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Galileo's paradox is a demonstration of one of the surprising properties of infinite sets. In his final scientific work, Two New Sciences, Galileo Galilei made apparently contradictory statements about the positive integers. First, some numbers are squares, while others are not; therefore, all the numbers, including both squares and non-squares, must be more numerous than just the squares. And yet, for every number there is exactly one square; hence, there cannot be more of one than of the other. This is an early use, though not the first, of the idea of one-to-one correspondence in the context of infinite sets.

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• Galileo's paradox is a demonstration of one of the surprising properties of infinite sets. In his final scientific work, Two New Sciences, Galileo Galilei made apparently contradictory statements about the positive integers. First, some numbers are squares, while others are not; therefore, all the numbers, including both squares and non-squares, must be more numerous than just the squares. And yet, for every number there is exactly one square; hence, there cannot be more of one than of the other. This is an early use, though not the first, of the idea of one-to-one correspondence in the context of infinite sets. Galileo concluded that the ideas of less, equal, and greater apply to (what we would now call) finite sets, but not to infinite sets. In the nineteenth century Cantor found a framework in which this restriction is not necessary; it is possible to define comparisons amongst infinite sets in a meaningful way (by which definition the two sets, integers and squares, have "the same size"), and that by this definition some infinite sets are strictly larger than others. The ideas were not new with Galileo, but his name has come to be associated with them. In particular, Duns Scotus, around 1302, compared even numbers to the whole of numbers. (en)
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• Galileo's paradox is a demonstration of one of the surprising properties of infinite sets. In his final scientific work, Two New Sciences, Galileo Galilei made apparently contradictory statements about the positive integers. First, some numbers are squares, while others are not; therefore, all the numbers, including both squares and non-squares, must be more numerous than just the squares. And yet, for every number there is exactly one square; hence, there cannot be more of one than of the other. This is an early use, though not the first, of the idea of one-to-one correspondence in the context of infinite sets. (en)
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