Bernoulli's inequality in
real analysis states that
- <math>(1+x)^n\geq 1+nx</math>
for every
integer n ≥ 0 and every
real number x ≥ -1. If
n ≥ 0 is
even, then the inequality is valid for
all real numbers
x. The strict version of the inequality reads
- <math>(1+x)^n>1+nx</math>
for every integer
n ≥ 2 and every real number
x ≥ -1 with
x ≠ 0.
The inequality is often used as the crucial step in the proof of other inequalities. It can be proven using mathematical induction.
The following generalizations for real exponents can be proved by comparing derivatives: if x > -1 is non-zero, then
- <math>(1+x)^r\geq 1+rx</math>
for
r ≤ 0 or
r ≥ 1 and
- <math>(1+x)^r\leq 1+rx</math>
for 0 ≤
r ≤ 1.
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