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Proving algebraic inequalities. Definition of algebraic inequality: An algebraic inequality is the inequality of two algebraic expressions.

For example: 2 x + 6 > 0, x 2 + 6 3 x, a 2 + b 2 2ab. Difference between proving and solving inequalities. To solve an inequality is to find all the solutions of that inequality. Example: Solve the inequality 2 x + 6 > 0. Solution: For solving this inequality we transform it into an equivalent inequality for which is easier to determine the solutions. Two inequalities are said to be equivalent if the share the same set of solutions. The process of solving that inequality consists of the following steps: 2x + 6 > 0 2 x > 6 x > 6 / 2 x > 3 Obviously, the set of solutions of the last inequality is the interval ( , 3). To prove an inequality is to determine whether the inequality is always true for all the values of the variables on a certain set of numbers. Example: Prove that x( x + 1) > 0 , for all positive values of x. Solution: As x is positive, then x > 0 (*). As x 0 , then x + 1 1 > 0 . That is x + 1 > 0 (**). Now, using (*) and (**), we have that x( x + 1) > 0 . Properties of inequalities: Now we present some properties that can be use to prove inequalities. Let us assume that a, b, c, a1 , b1 , c1 , a 2 , a3 ,...a n are arbitrary real numbers. (Note: The symbol "" means implies) 1. a > b a + c > a + b 2. (a > b and b > c) a > c 3. (a > b and c > 0) ac > bc 4. (a > b > 0 and a1 > b1 > 0) aa1 > bb1 5. (a > b > 0 and n N ) a n > b n 6. (a > b > 0 and n N ) a 1 / n > b1 / n 7. a 2 0 2 2 2 2 2 8. a1 + a 2 + a3 + a 4 + ... + a n 0 The properties 1 through 6 are true when you replace the symbol ">" by "" .

Examples of proving inequalities. 1. Prove that for all real numbers a, b , it is valid the inequality a 2 + b 2 2ab.

Solution. Analysis: You should analyze the inequality and notice that it is equivalent to 2 2 2 2 a + b 2 2ab 0. In other hand a + b 2ab = (a b) and we know from the property (7) the square of a number is always a number greater than or equal to zero. Therefore, this suggests the following proof Proof: For arbitrary real numbers a, b . We have the following sequence of implications. (a b) 2 0 a 2 + b 2 2ab 0 a 2 + b 2 2ab. 2. Prove that for all positive number a, it is valid that c + 1 / c 2. Solution: Analysis: You can find a relation between this inequality and the Example 1. As a is positive it can be represented as ( c ) 2 and 1 / c can be represented as (1 / c ) 2 . At the same time, we have that 2(c )(1 / c ) = 2 . That is why we get the following idea for proving this inequality. Proof: We start assuming that the inequality a 2 + b 2 2ab has been already proved (see example 1). In that inequality let do the substitutions a = c and b = 1 / c . Therefore, we have ( c ) 2 + (1 / c ) 2 2( c )(1 / c ) c + 1 / c 2 Exercises 1. Prove that a / b + b / a 2, if a and b are positive real numbers. Find the values of a and b for which the equality is true. 2. Prove that a 2 + (1 / 3) ab + b 2 0 ( Hint: complete squares and use property (8)) a+b ab , if a and b are positive real numbers. 3. Show that 2 4. Find the all the values of t such that a 2 + tab + b 2 0 . 5. Prove that a 2 + b 2 + c 2 ab + bc + ac for all real numbers a, b, and c. 6. Prove that x 2 + 4 y 2 + 1 2 xy + x + 2 y for all real numbers x and y. a+b+c+d 4 abcd , is true for a, b, c, and d are positive real numbers. 7. Prove that 4 a+b c+d + a+b+c+d ( Hint: Take into consideration that 2 and exercise (3)) = 2 4 2 a+b+c 3 abc , is true for a, b, and c are positive real numbers. ( Hint: Apply 8. Prove that 3 a+b+c . the result of the exercise (7) considering d = 3 9. Prove that (a 2 + b 2 )(c 2 + d 2 ) (ac + bd ) 2 for all real numbers a, b, c, and d.