Proofs are to Mathematics what calligraphy is to poetry. Mathematical works do consist of proofs just as poems do consist of characters. VLADIMIR ARNOLD
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In Classes IX, X and XI, we have learnt about the concepts of a statement, compound statement, negation, converse and contrapositive of a statement axioms, conjectures, theorems and deductive reasoning. Here, we will discuss various methods of proving mathematical propositions.
A.1.2 What is a Proof
Proof of a mathematical statement consists of sequence of statements, each statement being justified with a definition or an axiom or a proposition that is previously established by the method of deduction using only the allowed logical rules. Thus, each proof is a chain of deductive arguments each of which has its premises and conclusions. Many a times, we prove a proposition directly from what is given in the proposition. But some times it is easier to prove an equivalent proposition rather than proving the proposition itself. This leads to, two ways of proving a proposition directly or indirectly and the proofs obtained are called direct proof and indirect proof and further each has three different ways of proving which is discussed below. Direct Proof It is the proof of a proposition in which we directly start the proof with what is given in the proposition. i Straight forward approach It is a chain of arguments which leads directly from what is given or assumed, with the help of axioms, definitions or already proved theorems, to what is to be proved using rules of logic. Consider the following example
Example 1 Show that if x2 5x 6 0, then x 3 or x 2. Solution x2 5x 6 0 given