Questions tagged [ordinals]

In the ZF set theory ordinals are transitive sets which are well-ordered by $\in$. They are canonical representatives for well-orderings under order-isomorphism. In addition to the intriguing ordinal arithmetics, ordinals give a sturdy backbone to models of ZF and operate as a direct extension of the positive integers for *transfinite* inductions.

In the ZF set theory ordinals are transitive sets which are well-ordered by $\in$. They are canonical representatives for well-orderings under order-isomorphism. In addition to the intriguing ordinal arithmetics, ordinals give a sturdy backbone to models of ZF and operate as a direct extension of the positive integers for transfinite inductions.

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A transfinite epistemic logic puzzle: what numbers did Cheryl give to Albert and Bernard?

I expect that nearly everyone here at stackexchange is by now familiar with Cheryl's birthday problem, which spawned many variant problems, including a transfinite version due to Timothy Gowers. In response, I have made my own transfinite…
JDH
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Why do we classify infinities in so many symbols and ideas?

I recently watched a video about different infinities. That there is $\aleph_0$, then $\omega, \omega+1, \ldots 2\omega, \ldots, \omega^2, \ldots, \omega^\omega, \varepsilon_0, \aleph_1, \omega_1, \ldots, \omega_\omega$, etc.. I can't find myself in…
KKZiomek
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Conflicting definitions of "continuity" of ordinal-valued functions on the ordinals

I've encountered the following definition in Kunen, Levy, and other places: A function $\mathbf{F}:\mathbf{ON}\to\mathbf{ON}$ is continuous iff for every limit ordinal $\lambda$, we have…
Cameron Buie
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Embedding ordinals in $\mathbb{Q}$

All countable ordinals are embeddable in $\mathbb{Q}$. For "small" countable ordinals, it is simple to do this explicitly. $\omega$ is trivial, $\omega+1$ can be e.g. done as $\{\frac{n}{n+1}:n\in \mathbb{N}\} \cup \{1\}$. $\omega*2$ can be done…
Desiato
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Principle of Transfinite Induction

I am well familiar with the principle of mathematical induction. But while reading a paper by Roggenkamp, I encountered the Principle of Transfinite Induction (PTI). I do not know the theory of cardinals, and never had a formal introduction to Set…
Bhaskar Vashishth
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What are some good open problems about countable ordinals?

After reading some books about ordinals I had an impressions that area below $\omega_1$ is thoroughly studied and there is not much new research can be done in it. I hope my impression was wrong. Recently I stumbled upon the sequences A005348 and…
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Examples of transfinite induction

I know what transfinite induction is, but not sure how it is used to prove something. Can anyone show how transfinite induction is used to prove something? A simple case is OK.
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Intuition for $\omega^\omega$

I'm trying to understand the ordinal number $\omega^\omega$ and I'm having a hard time. I think I understand what $\omega^2$ is. It's what I would get if I took countably many copies of $\omega$ and order the set of those copies like $\omega.$…
Bartek
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Countable compact spaces as ordinals

I heard at some point (without seeing a proof) that every countable, compact space $X$ is homeomorphic to a countable successor ordinal with the usual order topology. Is this true? Perhaps someone can offer a sketch of the proof or suggest a…
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The cardinality of a countable union of countable sets, without the axiom of choice

One of my homework questions was to prove, from the axioms of ZF only, that a countable union of countable sets does not have cardinality $\aleph_2$. My solution shows that it does not have cardinality $\aleph_n$, where $n$ is any non-zero ordinal…
Zhen Lin
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When does ordinal addition/multiplication commute?

I'm looking at basic ordinal arithmetic at the moment, and I am aware that in general, $\alpha+\beta\neq\beta+\alpha$ and $\alpha.\beta\neq\beta.\alpha$ for ordinals $\alpha,\beta$. My question is: are there any nice necessary and sufficient…
caesianrhino
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What are the most prominent uses of transfinite induction outside of set theory?

What are the most prominent uses of transfinite induction in fields of mathematics other than set theory? (Was it used in Cantor's investigations of trigonometric series?)
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Is there an axiomatic approach to ordinal arithmetic?

I've always wondered, is there an axiomatic approach to the arithmetic of ordinal numbers? If so, I imagine it would be on par with set theory in terms of its proof-theoretic strength.
goblin GONE
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Why study cardinals, ordinals and the like?

Why is the study of infinite cardinals, ordinals and the like so prevalent in set theory and logic? What's so interesting about infinite cardinals beyond $\aleph _0 $ and $\mathfrak{c} $? It seems like they're enough for all practical purposes and…
user132181
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How many positive numbers need to be added together to ensure that the sum is infinite?

The question in the title is naively stated, so let be make it more precise: Let $\sum_{n\in\alpha}a_n$ be an ordinal-indexed sequence of real numbers such that $a_n>0$ for each $n\in\alpha$, where $\alpha$ is an ordinal number. What is the smallest…
Mario Carneiro
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