Frases de Georg Cantor

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Georg Cantor

Data de nascimento: 3. Março 1845
Data de falecimento: 6. Janeiro 1918

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Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor foi um matemático alemão nascido no Império Russo.

Conhecido por ter elaborado a moderna teoria dos conjuntos, foi a partir desta teoria que chegou ao conceito de número transfinito, incluindo as classes numéricas dos cardinais e ordinais e estabelecendo a diferença entre estes dois conceitos, que colocam novos problemas quando se referem a conjuntos infinitos. Nasceu em São Petersburgo , filho do comerciante dinamarquês, George Waldemar Cantor, e de uma musicista russa, Maria Anna Böhm. Em 1856 sua família mudou-se para a Alemanha, continuando aí os seus estudos. Estudou no Instituto Federal de Tecnologia de Zurique. Doutorou-se na Universidade de Berlim em 1867. Teve como professores Ernst Kummer, Karl Weierstrass e Leopold Kronecker.Em 1872 foi docente na Universidade de Halle-Wittenberg, na cidade alemã Halle an der Saale, onde obteve o título de professor em 1879. Toda a sua vida irá tentar em vão deixar a cidade, tendo acabado por pensar que era vítima de uma conspiração.Cantor provou que os conjuntos infinitos não têm todos a mesma potência . Fez a distinção entre conjuntos numeráveis e conjuntos contínuos . Provou que o conjunto dos números racionais Q é numerável, enquanto que o conjunto dos números reais IR é contínuo . Na demonstração foi utilizado o célebre argumento da diagonal de Cantor ou método diagonal. Nos últimos anos de vida tentou provar, sem o conseguir, a "hipótese do contínuo", ou seja, que não existem conjuntos de potência intermédia entre os numeráveis e os contínuos - em 1963, Paul Cohen demonstrou a indemonstrabilidade desta hipótese. Em 1897, Cantor descobriu vários paradoxos suscitados pela teoria dos conjuntos. Foi ele que utilizou pela primeira vez o símbolo

R

{\displaystyle \mathbb {R} }

para representar o conjunto dos números reais.Durante a última metade da sua vida sofreu repetidamente de ataques de depressão, o que comprometeu a sua capacidade de trabalho e o forçou a ficar hospitalizado várias vezes. Provavelmente ser-lhe-ia diagnosticado, hoje em dia, um transtorno bipolar - vulgo maníaco-depressivo. A descoberta do Paradoxo de Russell conduziu-o a um esgotamento nervoso do qual não chegou a se recuperar. Começou, então, a se interessar por literatura e religião. Desenvolveu o seu conceito de Infinito Absoluto, que identificava a Deus. Ficou na penúria durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial, morrendo num hospital psiquiátrico em Halle.Nas palavras de David Hilbert: "Ninguém nos poderá expulsar do Paraíso que Cantor criou."

Citações Georg Cantor

„This view [of the infinite], which I consider to be the sole correct one, is held by only a few.“

— Georg Cantor
Context: This view [of the infinite], which I consider to be the sole correct one, is held by only a few. While possibly I am the very first in history to take this position so explicitly, with all of its logical consequences, I know for sure that I shall not be the last! As quoted in Journey Through Genius (1990) by William Dunham ~

„Mathematics is in its development entirely free and is only bound in the self-evident respect that its concepts must both be consistent with each other, and also stand in exact relationships, ordered by definitions, to those concepts which have previously been introduced and are already at hand and established.“

— Georg Cantor
Context: Mathematics is in its development entirely free and is only bound in the self-evident respect that its concepts must both be consistent with each other, and also stand in exact relationships, ordered by definitions, to those concepts which have previously been introduced and are already at hand and established. In particular, in the introduction of new numbers, it is only obligated to give definitions of them which will bestow such a determinacy and, in certain circumstances, such a relationship to the other numbers that they can in any given instance be precisely distinguished. As soon as a number satisfies all these conditions, it can and must be regarded in mathematics as existent and real.

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„My theory stands as firm as a rock; every arrow directed against it will return quickly to its archer.“

— Georg Cantor
Context: My theory stands as firm as a rock; every arrow directed against it will return quickly to its archer. How do I know this? Because I have studied it from all sides for many years; because I have examined all objections which have ever been made against the infinite numbers; and above all because I have followed its roots, so to speak, to the first infallible cause of all created things. As quoted in Journey Through Genius (1990) by William Dunham

„The transfinite numbers are in a certain sense themselves new irrationalities“

— Georg Cantor
Context: The transfinite numbers are in a certain sense themselves new irrationalities and in fact in my opinion the best method of defining the finite irrational numbers is wholly dissimilar to, and I might even say in principle the same as, my method described above of introducing transfinite numbers. One can say unconditionally: the transfinite numbers stand or fall with the finite irrational numbers; they are like each other in their innermost being; for the former like the latter are definite delimited forms or modifications of the actual infinite. As quoted in Understanding the Infinite (1994) by Shaughan Lavine

„The totality of all alephs cannot be conceived as a determinate, well-defined, and also a finished set.“

— Georg Cantor
Context: The totality of all alephs cannot be conceived as a determinate, well-defined, and also a finished set. This is the punctum saliens, and I venture to say that this completely certain theorem, provable rigorously from the definition of the totality of all alephs, is the most important and noblest theorem of set theory. One must only understand the expression "finished" correctly. I say of a set that it can be thought of as finished (and call such a set, if it contains infinitely many elements, "transfinite" or "suprafinite") if it is possible without contradiction (as can be done with finite sets) to think of all its elements as existing together, and to think of the set itself as a compounded thing for itself; or (in other words) if it is possible to imagine the set as actually existing with the totality of its elements. Letter to David Hilbert (2 October 1897)

„I have never proceeded from any Genus supremum of the actual infinite. Quite the contrary, I have rigorously proved that there is absolutely no Genus supremum of the actual infinite. What surpasses all that is finite and transfinite is no Genus; it is the single, completely individual unity in which everything is included, which includes the Absolute, incomprehensible to the human understanding. This is the Actus Purissimus, which by many is called God.“

— Georg Cantor
Context: I have never proceeded from any Genus supremum of the actual infinite. Quite the contrary, I have rigorously proved that there is absolutely no Genus supremum of the actual infinite. What surpasses all that is finite and transfinite is no Genus; it is the single, completely individual unity in which everything is included, which includes the Absolute, incomprehensible to the human understanding. This is the Actus Purissimus, which by many is called God. I am so in favor of the actual infinite that instead of admitting that Nature abhors it, as is commonly said, I hold that Nature makes frequent use of it everywhere, in order to show more effectively the perfections of its Author. Thus I believe that there is no part of matter which is not — I do not say divisible — but actually divisible; and consequently the least particle ought to be considered as a world full of an infinity of different creatures. As quoted in Out of the Mouths of Mathematicians : A Quotation Book for Philomaths (1993) by Rosemary Schmalz.

„I call this the improper infinite“

— Georg Cantor
Context: As for the mathematical infinite, to the extent that it has found a justified application in science and contributed to its usefulness, it seems to me that it has hitherto appeared principally in the role of a variable quantity, which either grows beyond all bounds or diminishes to any desired minuteness, but always remains finite. I call this the improper infinite [das Uneigentlich-unendliche].

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„Had Mittag-Leffler had his way, I should have to wait until the year 1984, which to me seemed too great a demand!“

— Georg Cantor
Letter (1885), written after Gösta Mittag-Leffler persuaded him to withdraw a submission to Mittag-Leffler's journal Acta Mathematica, telling him it was "about one hundred years too soon."

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