Concept

Definable real number

Summary
Informally, a definable real number is a real number that can be uniquely specified by its description. The description may be expressed as a construction or as a formula of a formal language. For example, the positive square root of 2, \sqrt{2}, can be defined as the unique positive solution to the equation x^2 = 2, and it can be constructed with a compass and straightedge. Different choices of a formal language or its interpretation give rise to different notions of definability. Specific varieties of definable numbers include the constructible numbers of geometry, the algebraic numbers, and the computable numbers. Because formal languages can have only countably many formulas, every notion of definable numbers has at most countably many definable real numbers. However, by Cantor's diagonal argument, there are uncountably many real numbers, so almost every real number is undefinable. Constructible numbers Constructible number One way of sp
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