**Which Fields Can Be Ordered?**

Every ordered field is a formally real field, i.e., 0 cannot be written as a sum of nonzero squares.

Conversely, every formally real field can be equipped with a compatible total order, that will turn it into an ordered field. (This order is often not uniquely determined.)

Finite fields and more generally fields of finite characteristic cannot be turned into ordered fields, because in characteristic *p*, the element -1 can be written as a sum of (*p*-1) squares 12. The complex numbers also cannot be turned into an ordered field, as −1 is a square (of the imaginary number *i*) and would thus be positive. Also, the p-adic numbers cannot be ordered, since **Q**_{2} contains a square root of −7 and **Q**_{p} (*p* > 2) contains a square root of 1 − *p*.

Read more about this topic: Ordered Field

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