1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Indexed Families of Sets

  1. Nov 13, 2005 #1
    Let [tex]B_n = (0, \frac {1}{n} ][/tex] for all [tex]n \in N [/tex] (N = set of natural numbers)

    a) For each [tex]n \in N[/tex], find [tex] \bigcap _{k=1}^n B_k[/tex] and [tex] \bigcup _{k=1}^n B_k[/tex]

    b) Find [tex] \bigcap _{n=1}^ \infty B_n[/tex] and [tex] \bigcup _{n=1}^ \infty B_n[/tex]

    For a) I have
    [tex]
    B_1 = (0,1] \\
    B_2 = (0, \frac {1}{2} ] \\
    B_3 = (0, \frac {1}{3} ] [/tex]

    so [tex] \bigcap _{k=1}^n B_k[/tex] appears to be [tex]{ \emptyset } [/tex] and [tex] \bigcup _{k=1}^n B_k[/tex] looks like [tex](0,1][/tex]

    I'm new to this and any help would be greatly appreciated. The questions I have are is a) correct? and what is the difference between a) and b)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2005 #2

    AKG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Question a) asks you for the intersection/union of n sets, question b) asks you for the intersection/union of an infinite number of sets. How are you getting the answers you're getting?
     
  4. Nov 13, 2005 #3
    I started with n=1 which produced the interval (0,1], then I did n=2 and then n=3. For the union I took the smallest x and the largest y, which yielded (0,1] and for the intersection I took the largest x and the smallest y and saw that we would never reach the smallest so no intersection.

    I see now that this is wrong for a) but is it the correct process for b)?
     
  5. Nov 13, 2005 #4

    AKG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Nothing you wrote makes sense.

    I started with n=1 which produced the interval (0,1]

    What exactly "produced" the interval (0,1]?

    then I did n=2 and then n=3

    What did you do with n=2, n=3?

    For the union I took the smallest x and the largest y, which yielded (0,1]

    What are x and y? What exactly did you do that yielded (0,1]?

    and for the intersection I took the largest x and the smallest y and saw that we would never reach the smallest so no intersection.

    This just makes no sense. Again, what are x and y? What do you mean, "we could never reach the smallest"? How does this mean that there is no intersection?

    I see now that this is wrong for a) but is it the correct process for b)?

    What process? I have no idea what you're doing. Do you? At all? Are there examples in your textbook? Are you sure you even know what the symbols you're working with mean?

    [tex]\bigcup _{k=1} ^n B_k[/tex]

    is the union of B1, B2, ..., Bn. It consists of all the elements that are in at least one of the above listed sets.

    [tex]\bigcap _{k=1} ^n B_k[/tex]

    is the intersection of B1, B2, ..., Bn. It consists of all the elements that are in each and every one of those above listed sets. What numbers are in each of:

    (0,1], (0,1/2], ..., (0,1/n]?

    For example, if n=5, which numbers are in each and every one of:

    (0,1], (0,1/2], (0,1/3], (0,1/4], (0,1/5]?

    As it stands, it appears that you're claiming that no number is in all of those sets. 1/6 is in all of them. So is 0.12344523. So is 0.1999. What about 0.2001?
     
  6. Nov 13, 2005 #5
    I'm sorry if I have made you upset. I'm positive I am not explaining my thoughts correctly and I am also positive that I am confused on this topic, which is why I'm seeking help.

    My [tex]B_1[/tex] is the same as yours, as is my [tex]B_2[/tex]. I used the same process you did to get those. If my understading is correct [tex](0,1][/tex] for [tex]B_1[/tex] is an interval and I was trying to represent the start of the interval (x) and the end of the interval (y). It appears that I was trying to answering (b) instead of (a).

    I think I see now how the two questions are different, atleast when you pick an n. I quess I was thinking that because there are infinitely many [tex]N[/tex] so the questions were the same.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  7. Nov 14, 2005 #6

    AKG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes, you're definitely confused. Again, not much of what you said made sense. That fact that you say, "My B1 is the same as yours, as is my B2," suggests to me that you're incredibly lost. Let's just start with an incredibly simple example:

    Let x = 4 and y = 5, find xy. Now it certainly wouldn't be meaningful to say, "okay, my x is the same as yours, as is my y." x and y are given, they are part of the problem statement. Now if I said that my xy was 21 and you said yours was too, then that would be meaningful. We'd both be wrong, but hopefully you see the difference.

    In your problem, the idea is the same. For each n, Bn is defined as (0,1/n]. It's not up to us to figure out what B1 and B2 are, they're given. We want to find what the intersection of the first n of them are, for example. So we are on to our next example:

    Instead of defining some sets for every n, let's just do it for 1 and 2. So, family of sets will not be indexed by N, i.e. {1, 2, 3, ...} but simply by {1, 2}. Let B1 = {0, 1} and B2 = {0}. Now:

    [tex]\bigcup _{k=1} ^2 B_k = B_1 \cup B_2 = \{0,1\} \cup \{0\} = \{0,1\}[/tex]

    [tex]\bigcap _{k=1} ^2 B_k = B_1 \cap B_2 = \{0,1\} \cap \{0\} = \{0\}[/tex]

    Do you understand that much?

    Now, do you know what (0,1/n] is? It is the set of real numbers greater than 0 and less than OR equal to 1/n.

    Don't even think about question b), just focus on question a). Can you figure out the following:

    [tex](0,1] \cup (0,1/2] \cup (0,1/3][/tex]

    [tex](0,1] \cap (0,1/2] \cap (0,1/3][/tex]

    Give me your answers to these questions, and you should probably show your work. Before you do it, heavily review whatever you have learned in your course so far. You should be very comfortable with finding the intersection of two sets, and should be very comfortable with dealing with interals like (x,y]. I also have to ask, why was this posted in calculus and beyond? Have you actually done calculus yet?
     
  8. Nov 14, 2005 #7
    Yes, I've completed calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, a stat class and so on. I understand unions, intersections, intervals, functions, what natural numbers are, what sets are, however I was confused by indexed families of sets. This is why I came here, if I wasn't confused on this topic I would not have came here. At any rate I thank you for your time and in spite of your comments I see where I have been getting confused.
    P.S.
    Though your last comment about posting in calculus and beyond was a clever jab is it not true that the subject decides the section not what classes a poster has taken?
     
  9. Nov 14, 2005 #8

    AKG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    This was not meant to be a clever jab, I'm sorry if I had offended you. You had been unclear and that frustrated me, so I may have been less courteous than I should have been. Yes, the subject decides the section, but the subject of this post does not appear to be calculus or beyond.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Indexed Families of Sets
Loading...