Proof that 1 + 1 = 2
Date: 06/10/99 at 00:03:59 From: mike Subject: Need the math proof for 1 + 1 = 2 My wife the math teacher wants the mathematical proof for 1 + 1 = 2 I have spent quite a bit of time looking for it on the Web - help!
Date: 06/10/99 at 10:15:58 From: Doctor Rob Subject: Re: Need the math proof for 1 + 1 = 2 The proof starts from the Peano Postulates, which define the natural numbers N. N is the smallest set satisfying these postulates: P1. 1 is in N. P2. If x is in N, then its "successor" x' is in N. P3. There is no x such that x' = 1. P4. If x isn't 1, then there is a y in N such that y' = x. P5. If S is a subset of N, 1 is in S, and the implication (x in S => x' in S) holds, then S = N. Then you have to define addition recursively: Def: Let a and b be in N. If b = 1, then define a + b = a' (using P1 and P2). If b isn't 1, then let c' = b, with c in N (using P4), and define a + b = (a + c)'. Then you have to define 2: Def: 2 = 1' 2 is in N by P1, P2, and the definition of 2. Theorem: 1 + 1 = 2 Proof: Use the first part of the definition of + with a = b = 1. Then 1 + 1 = 1' = 2 Q.E.D. Note: There is an alternate formulation of the Peano Postulates which replaces 1 with 0 in P1, P3, P4, and P5. Then you have to change the definition of addition to this: Def: Let a and b be in N. If b = 0, then define a + b = a. If b isn't 0, then let c' = b, with c in N, and define a + b = (a + c)'. You also have to define 1 = 0', and 2 = 1'. Then the proof of the Theorem above is a little different: Proof: Use the second part of the definition of + first: 1 + 1 = (1 + 0)' Now use the first part of the definition of + on the sum in parentheses: 1 + 1 = (1)' = 1' = 2 Q.E.D. - Doctor Rob, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.