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Solutions to Practice Problems, Math 220

1 Prove that 5
2n
1 is divisible by 8 for all n N.
Solution We use induction. Note rst that 5
2
1 = 24 is divisible by
8. Suppose that 5
2k
1 is divisible by 8, say 5
2k
1 = 8 N. Then
5
2(k+1)
1 = 25 5
2k
1 =

5
2k
1

+ 24 5
2k
= 8

N + 3 5
2k

.
2 Prove that

1
2
(a + b)

1
2
(a
2
+ b
2
) for all a, b R with equality
i a = b.
Solution Notice that
1
2

a
2
+ b
2

1
2
(a + b)

2
=
1
4

a
2
2ab + b
2

1
2
(a b)

2
and hence is 0.
3 Let
S = {1/n 1/m : n, m N} .
Find infS and supS.
Solution We claim that infS = 1 and supS = 1. To see this, rst
note that
1/n 1/m 1/n 1 > 1 and 1/n 1/m 1 1/m < 1
and so these are, respectively, lower and upper bounds. If s > 1,
then we may apply the Archimedean property to nd an n such that
1/n 1 < s. It follows that s is not a lower bound and hence infS =
1. The argument for supS is similar.
4 Show that a nonempty nite set contains its supremum.
Solution This was exercise 3 from Assignment 2.
5 Let I
n
= [0,
1
n
], J
n
= (0,
1
n
) and K
n
= (n, ). Find

n=1
I
n
,

n=1
J
n
and

n=1
K
n
.
Solution We have

n=1
I
n
= {0},

n=1
J
n
= ,

n=1
K
n
= .
6 Prove that S

is a closed set.
1
2
Solution Suppose that x S

. Then there exists a neighbourhood


N(x) such that N

(x) S = . If there is a y with y N(x) S

, then
for every neighbourhood of y, we can nd a z S. In particular, since
y = x, we can, choosing our neighbourhood suitably small, nd a N(y)
such that x N(y) and N(y) N(x) S. This means that there is a
z S with z N

(x), a contradiction.
7 If S is a compact subset of R and T is a closed subset of S, prove
that T is compact using (a) the denition of compactness; and (b) the
Heine-Borel Theorem.
Solution The part (b) is easy since S compact means that S is bounded
and hence so is T. Since T is closed and bounded, it is compact via
Heine-Borel. To do this via the denition is harder. Suppose that T is
not compact. Then there exists an open cover of T, say A, which has
no nite subcover. Since T is closed, its complement R \ T is open.
It follows, if we add in the set R \ T to the collection of sets A, then
we have an open cover of R and hence of S. Since S is compact, this
cover has a nite subcover B. Now either B itself or B \ {R \ T} is a
nite subcover of A, a contradiction.