In mathematics, the **continuum hypothesis** (abbreviated **CH**) is a hypothesis, advanced by Georg Cantor in 1878, about the possible sizes of infinite sets. It states:

*There is no set whose cardinality is strictly between that of the integers and that of the real numbers.*

Establishing the truth or falsehood of the continuum hypothesis is the first of Hilbert's 23 problems presented in the year 1900. The contributions of Kurt Gödel in 1940 and Paul Cohen in 1963 showed that the hypothesis can neither be disproved nor be proved using the axioms of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, the standard foundation of modern mathematics, provided ZF set theory is consistent.

The name of the hypothesis comes from the term *the continuum* for the real numbers.

Read more about Continuum Hypothesis: Cardinality of Infinite Sets, Impossibility of Proof and Disproof in ZFC, Arguments For and Against CH, The Generalized Continuum Hypothesis

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### Famous quotes containing the words hypothesis and/or continuum:

“It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet *hypothesis* every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.”

—Konrad Lorenz (1903–1989)

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—Imamu Amiri Baraka (b. 1934)