# Uncountability of numbers written in binary system [on hold]

One can do a mapping between binary decimal numbers and integers like this:

1 -> 0.110100111
2 -> 0.101010110
3 -> 0.010001000
4 -> 0.101011111
...............

...............
n -> 0.011100010


Now with Cantor's diagonal argument we can prove that there is a decimal binary number not in the list. And thereby prove that binary numbers in decimal representation is uncountable, right?

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## put on hold as off-topic by Andres Caicedo, This is much healthier., Hakim, Kirill, Gina2 days ago

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I don't understand the first sentence of your statement. What does "you can do a mapping between binary decimal numbers and integers" meant to be? If you are asking "Can one apply Cantor's diagonal argument to the binary decimals to show that the binary decimals are uncountable?" the answer is "yes, but you have to be a bit careful with the issue of dual representation." If the first sentence means something else... well, it depends on what your first sentence is supposed to mean. –  Arturo Magidin Feb 10 '12 at 4:06
binary (fractional) numbers are all part of $\mathbb{R}$ just as all decimal fractional numbers are (there is a 1-1 binding between them) –  ratchet freak Feb 10 '12 at 4:07
To get around the issue of double representation, work with blocks of 2 digits instead of single digits; given blocks 00, 01, or 11, select 10; given the block 10, select the block 01. This will give you a number in binary expansion with a unique expansion that is not on the given list. –  Arturo Magidin Feb 10 '12 at 4:12
"binary" means base-2; "decimal" means base-10. What does "binary decimal" mean?? –  Michael Hardy Feb 10 '12 at 4:14
@Michael: It means I need to get some sleep, at any rate... –  Arturo Magidin Feb 10 '12 at 4:17
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## 1 Answer

Yes, you can use (a variant of) Cantor's diagonal argument to prove that the real numbers $x$ with $0\le x\lt1$, as given in binary, are uncountable. I say "a variant of" because one must exercise a little more care when the numbers are given in binary than when they are given in decimal, but it is still essentially Cantor's argument - and of course it gives the same conclusion, since the reals are the reals, whether you represent them to base 2 or to base 10 or as continued fractions or....

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