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.

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Are normal subgroups transitive?

Suppose $G$ is a group and $K\lhd H\lhd G$ are normal subgroups of $G$. Is $K$ a normal subgroup of $G$, i.e. $K\lhd G$? If not, what extra conditions on $G$ or $H$ make this possible? Applying the definitions, we know $\{ghg^{-1}\mid h\in H\}=H$…
Mario Carneiro
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Can a nowhere continuous function have a connected graph?

After noticing that function $f: \mathbb R\rightarrow \mathbb R $ $$ f(x) = \left\{\begin{array}{l} \sin\frac{1}{x} & \text{for }x\neq 0 \\ 0 &\text{for }x=0 \end{array}\right. $$ has a graph that is a connected set, despite the function not being…
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Examples of mathematical induction

What are the best examples of mathematical induction available at the secondary-school level---totally elementary---that do not involve expressions of the form $\bullet+\cdots\cdots\cdots+\bullet$ where the number of terms depends on $n$ and you're…
49
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6 answers

Why does the Hilbert curve fill the whole square?

I have never seen a formal definition of the Hilbert curve, much less a careful analysis of why it fills the whole square. The Wikipedia and Mathworld articles are typically handwavy. I suppose the idea is something like this: one defines a…
MJD
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Continuity $\Rightarrow$ Intermediate Value Property. Why is the opposite not true?

Continuity $\Rightarrow$ Intermediate Value Property. Why is the opposite not true? It seems to me like they are equal definitions in a way. Can you give me a counter-example? Thanks
AndrePoole
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Examples and further results about the order of the product of two elements in a group

Let $G$ be a group and let $a,b$ be two elements of $G$. What can we say about the order of their product $ab$? Wikipedia says "not much": There is no general formula relating the order of a product $ab$ to the orders of $a$ and $b$. In fact, it is…
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Is every function with the intermediate value property a derivative?

As it is well known every continuous function has the intermediate value property, but even some discontinuous functions like $$f(x)=\left\{ \begin{array}{cl} \sin\left(\frac{1}{x}\right) & x\neq 0 \\ 0 & x=0 \end{array} \right.$$ are having this…
Dominic Michaelis
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Is every group the automorphism group of a group?

Suppose $G$ is a group. Does there always exist a group $H$, such that $\operatorname{Aut}(H)=G$, i. e. such that $G$ is the automorphism group of $H$? EDIT: It has been pointed out that the answer to the above question is no. But I would be much…
Dominik
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What is the intuition between 1-cocycles (group cohomology)?

This is, I'm sure, an incredibly naive question, but: is there a simple explanation for why one should be interested in 1-cocycles? Let me explain a bit. Given an action of a group $G$ on another group $A$ (the group structure of $A$ is respected by…
Noah Schweber
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Examples of results failing in higher dimensions

A number of economists do not appreciate rigor in their usage of mathematics and I find it very discouraging. One of the examples of rigor-lacking approach are proofs done via graphs or pictures without formalizing the reasoning. I would like thus…
johnny
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Lebesgue measurable set that is not a Borel measurable set

exact duplicate of Lebesgue measurable but not Borel measurable BUT! can you please translate Miguel's answer and expand it with a formal proof? I'm totally stuck... In short: Is there a Lebesgue measurable set that is not Borel measurable? They…
example
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What is the spectral theorem for compact self-adjoint operators on a Hilbert space actually for?

Please excuse the naive question. I have had two classes now in which this theorem was taught and proven, but I have only ever seen a single (indirect?) application involving the quantum harmonic oscillator. Even if this is not the strongest…
Qiaochu Yuan
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Two metrics induce the same topology, but one is complete and the other isn't

I'm looking for an example of two metrics that induce the same topology, but so that one metric is complete and the other is not (Since it is known that completeness isn't a topological invariant). Thanks in advance for any hints or ideas.
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Examples of uncountable sets with zero Lebesgue measure

I would like examples of uncountable subsets of $\mathbb{R}$ that have zero Lebesgue measure and are not obtained by the Cantor set. Thanks.
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A (non-artificial) example of a ring without maximal ideals

As a brief overview of the below, I am asking for: An example of a ring with no maximal ideals that is not a zero ring. A proof (or counterexample) that $R:=C_0(\mathbb{R})/C_c(\mathbb{R})$ is a ring with no maximal ideals. A homework question in…