transfinite number

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transfinite number,

cardinal or ordinal numbernumber,
entity describing the magnitude or position of a mathematical object or extensions of these concepts. The Natural Numbers

Cardinal numbers describe the size of a collection of objects; two such collections have the same (cardinal) number of objects if their
designating the magnitude (power) or order of an infinite setset,
in mathematics, collection of entities, called elements of the set, that may be real objects or conceptual entities. Set theory not only is involved in many areas of mathematics but has important applications in other fields as well, e.g.
; the theory of transfinite numbers was introduced by Georg Cantor in 1874. The cardinal number of the finite set of integers {1, 2, 3, … n} is n, and the cardinal number of any other set of objects that can be put in a one-to-one correspondence with this set is also n; e.g., the cardinal number 5 may be assigned to each of the sets {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}, {2, 4, 6, 8, 10}, {3, 4, 5, 1, 2}, and {a, b, c, d, e}, since each of these sets may be put in a one-to-one correspondence with any of the others. Similarly, the transfinite cardinal number ℵ0 (aleph-null) is assigned to the countably infinite set of all positive integers {1, 2, 3, … n, … }. This set can be put in a one-to-one correspondence with many other infinite sets, e.g., the set of all negative integers {−1, −2, −3, … −n, … }, the set of all even positive integers {2, 4, 6, … 2n, … }, and the set of all squares of positive integers {1, 4, 9, … n2, … }; thus, in contrast to finite sets, two infinite sets, one of which is a subset of the other, can have the same transfinite cardinal number, in this case, ℵ0. It can be proved that all countably infinite sets, among which are the set of all rational numbers and the set of all algebraic numbers, have the cardinal number ℵ0. Since the union of two countably infinite sets is a countably infinite set, ℵ0 + ℵ0 = ℵ0; moreover, ℵ0 × ℵ0 = ℵ0, so that in general, n × ℵ0 = ℵ0 and ℵ0n = ℵ0, where n is any finite number. It can also be shown, however, that the set of all real numbers, designated by c (for "continuum"), is greater than ℵ0; the set of all points on a line and the set of all points on any segment of a line are also designated by the transfinite cardinal number c. An even larger transfinite number is 2c, which designates the set of all subsets of the real numbers, i.e., the set of all {0,1}-valued functions whose domain is the real numbers. Transfinite ordinal numbers are also defined for certain ordered sets, two such being equivalent if there is a one-to-one correspondence between the sets, which preserves the ordering. The transfinite ordinal number of the positive integers is designated by ω.

transfinite number

[tranz′fī‚nīt ′nəm·bər]
(mathematics)
Any ordinal or cardinal number equal to or exceeding aleph null.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cantor showed that transfinite numbers themselves exist in an endless number, which is larger than the ordinary infinity of the integers.
(12) Indeed, his declared goal is to study the relationships of transfinite numbers not only mathematically, but to document and investigate them in all places where they occur in nature.
Therefore, aleph-1,000,000 is a small transfinite number. We may confront borderline cases of "finitely many" and other predicates germane to infinite quantities.
Cantor's development of the theory of transfinite numbers is not simply a novel invention with some useful applications.
There are questions to investigate about transfinite numbers, such as the truth of the continuum hypothesis, but not their real meaning--they too just are.
The book opens with a crystal-clear introduction to Cantor's infinite ladder of transfinite numbers. Cantor called the lowest number aleph-zero.
offers an analogy drawn from Georg Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers. This analogy is unsatisfactory because it reduces the complex, emergent relatedness of the order of the universe to a mere collection of countable items, and it construes God as the concept of a transfinite cardinal number.
If an unnamed dimension could link to imaginary space , another might link to a field of transfinite numbers which could be useful for the many worlds, or many histories, interpretations of quantum mechanics (Tipler, 1994).
Although the summary is paradoxical for any finite number of propositions, it is unproblematic for transfinite numbers. For example, the summary is true when added to the set of statements of the form "n is an even number".
They all instantiate his Inclosure Schema, a generalization of one stated by Russell in 'On Some Difficulties in the Theory of Transfinite Numbers and Order Types'.
From the Cabala, the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] migrated to mathematics: Georg Cantor's Mengenlehre, or set theory, chose the aleph to symbolize transfinite numbers exactly because it meant "infinity".
The Transcendent orientation 'searches to fix a stopping point to errancy by the thought of a multiple such that it organizes everything which precedes it' (BE 283); in the context of set theory, this tendency is exhibited by the invention of axioms instituting the existence of 'large cardinals, transfinite numbers vastly outstripping anything that can be produced by means of the ordinary set-theoretic axioms.

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