The real-analysis tag has no wiki summary.

**88**

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### 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 ...

**80**

votes

**8**answers

8k 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 $[0,1]$ ...

**64**

votes

**16**answers

14k 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 ...

**58**

votes

**9**answers

14k 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 ...

**53**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Does pointwise convergence imply uniform convergence on a large subset?

Suppose $f_n$ is a sequence of real valued functions on $[0,1]$ which converges pointwise to zero.
Is there an uncountable subset $A$ of $[0,1]$ so that $f_n$ converges uniformly on $A$?
Is there a ...

**47**

votes

**9**answers

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### Why is Lebesgue integration taught using positive and negative parts of functions?

Background: When I first took measure theory/integration, I was bothered by the idea that the integral of a real-valued function w.r.t. a measure was defined first for nonnegative functions and only ...

**43**

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**9**answers

2k views

### Taking “Zooming in on a point of a graph” seriously

In calculus classes it is sometimes said that the tangent line to a curve at a point is the line that we get by "zooming in" on that point with an infinitely powerful microscope. This explanation ...

**40**

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**13**answers

4k 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 ...

**40**

votes

**16**answers

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 ...

**39**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Is a function with nowhere vanishing derivatives analytic?

My question is the following: Let $f\in C^\infty(a,b)$, such that $f^{(n)}(x)\ne 0$, for every $n\in\mathbb N$, and every $x\in (a,b)$. Does that imply that $f$ is real analytic?
EDIT. According to ...

**32**

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**4**answers

1k views

### Smooth functions for which $f(x)$ is rational if and only if $x$ is rational

A friend of mine introduced me to the following question: Does there exist a smooth function $f: \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$, ($f \in C^\infty$), such that $f$ maps rationals to rationals and ...

**30**

votes

**1**answer

878 views

### Is $π$ definable in $(\Bbb R,0,1,+,×,<,\exp)$?

(This question is originally from Math.SE, where it didn't receive any answers.)
Is there a first-order formula $\phi(x) $ with exactly one free variable $ x $ in the language of ordered fields ...

**28**

votes

**2**answers

751 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.

**28**

votes

**1**answer

1k 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 ...

**27**

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**2**answers

2k 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 ...

**27**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Every real function has a dense set on which its restriction is continuous

The title says it all: if $f\colon \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ is any real function, there exists a dense subset $D$ of $\mathbb{R}$ such that $f|_D$ is continuous.
Or so I'm told, but this leaves me ...

**27**

votes

**1**answer

530 views

### For which maps $S^1\to S^1$ is the winding number defined?

There are two classes of maps $S^1\to S^1$ for which I know how to define the winding number:
• Continuous maps:
Using the unique path lifting property of the universal covering map $\mathbb R\to ...

**26**

votes

**18**answers

5k views

### Interesting applications (in pure mathematics) of first-year calculus

What interesting applications are there for theorems or other results studied in first-year calculus courses?
A good example for such an application would be using a calculus theorem to prove a ...

**26**

votes

**7**answers

4k 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 ...

**26**

votes

**2**answers

818 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 ?

**26**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### The Hardy Z-function and failure of the Riemann hypothesis

David Feldman asked whether it would be reasonable for the Riemann hypothesis to be false, but for the Riemann zeta function to only have finitely many zeros off the critical line. I very rashly ...

**25**

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**5**answers

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### Differentiable functions with discontinuous derivatives

For years I've taught my honors calculus students about functions like (the continuous extension of) $x^2 \sin 1/x$, and for just as many years I've told them that they won't encounter functions like ...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

832 views

### Prove that there exists $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}$ has at least n+1 zeros on $(-1,1)$

Let $f\in C^{\infty}(\mathbb{R},\mathbb{R})$ such that $f(x)=0$ on $\mathbb{R}\setminus (-1,1)$. Prove that there exists $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}$ has at least $n+1$ zeros on $(-1,1)$
...

**22**

votes

**1**answer

849 views

### Is pi = log_a(b) for some integers a, b > 1?

Are there integers $a, b > 1$ such that $\pi = \log_a(b)$?
Or equivalently: are there integers $a,b > 1$ such that $a^\pi = b$?
Note that the transcendence of $\pi$ makes this a problem - ...

**22**

votes

**2**answers

681 views

### Codimension of Measurable Sets

I am currently teaching an advanced undergraduate analysis class, and the following question came up.
Intuition suggests that "most" subsets of $[0,1]$ are not Lebesgue measurable. However, the ...

**21**

votes

**9**answers

10k views

### Is square of Delta function defined somewhere?

Hello, every one. I am wondering whether any one knows that whether the square of Dirac Delta function is defined some where?
In the beginning, this question might look strange. But by restricting ...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

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 ...

**21**

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**7**answers

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### Rolle's theorem in n dimensions

This looks like a statement from a calculus textbook, which perhaps it should be.
"Rolle's theorem". Let $F\colon [a,b]\to\mathbb R^n$ be a continuous function such that F(a)=F(b) and F'(t) exists ...

**20**

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**8**answers

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### 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**

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**4**answers

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### Which is the correct ring of functions for a topological space?

There is a fact that I should have learned a long time ago, but never did; I was reminded that I did not know the answer by Qiaochu's excellent series of posts, the most recent of which is this one.
...

**19**

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**2**answers

446 views

### Which smooth compactly supported functions are convolutions?

If $f,g$ are smooth functions with support in the interval $[-r,r]$ for some $r>0$, then their convolution $f*g$ is smooth with support in $[-2r,2r]$. My question is about the converse: Given ...

**18**

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**12**answers

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### Looking for an interesting problem/riddle involving triple integrals.

Does anyone know some good problem in real analysis, the solution of which involves triple integrals, and which is suitable for second semester Analysis students?
Thanks!

**18**

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**3**answers

845 views

### Is there a function defined on real numbers which is continuous from the left, but not from the right, everywhere

I am teaching Mathematical analysis. A student asked this question. I think this is a good question, but don't know the answer.

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**1**answer

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### 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 ...

**17**

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**3**answers

2k views

### Prime ideals in the ring of germs of continuous functions

We all know that the ring of germs of continuous functions at a point on, say $\mathbb{R}$, has a unique maximal ideal- namely, those functions that vanish at that point.
Can anyone think of a single ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

483 views

### Intersection of compact sets in the unit interval

Let $\mathscr K$ be an uncountable set such that every $K\in\mathscr K$ is a compact subset of $[0,1]$ with positive Lebesgue measure. Does it then follow that there exists an uncountable $\mathscr ...

**17**

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**3**answers

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### Dual of bounded uniformly continuous functions

Let $(X,d)$ be a metric space, and let $C_u(X)$ be the Banach space of bounded uniformly continuous functions on $X$ (with the uniform norm). How can I characterize its dual space $C_u(X)^*$?
I ...

**17**

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**4**answers

4k views

### Integrability of derivatives

Is there a (preferably simple) example of a function $f:(a,b)\to \mathbb{R}$ which is everywhere differentiable, such that $f'$ is not Riemann integrable?
I ask for pedagogical reasons. Results in ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

713 views

### If $f:R^n \to R$ is a smooth real-valued function such that $\nabla f : R^n \to R^n$ is a diffeomorphism, what can one conclude about the behavior of $f(x)$ at infinity?

This question may seem peculiar, so let me preface it by saying that it arose while I was trying to understand Legendre transformations better, and in that context it is fairly natural. Anyway, ...

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### Do convex and decreasing functions preserve the semimartingale property?

Some time ago I spent a lot of effort trying to show that the semimartingale property is preserved by certain functions. Specifically, that a convex function of a semimartingale and decreasing ...

**16**

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**8**answers

2k 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 ...

**16**

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**11**answers

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### The role of the mean value theorem (MVT) in first-year calculus.

Should the mean value theorem be taught in first-year calculus?
Most calculus textbooks present the MVT just before the section that says that if $f'>0$ on an interval then $f$ increases on that ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

806 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 ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

431 views

### Is the notion of fixed point property for topological spaces an absolute notion?

Recall that a topological space $X$ has the fixed point property (FPP) if any continuous function $f: X\to X$ has a fixed point.
Is the notion of FPP for topological spaces an absolute notion? More ...

**16**

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**2**answers

567 views

### Felix Klein on infinitesimals

This is a reference request prompted by some intriguing comments made by Felix Klein.
In 1908, Felix Klein formulated a criterion of what it would take for a theory of infinitesimals to be ...

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**2**answers

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 ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

811 views

### functions from Q to itself with derivative zero

Let $f: {\bf Q} \rightarrow {\bf Q}$ be a "${\bf Q}$-differentiable" function whose "${\bf Q}$-derivative" is constantly zero; that is, for all $x \in {\bf Q}$ and all $\epsilon > 0$ in ${\bf Q}$, ...

**15**

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**4**answers

1k views

### Is a random subset of the real numbers non-measurable? Is the set of measurable sets measurable?

One might say, "a random subset of $\mathbb{R}$ is not Lebesgue measurable" without really thinking about it. But if we unpack the standard definitions of all those terms (and work in ZFC), it's not ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

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:
...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Convergence of Fourier Series of $L^1$ Functions

I recently learned of the result by Carleson and Hunt (1968) which states that if $f \in L^p$ for $p > 1$, then the Fourier series of $f$ converges to $f$ pointwise-a.e. Also, Wikipedia informs me ...