Toy theorem

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In mathematics, a toy theorem is a simplified version (special case) of a more general theorem. For instance, by introducing some simplifying assumptions in a theorem, one obtains a toy theorem.

Usually, a toy theorem is used to illustrate the claim of a theorem. It can also be insightful to study proofs of a toy theorem derived from a non-trivial theorem. Toy theorems can also have education value. After presenting a theorem (with, say, a highly non-trivial proof), one can sometimes give some assurance that the theorem really holds, by proving a toy version of the theorem.

For instance, a toy theorem of the Brouwer fixed-point theorem is obtained by restricting the dimension to one. In this case, the Brouwer fixed-point theorem follows almost immediately from the intermediate value theorem.

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This article incorporates material from toy theorem on PlanetMath, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.