# 3.5.2: Examples

- Page ID
- 10076

Let’s look at a few examples.

Theorem 3.5.

The number \(2^{2 n}\)* *− 1 is divisible by 3 for all natural numbers *n*.

*Proof*. Here, *P*(*n*) is the statement that \(2^{2 n}\)* *− 1 is divisible by 3.

Base case: When *\(n=0,2^{2 n}-1=2^{0}-1=1-1=0\)* and 0 is divisible by 3 (since 0 = 3 · 0.) Therefore the statement holds when *n *= 0.

Inductive case: We want to show that if the statement is true for *n *= *k *(where *k *is an arbitrary natural number), then it is true for *n *= *k *+ 1 also. That is, we must prove the implication \(P(k) \rightarrow P(k+1) .\) So we assume \(P(k),\) that is, we assume that \(2^{2 k}\) is divisible by \(3 .\) This means that \(2^{2 k}-1=3 m\) for some integer \(m .\) We want to prove \(P(k+1),\) that is, that \(2^{2(k+1)}-1\) is also divisible by \(3 :\)

and from the last line we see that \(2^{2 k+1}\) is in fact divisible by 3. (The third step-subtractin and adding 4—was done to enable us to use our inductive hypothesis.) Altogether, we have proved that *P*(0) holds and that, for all *k*, *P*(*k*) → *P*(*k *+ 1) is true. Therefore, by the principle of induction, \(P(n)\) is true for all \(n\) in \(\mathbb{N},\) i.e. \(2^{2 n}-1\) is divisible by 3 for all *n *in N.

The principle of mathematical induction gives a method for proving *P*(*n*) for all *n *in the set N. It should be clear that if *M *is any natural number, a similar method can be used to show that *P*(*n*) is true for all natural numbers *n *that satisfy *n *≥ *M*. Just start the induction with a base case of *n** *= *M *instead of with a base case of *n** *= 0. I leave the proof of this extension of the principle of induction as an exercise. We can use the extended principle of induction to prove a result that was first mentioned in Section 2.1.

Theorem 3.6.

Suppose that a compound proposition contains exactly *n *propositional variables, where \(n \geq 1 .\) Then there are exactly \(2^{n}\) different ways of assigning truth walues to the n variables.

*Proof*. Let *P*(*n*) be the statement “There are exactly \(2^{n}\)* *different ways of assigning truth values to *n *propositional variables.” We will use induction to prove the *P*(*n*) is true for all *n *≥ 1.

Base case: First, we prove the statement *P*(1). If there is exactly one variable, then there are exactly two ways of assigning a truth value to that variable. Namely, the variable can be either true or false. Since \(2=2^{1}, P(1)\) is true.

Inductive case: Suppose that *P*(*k*) is already known to be true. We want to prove that, under this assumption, \(P(k+1)\) is also true. Suppose that \(p_{1}, p_{2}, \ldots, p_{k+1}\) are \(k+1\) propositional variables. Since we are assuming that *P*(*k*) is true, we know that there are \(2^{k}\) ways of assigning truth values to \(p_{1}, p_{2}, \dots, p_{k} .\) But each assignment of truth values to \(p_{1}, p_{2}, \ldots, p_{k}\) can be extended to the complete list \(p_{1}, p_{2}, \ldots, p_{k}, p_{k+1}\) in two ways. Namely, \(p_{k+1}\) can be assigned the value true or the value false. It follows that there are 2\(\cdot 2^{k}\) ways of assigning truth values to \(p_{1}, p_{2}, \ldots, p_{k+1} .\) since \(2 \cdot 2^{k}=2^{k+1},\) thishes the proof.