An infinite field that cannot be ordered

Introduction to ordered fields

Let \(K\) be a field. An ordering of \(K\) is a subset \(P\) of \(K\) having the following properties:

ORD 1
Given \(x \in K\), we have either \(x \in P\), or \(x=0\), or \(-x \in P\), and these three possibilities are mutually exclusive. In other words, \(K\) is the disjoint union of \(P\), \(\{0\}\), and \(-P\).
ORD 2
If \(x, y \in P\), then \(x+y\) and \(xy \in P\).

We shall also say that \(K\) is ordered by \(P\), and we call \(P\) the set of positive elements. Continue reading An infinite field that cannot be ordered

A function that is everywhere continuous and nowhere differentiable

Let \(f_1(x) = |x|\) for \(| x | \le \frac{1}{2}\), and let \(f_1\) be defined for other values of \(x\) by periodic continuation with period \(1\). \(f_1\) graph looks like following picture:
van-der-Waerden first function picture

\(f_1\) is continuous everywhere and differentiable on \(\mathbb{R} \setminus \mathbb{Z}\). Continue reading A function that is everywhere continuous and nowhere differentiable

A compact convex set whose extreme points set is not close

Let’s remind that an extreme point \(c\) of a convex set \(C\) in a real vector space \(E\) is a point in \(C\) which does not lie in any open line segment joining two points of \(C\).

The specific case of dimension \(2\)

Proposition: when \(C\) is closed and its dimension is equal to \(2\), the set \(\hat{C}\) of its extreme points is closed.
Continue reading A compact convex set whose extreme points set is not close

An unbounded positive continuous function with finite integral

Consider the piecewise linear function \(f\) defined on \([0,+\infty)\) taking following values for all \(n \in \mathbb{N^*}\):
\[
f(x)=
\left\{
\begin{array}{ll}
0 & \mbox{if } x=0\\
0 & \mbox{if } x=n-\frac{1}{2n^3}\\
n & \mbox{if } x=n\\
0 & \mbox{if } x=n+\frac{1}{2n^3}\\
\end{array}
\right.
\]

The graph of \(f\) can be visualized in the featured image of the post. Continue reading An unbounded positive continuous function with finite integral

A continuous differential equation with no solution

Most of Cauchy existence theorems for a differential equation
\begin{equation}
\textbf{x}^\prime = \textbf{f}(t,\textbf{x})
\end{equation} where \(t\) is a real variable and \(\textbf{x}\) a vector on a real vectorial space \(E\) are valid when \(E\) is of finite dimension or a Banach space. This is however not true for the Peano existence theorem. Continue reading A continuous differential equation with no solution

An empty intersection of nested closed convex subsets in a Banach space

We consider a decreasing sequence \((C_n)_{n \in \mathbb{N}}\) of non empty closed convex subsets of a Banach space \(E\).

If the convex subsets are closed balls, their intersection is not empty. To see this let \(x_n\) be the center and \(r_n > 0\) the radius of the ball \(C_n\). For \(0 \leq n < m\) we have \(\Vert x_m-x_n\Vert \leq r_n – r_m\) which proves that \((x_n)_{n \in \mathbb{N}}\) is a Cauchy sequence. As the space \(E\) is Banach, \((x_n)_{n \in \mathbb{N}}\) converges to a limit \(x\) and \(x \in \bigcap_{n=0}^{+\infty} C_n\). Continue reading An empty intersection of nested closed convex subsets in a Banach space

A nowhere continuous function

This is a strange function!

One example is the Dirichlet function \(1_{\mathbb{Q}}\).
\(1_{\mathbb{Q}}(x)=1\) if \(x \in \mathbb{Q}\) and
\(1_{\mathbb{Q}}(x)=0\) if \(x \in \mathbb{R} \setminus \mathbb{Q}\).

\(1_{\mathbb{Q}}\) is everywhere discontinuous because \(\mathbb{Q}\) is everywhere dense in \(\mathbb{R}\).

The function \(x \mapsto x \cdot 1_{\mathbb{Q}}(x)\) is continuous in \(0\) and discontinuous elsewhere.

Mathematical exceptions to the rules or intuition