Questions tagged [examples-counterexamples]

To be used for questions whose central topic is a request for examples where a mathematical property holds, or counterexamples where it does not hold. This tag should be used in conjunction with another tag to clearly specify the subject.

Examples and counterexamples are great ways to learn about the intricacies of definitions in mathematics. Counterexamples are especially useful in topology and analysis where most things are fairly intuitive, but every now and then one may run into borderline cases where the naive intuition may disagree with the actual situation that follows from the definitions. This tag should be used in conjunction with another tag to clearly specify the subject.

Do not use for any question containing an example or a counterexample. The question must specifically be about examples or counterexamples.

4885 questions
13 answers

Does commutativity imply Associativity?

Does commutativity imply associativity? I'm asking this because I was trying to think of structures that are commutative but non-associative but couldn't come up with any. Are there any such examples? NOTE: I wasn't sure how to tag this so feel free…
3 answers

Construct a function which is continuous in $[1,5]$ but not differentiable at $2, 3, 4$

Construct a function which is continuous in $[1,5]$ but not differentiable at $2, 3, 4$. This question is just after the definition of differentiation and the theorem that if $f$ is finitely derivable at $c$, then $f$ is also continuous at $c$.…
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What are some conceptualizations that work in mathematics but are not strictly true?

I'm having an argument with someone who thinks it's never justified to teach something that's not strictly correct. I disagree: often, the pedagogically most efficient way to make progress is to iteratively learn and unlearn along the way. I'm…
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10 answers

Does $G\cong G/H$ imply that $H$ is trivial?

Let $G$ be any group such that $$G\cong G/H$$ where $H$ is a normal subgroup of $G$. If $G$ is finite, then $H$ is the trivial subgroup $\{e\}$. Does the result still hold when $G$ is infinite ? In what kind of group could I search for a…
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6 answers

Not every metric is induced from a norm

I have studied that every normed space $(V, \lVert\cdot \lVert)$ is a metric space with respect to distance function $d(u,v) = \lVert u - v \rVert$, $u,v \in V$. My question is whether every metric on a linear space can be induced by norm? I know…
11 answers

Fake induction proofs

Question: Can you provide an example of a claim where the base case holds but there is a subtle flaw in the inductive step that leads to a fake proof of a clearly erroneous result? [Note: Please do not answer with the very common all horses are the…
14 answers

"Naturally occurring" non-Hausdorff spaces?

It is not difficult for a beginning point-set topology student to cook up an example of a non-Hausdorff space; perhaps the simplest example is the line with two origins. It is impossible to separate the two origins with disjoint open sets. It is…
10 answers

Examples of finite nonabelian groups.

Can anybody provide some examples of finite nonabelian groups which are not symmetric groups or dihedral groups?
3 answers

If I know the order of every element in a group, do I know the group?

Suppose $G$ is a finite group and I know for every $k \leq |G|$ that exactly $n_k$ elements in $G$ have order $k$. Do I know what the group is? Is there a counterexample where two groups $G$ and $H$ have the same number of elements for each order,…
3 answers

Discontinuous linear functional

I'm trying to find a discontinuous linear functional into $\mathbb{R}$ as a prep question for a test. I know that I need an infinite-dimensional Vector Space. Since $\ell_2$ is infinite-dimensional, there must exist a linear functional from $\ell_2$…
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6 answers

Functions which are Continuous, but not Bicontinuous

What are some examples of functions which are continuous, but whose inverse is not continuous? nb: I changed the question after a few comments, so some of the below no longer make sense. Sorry.
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2 answers

Path-connected and locally connected space that is not locally path-connected

I'm trying to classify the various topological concepts about connectedness. According to 3 assertions ((Locally) path-connectedness implies (locally) connectedness. Connectedness together with locally path-connectedness implies…
9 answers

Good examples of double induction

I'm looking for good examples where double induction is necessary. What I mean by double induction is induction on $\omega^2$. These are intended as examples in an "Automatas and Formal Languages" course. One standard example is the following: in…
Yuval Filmus
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9 answers

Example of Partial Order that's not a Total Order and why?

I'm looking for a simple example of a partial order which is not a total order so that I can grasp the concept and the difference between the two. An explanation of why the example is a partial order but not a total order would also be greatly…
26 answers

Non-associative operations

There are lots of operations that are not commutative. I'm looking for striking counter-examples of operations that are not associative. Or may associativity be genuinely built-in the concept of an operation? May non-associative operations be of…
Hans-Peter Stricker
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