Georg Cantor and Infinity (

Georg Cantor was an important mathematician who lived during the late 19th century. He devised a
method for comparing different sizes of infinite quantities and demonstrated that there were differnet
sizes of infinite sets.
The foundation of Cantor’s ideas is the concept of a one-to-one correspondence. This is a concept
which is deeply rooted in the human psyche, as is shown by the fact that the word digit – meaning
number – also means finger. This one-to-one correspondence between enumerating objects by
comparing them to the fingers and/or toes of the human body is the presumed origin of our base ten
number system.
What Cantor did was to compare infinite sets by establishing a one-to-one correspondence bewteen
the elements of the two sets. If it was possible to establish a one-to-one correspondence, then Cantor
concluded that the sets were the same size. In 1873, Cantor published a paper showing that the
rational numbers (which includes all fractions and whole numbers) is actually the same size as the
counting numbers (1, 2, 3, …and so on). Any set that is the same size as the counting numbers is
called “countable.”
Another example of this is the set of even numbers. The set of even numbers is the same size as the
set of counting numbers. It might seem as though there would be fewer even numbers, because the
set of counting numbers includes all the odds, but the set of even numbers doesn’t!
But, you can create a one-to-one correspondence between the coutning numbers and the even
1 (in the counting numbers) matches up with 2 (in the even numbers)
2 (in the counting numbers) matches up with 4 (in the even numbers)
3 matches up with 6
4 matches up with 8 and so on. Any counting number N will match up with 2N in the set of even
For every counting number, there is a corresponding even number – therefore the sets are the same
size. Cantor called this size – aleph null, the smallest infinite size. Cantor showed that the Real
Numbers, represented by the number line and including all rational and irrational numbers, are NOT
countable – in fact, there are more Real Numbers than Counting Numbers. Cantor’s famous Diagonal
Proof is actually fairly simplistic.
Most mathematicians of the late 19th century hated Cantor’s ideas, and he didn’t receive much
support intellectually while he was struggling with his work. Cantor often became depressed toward
the end of his life and spent time in and out of sanitariums, eventually dying in 1918. By this time,
however, many younger mathematicians looked up to Cantor and relied heavily on his work and ideas.
Today Cantor is regarded as one of the most important mathematicians to ever work. His ideas
regarding infinity are deeply philosophical and have had a profound impact on mathematics, science
and philosophy.

-3. N = {x∈ (belongs to) A and x∉ (does not belong to) g(x)}. . -2. say g:A→powerset(A).htm ISL 10 http://mte3101. Proof: To prove the theorem we must show that there is a one-to-one correspondence between A and a subset of powerset (A) but notvice versa.. -1.  Cantor revolutionized the foundation of mathematics with set theory. There are some elements of A which map into subsets of A of which they are a member and there are some which map into a subset which they are not a member of... Cantor also was able to demonstrate that there are different sizes of infinity. for any set A. 4. if some of its parts are as big as the whole. He stated that a collection is infinite... The function f:A→powerset(A) defined by f(a)={a} is one-to-one into powerset(A). 3 . Therefore the assumption of the existence of a one-to-one onto function between A and powerset(A) leads to a contradiction and therefore must be false..Sinopsis:  Cantor was the first mathematician to put a firm logical foundation for the term "infinity. Since N is a subset of A and g is one-to-one onto there must be an element z such that N=g (z). i. 3. cardinality(powerset(A))>carinality(A)  Transfinite numbers Used to count the number of integers and the number of real numbers Cantor's Theorem: The cardinality of the set of all subsets of any set is strictly greater than the cardinality of the set. 2. i.e. Let N be the set of elements of A that do not map into a subset they are member of. Thus cardinality (A) < powerset (A).html . This sets up a contradiction. One to One Correspondence: He showed that you could make a one-to-one correspondence between the natural numbers (1. If it does not belong to N then it must belong to N. } and the integers (." and described a way to do arithmetic with infinite quantities useful to mathematics... If z belongs to N it cannot belong to N.e.sjsu. To prove that the cardinality of powerset(A) is not equal to the cardinality of A let us assume there were a one-to-one onto mapping between A and powerset(A). 2. cardinality (powerset(A)) > cardinality(A). http://www. Thus cardinality (powerset(A)) is strictly less than cardinality(A). 0.}  Continuum Hypothesis: The cardinality of the set of all subsets of any set is strictly greater than the cardinality of the set  For any set A.


ISL 13 Complex Conjugate The complex conjugate of a + bi is a – bi. . This consists of changing the sign of the imaginary part of a complex number. For example.htm .mathwords. but not the same as. Expression Complex Conjugate 5 – 2i 5 + 2i 4i + 1 –4i + 1 –5i 5i 12 12 http://www. Note: Complex conjugates are similar to. and similarly the complex conjugate of a – bi is a + bi. Complex conjugates are indicated using a horizontal line over the number or variable. The real part is left unchanged.

nipissingu.html) Polar Form Along with being able to be represented as a point (a. Adding .b) on a graph. Multiplication and division can be given geometric interpretations and new insight when looking at polar forms: Let and be complex numbers. a complex number z = a+bi can also be represented in polar form as written below: Note: The Arg(z) is the angle primary write the following complex number in its polar coordinates. and that this angle is only unique between which is called the Example: Using the principle argument. We can see from this that in order to multiply two complex numbers we must multiply the length or absolute values together and add the arguments.ISL 14 (http://algebra. .

it is similarly shown that: by using the subtration rule of sine and cosine. Example: .In the case of division. as apose to multipling the lengths we divide and as apose to adding the arguments. we subtract.