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Math Help - Any approach other than axiomatic approach to Real Numbers

  1. #1
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    Question Any approach other than axiomatic approach to Real Numbers

    Hello Everbody,
    Does any syllabus follow a non axiomatic approach for defining the Real numbers and there relevant proofs. Normaly books start with defining real number as a field satisfying the field properties for + *,then showing the order property. Then it just states the completeness axiom. Is there a different approach followed in some syllabus.

    Finally what are the different approach to construct real numbers.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Tinyboss's Avatar
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    A "non axiomatic" approach would not be mathematical, unless I misunderstand what you're asking. Ultimately everything rests on the axioms. However, there are various ways to characterize the reals, such as

    • the unique complete ordered field,
    • the largest Archimedean field,
    • the equivalence classes of Cauchy sequences in Q,
    • the Dedekind cuts on Q,
    • and weirder ones.


    In classes I've taken, we've done the axiomatic approach (here are the field axioms, order axioms, and the least-upper-bound property, and take my word for it that only the reals satisfy this) and the method of Dedekind cuts. But I'm sure that for every valid, reasonable method, there's some class somewhere that teaches it.
    Last edited by Tinyboss; March 11th 2010 at 02:35 PM.
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