Löwenheim–Skolem theorem

Existence and cardinality of models of logical theories / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematical logic, the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem is a theorem on the existence and cardinality of models, named after Leopold Löwenheim and Thoralf Skolem.

The precise formulation is given below. It implies that if a countable first-order theory has an infinite model, then for every infinite cardinal number κ it has a model of size κ, and that no first-order theory with an infinite model can have a unique model up to isomorphism. As a consequence, first-order theories are unable to control the cardinality of their infinite models.

The (downward) Löwenheim–Skolem theorem is one of the two key properties, along with the compactness theorem, that are used in Lindström's theorem to characterize first-order logic. In general, the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem does not hold in stronger logics such as second-order logic.

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