Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Richard Hammack

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the Surreal Numbers from an elementary, con- structivist point of view, with the intention of introducing the numbers in a palatable way for a broad audience with minimal background in any specific mathematical field. Created from two recursive definitions, the Surreal Numbers form a class that contains a copy of the real numbers, transfinite ordinals, and infinitesimals, combinations of these, and in- finitely many numbers uniquely Surreal. Together with two binary operations, the surreal numbers form a field. The existence of the Surreal Numbers is proven, and the class is constructed from nothing, starting with the integers and dyadic rationals, continuing into the transfinite ordinals and the remaining real numbers, and culminating with the infinitesimals and uniquely surreal numbers. Several key concepts are proven regarding the ordering and containment properties of the numbers. The concept of a surreal continuum is introduced and demonstrated. The binary operations are explored and demonstrated, and field properties are proven, using many methods, including transfinite induction.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2012

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