Deﬁnition 1.2
Two sets are said to have the same
cardinality
if there is a bijection from one to the other. We write

A

=

B

to indicate that sets
A
and
B
have the same cardinality.
We have introduced the word ‘cardinality’ as a substitute for ‘size’ or ‘numberof elements’ partly as a reminder that the fundamental idea does not involvecounting as such. A bijection is the formal equivalent of matching elementsonebyone.
Example 1.3
Consider the sets
A
=
{♣
,
♦
,
♥
,
♠}
C
=
{∀
,
∃
,
¬
,
}
We can deﬁne a bijection
f
:
A
→
C
by
f
(
♣
) =
∀
, f
(
♦
) =
∃
, f
(
♥
) =
¬
, f
(
♠
) =
Therefore
A
and
C
have the same cardinality:

A

=

C

.
2
Example 1.4
Let
A
be a nonempty set. It does not have the same cardinalityas the empty set
∅
. For, let
f
:
A
→ ∅
be a bijection and take any element
a
∈
A
.Then
f
(
a
)
∈ ∅
contradicts the deﬁnition of
∅
.
2
These examples illustrate two aspects. To show two sets have the samecardinality we have to exhibit a bijection between them, typically by constructingone. To show they do not have the same cardinality, denoted

A

=

B

, wehave to show the impossibility of having a bijection and this is usually done bycontradiction.
Exercise 1.5
Show that1.

A

=

A

if
A
is nonempty.2. If

A

=

B

and

B

=

C

then

A

=

C

It should be kept in mind that we have not yet deﬁned “cardinality of a set”as a standalone concept. We have only set up a deﬁnition of what we wouldmean by having the “same cardinality”! In other words, we have deﬁned whatwe mean by writing

A

=

B

but we have not given a speciﬁc meaning to

A

itself. This is why

A

=

A

is not a complete triviality. In order to justify thisstatement we need to produce a bijection
A
→
A
.With our current notion of a function as a rule for associating elements of one set to those of another, we cannot conceive of a function with domain
∅
, anddo not automatically get
∅
=
∅
. We will therefore adopt this as a convention.2