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Notes of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

# Notes of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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This paper contains the notes from a lecture on Godel's Incompleteness Theorem given to the Upper Arlington High School Math Club.
This paper contains the notes from a lecture on Godel's Incompleteness Theorem given to the Upper Arlington High School Math Club.

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11/23/2012

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Formal Systems and the Typographical Lens
Preliminaries to the Incompleteness Theorem
UAHS Math Club Lectures
The MU Puzzle
orThings That Are Utterly Irrelevant
There are
(3 + 1)
parts to any formal system.
!
0. Symbols
!
1. Axioms
!
2. Rules for manipulation
!!!
3. TheoremsLet
ʼ
s consider a simple example ... we
ʼ
ll call it the
MIU System
.
!
Symbols:
!
M
,
I
, and
U
(surprising, huh?)
!
Axiom:
!
!
MI
!
Rules:
!
!
1. If the last letter is
I
U
to the end.
!!!
2. If
M
is a theorem, so is
M
xx
.
!!!
3. If
III
occurs you can replace it with
U
.
!!!
4. If
UU
occurs anywhere, you can drop it.Okay, let
ʼ
s write some theorems beginning simply with our one axiom of
MI
.
!!!!
MI
!!!
MIU
!!!
MII
!!!
MIUIU
!!
MIIU
!
MIIII
!
MIIU
!!!
MIUIUIUIU
!
MUI
!
MIU
Exercise: Can you ﬁll in the rule that justify each arrow?
Notice that each new theorem can be derived simply by manipulating a string with a ﬁnite number of rules. Whyis this so important? The answer, as usual, is
Computer Science
. We can write a simple program that beginswith only the axiom
MI
and methodically generates all possible theorems. After all, “proof” in a formal system isnothing more than string manipulation, and this is the expertise of computers. Of course, there are an inﬁnitenumber of such theorems, so the program could never ﬁnish, but if we were interested in the proof of a theoremwe know to be true, we could simply let it run long enough and the following the string of manipulations thatbrought us to that point - hence the computer can generate the
proof
!In fact, to demonstrate this, I wrote a simple program to do just this and have attached a sheet of the theoremsthe program generated up through six iterations.Of course, there is a glaring limitation to this. Can you think of it?Can a computer determine if a string is
not a theorem
in
MIU
? For instance, can the computer tell us if
MU
is atheorem. (This is known as the
MU Puzzle
.) No. If we run the computer for three years and generated enoughtheorems to provide a lifetime of federal bailout plans and do not ﬁnd the string
MU
, can we conclude that
MU
isnot a theorem? No - perhaps given another three years the computer will ﬁnd it - perhaps not. We simply don
ʼ
tknow.However, if we jump out of the system, I think we can argue that
MU
is not a theorem. The trick is to investigatethe impact that the rules have on the number of
I
ʼ
s in a string. I claim that, beginning with a string that has one
I
we can never arrive at a string that has zero
I
ʼ
s.
Exercise: Can you?
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The ﬁne Print: The present non-author hereby recognizes that the content where-within presented here-within, from thenceforth known as “the paper material” is the result not of his own creative endeavors but instead of a technical process of transposing said “the paper material” from the material paper (not to be confused with “the paper material”) of a previously existing body of work produced either in part or in totality by a one
known, the work that is not the author (not to be confused with the aforementioned “non-author”), as
ö
del, Escher, Bach
. In other words: I ripped it off.

Formalizing Number Theory
orWriting a Program that Completes All My Math Homework
Ok, the
MIU System
is contrived for simplicity
ʼ
s sake. What would be involved in formalizing and actual systemof numbers? Somehow, we need to take typical number theory statements such as
“5 is a prime number”
and
“1729 is the sum of two cubes”
and write them with a given set of
symbols
. We also need to come up with
rules
for manipulating the strings as well as starting strings, or
axioms
. Let
ʼ
s begin with our
symbols
:First, we would like to represent
numerals
. They will be listed as follows:
0
,
S0
,
SS0
,
SSS0
, etc.We also need the concept of
variables
, so the following will be valid symbols:
a
,
a
ʼ
,
a
ʼʼ
, etc.We have two
operations
and a
comparison
:
+
,
*
, and
=
We have
logical symbols
:
(not),
(and),

(or),
(implies)We have
delimiters
: [, ], <, >, (, )Also, we have
quantiﬁers
:
u:
and
u:
Next, let
ʼ
s look at
axioms
:
1.
a : ~Sa = 0
2.
a : (a + 0) = a
3.
a :
b : (a + Sb) = S(a + b)
4.
a : (a * 0) = 0
5.
a :
b : (a * Sb) = ((a * b) + a)
Exercise: Can you “translate” these into plain English statements about numbers?
Finally, we need the
Rules
for manipulating strings.
1.
If
u :
is a theorem where
contains the variable u, then replacing u with any speciﬁc value in
makes
a theorem. For example, since
a : ~ Sa = 0 is a theorem, ~S0 = 0 is a theorem, as is ~SS0 = 0 is atheorem.
2.
If
is a theorem containing u, then so is
u :
.
3.
u : ~ can be replaced with
u :
4.
If there is a theorem
containing a speciﬁc value, then
b :
P,
where
is the version of
having replacedthe speciﬁc value with b. For Example: Since
a : ~ Sa = 0 is a theorem, so is
b :
a : ~ Sa = b.
5.
If
=
is a theorem, so is
=
.
6.
If
=
and
=
are theorems, so is
=
.
7.
If
=
is a theorem, so is S
= S
.
8.
If S
= S
is a theorem, so is
=
.
9.
If
and
are theorems, so is <

>.
10.
If <

> is a theorem, so are
and
.
11.
The String ~~ can be inserted in and deleted from any theorem.
12.
If
and <

> are both theorems, so is
.
13.
<

> and <~

> are interchangeable.
14.
~<

> and <~

> are interchangeable.
15.
<

> and <~

> are interchangeable.
16.
If I can begin with a string
and apply valid rules to turn
into
, then

is a theorem.
Exercises.
1.
Begin with
a :
b : (a + Sb) = S(a + b)
Axiom 3
) and prove that (S0 + S0) = SS0. (What is this proving?)
2.
Begin with
a :
b : (a * Sb) = ((a * b) + a)
Axiom 5
) and prove that (S0 * S0) = S0. (What is this proving?)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The ﬁne Print: The present non-author hereby recognizes that the content where-within presented here-within, from thenceforth known as “the paper material” is the result not of his own creative endeavors but instead of a technical process of transposing said “the paper material” from the material paper (not to be confused with “the paper material”) of a previously existing body of work produced either in part or in totality by a one
known, the work that is not the author (not to be confused with the aforementioned “non-author”), as
ö
del, Escher, Bach
. In other words: I ripped it off.

Non-essential Incompleteness
orWhy Induction Saves the Day
The system we have just developed can be referred to as
Typographical Number Theory
,

or
TNT
:
!
Typographical
because it is a system of manipulating strings;
!
Number
because it involves strings that
!
have
;
!
Theory
because that makes it sound more impressive.At this point, I think I can prove that this system is not complete. First, we had better be clear about what it meansfor a system to be complete?Let
ʼ
s illustrate with two non-examples:
First Attempt at Incompleteness:
TNT is incomplete because the string
“+]-S*7
” can never be formed as a theorem. Exercise: Why is this nonsense?
Second Attempt at Incompleteness:
TNT is incomplete because the string “
SSS0
” can never be formed as a theorem. Exercise: Why is this nonsense?
Third Attempt at Incompleteness:
TNT is incomplete because the string “
(S0 + S0 = SSS0)
” can never be formed as a theorem. Exercise: Why is this nonsense?
Fourth Attempt at Incompleteness:
TNT is incomplete because the string “
God exists
” can never be formed as a theorem. Moreover the string “
God does not exist
” can never be formed as a theorem. Exercise: Why is this nonsense?
Fifth Attempt at Incompleteness:
TNT is incomplete because if
is the statement “
This statement is false
”,then neither
nor
~H
are theorems in TNT. Exercise: Why is this nonsense?
So what does
complete
mean? It means that if
T
is a well-formed string in the system, in other words, if
T
(1) is
expressible by the symbols of TNT
and (2) contains
and actual truth value
, then either
T
or
~T
is a theorem.There are “rules” (different from the
Rules
) that describe how to make well formed sentences, but I don
ʼ
t want togo into this ... needless to say they are things that govern the “meaning” of the symbols. For instance, whenusing the symbol “+” it must exist in the form: “(? + ?)” where the question marks on either side are valid terms.Another example is when using the symbol “
”, it must be of the following form:
u : ?” where u is a variableand ? is a formula of sorts.
The Last Attempt (for now) at Incompleteness:
!
I
can
prove that (0 + 0) = 0 (
Axiom 2

and
Rule 1
).
!
I
can
prove that (0 + S0) = S0 (This is more complicated ... can you prove this?)
!
I
can
prove that (0 + SS0) = SS0 (Can you prove this?)
!
In fact I
can
prove that (0 + a) = a
(0 + Sa) = a (Can you prove this?)Here is the bizarre thing: I cannot prove
a : (0 + a) = a. Moreover, I cannot prove ~
a : (0 + a) = a. Thus,
TNT
as it stands
cannot
decide
the truth value of
T =
a : (0 + a) = a
even though it
can
decide it for anyparticular
. The system, as it stands, is incomplete. However, this is not
essential incompleteness
. I can ﬁll thehole by adding a new rule.
Rule 17.
!
Let X{
} be a formula with variable
t.
If
u : X{u}
X{Su} is a theorem and X{0} is a
!!
theorem, then
u : X{u} is also a theorem.(Why is this known as the
Rule of Induction
?)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The ﬁne Print: The present non-author hereby recognizes that the content where-within presented here-within, from thenceforth known as “the paper material” is the result not of his own creative endeavors but instead of a technical process of transposing said “the paper material” from the material paper (not to be confused with “the paper material”) of a previously existing body of work produced either in part or in totality by a one
known, the work that is not the author (not to be confused with the aforementioned “non-author”), as
ö
del, Escher, Bach
. In other words: I ripped it off.