# proving existential statements

Post on 10-Feb-2017

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Discrete Structures

Proving Existential Statementsx D such that Q(x)is true if, and only if,Q(x) is true for at least one x in D.

find an x in D that makes Q(x) true.Give a set of directions for finding such an x.Both of these methods are called constructive proofs of existence.

Proving Existential StatementsProve the following: an even integer n that can be written in two ways as a sum of two prime numbers.Let n = 10. Then 10 = 5 + 5 = 3 + 7 and 3, 5, and 7 are all prime numbers.Suppose that r and s are integers. Prove the following: an integer k such that 22r + 18s = 2k.Let k = 11r + 9s. Then k is an integer because it is a sum of products of integers; and by substitution, 2k = 2(11r + 9s), which equals 22r + 18s by the distributive law of algebra.

Proving Existential StatementsA nonconstructive proof of existence involves showing eitherthat the existence of a value of x that makes Q(x) true is guaranteed by an axiom or a previously proved theorem orthat the assumption that there is no such x leads to a contradiction. The disadvantage of a nonconstructive proof is that it may give virtually no clue about where or how x may be found.

Disproving Universal Statements by CounterexampleTo disprove a statement means to show that it is false.x in D, if P(x) then Q(x).Showing that this statement is false is equivalent to showing that its negation is truex in D such that P(x) and not Q(x).Example is given to show that statement is true and actual statement is false.Such as example is called counterexample.

Disproving Universal Statements by Counterexample

Proofs by ContradictionWe will assume that the claim we are trying to prove is wrong and reach a contradiction.If all the derivations along the way are correct, then the only thing that can be wrong is the assumption, which was that the claim we are trying to prove does not hold. This proves that the claim does hold.This method of proof is also known as reductio ad absurdum because it relies on reducing a given assumption to an absurdity.

Proofs by ContradictionFor example, if a man accused of holding up a bank can prove that he was at some place else at the time the crime was committed, he will certainly be cleared. The logic of his defense is as follows:Suppose I did commit the crime. Then at the time of the crime, I would have had to be at the scene of the crime. In fact, at the time of the crime I was in a meeting with 20 people far from the crime scene, as they will testify. This contradicts the assumption that I committed the crime since it is impossible to be in two places at one time. Hence that assumption is false.