Can each number be specified by a finite text?

Boris Tsirelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contrary to popular misconception, the question in the title is far from simple. It involves sets of numbers on the first level, sets of sets of numbers on the second level, and so on, endlessly. The infinite hierarchy of the levels involved distinguishes the concept of "definable number" from such notions as "natural number", "rational number", "algebraic number", "computable number" etc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-53
Number of pages53
JournalWikiJournal of Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


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