case you are curious about why I ask these particular ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Proof that at most one of $e\pi$ and $e+\pi$ can be rational

$e$ and $\pi$ are rather peculiar numbers. It turns out that, in addition to being irrational numbers, they are also transcendental numbers. Basically, a number is transcendental if there are no ...
11
votes
1answer
283 views

Is $\sum_{n \ge 1}{\frac{p_n}{n!}}$ irrational?

Is $\sum_{n \ge 1}{\frac{p_n}{n!}}$ irrational, where $p_n$ is the $n^{\text{th}}$ prime number? This question is spurred by the comment thread on this question where I presented a rough idea of a ...
11
votes
1answer
698 views

How does one prove that $\zeta(3)$ is irrational?

How does one prove that $\zeta(3)$ is irrational ? I would like to know how Apery did it. In particular how a recursion gives rise to irrationality !?
11
votes
0answers
317 views

What is known about the sum $\sum\frac1{p^p}$ of reciprocals of primes raised to themselves? [duplicate]

Consider the following series: $$\sum_{p\in\mathcal{P}}\frac{1}{p^p}$$ where $\mathcal{P}$ is the set of all prime numbers: $\mathcal{P}=\{2,3,5,7,11,13,\ldots\}$. My question is: Is this a known ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Irrationality or Rationality of p+q given that pq=1

Let $p,q$ are irrational numbers such that $pq=1$. Then what can we say about character of $p+q$? i.e, $p+q$ is rational or irrational? Probably, I believe it is irrational but could not prove.
10
votes
2answers
332 views

Is $\frac{1}{2^{2^{0}}}+\frac{1}{2^{2^{1}}}+\frac{1}{2^{2^{2}}}+\frac{1}{2^{2^{3}}}+…$ irrational?

$$\frac{1}{2^{2^{0}}}+\frac{1}{2^{2^{1}}}+\frac{1}{2^{2^{2}}}+\frac{1}{2^{2^{3}}}+\cdots$$ Is this infinite sum irrational? Is there a known way to prove it?
10
votes
1answer
143 views

Is it true that $\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\frac{1}{n^2+2an+b}\in \Bbb Q \iff \exists k\in \Bbb N^+$ such that $a^2-b=k^2 $?

This is a curiosity question: Question Given two positive integers $a$ and $b$ do we have the following equivalence: $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\frac{1}{n^2+2an+b}\in \Bbb Q \iff \exists k\in \Bbb N^+\...
9
votes
4answers
337 views

Prove that $\sqrt{5n+2}$ is irrational

I'm trying to follow this answer to prove that $\sqrt{5n+2}$ is irrational. So far I understand that the whole proof relies on being able to prove that $(5n+2)|x^2 \implies (5n+2)|x$ (which is why $\...
9
votes
1answer
355 views

What is Euler doing?

In Euler's paper "De Fractionibus Continuis Dissertatio" (English Translation) he proves that the constant $e\approx 2.71828$ is irrational.1 One step in the proof threw me for a loop, though. In the ...