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Proof by Exhaustion A- level

Stella Seremetaki
Pure Mathematician
http://www.mathschool-online.com/
Contents

Methods of proof ................................................................................. 1


Proof by Exhaustion ........................................................................... 1
First Example ...................................................................................... 1
Proof .................................................................................................... 1
Second example .................................................................................. 2
Proof .................................................................................................... 3
References............................................................................................ 3

Methods of proof

Proof by Exhaustion
Note: In proof by exahaustion you break things down into two

or more cases. You have to make sure that your cases cover all

possible situations then try to prove separetly that the

statement is true for each case.

First Example
Prove the following statement : “For any integer x, the value of
3
h(x)=x +x+1 is an odd integer”.

To prove the statement, split the situation into two cases :

(i)X is an even number and (ii) x is an odd number

Proof
(i) If x is an even integer then it can be written as x=2n, for

some integer n-(this is the definition of an even number)

Substitute x=2n into the function h :

3 3 3
h(2n)=(2n) +2n+1=8n +2n+1=2(4n +n)+1

1
3
n is an integer thus (4n +n) is an integer (the sum or the
product of any inegers are also integers)

3
2(4n +n) is an even integer

3
2(4n +n)+1 is an odd integer

So h(x) is odd when x is even


(ii) If x is an odd integer then it can be written as x=2m+1

for some integer m. Substitute x=2m +1 into the function h

3 3 2
h(2m+1)=(2m+1) +(2m+1)+1=(8m +12m +6m+1)+(2m+1)+
3 2 3 2
1=8m +12m +6m+1+2m+1+1=8m +6m +8m+2+1=

3 2
2(4m +3m +4m+1)+1, m is an integer thus
2 2
2(4m +3m +4m+1)+1 is an odd integer

So h(x) is odd when x is odd


We have shown that f(x) is odd when x is even and when x is

odd (both cases). As any integer x must be either odd or even

3
we have therefore schown that h(x)= x +x+1 is odd for any

integer x.

Second example

Prove that every integer that is a perfect cube is a multiple of

9, or is 1 more than a multiple of 9, or is 1 less than a multiple

of 9.

2
Proof

Each cube number is the cube of some integer n. Every integer

n is either a multiple of 3, or 1 more or 1 less than a multiple


of 3. So these 3 cases are exhaustive:

3 3
 Case 1: If n = 3p, then n = 27p , which is a multiple of 9.

3 3 2
 Case 2: If n = 3p + 1, then n = 27p + 27p + 9p + 1,

which is 1 more than a multiple of 9. For instance, if

3
n = 4 then n = 64 = 9.7 + 1.

3 3 2
 Case 3: If n = 3p − 1, then n = 27p − 27p + 9p − 1,

which is 1 less than a multiple of 9. For instance, if n

3
= 5 then n = 125 = 9.14 − 1

References

A level Year 1&AS Mathematics. Exam Board : Edexcel

Coordination Group Publications Ltd, Broughton House, Grif-

fin Street, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK, LA20 6HH.

Proof by exhaustion, retrieved from


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_exhaustion

at 10/11/2018