Artículos con la etiqueta ‘Classical Analysis and ODEs (math.CA)’

A cognitive analysis of Cauchy’s conceptions of function, continuity, limit, and infinitesimal, with implications for teaching the calculus

Por • 12 ene, 2014 • Category: Opinion

In this paper we use theoretical frameworks from mathematics education and cognitive psychology to analyse Cauchy’s ideas of function, continuity, limit and infinitesimal expressed in his Cours D’Analyse. Our analysis focuses on the development of mathematical thinking from human perception and action into more sophisticated forms of reasoning and proof, offering different insights from those afforded by historical or mathematical analyses. It highlights the conceptual power of Cauchy’s vision and the fundamental change involved in passing from the dynamic variability of the calculus to the modern set-theoretic formulation of mathematical analysis.



The n-th smallest term for any finite sequence of real numbers

Por • 27 jul, 2013 • Category: Leyes

In this paper we find the formula that gives the n-th smallest term in a given finite sequence of real numbers.



Metric number theory, lacunary series and systems of dilated functions

Por • 20 jul, 2013 • Category: Leyes

By a classical result of Weyl, for any increasing sequence $(n_k)_{k \geq 1}$ of integers the sequence of fractional parts $(\{n_k x\})_{k \geq 1}$ is uniformly distributed modulo 1 for almost all $x \in [0,1]$. Except for a few special cases, e.g. when $n_k=k, k \geq 1$, the exceptional set cannot be described explicitly. The exact asymptotic order of the discrepancy of $(\{n_k x\})_{k \geq 1}$ is only known in a few special cases, for example when $(n_k)_{k \geq 1}$ is a (Hadamard) lacunary sequence, that is when $n_{k+1}/n_k \geq q > 1, k \geq 1$. In this case of quickly increasing $(n_k)_{k \geq 1}$ the system $(\{n_k x\})_{k \geq 1}$ (or, more general, $(f(n_k x))_{k \geq 1}$ for a 1-periodic function $f$) shows many asymptotic properties which are typical for the behavior of systems of \emph{independent} random variables. Precise results depend on a fascinating interplay between analytic, probabilistic and number-theoretic phenomena.



Is mathematical history written by the victors?

Por • 30 jun, 2013 • Category: Filosofía

We examine prevailing philosophical and historical views about the origin of infinitesimal mathematics in light of modern infinitesimal theories, and show the works of Fermat, Leibniz, Euler, Cauchy and other giants of infinitesimal mathematics in a new light. We also detail several procedures of the historical infinitesimal calculus that were only clarified and formalized with the advent of modern infinitesimals. These procedures include Fermat’s adequality; Leibniz’s law of continuity and the transcendental law of homogeneity; Euler’s principle of cancellation and infinite integers with the associated infinite products; Cauchy’s infinitesimal-based definition of continuity and «Dirac» delta function. Such procedures were interpreted and formalized in Robinson’s framework in terms of concepts like microcontinuity (S-continuity), the standard part principle, the transfer principle, and hyperfinite products. We evaluate the critiques of historical and modern infinitesimals by their foes from Berkeley and Cantor to Bishop and Connes. We analyze the issue of the consistency, as distinct from the issue of the rigor, of historical infinitesimals, and contrast the methodologies of Leibniz and Nieuwentijt in this connection.



Commuting and noncommuting infinitesimals

Por • 10 abr, 2013 • Category: Filosofía

Infinitesimals are natural products of the human imagination. Their history goes back to the Greek antiquity. Their role in the calculus and analysis has seen dramatic ups and downs. They have stimulated strong opinions and even vitriol. Edwin Hewitt developed hyperreal fields in the 1940s. Abraham Robinson’s infinitesimals date from the 1960s. A noncommutative version of infinitesimals, due to Alain Connes, has been in use since the 1990s. We review some of the hyperreal concepts, and compare them with some of the concepts underlying noncommutative geometry.



Infinitesimals as an issue in neo-Kantian philosophy of science

Por • 6 abr, 2013 • Category: Filosofía

We seek to elucidate the philosophical context in which one of the most important conceptual transformations of modern mathematics took place, namely the so-called revolution in rigor in infinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis. Some of the protagonists of the said revolution were Cauchy, Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. The dominant current of philosophy in Germany at the time was neo-Kantianism. Among its various currents, the Marburg school (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer, and others) was the one most interested in matters scientific and mathematical. Our main thesis is that Marburg neo-Kantian philosophy formulated a sophisticated position towards the problems raised by the concepts of limits and infinitesimals. The Marburg school neither clung to the traditional approach of logically and metaphysically dubious infinitesimals, nor whiggishly subscribed to the new orthodoxy of the «great triumvirate» of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass that declared infinitesimals conceptus nongrati in mathematical discourse. Rather, following Cohen’s lead, the Marburg philosophers sought to clarify Leibniz’s principle of continuity, and to exploit it in making sense of infinitesimals and related concepts.



Leibniz’s Infinitesimals: Their Fictionality, Their Modern Implementations, And Their Foes From Berkeley To Russell And Beyond

Por • 7 may, 2012 • Category: Crítica

Many historians of the calculus deny significant continuity between infinitesimal calculus of the 17th century and 20th century developments such as Robinson’s theory. Robinson’s hyperreals, while providing a consistent theory of infinitesimals, require the resources of modern logic; thus many commentators are comfortable denying a historical continuity. A notable exception is Robinson himself, whose identification with the Leibnizian tradition inspired Lakatos, Laugwitz, and others to consider the history of the infinitesimal in a more favorable light. Inspite of his Leibnizian sympathies, Robinson regards Berkeley’s criticisms of the infinitesimal calculus as aptly demonstrating the inconsistency of reasoning with historical infinitesimal magnitudes. We argue that Robinson, among others, overestimates the force of Berkeley’s criticisms, by underestimating the mathematical and philosophical resources available to Leibniz. Leibniz’s infinitesimals are fictions, not logical fictions, as Ishiguro proposed, but rather pure fictions, like imaginaries, which are not eliminable by some syncategorematic paraphrase. We argue that Leibniz’s defense of infinitesimals is more firmly grounded than Berkeley’s criticism thereof. We show, moreover, that Leibniz’s system for differential calculus was free of logical fallacies. Our argument strengthens the conception of modern infinitesimals as a development of Leibniz’s strategy of relating inassignable to assignable quantities by means of his transcendental law of homogeneity.