# PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION

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1 Chapter 4 PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION Analysis and natural philosophy owe their most important discoveries to this fruitful means, which is called induction Newton was indebted to it for his theorem of the binomial and the principle of universal gravity LAPLACE 41 Introduction One key basis for mathematical thinking is deductive reasoning An informal, and example of deductive reasoning, borrowed from the study of logic, is an argument expressed in three statements: (a) Socrates is a man (b) All men are mortal, therefore, (c) Socrates is mortal If statements (a) and (b) are true, then the truth of (c) is established To make this simple mathematical example, we could write: (i) Eight is divisible by two (ii) Any number divisible by two is an even number, G Peano ( ) therefore, (iii) Eight is an even number Thus, deduction in a nutshell is given a statement to be proven, often called a conjecture or a theorem in mathematics, valid deductive steps are derived and a proof may or may not be established, ie, deduction is the application of a general case to a particular case In contrast to deduction, inductive reasoning depends on working with each case, and developing a conjecture by observing incidences till we have observed each and every case It is frequently used in mathematics and is a key aspect of scientific reasoning, where collecting and analysing data is the norm Thus, in simple language, we can say the word induction means the generalisation from particular cases or facts

2 PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION 87 In algebra or in other discipline of mathematics, there are certain results or statements that are formulated in terms of n, where n is a positive integer To prove such statements the well-suited principle that is used based on the specific technique, is known as the principle of mathematical induction 4 Motivation In mathematics, we use a form of complete induction called mathematical induction To understand the basic principles of mathematical induction, suppose a set of thin rectangular tiles are placed as shown in Fig 41 Fig 41 When the first tile is pushed in the indicated direction, all the tiles will fall To be absolutely sure that all the tiles will fall, it is sufficient to know that (a) The first tile falls, and (b) In the event that any tile falls its successor necessarily falls This is the underlying principle of mathematical induction We know, the set of natural numbers N is a special ordered subset of the real numbers In fact, N is the smallest subset of R with the following property: A set S is said to be an inductive set if 1 S and x + 1 S whenever x S Since N is the smallest subset of R which is an inductive set, it follows that any subset of R that is an inductive set must contain N Illustration Suppose we wish to find the formula for the sum of positive integers 1,,,,n, that is, a formula which will give the value of when n, the value , when n 4 and so on and suppose that in some manner we are led to believe that the nn+ ( formula n is the correct one How can this formula actually be proved? We can, of course, verify the statement for as many positive integral values of n as we like, but this process will not prove the formula for all values of n What is needed is some kind of chain reaction which will

3 88 MATHEMATICS have the effect that once the formula is proved for a particular positive integer the formula will automatically follow for the next positive integer and the next indefinitely Such a reaction may be considered as produced by the method of mathematical induction 4 The Principle of Mathematical Induction Suppose there is a given statement P(n) involving the natural number n such that (i) The statement is true for n 1, ie, P( is true, and (ii) If the statement is true for n k (where k is some positive integer), then the statement is also true for n k + 1, ie, truth of P(k) implies the truth of P (k + Then, P(n) is true for all natural numbers n Property (i) is simply a statement of fact There may be situations when a statement is true for all n 4 In this case, step 1 will start from n 4 and we shall verify the result for n 4, ie, P(4) Property (ii) is a conditional property It does not assert that the given statement is true for n k, but only that if it is true for n k, then it is also true for n k +1 So, to prove that the property holds, only prove that conditional proposition: If the statement is true for n k, then it is also true for n k + 1 This is sometimes referred to as the inductive step The assumption that the given statement is true for n k in this inductive step is called the inductive hypothesis For example, frequently in mathematics, a formula will be discovered that appears to fit a pattern like , etc It is worth to be noted that the sum of the first two odd natural numbers is the square of second natural number, sum of the first three odd natural numbers is the square of third natural number and so onthus, from this pattern it appears that (n n, ie, the sum of the first n odd natural numbers is the square of n Let us write P(n): (n n We wish to prove that P(n) is true for all n The first step in a proof that uses mathematical induction is to prove that P ( is true This step is called the basic step Obviously 1 1, ie, P( is true The next step is called the inductive step Here, we suppose that P (k) is true for some

4 PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION 89 positive integer k and we need to prove that P (k + is true Since P (k) is true, we have (k k ( Consider (k + {(k + 1} () k + (k + (k + [Using (] Therefore, P (k + is true and the inductive proof is now completed Hence P(n) is true for all natural numbers n Example 1 For all n 1, prove that n nn ( + (n+ Solution Let the given statement be P(n), ie, P(n) : n nn ( + (n+ 1(1 + ( For n 1, P(: 1 1 which is true Assume that P(k) is true for some positive integer k, ie, kk ( + (k k We shall now prove that P(k + is also true Now, we have ( k ) + (k + kk ( ( ( + k+ + ( k + [Using (] kk ( + (k+ + ( k+ ( k + (k + 7k+ ) ( k + ( k + 1+ {( k + + 1} Thus P(k + is true, whenever P (k) is true Hence, from the principle of mathematical induction, the statement P(n) is true for all natural numbers n

5 90 MATHEMATICS Example Prove that n > n for all positive integers n Solution Let P(n): n > n When n 1, 1 >1 Hence P( is true Assume that P(k) is true for any positive integer k, ie, k > k ( We shall now prove that P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true Multiplying both sides of ( by, we get k > k ie, k + 1 > k k + k > k + 1 Therefore, P(k + is true when P(k) is true Hence, by principle of mathematical induction, P(n) is true for every positive integer n Example For all n 1, prove that Solution We can write P(n): n nn ( + n n nn ( + n+ 1 We note that P(: 1 1 1, which is true Thus, P(n) is true for n Assume that P(k) is true for some natural number k, ie, k kk ( + k+ 1 We need to prove that P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true We have kk ( + ( k+ ( k+ ) kk ( + + ( k+ ( k+ ) k 1 + k + 1 ( k + ( k + ) ( [Using (]

6 PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION 91 kk ( + ) + 1 ( k + ( k + ) ( k + k + ( k + ( k + ) ( k + ( k + ( k + ) k + 1 k + 1 k ( k ) Thus P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true Hence, by the principle of mathematical induction, P(n) is true for all natural numbers Example 4 For every positive integer n, prove that 7 n n is divisible by 4 Solution We can write P(n) : 7 n n is divisible by 4 We note that P(: which is divisible by 4 Thus P(n) is true for n 1 Let P(k) be true for some natural number k, ie, P(k) : 7 k k is divisible by 4 We can write 7 k k 4d, where d N Now, we wish to prove that P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true Now 7 (k + (k + 7 (k + 7 k + 7 k (k + 7(7 k k ) + (7 ) k 7(4d) + (7 ) k 7(4d) + 4 k 4(7d + k ) From the last line, we see that 7 (k + (k + is divisible by 4 Thus, P(k + is true when P(k) is true Therefore, by principle of mathematical induction the statement is true for every positive integer n Example 5 Prove that (1 + x) n (1 + nx), for all natural number n, where x > 1 Solution Let P(n) be the given statement, ie, P(n): (1 + x) n (1 + nx), for x > 1 We note that P(n) is true when n 1, since ( 1+x) (1 + x) for x > 1 Assume that P(k): (1 + x) k (1 + kx), x > 1 is true ( We want to prove that P(k + is true for x > 1 whenever P(k) is true () Consider the identity (1 + x) k + 1 (1 + x) k (1 + x) Given that x > 1, so (1+x) > 0 Therefore, by using (1 + x) k (1 + kx), we have (1 + x) k + 1 (1 + kx)(1 + x) ie (1 + x) k + 1 (1 + x + kx + kx ) ()

7 9 MATHEMATICS Here k is a natural number and x 0 so that kx 0 Therefore (1 + x + kx + kx ) (1 + x + kx), and so we obtain (1 + x) k + 1 (1 + x + kx) ie (1 + x) k + 1 [1 + (1 + k)x] Thus, the statement in () is established Hence, by the principle of mathematical induction, P(n) is true for all natural numbers Example Prove that 7 n + 5 n 5 is divisible by 4, for all n N Solution Let the statement P(n) be defined as P(n) : 7 n + 5 n 5 is divisible by 4 We note that P(n) is true for n 1, since , which is divisible by 4 Assume that P(k) is true ie 7 k + 5 k 5 4q, when q N ( Now, we wish to prove that P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true We have 7 k k k k [7 k + 5 k 5 5 k + 5] + 5 k [4q 5 k + 5] k 5 7 4q 15 k k 5 7 4q 5 k q (5 k 5) 7 4q (4p) [(5 k 5) is a multiple of 4 (why?)] 7 4q 4p 4 (7q p) 4 r; r 7q p, is some natural number () The expression on the RHS of ( is divisible by 4 Thus P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true Hence, by principle of mathematical induction, P(n) is true for all n N

8 PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION 9 Example 7 Prove that n n >, n N Solution Let P(n) be the given statement ie, P(n) : n > n, n N We note that P(n) is true for n 1 since Assume that P(k) is true 1 1 k ie P(k) : k > We shall now prove that P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true We have k + (k + > k ( 1 k ) ( k ( k ( > + + [by (] 1 [k + k + k + ] 1 [(k + + k + ] > 1 (k + Therefore, P(k + is also true whenever P(k) is true Hence, by mathematical induction P(n) is true for all n N Example 8 Prove the rule of exponents (ab) n a n b n by using principle of mathematical induction for every natural number Solution Let P(n) be the given statement ie P(n) : (ab) n a n b n We note that P(n) is true for n 1 since (ab) 1 a 1 b 1 Let P(k) be true, ie, (ab) k a k b k ( We shall now prove that P(k + is true whenever P(k) is true Now, we have (ab) k + 1 (ab) k (ab)

9 94 MATHEMATICS (a k b k ) (ab) [by (] (a k a 1 ) (b k b 1 ) a k+1 b k+1 Therefore, P(k + is also true whenever P(k) is true Hence, by principle of mathematical induction, P(n) is true for all n N EXERCISE 41 Prove the following by using the principle of mathematical induction for all n N: n n n ( nn+ ( n (1 + ) (1 + + ) ( n ) ( n n(n+ (n+) n n n(n+ nn ( + ( n+ )( n+ ) 4 n+ 1 (n + 4 nn ( + ( n+ ) 7 n(4n + n (n (n n n (n n n n n (n (n+ ) (n+ 4) nn ( + ) nn ( + ( n+ ) 4( n+ ( n+ )

10 PRINCIPLE OF MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION 95 1 a + ar + ar + + ar n n ar ( r (n ( n n ( n + 1 n (n 1 17 n(n (n n (n )(n+ (n n (n+ (n+ ) (n+ ) n < 1 8 (n + 19 n (n + (n + 5) is a multiple of 0 10 n is divisible by 11 1 x n y n is divisible by x + y n+ 8n 9 is divisible by 8 41 n 14 n is a multiple of 7 4 (n + 7) < (n + ) Summary One key basis for mathematical thinking is deductive reasoning In contrast to deduction, inductive reasoning depends on working with different cases and developing a conjecture by observing incidences till we have observed each and every case Thus, in simple language we can say the word induction means the generalisation from particular cases or facts The principle of mathematical induction is one such tool which can be used to prove a wide variety of mathematical statements Each such statement is assumed as P(n) associated with positive integer n, for which the correctness

11 9 MATHEMATICS for the case n 1 is examined Then assuming the truth of P(k) for some positive integer k, the truth of P (k+ is established Historical Note Unlike other concepts and methods, proof by mathematical induction is not the invention of a particular individual at a fixed moment It is said that the principle of mathematical induction was known by the Pythagoreans The French mathematician Blaise Pascal is credited with the origin of the principle of mathematical induction The name induction was used by the English mathematician John Wallis Later the principle was employed to provide a proof of the binomial theorem De Morgan contributed many accomplishments in the field of mathematics on many different subjects He was the first person to define and name mathematical induction and developed De Morgan s rule to determine the convergence of a mathematical series G Peano undertook the task of deducing the properties of natural numbers from a set of explicitly stated assumptions, now known as Peano s axiomsthe principle of mathematical induction is a restatement of one of the Peano s axioms

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