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An Introduction to Proofs and the Mathematical Vernacular

An Introduction to Proofs and the Mathematical Vernacular

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An Introduction to Proofs and the Mathematical Vernacular
1Martin V. DayDepartment of MathematicsVirginia TechBlacksburg, Virginia 24061
day@math.vt.edu
July 22, 2008
1
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 UnitedStates License. To view a copy of this license, visit
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
orsend a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
 
Contents
Preface: To the Student iii1 Some Specimen Proofs 1
A Inequalities and Square Roots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1A.1 Absolute Value and the Triangle Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1A.2 Square Roots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5A.3 Another Inequality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7B Some Spoofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8C Proofs from Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9C.1 Pythagoras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9C.2 The Curry Triangle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10D From Calculus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11E Prime Numbers and the Irrational . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13F Algebraic Formulas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15F.1 Simple Summation Formulas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16F.2 Properties of Factorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2 Mathematical Language and Some Basic Proof Structures 21
A Logical Propositions, Connectives, and Quantifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21A.1 Basic Logical Connectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22A.2 Open Statements and Quantiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27A.3 Negating Quantified and Other Compound Statements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30A.4 Context and Hypotheses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31B Some Basic Types of Proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33B.1 Elementary Propositions and And . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33B.2 Or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34B.3 Implications and For all ...” Statements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35B.4 Equivalence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35B.5 Proofs by Contradiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36B.6 Existence and Uniqueness Proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37B.7 Proofs by Induction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38C Some Advice for Writing Proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44D Proofs and Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
3 Sets and Functions 49
A Notation and Basic Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49B Basic Operations and Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50C Product Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54D The Power Set of a Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55E Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55F Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58G Cardinality of Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62G.1 Finite Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63i
 
G.2 Countable and Uncountable Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63G.3 The Schroeder-Bernstein Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64H The Strange World at the Foundations of Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67H.1 The Continuum Hypothesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67H.2 Russells Paradox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4 The Integers 69
A The Integers:
Z
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69A.1 Axioms for The Integers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70A.2 Consequences of the Well-Ordering Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75B Greatest Common Divisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78B.1 The Euclidean Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79C The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83D The Integers Mod
m
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84E Axioms and Beyond: odel Crashes the Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
5 Polynomials 89
A Preliminaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89B
Q
[
x
] and the Rational Root Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94C
R
[
x
] and DescartesRule of Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95D
C
[
z
] and The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99D.1 Some Properties of the Complex Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99D.2 The Fundamental Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Appendix: Mathematical Words 106Appendix: The Greek Alphabet and Other Notation 108Bibliography 109Index 111
ii

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