In set theory, an uncountable regular cardinal number is called weakly inaccessible if it is a weak limit cardinal, and strongly inaccessible, or just inaccessible, if it is a strong limit cardinal. Some authors do not require weakly and strongly inaccessible cardinals to be uncountable (in which case is strongly inaccessible). Weakly inaccessible cardinals were introduced by Hausdorff (1908), and strongly inaccessible ones by Sierpiński & Tarski (1930) and Zermelo (1930).
The term "inaccessible cardinal" is ambiguous. Until about 1950 it meant "weakly inaccessible cardinal", but since then it usually means "strongly inaccessible cardinal".
Every strongly inaccessible cardinal is also weakly inaccessible, as every strong limit cardinal is also a weak limit cardinal. If the generalized continuum hypothesis holds, then a cardinal is strongly inaccessible if and only if it is weakly inaccessible.
(aleph-null) is a regular strong limit cardinal. Assuming the axiom of choice, every other infinite cardinal number is either regular or a (weak) limit. However, only a rather large cardinal number can be both and thus weakly inaccessible.
An ordinal is a weakly inaccessible cardinal if and only if it is a regular ordinal and it is a limit of regular ordinals. (Zero, one, and are regular ordinals, but not limits of regular ordinals.) A cardinal which is weakly inaccessible and also a strong limit cardinal is strongly inaccessible.
The assumption of the existence of a strongly inaccessible cardinal is sometimes applied in the form of the assumption that one can work inside a Grothendieck universe, the two ideas being intimately connected.
Read more about Inaccessible Cardinal: Models and Consistency, Existence of A Proper Class of Inaccessibles, α-inaccessible Cardinals and Hyper-inaccessible Cardinals, Two Model-theoretic Characterisations of Inaccessibility
Famous quotes containing the words inaccessible and/or cardinal:
“The knowledge of an unlearned man is living and luxuriant like a forest, but covered with mosses and lichens and for the most part inaccessible and going to waste; the knowledge of the man of science is like timber collected in yards for public works, which still supports a green sprout here and there, but even this is liable to dry rot.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The Cardinal is at his wits endit is true that he had not far to go.”
—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)