<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Set theory


Introduction to set theory

The concept of set is fundamental to mathematics and computer science. Everything mathematical starts with sets. For example, relationships between two objects are represented as a set of ordered pairs of objects, the concept of ordered pair is defined using sets, natural numbers, which are the basis of other numbers, are also defined using sets, the concept of function, being a special type of relation, is based on sets, and graphs and digraphs consisting of lines and points are described as an ordered pair of sets. Though the concept of set is fundamental to mathematics, it is not defined rigorously here. Instead we rely on everyone's notion of "set" as a collection of objects or a container of objects. In that sense "set" is an undefined concept here. Similarly we say an object "belongs to" or "is a member of" a set without rigorously defining what it means. "An object (element) x belongs to a set A" is symbolically represented by "x ∈ A". It is also assumed that sets have certain (obvious) properties usually associated with a collection of objects such as the union of sets exists, for any pair of sets there is a set that contains them etc.

This approach to set theory is called "naive set theory" as opposed to more rigorous "axiomatic set theory". It was first developed by the German mathematician Georg Cantor at the end of the 19th century. Though the naive set theory is not rigorous, it is simpler and practically all the results we need can be derived within the naive set theory. Thus we shall be following this naive set theory in this course.

Representation of set

A set can be described in a number of different ways. The simplest is to list up all of its members if that is possible. For example {1, 2, 3} is the set of three numbers 1, 2, and 3. { indicates the beginning of the set, and } its end. Every object between them separated by commas is a member of the set. Thus {{1, 2}, {{3}, 2}, 2}, {1 } } is the set of the elements {1, 2}, {{3}, 2} and {1}.

A set can also be described by listing the properties that its members must satisfy. For example, { x| 1 ≤x ≤2 and x is a real number. } represents the set of real numbers between 1 and 2, and { x| x is the square of an integer and x ≤100 } represents the set { 0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100 }.

A third way to describe a set is to give a procedure to generate the members of the set. The recursive/inductive definition is an example and it is going to be studied later. In this representation, first, basic elements of the set are presented. Then a method is given to generate elements of the set from known elements of the set. Thirdly a statement is given that excludes undesirable elements (which may be included in the set otherwise) from the set. For example the set of natural numbers N can be defined recursively as the set that satisfies the following (1), (2), and (3):

(1) 0 ∈ N

(2) For any number x if x ∈N, then x + 1 ∈N.

(3) Nothing is in N unless it is obtained from (1) and (2).

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Discrete structures. OpenStax CNX. Jan 23, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10513/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Discrete structures' conversation and receive update notifications?