Or any kind of two flavors: banana, chocolate, banana, vanilla, or chocolate, vanilla,

Or all three flavors (no the isn"t greedy),

Or you can say "none at all thanks", i m sorry is the "empty set":

Example: The collection alex, billy, casey, dale

Has the subsets:

alexbillyetc ...

You are watching: The number of subsets of a set with n elements is

It additionally has the subsets:

alex, billyalex, caseybilly, daleetc ...


alex, billy, caseyalex, billy, daleetc ...

And also:

the entirety set: alex, billy, casey, dalethe empty set:

Now let"s begin with the Empty set and move on up ...

TheEmpty Set

How plenty of subsets walk the empty collection have?

You can choose:

the whole set: the north set:

But, cave on a minute, in this instance those room the exact same thing!

So theempty collection really has just 1 subset (whichis itself, the north set).

It is like asking "There is naught available, therefore what do you choose?" answer "nothing". The is your just choice. Done.

ASet v One Element

The collection could it is in anything, however let"s just say it is:


How numerous subsets does the collection apple have?

the whole set: applethe empty set:

And that"s all.Youcanchoose the one element, or nothing.

So any collection with one facet will have actually 2 subsets.

ASet v Two Elements

Let"s include another aspect to our example set:

apple, banana

How countless subsets walk the collection apple, banana have?

It might have apple, or banana, and also don"t forget:

the whole set: apple, bananathe north set:

So a collection with two aspects has 4 subsets.

ASet With three Elements

How about:

apple, banana, cherry

OK, let"s be more systematic now, and also list the subsets by exactly how many elements they have:

Subsets with one element: apple, banana, cherry

Subsets through two elements: apple, banana, apple, cherry, banana, cherry


the totality set: apple, banana, cherrythe empty set:

In fact we could put the in a table:

ListNumber of subsets
zero elements1
one elementapple, banana, cherry 3
two elementsapple, banana, apple, cherry, banana, cherry3
three elementsapple, banana, cherry1

(Note: go you view a sample in the numbers there?)

Setswith Four aspects (Your Turn!)

Now shot to do the exact same for this set:

apple, banana, cherry, date

Here is a table for you:

ListNumber that subsets
zero elements
one element
two elements
three elements
four elements

(Note: if girlfriend did this right, there will certainly be a sample to the numbers.)

Setswith five Elements

And now:

apple, banana, cherry, date, egg

Here is a table because that you:

ListNumber of subsets
zero elements
one element
two elements
three elements
four elements
five elements

(Was there a pattern to the numbers?)

Setswith 6 Elements

What about:

apple, banana, cherry, date, egg, fudge

OK ... We don"t require to complete a table, because...

How countless subsets are there for a set of 6 elements? _____How plenty of subsets room there because that a set of 7 elements? _____


Now let"s think around subsets and sizes:

Theemptyset hasjust 1subset: 1A collection with one aspect has 1 subset with no elements and also 1subset v one element: 1 1A collection with twoelements has 1 subset v no elements, 2 subsets v one element and also 1 subset with two elements: 12 1A collection with threeelements has actually 1 subset with no elements, 3 subsets through oneelement, 3 subsets v two elements and also 1 subset with threeelements: 1 3 3 1and for this reason on!

Do you identify thispattern that numbers?

They room the numbers from Pascal"sTriangle!


This is very useful, since now friend can inspect if you have the right number of subsets.

Note: the rows begin at 0, and an in similar way the columns.

Example: for the set apple, banana, cherry, date, egg you perform subsets of size three:

apple, banana, cherryapple, banana, dateapple, banana, eggapple, cherry, egg

But the is only 4 subsets, how countless should over there be?

Well, girlfriend are choosing 3 out of 5, so walk to row 5, position 3 the Pascal"s Triangle (remember to start counting at 0) to find you require 10 subsets, for this reason you have to think harder!

In fact these are the results: apple,banana,cherry apple,banana,date apple,banana,egg apple,cherry,date apple,cherry,egg apple,date,egg banana,cherry,date banana,cherry,egg banana,date,egg cherry,date,egg

Calculating The Numbers

Is there a way of calculating the number such as 1, 4, 6, 4 and also 1 (instead of spring them up in Pascal"s Triangle)?

Yes, us can uncover the number of ways of selecting each number ofelements utilizing Combinations.

There are four facets in the set, and:

The variety of ways ofselecting 0 elements from 4 = 4C0 = 1The number of ways ofselecting 1 element from 4 = 4C1 = 4The number of ways of selecting 2 facets from 4 = 4C2 = 6The variety of ways of selecting 3 aspects from 4 = 4C3 = 4The number of ways of choosing 4 elements from 4 = 4C4 = 1 full number ofsubsets = 16
The variety of waysofselecting 0 facets from 5 = 5C0 = 1The variety of ways ofselecting 1 facet from 5 = ___________The variety of ways of picking 2 facets from 5 = ___________The number of ways of picking 3 elements from 5 = ___________The variety of ways of picking 4 facets from 5 = ___________Thenumber of methods of choosing 5 facets from 5 = ___________ Total number of subsets = ___________


In this activity you have:

Discovered a dominion fordetermining the total variety of subsets for a provided set: A collection with nelements has 2n subsets.Found a connection betweenthe numbers of subsets that each dimension with the number in Pascal"striangle.Discovered a quick means tocalculate these numbers utilizing Combinations.

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Moreimportantly you have learned how different branches of mathematics canbe merged together.