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CARDINALITIES OF CHAINS OF SETS E. F, Cornelius, Jr. 0.0. Introduction: The additive group of rational numbers, Q which itself is countable with cardinality w, , contains an un- x countable chain with cardinality 2° , of non-isomorphic subgroups. The principle which underlies this remarkable phenomenon can be extended to sets with arbitrarily large cardinalities. If A is a set with infinite cardinality m, then A contains a chain with cardinality > m, of subsets, the relative complements of which have cardinality m. This result can be utilized to construct groups with large cardinalities, which have chains analogous to those of Q , of subgroups. Any well-ordered chain of subsets of A has cardinality at most m, but if an equivalence relation is defined on the subsets of A under which two sub- sets are equivalent if their relative complements have cardinality m, of equivalence classes. We thus obtain the complete solution to a problem in classical infinitary combinatorial set theory, the countable case of which was solved by W. Sierpinski in 1945. ‘The least upper bound for the order types of well-ordered chains of equivalence classes is shown to be a regular initial ordinal and the collection of order types of maximal well-ordered chains of equivalence classes is shown to be cofinal in the set of all such order types. Under various versions of the generalized continuum hypothesis, chains have cardinality 2™ , the cardinality of the power set of A. Finally, classical results on almost disjoint sets are obtained as by-products of the study of chains. 1.0. Background: Recall from the theory of torsion-free abelian groups that a height is a function from the set of primes to the set of non-negative integers U(#) , which is used to denote the divisibility of the elements of a group. If hy and hy are heights, hy