Concept

# Continuum hypothesis

Summary
In mathematics, specifically set theory, the continuum hypothesis (abbreviated CH) is a hypothesis about the possible sizes of infinite sets. It states that there is no set whose cardinality is strictly between that of the integers and the real numbers, or equivalently, that any subset of the real numbers is finite, is countably infinite, or has the same cardinality as the real numbers. In Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice (ZFC), this is equivalent to the following equation in aleph numbers: 2^{\aleph_0}=\aleph_1, or even shorter with beth numbers: \beth_1 = \aleph_1. The continuum hypothesis was advanced by Georg Cantor in 1878, and establishing its truth or falsehood is the first of Hilbert's 23 problems presented in 1900. The answer to this problem is independent of ZFC, so that either the continuum hypothesis or its negation can be added as an axiom to ZFC set theory, with the resulting theory being consistent if and only if ZF
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