Plus One - Chapter 4 - Principle of Mathematical Induction


Plus One - Chapter 4 - Principle of Mathematical Induction

One key basis for mathematical thinking is deductive reasoning. An informal, and example of deductive reasoning, borrowed from the study of logic, is an argument expressed in three statements: 

    (a) Socrates is a man.
    (b) All men are mortal, therefore,
    (c) Socrates is mortal.

If statements (a) and (b) are true, then the truth of (c) is established.
To make this simple mathematical example, we could write:
    (i) Eight is divisible by two.
    (ii) Any number divisible by two is an even number, therefore,
    (iii) Eight is an even number.

Thus, deduction in a nutshell is given a statement to be proven, often called a conjecture or a theorem in mathematics, valid deductive steps are derived and a proof may or may not be established, i.e., deduction is the application of a general case to a particular case.

In contrast to deduction, inductive reasoning depends on working with each case, and developing a conjecture by observing incidences till we have observed each and every case. It is frequently used in mathematics and is a key aspect of scientific reasoning, where collecting and analysing data is the norm.

Thus, in simple language, we can say the word induction means the generalisation from particular cases or facts. In algebra or in other discipline of mathematics, there are certain results or statements that are formulated in terms of n, where n is a positive integer. To prove such statements the well-suited principle that is used–based on the specific technique, is known as the principle of mathematical induction.

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