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62
votes
9answers
17k 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 ...
98
votes
8answers
10k 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 $[0,1]$ ...
46
votes
16answers
10k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
280 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
247 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 ...
55
votes
32answers
36k 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 ...
54
votes
18answers
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 ...
32
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
885 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
653 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is there no Borel function mapping every countable set of reals outside itself?

A choice function maps every set (in its domain) to an element of itself. This question concerns existence of an anti-choice function defined on the family of countable sets of reals. In an answer to ...
13
votes
4answers
593 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
290 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?
1
vote
1answer
434 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
375 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 ...
77
votes
17answers
16k 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 ...
128
votes
11answers
41k views

Have any long-suspected irrational numbers turned out to be rational?

The history of proving numbers irrational is full of interesting stories, from the ancient proofs for $\sqrt{2}$, to Lambert's irrationality proof for $\pi$, to Roger Apéry's surprise demonstration ...
10
votes
19answers
19k 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?
34
votes
6answers
2k views

On an example of an eventually oscillating function

For $x\in(0,1)$, put $$f(x):=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}x^{2^{n}}.$$ This function possesses interesting properties. It grows monotonically from $0$ up to certain point. Then it starts to oscillate ...
30
votes
2answers
933 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
5k 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 ...
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
2k 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
387 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
0answers
388 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 $K$. ...
8
votes
1answer
678 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 ...
13
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 ...
15
votes
0answers
867 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
195 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
904 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
624 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
325 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
685 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
518 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
459 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
770 views

Ratio sum comparison on operators

It is known by the Lidskii inequality, that $\sum_{i=1}^n \left|s_i(S)-s_i(T)\right|\le\sum_{i=1}^n s_i(S+T)$, where $s_i(S)$ is the $i$-th singular value of $S$. How would one prove that ...
27
votes
2answers
930 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 ?
11
votes
1answer
629 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| := ...
8
votes
2answers
601 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
960 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
356 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 ...