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# Infinite set

In set theory, an infinite set is a set that is not a finite set. Infinite sets may be countable or
uncountable. Some examples are:

the set of all integers, {..., -1, 0, 1, 2, ...}, is a countably infinite set; and

## the set of all real numbers is an uncountably infinite set.

Properties
The set of natural numbers (whose existence is postulated by the axiom of infinity) is infinite. It
is the only set which is directly required by the axioms to be infinite. The existence of any other
infinite set can be proved in ZermeloFraenkel set theory (ZFC) only by showing that it follows
from the existence of the natural numbers.
A set is infinite if and only if for every natural number the set has a subset whose cardinality is
that natural number.
If the axiom of choice holds, then a set is infinite if and only if it includes a countable infinite
subset.
If a set of sets is infinite or contains an infinite element, then its union is infinite. The powerset of
an infinite set is infinite. Any superset of an infinite set is infinite. If an infinite set is partitioned
into finitely many subsets, then at least one of them must be infinite. Any set which can be
mapped onto an infinite set is infinite. The Cartesian product of an infinite set and a nonempty
set is infinite. The Cartesian product of an infinite number of sets each containing at least two
elements is either empty or infinite; if the axiom of choice holds, then it is infinite.
If an infinite set is a well-ordered set, then it must have a nonempty subset which has no greatest
element.
In ZF, a set is infinite if and only if the powerset of its powerset is a Dedekind-infinite set, having
a proper subset equinumerous to itself. If the axiom of choice is also true, infinite sets are
precisely the Dedekind-infinite sets.
If an infinite set is a well-orderable set, then it has many well-orderings which are nonisomorphic.

Subset
In mathematics, especially in set theory, a set A is a subset of a set B, or equivalently B is a
superset of A, if A is "contained" inside B, that is, all elements of A are also elements of B. A and
B may coincide. The relationship of one set being a subset of another is called inclusion or
sometimes containment.

Definitions
If A and B are sets and every element of A is also an element of B, then:

or equivalently

## B is a superset of (or includes) A, denoted by

If A is a subset of B, but A is not equal to B (i.e. there exists at least one element of B which is
not an element of A), then

or equivalently

## B is a proper superset of A; this is written as

For any set S, the inclusion relation is a partial order on the set
power set of S).

## The symbols and

Some authors[1]:p.6 use the symbols and to indicate "subset" and "superset" respectively,
instead of the symbols and , but with the same meaning. So for example, for these authors, it
is true of every set A that A A.

Other authors[2] prefer to use the symbols and to indicate proper subset and superset,
respectively, in place of and . This usage makes and analogous to the inequality
symbols and <. For example, if x y then x may be equal to y, or maybe not, but if x < y, then
x definitely does not equal y, and is strictly less than y. Similarly, using the " means proper
subset" convention, if A B, then A may or may not be equal to B, but if A B, then A is
definitely not equal to B.

Examples

## Any set is a subset of itself, but not a proper subset.

The empty set { }, denoted by , is also a subset of any given set X. It is also always a
proper subset of any set except itself.

The set {x: x is a prime number greater than 10} is a proper subset of {x: x is an odd
number greater than 10}

The set of natural numbers is a proper subset of the set of rational numbers, and the set of
points in a line segment is a proper subset of the set of points in a line. These are
examples in which both the part and the whole are infinite, and the part has the same
cardinality (number of elements) as the whole; such cases can tax one's intuition.

## Other properties of inclusion

Inclusion is the canonical partial order in the sense that every partially ordered set (X, ) is
isomorphic to some collection of sets ordered by inclusion. The ordinal numbers are a simple
exampleif each ordinal n is identified with the set [n] of all ordinals less than or equal to n,
then a b if and only if [a] [b].
For the power set
of a set S, the inclusion partial order is (up to an order isomorphism) the
Cartesian product of k = |S| (the cardinality of S) copies of the partial order on {0,1} for which 0
< 1. This can be illustrated by enumerating S = {s1, s2, , sk} and associating with each subset T
S (which is to say with each element of 2S) the k-tuple from {0,1}k of which the ith coordinate
is 1 if and only if si is a member of T.