Problem 1 asks to determine (with brief justifications) the truth value of the following statements about integers:

1. is False. To show this we provide a counterexample: Specific integers such that For example,

2. is False. To show this we need to exhibit for each integer an integer such that For example, Note that, although is a fixed integer once we know we are not giving a fixed value of that serves as a simultaneous counterexample for all values of

3. is True. To show this we exhibit for each integer a specific integer such that For example: Note that, although is a fixed integer once we know we are not giving a fixed value of that works simultaneously for all

4. is True. To show this, we exhibit specific values of such that For example:

Problem 2 asks to show by contradiction that no integer can be both odd and even. Here is the proof: Suppose otherwise, i.e., there is an integer, let’s call it such that is both odd and even. This means that there are integers such that (since is odd) and (since is even).

Then we have that or But this is impossible, since 1 is not divisible by 2. We have reached a contradiction, and therefore our assumption that there is such an integer ought to be false. This means that no integer can be both odd and even, which is what we wanted to show.

Note that we have not shown that every integer is either odd or even. We will use mathematical induction to do this.

Problem 3 asks for symbolic formulas stating Goldbach’s conjecture and the twin primes conjecture (both are famous open problems in number theory).

Goldbach’s conjecture asserts that every even integer larger than 2 is sum of two primes:

Here, is the formula asserting that is even, namely, and is the formula (given in the quiz) asserting that is prime. Note we had to add existential quantifiers in order to be able to refer to the two prime numbers that add up to

The twin primes conjecture asserts that there are infinitely many primes such that is also prime.

The difficulty here is in saying “there are infinitely many,” since the quantifier only allows us to mention one integer at a time, and writing something of infinite length such as is not allowed.

We follow the suggestion given in the quiz, and represent “there are infinitely many with [some property]” by saying “for all there is a larger with [some property].”

This entry was posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 1:24 pm and is filed under 187: Discrete mathematics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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