## The Irrationality of

__Problem__:Prove that is an irrational number.

__Solution__:The number, , is irrational, ie., it cannot be expressed as a ratio of integers a and b. To prove that this statement is true, let us assume that is rational so that we may write

for a and b = any two integers. We must then show that no two such integers can be found. We begin by squaring both sides of eq. 1:

If b is odd, then b

^{2}is odd; in this case, a^{2}and a are also odd. Similarly, if b is even, then b^{2}, a^{2}, and a are even. Since any choice of even values of a and b leads to a ratio a/b that can be reduced by canceling a common factor of 2, we must assume that a and b are odd, and that the ratio a/b is already reduced to smallest possible terms. With a and b both odd, we may writewhere we require m and n to be integers (to ensure integer values of a and b). When these expressions are substituted into eq. 2a, we obtain

Upon performing some algebra, we acquire the further expression

The Left Hand Side of eq. 3a is an odd integer. The Right Hand Side, on the other hand, is an even integer. There are no solutions for eq. 3a. Therefore, integer values of a and b which satisfy the relationship = a/b cannot be found. We are forced to conclude that is irrational.

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