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**Review of Set Theory
**

Finite

A set which contains a nonnegative integral number of elements is said to be

finite. A set which is not finite is said to be infinite. A finite or countably infinite set

is said to be countable.

Countably Infinite

Any set which can be put in a one-to-one correspondence with the natural

numbers (or integers) so that a prescription can be given for identifying its members

one at a time is called a countably infinite (or denumerably infinite) set. Once one

countable set S is given, any other set which can be put into a one-to-one

correspondence with S is also countable. Examples of countable sets include the

integers, algebraic numbers, and rational numbers. Examples of nondenumerable sets

include the real, complex, irrational, and transcendental numbers.

**Prove that set of real numbers are uncountable.
**

Suppose that the set of real numbers is countable. Then, the subset of all real

numbers that fall between 0 and 1 would also be countable. Under this assumption,

the real numbers between 0 and 1 can be listed in some order, say, r 1 , r2 , r3,….Let the

decimal representation of these real numbers are

r1 = 0.d11d12 d13 d14 …

r2 = 0.d21d22 d23 d24 …

r3 = 0.d31d32 d33 d34 …

r4 = 0.d41d42 d43 d44 …

where dij {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}. (e.g., if r1 = 0.1234…. we have

d11 = 1, d12 = 2, d13 = 3, d14 = 4…, and so on.) Then, form a new real number with

decimal expansion r = 0.d1d2 d3 d4.. , where the decinal digits are determined by the

following rule:

**As an example, suppose that r1 = 0. 2345…., r2 = 0. 6789…. , r3 = 0. 7840… and so on.
**

Then we have r = 0.d 1d2 d3 d4…. = 0.445…, where d1 = 4 since d11 4, d2 = 4 since d12

4, d3 = 4 since d11 = 4, and so on.)

Every real number has a unique decimal expansion. Then, the number r is not equal to

any r1, r2, r3,.. since the decimal expansion of ri in the ith place to the right of the

decimal point, for each i. Since there is a real number r between 0 and 1 that is not in

the list, the assumption that al the real numbers between 0 and 1 could be listed must

be false. Therefore, all the real numbers between 0 and 1 cannot be listed, so that the

set of real numbers between 0 and 1 is uncountable. Any set with an uncountable

subset is uncountable. Hence, the set of real numbers is uncountable.

Countable Sets

A set which is either finite or denumerable.

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