Recall that a real number is algebraic if it is the root of a polynomial with integer coefficients and that it is transcendental otherwise. For example is algebraic because it is a root of the polynomial , but is transcendental because it is not the root of any such equation. (On a recent blog post…

# Tag: real numbers

## Cardinality of infinite sets, part 1: four nonstandard proofs of countability

The study of cardinalities of infinite sets is one of the most intriguing areas of mathematics that an undergraduate mathematics major will encounter. It never fails to bring crooked smiles of joy, disbelief, confusion and wonder to their faces. The results are beautiful, deep, and unexpected. Recall that two sets have the same cardinality if…

## A 10-adic number that is a zero divisor

A few weeks ago I wrote about p-adic numbers. I mentioned that if p is not prime, then the p-adic numbers can have zero divisors; that is, there are nonzero numbers and such that . Today Foxmaths! wrote about a 10-adic number (although not using that terminology) such that (in other words is an idempotent…

## What are p-adic numbers?

I am not a number theorist, but I’ve always had a distant fascination with p-adic numbers. I have a list of “neat math topics” that I want to write about on my blog, and the p-adic numbers are on that list. So I was happy to see an interesting article about them by Andrew Rich…