# Count of Subsets with Even Cardinality/Proof 2

## Theorem

Let $S$ be a set whose cardinality is $n$.

Then the number of subsets of $S$ whose cardinality is even is $2^{n-1}$.

## Proof

Proof by induction:

For all $n \in \N$, let $\map P n$ be the proposition:

- The number of subsets of $S$ whose cardinality is even is $2^{n - 1}$, where $\card S = n$.

### Basis for the Induction

When $n = 1$ we have from Cardinality of Power Set of Finite Set that $S$ has $2^1 = 1$ subsets: $\O$ and $S$ itself.

We have that $\card S = 1$ and $\card \O = 0$.

So there is indeed $2^{1 - 1} = 2^0 = 1$ subset of $S$ whose cardinality is even, that is $\O$.

This is our basis for the induction.

### Induction Hypothesis

Now we need to show that, if $\map P k$ is true, where $k \ge 2$, then it logically follows that $\map P {k + 1}$ is true.

So this is our induction hypothesis:

- The number of subsets of $S$ whose cardinality is even is $2^{k - 1}$, where $\card S = k$.

Then we need to show:

- The number of subsets of $S$ whose cardinality is even is $2^k$, where $\card S = k + 1$.

### Induction Step

This is our induction step:

Let $\card S = k + 1$.

Let $x \in S$.

Consider the set $S' = S \setminus \set x$.

We see that $\card {S'} = k$.

Let $A \subseteq S$.

If $x \notin A$ then $A \subseteq S'$.

If $x \in A$ then there exists a unique $A' \subseteq S'$ such that $A' \cup \set x = A$.

In fact, $A' = A \setminus \set x$.

Let $K$ be the number of subsets of $S'$ with an even number of elements.

From the induction hypothesis we have that $K = 2^{k - 1}$.

Now adjoin $x$ to all the subsets of $S'$.

Suppose $E' \subseteq S'$, where $E'$ has an even number of elements.

Then $E' \cup \set x$ has an odd number of elements.

Similarly, $O' \subseteq S'$, where $O'$ has an odd number of elements.

Then $O' \cup \set x$ has an even number of elements.

So the number of subsets of $S$ with an even number of elements is:

- $K$ subsets of $S$ that have an even number of elements and are subsets of $S'$

and:

- $K$ subsets of $S$ of the form $O' \cup \set x$

We have that subset $A$ of $S$ has a unique expression of the form $A'$ or $A' \cup \set x$ with $A' \subseteq S'$.

Thus there are exactly $2 K$ subsets of $S$ with an even number of elements.

But as $K = 2^{k - 1}$ it follows that $2 K = 2^k$.

That is, there are $2^k$ subsets of $S$ with an even number of elements.

So $\map P k \implies \map P {k + 1}$ and the result follows by the Principle of Mathematical Induction.

Therefore:

- The number of subsets of $S$ whose cardinality is even is $2^{n - 1}$, where $\card S = n$.

$\blacksquare$

## Sources

- 1966: Richard A. Dean:
*Elements of Abstract Algebra*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 0.6$: Theorem $8: \ 2$