12 - LECTURE 12: PROVE OR DISPROVE (7.3) The reverse side...

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LECTURE 12: PROVE OR DISPROVE ( § 7.3) The reverse side also has a reverse side. Japanese Proverb 1. Testing Statements Sometimes statements are given for which we do not immediately know whether they are true or false. We can test them, and try to do a proof, and eventually we hope that we can gain enough understanding to either prove or disprove the statement. There are many examples of this (in fact, this is what mathematicians do!). There is the 4 color theorem, the conjecture on Fermat numbers, and the odd perfect number problem. Idea: Try a few examples, then try to sketch a proof. Make sure to cover some of the tricky cases in your examples. Example 1. Prove or disprove: If x and y are real numbers, | x + y | = | x | + | y | . Because we are dealing with absolute values, we try some negative numbers. If x = 1 and y = - 1 then | x + y | = | 0 | = 0 and | x | = 1 and | y | = 1. Proof. The statement is false. Let x = 1 and y = - 1. Then | x + y | = 0 but | x | + | y | = 2. ± Example 2.
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2011 for the course MATH 334 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Vanderbilt.

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12 - LECTURE 12: PROVE OR DISPROVE (7.3) The reverse side...

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