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Uploaded by Philip White

Just an exercise I was working out.

Just an exercise I was working out.

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Philip White

There is a common model for the naturals referred to here as the natural expansion, and similarly, there is a common model for the reals referred to here to as the real expansion. Assuming either of these denumerably infinite models, it will be shown that a certain ambiguity arises when evaluating what these models represent. Def. 1: Base-10 Natural Expansion Form Consider all of the numbers represented by the following model x4x3x2 x1; where the number of xi placeholders is countably infinite, and where there is a set S={0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9} such that each x i must by any s S. Numbers captured by this model are said to be in base-10 natural expansion form or alternatively B10. Def. 2: Base-10 Real Expansion Form Consider all of the numbers represented by the following model x4x3x2 x1.y1y2 y3y4; where the number of xi, yi placeholders is countably infinite, and where there is a set S={0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9} such that each xi, yi must by any s S. Numbers captured by this model are said to be in base-10 real expansion form or alternatively B10. Concerning Def. 1, if a number is written like 351, or 1000, assume this is shorthand for a number captured by B10. So when a number is written like 999, or 29, there actually exists an implicit but infinite string of zeros to the left of these finite ideographs. Now, as can be seen, every natural number written fits the model given in Def. 1, and this is done without any double counting. Concerning Def. 2, if a number is written like 3.45, or 500.000, assume this is shorthand for a number captured by B10. When a number is written like 3.1, or 999.999, there exists an implicit yet infinite string of zeros to both the left and the right of these finite ideographs. It is true that B10 counts infinitesimals twice (.99999=1.000, etc), but this shouldnt make a difference in the long run. For now, notice every real number (whether double counted or not) fits the model given in Def. 2. Lem. Notice both B10 and B10 model some numbers. There exists a bijection between the numbers modeled by B10 or B10 respectively, and some corresponding infinite ordinal.

Just which ordinals are bijectable with B10 or B10 is a later topic, but the general statement of Lem. is shown below. Proof. Concerning Def. 1 (B10), notice there are a countably infinite number of xi placeholders. Similarly, concerning Def. 2 (B10), notice there are a countably infinite number of xi, yi placeholders. Recall the set S={0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9}. Because there are an infinite number of xi and xi, yi placeholders respectively, and because each placeholder must be some s S, each model B10 and B10 captures an infinite list of numbers. Now suppose that that is the first finite ordinal bijectable with the numbers captured by either B10 or B10 . This would imply that at least one of the two models captures only a finite set of numbers, but it was just stated that each model captures infinitely many numbers. Thus we have a contradiction, and this implies that the captured numbers are bijectable with some infinite ordinal. Now, moving on from the more general proof above, a puzzling situation will be presented. The next task is to calculate the exact cardinality of the numbers counted by B10 or B10 , however this will be harder than expected. Consider the following conjecture, and afterwards two methods will be given. Conj. Going with the definition of B10 and B10 above, it will be shown that infinite natural or infinite real expansions cannot accurately capture the naturals or the reals. Method 1. First investigate the numbers counted in Def. 1. Because Def. 1 counts the natural numbers, it should follow that the set of numbers captured by B10 should have a cardinality of 0. Say that each |xi|=10. Because 10 is a finite cardinality, and because an infinite product of countable cardinalities equals 0, the cardinality of the numbers implied by Def. 1 is |x3|*|x2|*|x1| = 10*10*10 = 0 or something like that. So the set of natural numbers captured by B10 has a cardinality of 0, and this implies that B10 captures a countably infinite list of natural numbers which seems pretty uncontroversial. But the same logic used in the preceding paragraph can be applied to Def. 2, but B10 counts the reals instead of the naturals. Remember that each |xi|=10 and each |yi|=10, which implies that the cardinality of the set of reals captured by B10 can be calculated below: |x3|*|x2|*|x1|.|y1|*|y2|*|y3| = 10*10*10*10*10*10 = 0 But this makes no sense! Early it was stated that Def. 2 captures every imaginable real number. How can there be only 0 real numbers? However, if the numbers captured by B10

cannot be counted with infinite accuracy, then perhaps the same must apply to B10, and then even an infinite list of natural numbers becomes questioned which is unattractive. Method 2. Start with investigating Def. 2. Method 1 states that B10 could be calculated like 10*10*10*10*10*10, but then consider the following: If 10=101, 10*10=102, 10*10*10=103, and 10*10*10*10=104 ad infinitum, then perhaps the upper bound of this sequence is 100=20. This implies that the cardinality of the numbers counted by B10 is 20, which makes sense because B10 counts the real numbers (for now). But the same logic used in the preceding paragraph could be applied to Def. 1. This would imply that there are a 20 number of natural numbers so similar to Method 1, Method 2 arrives at a problem. 0 is the accepted cardinality for the natural numbers, how could this cardinality be 20? Therefore, if the cardinality of the numbers captured by B10 cannot be captured to an infinite accuracy, then the numbers captured by B10 cannot be discerned either and therefore an infinite decimal becomes impossible.

The results of this investigation are confusing even to myself, as I am not a seasoned

mathematician. Are the arguments presented here a case for finitism? Or perhaps the arguments here prove that real numbers are not captured by infinite decimals (in the sense of mathematical Platonism)? Either way, the above proof introduces an ambiguity when talking about the cardinality of the infinite sets or . Anyhow, there is more research on the way. 03/08/2013. Philip White.

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