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Power sets and Cartesian products.

  1. Feb 14, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    For every pair of sets (A,B) we have P(AxB)=P(A)xP(B)
    Prove or disprove the above statement.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have attempted solving this using A={1,2} and B={a,b}


    So from this it seems clear that they are not equal. The easiest way to state that without all of the work I just did seems to be that P(AxB) creates sets of sets, whearas P(A)xP(B) creates pairs of sets or something along those lines.
    However, from several websites I have found through searching, several say these two statements are equivalent, so now I am confused.

    Also, am I correct in crossing the ø through like I did in P(A)xP(B)? I am not sure if you are suppose to do it like I did or just have one ø at the beginning of the answer.
    Thanks for the help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2014 #2
    What you did was correct.

    You can also use a combinatorial argument to disprove.

    Let |A| denote the order of A.

    Suppose ##|A| = m## and ##|B| = n##. Then ##|P(A)| = 2^m## and ##|P(B)| = 2^n##.

    ##|A \times B| = mn ## so ##|P(A \times B)| = 2^{mn}##.

    But ##|P(A) \times P(B)| = 2^m*2^n = 2^{m+n}##.

    So if ##mn \neq m + n## they have different sizes.

    Funny enough, you pick m and n to be 2 so they have the same size. But your example is perhaps more insightful because you see that the objects in these sets are fundamentally different.
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