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MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION

One of the basic methods of proof is Mathematical Induction, which is a method to establish the
truth of the statement about all the natural numbers. It will often help us to prove a general
mathematical statement involving positive integers when certain instance of that statement
suggest a general pattern .
STATEMENT OF THE PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION:
Let P(n) br a STATEMENT or POPOSITION i volvi g the atural u bers

1.If P(1)is true


2.Under the assumption that when P(k) is true,P(k+1) is true, then , we conclude that a
state e t P is true for all atural u ber .
Steps to prove that a statement P(n) is true for all natural numbers.
Step 1: We must prove that P(1) is true
Step 2: By assuming P(k) is true, we must prove that P(k+1) is also true.
NOTE:
Step 1: is known as the BASIC STEP.
Step 2: is known as the INDUCTIVE STEP.
EXAMPLE: Using Mathematical Induction ,Prove that
ni=1 i2 =
SOLUTION:
Let P(n) : 12 +22 +32 +..+
1. P(1) : 12 =

= =

is true

2. Assume
P(k) : 12 +22 +32 +..+k2 = =

is true where k is any integer

3. CLAIM : P(k+1) is true


Now, P(k+1) =

P(k) : 12 +22 +32 +..+k2 + (k+1)2


+(k+1)2 (using 1)

=
=
=

=
=
=
P(k+1) is true
By principle of mathematical induction,
ni=1 i2 =
Is true for all

EXAMPLE : Show that n3+2n is divisible by3 .


SOLUTION:
Let P(n) :n3+2n is divisible by 3 .
1.P(1): 13+2.1 = 3 is divisible by 3 is true .
2.ASSUME
P(k):k3+2k is divisible by 3 is true
Claim : P(k+1) is true.
Now,P(k+1)3+2(k+1)
=k3+3k2+3k+1+2k+2
=k3+3k3+3k+1+2k+2
=k3+3k2+3k+2k+3
=(k3+2k) + 3(k2+k+1)
2 ->

->2

k3+2k is divisible by 3 [see 1]

3(k2+k+1)is a multiple of 3.
So it is divisible by 3.
P(k+1)=(k3+2k)+3(k2+k+1)is divisible by 3.
Therefore P(k+1)is true
By the principle of mathematical induction ,P(n):n3+2n is divisible by 3.
EXAMPLE 3 : Prove that 8n-3n is a multiple of 5 .

SOLUTION:
Let p(n):8n-3n be a multiple of 5 .
1.p(1) = 81 - 31=5 is a multiple of 5 which is true.
2.ASSUME
P(k) = 8k - 3k is a multiple of 5 is true .
8k - 3k= 5m ,where m z-1
8k = 5m + 3k

-> 1

CLAIM : P(K+1) is true


Now, p(k+1) = 8k+1 - 3k+1
=8k .8 - 3k . 3
=(5m + 3k) . 8k .8

(using 1)

= 5.8m + 8.3k 3.3k


=5.8m + 5.3k
=5(8m + 3k)
Which is a multiple of 5 for all m.
P(k+1) is true .
By the principle of mathematical induction ,
P(n): 8n - 3n is a multiple of 5 for all n.
EXAMPLE 4 : Show that an - bn is divisible by a-b .
SOLUTION:
let p(n): an - bn is divisible by a-b .
1.P(1): a1 b1 is divisible by a-b is true.
2.ASSUME
P(k): ak bk is divisible by a-b is true.
=> ak bk = m (a - b)
=> ak = bk + m(a - b)
CLAIM : P(k+1) is true.
P(k+1) = ak+1 - bk+1

-> 1

= ak .a - bb . b
= [ m (a-b) + bk ].a - bb . b

using 1

= am (a - b) + abk - bbk
= (a - b) ma + (a b)bk
= (a - b) [ma + b] , which is multiple of a-b.
P(k+1)is divisible by a-b is true
P(k+1) is true.
BY THE PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION.
an - bn

P(n):

is divisible by a-b.

EXAMPLE 5 : Show that n<2n


SOLUTION:
Let p(n) : n < 2n
1.P(1):

1 < 21 is true .

2.ASSUME
P(k):

k < 2k

is true .

-> 1

CLAIM : P(k+1)is true.


k < 2k

1 ->

By adding 1 on both sides,we got


K+1 < 2k + 1
=

< 2k + 2 k

2 . 2k

2k+1

K + 1 < 2k +1

[ 1 < 2k , not equal to k ]

P(k+1)is true.

BY THE PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION.


P(n):

n < 2n is true for all n.

EXAMPLE 6 : Show that 2n < n! for all

SOLUTION:
Let p(n): 2n < n!
1.P(4) : 24 < 4! Is true
2.ASSUME
P(k):

2k < k! is true

-> (1)

CLAIM: p (k+1) is true.


1 -> 2k < k !

-> (2)

2 x (2) => 2. 2k < 2 . k !


2k+1 < ( k+1) !
P(k+1) is true
By the principle of mathematical induction.
P(n) :

2n < n! is true for all n>=4.