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In mathematics, the Cantor set is a set of points lying on a single line segment that has a number of remarkable and deep properties. It was discovered in 1874 by Henry John Stephen Smith[1][2][3][4] and introduced by German mathematician Georg Cantor in 1883.[5][6]

Through consideration of this set, Cantor and others helped lay the foundations of modern point-set topology. Although Cantor himself defined the set in a general, abstract way, the most common modern construction is the Cantor ternary set, built by removing the middle third of a line segment and then repeating the process with the remaining shorter segments. Cantor himself mentioned the ternary construction only in passing, as an example of a more general idea, that of a perfect set that is nowhere dense.

Column capital with pattern evocative of the Cantor set, but expressed in binary rather than ternary. Engraving of Île de Philae from Description d'Égypte by Jean-Baptiste Prosper Jollois and Édouard Devilliers, Imprimerie Impériale, Paris, 1809-1828

Cantor himself defined the set in a general, abstract way, and mentioned the ternary construction only in passing, as an example of a more ge

Christopher Domas presented a interactive binary visualization tool based on cantor dust at Black hat USA 2012.[21]

Cantor himself defined the set in a general, abstract way, and mentioned the ternary construction only in passing, as an example of a more general idea, that of a perfect set that is nowhere dense. The original paper provides several different constructions of the abstract concept.

This set would have been considered abstract at the time when Cantor devised it. Cantor himself was led to it by practical concerns about the set of points where a trigonometric series might fail to converge. The discovery did much to set him on the course for developing an abstract, general theory of infinite sets.

See also

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