There is no one way of proving statements.

But using algebra, it is possible to prove that some things will always be true.

For example, let’s start with the hypothesis that an even number multiplied by an even number will always result in another even number. We can demonstrate that this is true by selecting any two even numbers and multiplying them together:

4 x 10 = 40

40 is even, therefore our hypothesis holds.

But, no matter how many examples we choose, we will never prove that it is true, because there may yet be two even numbers we could select which in fact don’t result in an even number. We can only prove our hypothesis by using algebra.

2n is a multiple of 2, therefore must always be an even number. 2m is also a multiple of 2, therefore must always be another even number.

2n x 2m = 2nm

nm is just another unknown number, it could be odd or even.

2nm is a multiple of 2, therefore must always be an even number.

Therefore, an even number multiplied by an even number will always result in an even number. 

This is just one example of a proof.

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AQA Unit 2 March 2011 (H) - Page 11, Question 18 

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