In mathematics , specifically in real analysis , the Bolzanoâ€”Weierstrass theorem , named after Bernard Bolzano and Karl Weierstrass , is a fundamental result about convergence in a finite-dimensional Euclidean space R n. The theorem states that each bounded sequence in R n has a convergent subsequence. It was actually first proved by Bolzano in as a lemma in the proof of the intermediate value theorem. Some fifty years later the result was identified as significant in its own right, and proved again by Weierstrass. It has since become an essential theorem of analysis. Indeed, we have the following result.

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If positive real numbers,then. Further if then. Every bounded sequence of reals contains a convergent subsequence.

Proof: Suppose is a bounded increasing sequence of reals, so. We want to show that. By the definition of convergence, we need to produce some such that for all ,.

Since is the least upper bound of the sequence, there exists an such that , and since is increasing, we know that for all ,. Therefore for all ,. This shows that converges to. This completes the proof of Lemma 1.

We can prove analogously that a bounded decreasing sequence of reals converges to its greatest lower bound. Proof: Given a sequence of reals, we consider two cases:. In this case, we build a strictly increasing subsequence. Note that we can apply the assumption of Case 1 to itself.

Thus there exists some such that there exist infinitely many such that. Let , and consider the subsequence where , and is the th term in after that is greater than. This exists by the assumption. Now we can apply the assumption of Case 1 to. Since is a subsequence of , there exists an such that.

We then let , and let be a subsequence of such that , and is the th term in after that is gerater tha. Note that is a subsequence of. We can continue in this fashion to construct a strictly increasing subsequence of. In other words, there exists a subsequence of such that every term in is at least as large as some later term in.

In this case, we can build a decreasing subsequence. Consider such a sequence. By the assumption of Case 2, there exists some. By the assumption again, there exists some. We can continue in this fashion to build a decreasing subsequence of. Since is a subsequence of , we have that is a decreasing subsequence of.

This completes the proof of Lemma 2. The Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem follows immediately: every bounded sequence of reals contains some monotone subsequence by Lemma 2, which is in turn bounded. This subsequence is convergent by Lemma 1, which completes the proof. This article is a stub. Help us out by expanding it. Lost your activation email? Forgot your password or username? Math texts, online classes, and more for students in grades Books for Grades Online Courses.

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Page Article Discussion View source History. If positive real numbers,then Further if then Every bounded sequence of reals contains a convergent subsequence. Proof Lemma 1: A bounded increasing sequence of reals converges to its least upper bound. Lemma 2: Every sequence of reals has a monotone subsequence.

Proof: Given a sequence of reals, we consider two cases: Case 1: Every infinite subsequence of contains a term that is strictly smaller than infinitely many later terms in the subsequence.

Case 2: Case 1 fails. See also This article is a stub. Categories : Analysis Theorems Stubs. Subscribe for news and updates. Login Cancel Stay logged in. Create a new account Lost your activation email?

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