Bounded functions and infimum, supremum

According to the extreme value theorem, a continuous real-valued function \(f\) in the closed and bounded interval \([a,b]\) must attain a maximum and a minimum, each at least once.

Let’s see what can happen for non-continuous functions. We consider below maps defined on \([0,1]\).

First let’s look at \[
x &\text{ if } x \in (0,1)\\
1/2 &\text{otherwise}
\end{cases}\] \(f\) is bounded on \([0,1]\), continuous on the interval \((0,1)\) but neither at \(0\) nor at \(1\). The infimum of \(f\) is \(0\), its supremum \(1\), and \(f\) doesn’t attain those values. However, for \(0 < a < b < 1\), \(f\) attains its supremum and infimum on \([a,b]\) as \(f\) is continuous on this interval.

Bounded function that doesn’t attain its infimum and supremum on all \([a,b] \subseteq [0,1]\)

The function \(g\) defined on \([0,1]\) by \[
0 & \text{ if } x \notin \mathbb Q \text{ or if } x = 0\\
\frac{(-1)^q (q-1)}{q} & \text{ if } x = \frac{p}{q} \neq 0 \text{, with } p, q \text{ relatively prime}
\end{cases}\] is bounded, as for \(x \in \mathbb Q \cap [0,1]\) we have \[
\left\vert g(x) \right\vert < 1.\] Hence \(g\) takes values in the interval \([-1,1]\). We prove that the infimum of \(g\) is \(-1\) and its supremum \(1\) on all intervals \([a,b]\) with \(0 < a < b <1\). Consider \(\varepsilon > 0\) and an odd prime \(q\) such that \[
q > \max(\frac{1}{\varepsilon}, \frac{1}{b-a}).\] This is possible as there are infinitely many prime numbers. By the pigeonhole principle and as \(0 < \frac{1}{q} < b-a\), there exists a natural number \(p\) such that \(\frac{p}{q} \in (a,b)\). We have \[ -1 < g \left(\frac{p}{q} \right) = \frac{(-1)^q (q-1)}{q} = - \frac{q-1}{q} <-1 +\varepsilon\] as \(q\) is supposed to be an odd prime with \(q > \frac{1}{\varepsilon}\). This proves that the infimum of \(g\) is \(-1\). By similar arguments, one can prove that the supremum of \(g\) on \([a,b]\) is \(1\).

On limit at infinity of functions and their derivatives

We consider continuously differentiable real functions defined on \((0,\infty)\) and the limits \[
\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f(x) \text{ and } \lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f^\prime(x).\]

A map \(f\) such that \(\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f(x) = \infty\) and \(\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f^\prime(x) = 0\)

Consider the map \(f : x \mapsto \sqrt{x}\). It is clear that \(\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f(x) = \infty\). As \(f^\prime(x) = \frac{1}{2 \sqrt{x}}\), we have as announced \(\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} f^\prime(x) = 0\)

A bounded map \(g\) having no limit at infinity such that \(\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} g^\prime(x) = 0\)

One idea is to take an oscillating map whose wavelength is increasing to \(\infty\). Let’s take the map \(g : x \mapsto \cos \sqrt{x}\). \(g\) doesn’t have a limit at \(\infty\) as for \(n \in \mathbb N\), we have \(g(n^2 \pi^2) = \cos n \pi = (-1)^n\). However, the derivative of \(g\) is \[
g^\prime(x) = – \frac{\sin \sqrt{x}}{2 \sqrt{x}},\] and as \(\vert g^\prime(x) \vert \le \frac{1}{2 \sqrt{x}}\) for all \(x \in (0,\infty)\), we have \(\lim\limits_{x \to \infty} g^\prime(x) = 0\).

Limit points of real sequences

Let’s start by recalling an important theorem of real analysis:

THEOREM. A necessary and sufficient condition for the convergence of a real sequence is that it is bounded and has a unique limit point.

As a consequence of the theorem, a sequence having a unique limit point is divergent if it is unbounded. An example of such a sequence is the sequence \[
u_n = \frac{n}{2}(1+(-1)^n),\] whose initial values are \[
0, 1, 0, 2, 0, 3, 0, 4, 0, 5, 6, \dots\] \((u_n)\) is an unbounded sequence whose unique limit point is \(0\).

Let’s now look at sequences having more complicated limit points sets.

A sequence whose set of limit points is the set of natural numbers

Consider the sequence \((v_n)\) whose initial terms are \[
1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, \dots\] \((v_n)\) is defined as follows \[
1 &\text{ for } n= 1\\
n – \frac{k(k+1)}{2} &\text{ for } \frac{k(k+1)}{2} < n \le \frac{(k+1)(k+2)}{2} \end{cases}\] \((v_n)\) is well defined as the sequence \((\frac{k(k+1)}{2})_{k \in \mathbb N}\) is strictly increasing with first term equal to \(1\). \((v_n)\) is a sequence of natural numbers. As \(\mathbb N\) is a set of isolated points of \(\mathbb R\), we have \(V \subseteq \mathbb N\), where \(V\) is the set of limit points of \((v_n)\). Conversely, let’s take \(m \in \mathbb N\). For \(k + 1 \ge m\), we have \(\frac{k(k+1)}{2} + m \le \frac{(k+1)(k+2)}{2}\), hence \[
u_{\frac{k(k+1)}{2} + m} = m\] which proves that \(m\) is a limit point of \((v_n)\). Finally the set of limit points of \((v_n)\) is the set of natural numbers.

Continue reading Limit points of real sequences

Non linear map preserving orthogonality

Let \(V\) be a real vector space endowed with an inner product \(\langle \cdot, \cdot \rangle\).

It is known that a bijective map \( T : V \to V\) that preserves the inner product \(\langle \cdot, \cdot \rangle\) is linear.

That might not be the case if \(T\) is supposed to only preserve orthogonality. Let’s consider for \(V\) the real plane \(\mathbb R^2\) and the map \[
T : & \mathbb R^2 & \longrightarrow & \mathbb R^2 \\
& (x,y) & \longmapsto & (x,y) & \text{for } xy \neq 0\\
& (x,0) & \longmapsto & (0,x)\\
& (0,y) & \longmapsto & (y,0) \end{array}\]

The restriction of \(T\) to the plane less the x-axis and the y-axis is the identity and therefore is bijective on this set. Moreover \(T\) is a bijection from the x-axis onto the y-axis, and a bijection from the y-axis onto the x-axis. This proves that \(T\) is bijective on the real plane.

\(T\) preserves the orthogonality on the plane less x-axis and y-axis as it is the identity there. As \(T\) swaps the x-axis and the y-axis, it also preserves orthogonality of the coordinate axes. However, \(T\) is not linear as for non zero \(x \neq y\) we have: \[
T[(x,0) + (0,y)] = T[(x,y)] &= (x,y)\\
T[(x,0)] + T[(0,y)] = (0,x) + (y,0) &= (y,x)

A power series converging everywhere on its circle of convergence defining a non-continuous function

Consider a complex power series \(\displaystyle \sum_{k=0}^\infty a_k z^k\) with radius of convergence \(0 < R < \infty\) and suppose that for every \(w\) with \(\vert w \vert = R\), \(\displaystyle \sum_{k=0}^\infty a_k w^k\) converges. We provide an example where the power expansion at the origin \[ \displaystyle f(z) = \sum_{k=0}^\infty a_k z^k\] is discontinuous on the closed disk \(\vert z \vert \le R \).

The function \(f\) is constructed as an infinite sum \[
\displaystyle f(z) = \sum_{n=1}^\infty f_n(z)\] with \(f_n(z) = \frac{\delta_n}{a_n-z}\) where \((\delta_n)_{n \in \mathbb N}\) is a sequence of positive real numbers and \((a_n)\) a sequence of complex numbers of modulus larger than one and converging to one. Let \(f_n^{(r)}(z)\) denote the sum of the first \(r\) terms in the power series expansion of \(f_n(z)\) and \(\displaystyle f^{(r)}(z) \equiv \sum_{n=1}^\infty f_n^{(r)}(z)\).

We’ll prove that:

  1. If \(\sum_n \delta_n < \infty\) then \(\sum_{n=1}^\infty f_n^{(r)}(z)\) converges and \(f(z) = \lim\limits_{r \to \infty} \sum_{n=1}^\infty f_n^{(r)}(z)\) for \(\vert z \vert \le 1\) and \(z \neq 1\).
  2. If \(a_n=1+i \epsilon_n\) and \(\sum_n \delta_n/\epsilon_n < \infty\) then \(\sum_{n=1}^\infty f_n^{(r)}(1)\) converges and \(f(1) = \lim\limits_{r \to \infty} \sum_{n=1}^\infty f_n^{(r)}(1)\)
  3. If \(\delta_n/\epsilon_n^2 \to \infty\) then \(f(z)\) is unbounded on the disk \(\vert z \vert \le 1\).

First, let’s recall this corollary of Lebesgue’s dominated convergence theorem:

Let \((u_{n,i})_{(n,i) \in \mathbb N \times \mathbb N}\) be a double sequence of complex numbers. Suppose that \(u_{n,i} \to v_i\) for all \(i\) as \(n \to \infty\), and that \(\vert u_{n,i} \vert \le w_i\) for all \(n\) with \(\sum_i w_i < \infty\). Then for all \(n\) the series \(\sum_i u_{n,i}\) is absolutely convergent and \(\lim_n \sum_i u_{n,i} = \sum_i v_i\).

Continue reading A power series converging everywhere on its circle of convergence defining a non-continuous function

A linear map having all numbers as eigenvalue

Consider a linear map \(\varphi : E \to E\) where \(E\) is a linear space over the field \(\mathbb C\) of the complex numbers. When \(E\) is a finite dimensional vector space of dimension \(n \ge 1\), the number of eigenvalues is finite. The eigenvalues are the roots of the characteristic polynomial \(\chi_\varphi\) of \(\varphi\). \(\chi_\varphi\) is a complex polynomial of degree \(n \ge 1\). Therefore the set of eigenvalues of \(\varphi\) is non-empty and its cardinal is less than \(n\).

Things are different when \(E\) is an infinite dimensional space.

A linear map having all numbers as eigenvalue

Let’s consider the linear space \(E=\mathcal C^\infty([0,1])\) of smooth complex functions having derivatives of all orders and defined on the segment \([0,1]\). \(E\) is an infinite dimensional space: it contains all the polynomial maps.

On \(E\), we define the linear map \[\begin{array}{l|rcl}
\varphi : & \mathcal C^\infty([0,1]) & \longrightarrow & \mathcal C^\infty([0,1]) \\
& f & \longmapsto & f^\prime \end{array}\]

The set of eigenvalues of \(\varphi\) is all \(\mathbb C\). Indeed, for \(\lambda \in \mathbb C\) the map \(t \mapsto e^{\lambda t}\) is an eigenvector associated to the eigenvalue \(\lambda\).

A linear map having no eigenvalue

On the same linear space \(E=\mathcal C^\infty([0,1])\), we now consider the linear map \[\begin{array}{l|rcl}
\psi : & \mathcal C^\infty([0,1]) & \longrightarrow & \mathcal C^\infty([0,1]) \\
& f & \longmapsto & x f \end{array}\]

Suppose that \(\lambda \in \mathbb C\) is an eigenvalue of \(\psi\) and \(h \in E\) an eigenvector associated to \(\lambda\). By hypothesis, there exists \(x_0 \in [0,1]\) such that \(h(x_0) \neq 0\). Even better, as \(h\) is continuous, \(h\) is non-vanishing on \(J \cap [0,1]\) where \(J\) is an open interval containing \(x_0\). On \(J \cap [0,1]\) we have the equality \[
(\psi(h))(x) = x h(x) = \lambda h(x)\] Hence \(x=\lambda\) for all \(x \in J \cap [0,1]\). A contradiction proving that \(\psi\) has no eigenvalue.

A strictly increasing map that is not one-to-one

Consider two partially ordered sets \((E,\le)\) and \((F,\le)\) and a strictly increasing map \(f : E \to F\). If the order \((E,\le)\) is total, then \(f\) is one-to-one. Indeed for distinct elements \(x,y \in E\), we have either \(x < y\) or \(y < x\) and consequently \(f(x) < f(y)\) or \(f(y) < f(x)\). Therefore \(f(x)\) and \(f(y)\) are different. This is not true anymore for a partial order \((E,\le)\). We give a counterexample.

Consider a finite set \(E\) having at least two elements and partially ordered by the inclusion. Let \(f\) be the map defined on the powerset \(\wp(E)\) that maps \(A \subseteq E\) to its cardinal \(\vert A \vert \). \(f\) is obviously strictly increasing. However \(f\) is not one-to-one as for distincts elements \(a,b \in E\) we have \[
f(\{a\}) = 1 = f(\{b\})\]

A uniformly but not normally convergent function series

Consider a functions series \(\displaystyle \sum f_n\) of functions defined on a set \(S\) to \(\mathbb R\) or \(\mathbb C\). It is known that if \(\displaystyle \sum f_n\) is normally convergent, then \(\displaystyle \sum f_n\) is uniformly convergent.

The converse is not true and we provide two counterexamples.

Consider first the sequence of functions \((g_n)\) defined on \(\mathbb R\) by:
\[g_n(x) = \begin{cases}
\frac{\sin^2 x}{n} & \text{for } x \in (n \pi, (n+1) \pi)\\
0 & \text{else}
\end{cases}\] The series \(\displaystyle \sum \Vert g_n \Vert_\infty\) diverges as for all \(n \in \mathbb N\), \(\Vert g_n \Vert_\infty = \frac{1}{n}\) and the harmonic series \(\sum \frac{1}{n}\) diverges. However the series \(\displaystyle \sum g_n\) converges uniformly as for \(x \in \mathbb R\) the sum \(\displaystyle \sum g_n(x)\) is having only one term and \[
\vert R_n(x) \vert = \left\vert \sum_{k=n+1}^\infty g_k(x) \right\vert \le \frac{1}{n+1}\]

For our second example, we consider the sequence of functions \((f_n)\) defined on \([0,1]\) by \(f_n(x) = (-1)^n \frac{x^n}{n}\). For \(x \in [0,1]\) \(\displaystyle \sum (-1)^n \frac{x^n}{n}\) is an alternating series whose absolute value of the terms converge to \(0\) monotonically. According to Leibniz test, \(\displaystyle \sum (-1)^n \frac{x^n}{n}\) is well defined and we can apply the classical inequality \[
\displaystyle \left\vert \sum_{k=1}^\infty (-1)^k \frac{x^k}{k} – \sum_{k=1}^m (-1)^k \frac{x^k}{k} \right\vert \le \frac{x^{m+1}}{m+1} \le \frac{1}{m+1}\] for \(m \ge 1\). Which proves that \(\displaystyle \sum (-1)^n \frac{x^n}{n}\) converges uniformly on \([0,1]\).

However the convergence is not normal as \(\sup\limits_{x \in [0,1]} \frac{x^n}{n} = \frac{1}{n}\).

Root test

The root test is a test for the convergence of a series \[
\sum_{n=1}^\infty a_n \] where each term is a real or complex number. The root test was developed first by Augustin-Louis Cauchy.

We denote \[l = \limsup\limits_{n \to \infty} \sqrt[n]{\vert a_n \vert}.\] \(l\) is a non-negative real number or is possibly equal to \(\infty\). The root test states that:

  • if \(l < 1\) then the series converges absolutely;
  • if \(l > 1\) then the series diverges.

The root test is inconclusive when \(l = 1\).

A case where \(l=1\) and the series diverges

The harmonic series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n}\) is divergent. However \[\sqrt[n]{\frac{1}{n}} = \frac{1}{n^{\frac{1}{n}}}=e^{- \frac{1}{n} \ln n} \] and \(\limsup\limits_{n \to \infty} \sqrt[n]{\frac{1}{n}} = 1\) as \(\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \frac{\ln n}{n} = 0\).

A case where \(l=1\) and the series converges

Consider the series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}\). We have \[\sqrt[n]{\frac{1}{n^2}} = \frac{1}{n^{\frac{2}{n}}}=e^{- \frac{2}{n} \ln n} \] Therefore \(\limsup\limits_{n \to \infty} \sqrt[n]{\frac{1}{n^2}} = 1\), while the series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}\) is convergent as we have seen in the ratio test article. Continue reading Root test

Ratio test

The ratio test is a test for the convergence of a series \[
\sum_{n=1}^\infty a_n \] where each term is a real or complex number and is nonzero when \(n\) is large. The test is sometimes known as d’Alembert’s ratio test.

Suppose that \[\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \left\vert \frac{a_{n+1}}{a_n} \right\vert = l\] The ratio test states that:

  • if \(l < 1\) then the series converges absolutely;
  • if \(l > 1\) then the series diverges.

What if \(l = 1\)? One cannot conclude in that case.

Cases where \(l=1\) and the series diverges

Consider the harmonic series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n}\). We have \(\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \frac{n+1}{n} = 1\). It is well know that the harmonic series diverges. Recall that one proof uses the Cauchy’s convergence test based for \(k \ge 1\) on the inequalities: \[
\sum_{n=2^k+1}^{2^{k+1}} \frac{1}{n} \ge \sum_{n=2^k+1}^{2^{k+1}} \frac{1}{2^{k+1}} = \frac{2^{k+1}-2^k}{2^{k+1}} \ge \frac{1}{2}\]

An even simpler case is the series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty 1\).

Cases where \(l=1\) and the series converges

We also have \(\lim\limits_{n \to \infty} \left\vert \frac{a_{n+1}}{a_n} \right\vert = 1\) for the infinite series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}\). The series is however convergent as for \(n \ge 1\) we have:\[
0 \le \frac{1}{(n+1)^2} \le \frac{1}{n(n+1)} = \frac{1}{n} – \frac{1}{n+1}\] and the series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \left(\frac{1}{n} – \frac{1}{n+1} \right)\) obviously converges.

Another example is the alternating series \(\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{(-1)^n}{n}\).