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60
votes
9answers
16k views

solving f(f(x))=g(x)

This question is of course inspired by the question How to solve f(f(x))=cosx and Joel David Hamkins' answer, which somehow gives a formal trick for solving equations of the form $f(f(x))=g(x)$ on a ...
89
votes
8answers
9k views

If $f$ is infinitely differentiable then $f$ coincides with a polynomial

Let $f$ be an infinitely differentiable function on $[0,1]$ and suppose that for each $x \in [0,1]$ there is an integer $n \in \mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}(x)=0$. Then does $f$ coincide on $[0,1]$ ...
52
votes
30answers
32k views

Why do we teach calculus students the derivative as a limit?

I'm not teaching calculus right now, but I talk to someone who does, and the question that came up is why emphasize the $h \to 0$ definition of a derivative to calculus students? Something a teacher ...
43
votes
16answers
9k views

f(f(x))=exp(x)-1 and other functions “just in the middle” between linear and exponential.

The question is about the function f(x) so that f(f(x))=exp (x)-1. The question is open ended and it was discussed quite recently in the comment thread in Aaronson's blog here ...
55
votes
16answers
6k views

Proofs of the uncountability of the reals.

Recently, I learnt in my analysis class the proof of the uncountability of the reals via the Nested Interval Theorem. At first, I was excited to see a variant proof (as it did not use the diagonal ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

Are some numbers more irrational than others?

Some irrational numbers are transcendental, which makes them in some sense "more irrational" than algebraic numbers. There are also numbers, such as the golden ratio $\varphi$, which are poorly ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

is f a polynomial provided that it is “partially” smooth?

Let $f$ be a $C^\infty$ function on $(c,d)$ ,and let $O=\cup_{n\in \mathbb{Z}^+} (a_n,b_n)$ where $(a_n,b_n)$ are disjoint open interval in $(c,d)$ and $O$ is dense in $(c,d)$. Suppose for each $n\in ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this statement which relates the Fourier transform of a function to its singularities correct?

I am working on a problem, which would possibly relate the Fourier transform/series with the jump singularities of the function where the function itself or one of its derivatives jump. ((some kind of ...
9
votes
1answer
855 views

Has anyone seen this series?

I come across the following infinite series. $$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{t^n}{n!\: n^{a}}, \quad\text{for $t>0$ and $a>0$}. $$ In particular, I am interested in the case where $a=1/4$. ...
7
votes
4answers
599 views

Seeking a Geometric Proof of a Generalized Alternating Series' Convergence

Let $z \in \mathbb{C} \backslash \lbrace 1 \rbrace$ with $|z| = 1$. We consider the following infinite series, which necessarily converges: $$S(z) := \sum_{n = 1}^{\infty}\frac{z^n}{n}$$ Note that ...
13
votes
4answers
570 views

Is the sequence of Apéry numbers a Stieltjes moment sequence?

Consider the sequence of Apéry numbers $$ A_n = \sum_{k=0}^n \binom{n}{k}\binom{n+k}{k}\sum_{j=0}^k \binom{k}{j}^3 = \sum_{k=0}^n \binom{n}{k}^2\binom{n+k}{k}^2 . $$ In an email, physicist Alan Sokal ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

measure zero in R but not in R^2

I want to find some subset of R^2 which its intersection with every vertical line is measure zero if we see it as a subset of R and it is not measure zero in R^2?
0
votes
1answer
240 views

Prove that these two definitions of “natural” integration constant coincide when both converge

These are two possible definitions of antiderivative (integral) incorporating a supposedly natural choice of an integration constant (see this question for further details). The first one is based on ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Kolmogorov superposition for smooth functions

Kolmogorov superposition theorem states that a continuous function $f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$ can be written as $$f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)=\sum_{q=0}^{2n}\Phi_q\left(\sum_{p=1}^{n}\phi_{q,p}(x_p)\right)$$ for ...
1
vote
1answer
425 views

New differintegral formula: how is it related to other differintegral formulas?

Lets define new differintegral formula as $$\mathbb{D}^s_xf(x)= \sum_{m=0}^{\infty} \binom {s}m \sum_{k=0}^m\binom mk(-1)^{m-k}f^{(k)}(x)$$ or, equivalently, $$\mathbb{D}^s_xf(x)= \lim_{t\to s} ...
0
votes
0answers
368 views

Given an even function how to obtain the most close odd function and vise versa?

Given an even function $f(x)$, how to obtain the most close to it continuous odd function $g(x)$? By most close I mean that $\int_0^\infty |f(x)-g(x)| dx$ be the minimum possible and the difference ...
74
votes
17answers
15k views

Why is differentiating mechanics and integration art?

It is often said that "Differentiation is mechanics, integration is art." We have more or less simple rules in one direction but not in the other (e.g. product rule/simple <-> integration by ...
29
votes
2answers
879 views

Square root of a positive $C^\infty$ function.

Suppose $f$ is a $C^\infty$ function from the reals to the reals that is never negative. Does it have a $C^\infty$ square root? Clearly the only problem points are those at which $f$ vanishes.
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Analogues of Luzin's theorem

If $X$ is a compact metric space and $\mu$ is a Borel probability measure on $X$, then the space $C(X)$ of continuous real-valued functions on $X$ is a closed nowhere dense subset of ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

Can Cantor set be the zero set of a continuous function?

More generally, can the zero set $V(f)$ of a continuous function $f : \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ be nowhere dense and uncountable? What if $f$ is smooth? About two days ago I discovered that in this ...
9
votes
18answers
17k views

Text for an introductory Real Analysis course.

Any suggestions on a good text to use for teaching an introductory Real Analysis course? Specifically what have you found to be useful about the approach taken in specific texts?
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Function with range equal to whole reals on every open set

There is an example of a function that is unbounded on every open set. Just take $f(n/m) = m$ for coprime $n$ and $m$ and $f(irrational) = 0$. I want to generalize this in a way to get a function ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Arzelà-Ascoli require choice?

Inspired by a recent Math.SE question entitled Where do we need the axiom of choice in Riemannian geometry?, I was thinking of the Arzelà--Ascoli theorem. Let's state a very simple version: ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

An Entropy Inequality

Let $X,Y$ be probability measures on $\{1,2,\dots,n\}$, and set $K=\sum_i\sqrt{X(i)Y(i)}$ so that $Z:=\frac{1}{K}\sqrt{XY}$ is also a probability measure on $\{1,2,\dots,n\}$. How can we prove the ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

“Closed-form” functions with half-exponential growth

Let's call a function f:N→N half-exponential if there exist constants 1<c<d such that for all sufficiently large n, cn < f(f(n)) < dn. Then my question is this: can we prove that no ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a real power series that maps rationals to rationals defined by a rational function?

Suppose that the function $p(x)$ is defined on an open subset $U$ of $\mathbb{R}$ by a power series with real coefficients. Suppose, further, that $p$ maps rationals to rationals. Must $p$ be defined ...
12
votes
11answers
1k views

Classic applications of Baire category theorem

I've seen Baire category theorem used to prove existence of objects with certain properties. But it seems there is another class of interesting applications of Baire category theorem that I have yet ...
11
votes
0answers
368 views

Classes of (non-continuous) functions with the fixed point property

Let $K$ be a convex body in $ R^d$. (Say, a ball, say a cube...) For which classes $ \cal C$ of functions, every function $ f \in {\cal C}$ which takes $K$ into itself admits a fixed point in $K$. ...
21
votes
1answer
358 views

Which ordered fields are homeomorphic to their power?

It is well known that $\mathbb{R}^2\ncong \mathbb{R}$. It is also known that $\mathbb{Q}^2\cong \mathbb{Q}$. It is a corollary to Sierpiński's theorem which states that every countable metric space ...
7
votes
1answer
649 views

Transcendentality of all irrationals in the Cantor set

Hi, I am a student researcher trying to prove that all irrationals within the Cantor set are transcendental. This is grounded, intuitively, in Cantor set members' being non-normal; since algebraic ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a natural measures on the space of measurable functions?

Given a set Ω and a σ-algebra F of subsets, is there some natural way to assign something like a "uniform" measure on the space of all measurable functions on this space? (I suppose first ...
14
votes
2answers
996 views

Generalization of Darboux's Theorem

Darboux's Theorem. If $f:[a,b]\to\mathbb R$ is differentiable and $f'(a)<\xi<f'(b)$, then there exists a $c\in (a,b)$, such that $\,f'(c)=\xi$. Does any of the following generalizations Let ...
13
votes
0answers
820 views

Almost everywhere differentiability for a class of functions on $\mathbb{R}^2$

A while ago, I came across the following problem, which I was not able to resolve one way or the other. Let $f,g\colon\mathbb{R}^2\to\mathbb{R}$ be continuous functions such that $f(t,x)$ and ...
5
votes
0answers
194 views

Sum of product maximum

For which pairs of integers $(n,m)$ is the maximum of the following function $$f(x)=\sum_{i_1+\dots +i_n=m}\prod_{k=1}^n x^{i_k}_{k},\ \ x=(x_1,\dots,x_n), \|x\|=1$$ attained when $x_1=\dots=x_n$? ...
16
votes
5answers
882 views

Floors of powers of reals, how much do the first few determine the next?

Call an integer sequence $\mathbf{x}=\left( x_1,x_2,\cdots \right)$ feasible if it is $f(r)=\left(\lfloor r \rfloor, \lfloor r^2 \rfloor, \lfloor r^3 \rfloor, \ldots, \lfloor r^n \rfloor, \ldots ...
14
votes
3answers
603 views

A natural center of a convex weakly compact set in Banach space

Question: Let $S$ be a convex weakly compact set in Banach space $H$. Propose a natural way to define the unique center $O \in S$. Motivation: A lot! For example, in game theory $S$ can be a set of ...
10
votes
2answers
307 views

Is it possible to have the set $f^{-1}(\lbrace x \rbrace)$ perfect for every $x$?

There are examples of functions $f \colon [0,1] \longrightarrow [0,1]$ such that for any $\alpha $, $f^{-1}(\lbrace \alpha \rbrace)$ is uncountable. My favorite example is $$f(r) = \limsup_n ...
7
votes
1answer
497 views

Proof of the “Neo-classical Inequality”

I came across the following inequality, dubbed the "Neoclassical Inequality" which holds uniformly in $p\geq 1, n$: $\frac{1}{p^2}\sum_{j=0}^n\frac{a^{j/p}b^{(n-j)/p}}{(j/p)!((n-j)/p)!}\leq ...
6
votes
1answer
429 views

Does a nonlinear additive function on R imply a Hamel basis of R?

A function is additive if $f(x+y) = f(x) + f(y)$. Intuitively, it might seem that an additive function from R to R must be linear, specifically of the form $f(x) = kx$. But assuming the axiom of ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Zeros of “exponential” function

Define ${f}_{i}(x) = \sum_{j=1}^{i} (-1)^{i-j}{i \choose j}j^x$, where $i=1,2,3,...$ and $x \in \mathbb{R}$. For integer $x \geq i$, ${f}_{i}(x)$ reduces to ${f}_{i}(x)=i!S(x,i)$, where $S(x,i)$ is ...
27
votes
2answers
888 views

Continuous functions $f$ with $f(A)$ linearly independent when $A$ is independent

Is there any characterization of continuous functions $f : \Bbb{R}\longrightarrow \Bbb{R}$ such that for any linearly independent set $A$ (over the rationals) $f(A)$ is also linearly independent ?
10
votes
2answers
663 views

Does Rolle's Theorem imply Dedekind completeness?

I think the answer to the title question is "yes", but Gerald Edgar, in his comment on Does antidifferentiability of continuous functions imply Dedekind completeness? , points out an article (actually ...
8
votes
2answers
569 views

Does the Weierstrass function have a point of increase?

Problem The Weierstrass function $W(x)$ is given by $W(x)=\sum_{n\geq 0} a^n \cos(b^n \pi x)$ where $0< a <1$ and $b$ is an odd integer such that $ab > 1+3\pi/2$. A function ...
7
votes
2answers
344 views

Riemannian distance functions on the real line

A distance function $d: \mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R} \rightarrow [0,\infty)$ that is defined by a smooth Riemannian metric on the real line satisfies the following properties: $d$ is a length metric ...
5
votes
1answer
250 views

Smallest positive zero of Weierstrass nowhere differentiable function

Consider the Weierstrass nowhere differentiable function $f(x) = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{1}{2^n} \cos(4^n \pi x)$. It seems that the smallest positive zero of $f(x)$ occurs at $x=\frac{1}{5}$, but I ...
2
votes
0answers
346 views

Can any antidifference (indefinite sum) of a function be expressed in elementary functions and generalized polygamma function if its integral can be expressed in elementary functions?

If the integral or multiplicative integral of a function can be expressed with elementary functions, does it mean its indefinite sum (antidifference) or indefinite product respectively can be ...
11
votes
1answer
256 views

Cantor set intersecting a geometric sequence

I was working on a problem involving finding all points in the intersection of the Cantor set $C$ and the geometric sequence $\{ (2/3)^i \}_{i=1}^\infty$. The only points I have in this intersection ...
11
votes
1answer
613 views

Converse to Banach’s fixed point theorem for ordered fields?

Suppose $R$ is an ordered field. Call a continuous map $f: R \rightarrow R$ a contraction if there exists $r < 1$ (in $R$) such that $|f(x)-f(y)| \leq r |x-y|$ for all $x,y \in R$ (where $|x| := ...
7
votes
2answers
631 views

Implicit function theorem at a singular point?

Let $F:\mathbb{R}^2 \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ be three times continuously differentiable in some open neighborhood $\mathcal{U}$ of $(0,0)$. Suppose that $F(0,0) = F_x(0,0) = F_y(0,0) = F_{xy}(0,0) = 0$ ...
7
votes
4answers
935 views

The non-convergence of f(f(x))=exp(x)-1 and labeled rooted trees

This question is closely related to MO f(f(x))=exp(x)-1 and other functions “just in the middle” between linear and exponential. Consider $e^{e^x-1}$, this is the generating function of the Bell ...