# Large countable ordinal

In the mathematical discipline of set theory, there are many ways of describing specific countable ordinals. The smallest ones can be usefully and non-circularly expressed in terms of their Cantor normal forms. Beyond that, many ordinals of relevance to proof theory still have computable ordinal notations (see ordinal analysis). However, it is not possible to decide effectively whether a given putative ordinal notation is a notation or not (for reasons somewhat analogous to the unsolvability of the halting problem); various more-concrete ways of defining ordinals that definitely have notations are available.

Since there are only countably many notations, all ordinals with notations are exhausted well below the first uncountable ordinal ω1; their supremum is called Church–Kleene ω1 or ωCK
1
(not to be confused with the first uncountable ordinal, ω1), described below. Ordinal numbers below ωCK
1
are the recursive ordinals (see below). Countable ordinals larger than this may still be defined, but do not have notations.

Due to the focus on countable ordinals, ordinal arithmetic is used throughout, except where otherwise noted. The ordinals described here are not as large as the ones described in large cardinals, but they are large among those that have constructive notations (descriptions). Larger and larger ordinals can be defined, but they become more and more difficult to describe.

## Generalities on recursive ordinals

### Ordinal notations

Computable ordinals (or recursive ordinals) are certain countable ordinals: loosely speaking those represented by a computable function. There are several equivalent definitions of this: the simplest is to say that a computable ordinal is the order-type of some recursive (i.e., computable) well-ordering of the natural numbers; so, essentially, an ordinal is recursive when we can present the set of smaller ordinals in such a way that a computer (Turing machine, say) can manipulate them (and, essentially, compare them).

A different definition uses Kleene's system of ordinal notations. Briefly, an ordinal notation is either the name zero (describing the ordinal 0), or the successor of an ordinal notation (describing the successor of the ordinal described by that notation), or a Turing machine (computable function) that produces an increasing sequence of ordinal notations (that describe the ordinal that is the limit of the sequence), and ordinal notations are (partially) ordered so as to make the successor of o greater than o and to make the limit greater than any term of the sequence (this order is computable; however, the set O of ordinal notations itself is highly non-recursive, owing to the impossibility of deciding whether a given Turing machine does indeed produce a sequence of notations); a recursive ordinal is then an ordinal described by some ordinal notation.

Any ordinal smaller than a recursive ordinal is itself recursive, so the set of all recursive ordinals forms a certain (countable) ordinal, the Church–Kleene ordinal (see below).

It is tempting to forget about ordinal notations, and only speak of the recursive ordinals themselves: and some statements are made about recursive ordinals which, in fact, concern the notations for these ordinals. This leads to difficulties, however, as even the smallest infinite ordinal, ω, has many notations, some of which cannot be proved to be equivalent to the obvious notation (the simplest program that enumerates all natural numbers).

### Relationship to systems of arithmetic

There is a relation between computable ordinals and certain formal systems (containing arithmetic, that is, at least a reasonable fragment of Peano arithmetic).

Certain computable ordinals are so large that while they can be given by a certain ordinal notation o, a given formal system might not be sufficiently powerful to show that o is, indeed, an ordinal notation: the system does not show transfinite induction for such large ordinals.

For example, the usual first-order Peano axioms do not prove transfinite induction for (or beyond) ε0: while the ordinal ε0 can easily be arithmetically described (it is countable), the Peano axioms are not strong enough to show that it is indeed an ordinal; in fact, transfinite induction on ε0 proves the consistency of Peano's axioms (a theorem by Gentzen), so by Gödel's second incompleteness theorem, Peano's axioms cannot formalize that reasoning. (This is at the basis of the Kirby–Paris theorem on Goodstein sequences.) Since Peano arithmetic can prove that any ordinal less than ε0 is well ordered, we say that ε0 measures the proof-theoretic strength of Peano's axioms.

But we can do this for systems far beyond Peano's axioms. For example, the proof-theoretic strength of Kripke–Platek set theory is the Bachmann–Howard ordinal, and, in fact, merely adding to Peano's axioms the axioms that state the well-ordering of all ordinals below the Bachmann–Howard ordinal is sufficient to obtain all arithmetical consequences of Kripke–Platek set theory.

## Specific recursive ordinals

### Predicative definitions and the Veblen hierarchy

We have already mentioned (see Cantor normal form) the ordinal ε0, which is the smallest satisfying the equation ${\displaystyle \omega ^{\alpha }=\alpha }$, so it is the limit of the sequence 0, 1, ${\displaystyle \omega }$, ${\displaystyle \omega ^{\omega }}$, ${\displaystyle \omega ^{\omega ^{\omega }}}$, ... The next ordinal satisfying this equation is called ε1: it is the limit of the sequence

${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{0}+1,\qquad \omega ^{\varepsilon _{0}+1}=\varepsilon _{0}\cdot \omega ,\qquad \omega ^{\omega ^{\varepsilon _{0}+1}}=(\varepsilon _{0})^{\omega },\qquad {\text{etc.}}}$

More generally, the ${\displaystyle \iota }$-th ordinal such that ${\displaystyle \omega ^{\alpha }=\alpha }$ is called ${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{\iota }}$. We could define ${\displaystyle \zeta _{0}}$ as the smallest ordinal such that ${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{\alpha }=\alpha }$, but since the Greek alphabet does not have transfinitely many letters it is better to use a more robust notation: define ordinals ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma }(\beta )}$ by transfinite induction as follows: let ${\displaystyle \varphi _{0}(\beta )=\omega ^{\beta }}$ and let ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma +1}(\beta )}$ be the ${\displaystyle \beta }$-th fixed point of ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma }}$ (i.e., the ${\displaystyle \beta }$-th ordinal such that ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma }(\alpha )=\alpha }$; so for example, ${\displaystyle \varphi _{1}(\beta )=\varepsilon _{\beta }}$), and when ${\displaystyle \delta }$ is a limit ordinal, define ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\delta }(\alpha )}$ as the ${\displaystyle \alpha }$-th common fixed point of the ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma }}$ for all ${\displaystyle \gamma <\delta }$. This family of functions is known as the Veblen hierarchy (there are inessential variations in the definition, such as letting, for ${\displaystyle \delta }$ a limit ordinal, ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\delta }(\alpha )}$ be the limit of the ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma }(\alpha )}$ for ${\displaystyle \gamma <\delta }$: this essentially just shifts the indices by 1, which is harmless). ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\gamma }}$ is called the ${\displaystyle \gamma ^{th}}$ Veblen function (to the base ${\displaystyle \omega }$).

Ordering: ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\alpha }(\beta )<\varphi _{\gamma }(\delta )}$ if and only if either (${\displaystyle \alpha =\gamma }$ and ${\displaystyle \beta <\delta }$) or (${\displaystyle \alpha <\gamma }$ and ${\displaystyle \beta <\varphi _{\gamma }(\delta )}$) or (${\displaystyle \alpha >\gamma }$ and ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\alpha }(\beta )<\delta }$).

### The Feferman–Schütte ordinal and beyond

The smallest ordinal such that ${\displaystyle \varphi _{\alpha }(0)=\alpha }$ is known as the Feferman–Schütte ordinal and generally written ${\displaystyle \Gamma _{0}}$. It can be described as the set of all ordinals that can be written as finite expressions, starting from zero, using only the Veblen hierarchy and addition. The Feferman–Schütte ordinal is important because, in a sense that is complicated to make precise, it is the smallest (infinite) ordinal that cannot be ("predicatively") described using smaller ordinals. It measures the strength of such systems as "arithmetical transfinite recursion".

More generally, Γα enumerates the ordinals that cannot be obtained from smaller ordinals using addition and the Veblen functions.

It is, of course, possible to describe ordinals beyond the Feferman–Schütte ordinal. One could continue to seek fixed points in a more and more complicated manner: enumerate the fixed points of ${\displaystyle \alpha \mapsto \Gamma _{\alpha }}$, then enumerate the fixed points of that, and so on, and then look for the first ordinal α such that α is obtained in α steps of this process, and continue diagonalizing in this ad hoc manner. This leads to the definition of the "small" and "large" Veblen ordinals.

### Impredicative ordinals

To go far beyond the Feferman–Schütte ordinal, one needs to introduce new methods. Unfortunately there is not yet any standard way to do this: every author in the subject seems to have invented their own system of notation, and it is quite hard to translate between the different systems. The first such system was introduced by Bachmann in 1950 (in an ad hoc manner), and different extensions and variations of it were described by Buchholz, Takeuti (ordinal diagrams), Feferman (θ systems), Aczel, Bridge, Schütte, and Pohlers. However most systems use the same basic idea, of constructing new countable ordinals by using the existence of certain uncountable ordinals. Here is an example of such a definition, described in much greater detail in the article on ordinal collapsing function:

• ψ(α) is defined to be the smallest ordinal that cannot be constructed by starting with 0, 1, ω and Ω, and repeatedly applying addition, multiplication and exponentiation, and ψ to previously constructed ordinals (except that ψ can only be applied to arguments less than α, to ensure that it is well defined).

Here Ω = ω1 is the first uncountable ordinal. It is put in because otherwise the function ψ gets "stuck" at the smallest ordinal σ such that εσ=σ: in particular ψ(α)=σ for any ordinal α satisfying σα≤Ω. However the fact that we included Ω allows us to get past this point: ψ(Ω+1) is greater than σ. The key property of Ω that we used is that it is greater than any ordinal produced by ψ.

To construct still larger ordinals, we can extend the definition of ψ by throwing in more ways of constructing uncountable ordinals. There are several ways to do this, described to some extent in the article on ordinal collapsing function.

The Bachmann–Howard ordinal (sometimes just called the Howard ordinal, ψ0Ω+1) with the notation above) is an important one, because it describes the proof-theoretic strength of Kripke–Platek set theory. Indeed, the main importance of these large ordinals, and the reason to describe them, is their relation to certain formal systems as explained above. However, such powerful formal systems as full second-order arithmetic, let alone Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, seem beyond reach for the moment.

### Beyond even the Bachmann-Howard ordinal

Beyond this, there are multiple recursive ordinals which aren't as well known as the previous ones. The first of these is Buchholz's ordinal, defined as ${\displaystyle \psi _{0}(\Omega _{\omega })}$, abbreviated as just ${\displaystyle \psi (\Omega _{\omega })}$, using the previous notation. It is the proof-theoretic ordinal of ${\displaystyle \Pi _{1}^{1}-CA_{0}}$,[1] a first-order theory of arithmetic allowing quantification over the natural numbers as well as sets of natural numbers, and ${\displaystyle ID_{<\omega }}$, the "formal theory of finitely iterated inductive definitions".[2]

Since the hydras from Buchholz's hydra game are isomorphic to Buchholz's ordinal notation, the ordinals up to this point can be expressed using hydras from the game.[3]p.136 For example ${\displaystyle +(0(\omega ))}$ corresponds to ${\displaystyle \psi (\Omega _{\omega })}$.

Next is the Takeuti-Feferman-Buchholz ordinal, the proof-theoretic ordinal of ${\displaystyle \Pi _{1}^{1}-CA+BI}$;[4] and another subsystem of second-order arithmetic: ${\displaystyle \Pi _{1}^{1}}$ - comprehension + transfinite induction, and ${\displaystyle ID_{\omega }}$, the "formal theory of ${\displaystyle \omega }$-times iterated inductive definitions".[5] In this notation, it is defined as ${\displaystyle \psi _{0}(\varepsilon _{\Omega _{\omega }+1})}$. It is the supremum of the range of Buchholz's psi functions.[6] It was first named by David Madore.[citation needed]

The next ordinal is mentioned in a piece of code describing large countable ordinals and numbers in Agda, and defined by "AndrasKovacs" as ${\displaystyle \psi _{0}(\Omega _{\omega +1}\cdot \varepsilon _{0})}$.

The next ordinal is mentioned in the same piece of code as earlier, and defined as ${\displaystyle \psi _{0}(\Omega _{\omega ^{\omega }})}$. It is the proof-theoretic ordinal of ${\displaystyle ID_{<\omega ^{\omega }}}$.

This next ordinal is, once again, mentioned in this same piece of code, defined as ${\displaystyle \psi _{0}(\Omega _{\varepsilon _{0}})}$, is the proof-theoretic ordinal of ${\displaystyle ID_{<\varepsilon _{0}}}$. In general, the proof-theoretic ordinal of ${\displaystyle ID_{<\nu }}$ is equal to ${\displaystyle \psi _{0}(\Omega _{\nu })}$ — note that in this certain instance, ${\displaystyle \Omega _{0}}$ represents ${\displaystyle 1}$, the first nonzero ordinal.

Next is an unnamed ordinal, referred by David Madore as the "countable" collapse of ${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{I+1}}$,[5] where ${\displaystyle I}$ is the first inaccessible (=${\displaystyle \Pi _{0}^{1}}$-indescribable) cardinal. This is the proof-theoretic ordinal of Kripke-Platek set theory augmented by the recursive inaccessibility of the class of ordinals (KPi), or, on the arithmetical side, of ${\displaystyle \Delta _{2}^{1}}$ -comprehension + transfinite induction. Its value is equal to ${\displaystyle \psi (\varepsilon _{I+1})}$ using an unknown function.

Next is another unnamed ordinal, referred by David Madore as the "countable" collapse of ${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{M+1}}$,[5] where ${\displaystyle M}$ is the first Mahlo cardinal. This is the proof-theoretic ordinal of KPM, an extension of Kripke-Platek set theory based on a Mahlo cardinal.[7] Its value is equal to ${\displaystyle \psi (\varepsilon _{M+1})}$ using one of Buchholz's various psi functions.[8]

Next is another unnamed ordinal, referred by David Madore as the "countable" collapse of ${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{K+1}}$,[5] where ${\displaystyle K}$ is the first weakly compact (=${\displaystyle \Pi _{1}^{1}}$-indescribable) cardinal. This is the proof-theoretic ordinal of Kripke-Platek set theory + Π3 - Ref. Its value is equal to ${\displaystyle \Psi (\varepsilon _{K+1})}$ using Rathjen's Psi function.[9]

Next is another unnamed ordinal, referred by David Madore as the "countable" collapse of ${\displaystyle \varepsilon _{\Xi +1}}$,[5] where ${\displaystyle \Xi }$ is the first ${\displaystyle \Pi _{0}^{2}}$-indescribable cardinal. This is the proof-theoretic ordinal of Kripke-Platek set theory + Πω-Ref. Its value is equal to ${\displaystyle \Psi _{X}^{\varepsilon _{\Xi +1}}}$ using Stegert's Psi function, where ${\displaystyle X}$ = (${\displaystyle \omega ^{+}}$; ${\displaystyle P_{0}}$; ${\displaystyle \epsilon }$, ${\displaystyle \epsilon }$, 0).[10]

Next is the last unnamed ordinal, referred by David Madore as the proof-theoretic ordinal of Stability.[5] This is the proof-theoretic ordinal of Stability, an extension of Kripke-Platek set theory. Its value is equal to ${\displaystyle \Psi _{X}^{\varepsilon _{\Upsilon +1}}}$ using Stegert's Psi function, where ${\displaystyle X}$ = (${\displaystyle \omega ^{+}}$; ${\displaystyle P_{0}}$; ${\displaystyle \epsilon }$, ${\displaystyle \epsilon }$, 0).[10]

Next is a group of ordinals which not that much are known about, but are still fairly significant (in ascending order):

• The proof-theoretic ordinal of second-order arithmetic.
• A possible limit of Taranovsky's C ordinal notation. (Conjectural, assuming well-foundedness of the notation system)
• The proof-theoretic ordinal of ZFC.

### "Unrecursable" recursive ordinals

By dropping the requirement of having a concrete description, even larger recursive countable ordinals can be obtained as the ordinals measuring the strengths of various strong theories; roughly speaking, these ordinals are the smallest order types of "natural" ordinal notations that the theories cannot prove are well ordered. By taking stronger and stronger theories such as second-order arithmetic, Zermelo set theory, Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, or Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with various large cardinal axioms, one gets some extremely large recursive ordinals. (Strictly speaking it is not known that all of these really are ordinals: by construction, the ordinal strength of a theory can only be proved to be an ordinal from an even stronger theory. So for the large cardinal axioms this becomes quite unclear.)

## Beyond recursive ordinals

### The Church–Kleene ordinal

The supremum of the set of recursive ordinals is the smallest ordinal that cannot be described in a recursive way. (It is not the order type of any recursive well-ordering of the integers.) That ordinal is a countable ordinal called the Church–Kleene ordinal, ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{\mathrm {CK} }}$. Thus, ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{\mathrm {CK} }}$ is the smallest non-recursive ordinal, and there is no hope of precisely "describing" any ordinals from this point on—we can only define them. But it is still far less than the first uncountable ordinal, ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}}$. However, as its symbol suggests, it behaves in many ways rather like ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}}$. For instance, one can define ordinal collapsing functions using ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{\mathrm {CK} }}$ instead of ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}}$.

The Church–Kleene ordinal is again related to Kripke–Platek set theory, but now in a different way: whereas the Bachmann–Howard ordinal (described above) was the smallest ordinal for which KP does not prove transfinite induction, the Church–Kleene ordinal is the smallest α such that the construction of the Gödel universe, L, up to stage α, yields a model ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }}$ of KP. Such ordinals are called admissible, thus ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{\mathrm {CK} }}$ is the smallest admissible ordinal (beyond ω in case the axiom of infinity is not included in KP).

By a theorem of Friedman, Jensen, and Sacks, the countable admissible ordinals are exactly those constructed in a manner similar to the Church–Kleene ordinal but for Turing machines with oracles.[11][12] One sometimes writes ${\displaystyle \omega _{\alpha }^{\mathrm {CK} }}$ for the ${\displaystyle \alpha }$-th ordinal that is either admissible or a limit of smaller admissibles.[citation needed]

${\displaystyle \omega _{\omega }^{\mathrm {CK} }}$ is the smallest limit of admissible ordinals (mentioned later), yet the ordinal itself is not admissible. It is also the smallest ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ such that ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\cap P(\omega )}$ is a model of ${\displaystyle \Pi _{1}^{1}}$-comprehension.[5][13]

An ordinal that is both admissible and a limit of admissibles, or equivalently such that ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is the ${\displaystyle \alpha }$-th admissible ordinal, is called recursively inaccessible, and the least recursively inaccessible may be denoted ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{E_{1}}}$.[14] An ordinal that is both recursively inaccessible and a limit of recursively inaccessibles is called recursively hyperinaccessible.[5] There exists a theory of large ordinals in this manner that is highly parallel to that of (small) large cardinals. For example, we can define recursively Mahlo ordinals: these are the ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ such that every ${\displaystyle \alpha }$-recursive closed unbounded subset of ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ contains an admissible ordinal (a recursive analog of the definition of a Mahlo cardinal). The 1-section of Harrington's functional ${\displaystyle {}^{2}S^{\#}}$ is equal to ${\displaystyle L_{\rho }\cap {\mathcal {P}}(\omega )}$, where ${\displaystyle \rho }$ is the least recursively Mahlo ordinal.[15]p.171

But note that we are still talking about possibly countable ordinals here. (While the existence of inaccessible or Mahlo cardinals cannot be proved in Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, that of recursively inaccessible or recursively Mahlo ordinals is a theorem of ZFC: in fact, any regular cardinal is recursively Mahlo and more, but even if we limit ourselves to countable ordinals,[clarification needed] ZFC proves the existence of recursively Mahlo ordinals. They are, however, beyond the reach of Kripke–Platek set theory.)

### Reflection

For a set of formulae ${\displaystyle \Gamma }$, a limit ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called ${\displaystyle \Gamma }$-reflecting if the rank ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }}$ satisfies a certain reflection property for each ${\displaystyle \Gamma }$-formula ${\displaystyle \phi }$.[16] These ordinals appear in ordinal analysis of theories such as KP+Π3-ref, a theory augmenting Kripke-Platek set theory by a ${\displaystyle \Pi _{3}}$-reflection schema. They can also be considered "recursive analogues" of some uncountable cardinals such as weakly compact cardinals and indescribable cardinals.[17] For example, an ordinal which ${\displaystyle \Pi _{3}}$-reflecting is called recursively weakly compact.[18] For finite ${\displaystyle n}$, the least ${\displaystyle \Pi _{n}}$-reflecting ordinal is also the supremum of the closure ordinals of monotonic inductive definitions whose graphs are Πm+10. [18]

In particular, ${\displaystyle \Pi _{3}}$-reflecting ordinals also have a characterization using higher-type functionals on ordinal functions, lending them the name 2-admissible ordinals. [18] An unpublished paper by Solomon Feferman supplies, for each finite ${\displaystyle n}$, a similar property corresponding to ${\displaystyle \Pi _{n}}$-reflection.[19]

### Nonprojectibility

An admissible ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called nonprojectible if there is no total ${\displaystyle \alpha }$-recursive injective function mapping ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ into a smaller ordinal. (This is trivially true for regular cardinals; however, we are mainly interested in countable ordinals.) Being nonprojectible is a much stronger condition than being admissible, recursively inaccessible, or even recursively Mahlo.[13] By Jensen's method of projecta,[20] this statement is equivalent to the statement that the Gödel universe, L, up to stage α, yields a model ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }}$ of KP + ${\displaystyle \Sigma _{1}}$-separation. However, ${\displaystyle \Sigma _{1}}$-separation on its own (not in the presence of ${\displaystyle V=L}$) is not a strong enough axiom schema to imply nonprojectibility, in fact there are transitive models of ${\displaystyle KP}$+${\displaystyle \Sigma _{1}}$-separation of any countable admissible height ${\displaystyle >\omega }$.[21]

Nonprojectible ordinals are tied to Jensen's work on projecta.[5][22] The least ordinals that are nonprojectible relative to a given set are tied to Harrington's construction of the smallest reflecting Spector 2-class.[15]p.174

### "Unprovable" ordinals

We can imagine even larger ordinals that are still countable. For example, if ZFC has a transitive model (a hypothesis stronger than the mere hypothesis of consistency, and implied by the existence of an inaccessible cardinal), then there exists a countable ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ such that ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }}$ is a model of ZFC. Such ordinals are beyond the strength of ZFC in the sense that it cannot (by construction) prove their existence.

If ${\displaystyle T}$ is a recursively enumerable set theory consistent with V=L, then the least ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ such that ${\displaystyle (L_{\alpha },\in )\vDash T}$ is less than the least stable ordinal, which follows.[23]

### Stable ordinals

Even larger countable ordinals, called the stable ordinals, can be defined by indescribability conditions or as those ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ such that ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }}$ is a Σ1-elementary submodel of L; the existence of these ordinals can be proved in ZFC,[24] and they are closely related to the nonprojectible ordinals from a model-theoretic perspective.[5]: 6  For countable ${\displaystyle \alpha }$, stability of ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is equivalent to ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\omega _{1}}}$.[5]

The least stable level of ${\displaystyle L}$ has some definability-related properties. Letting ${\displaystyle \sigma }$ be least such that ${\displaystyle L_{\sigma }\prec _{1}L}$:

• A set has a ${\displaystyle \Sigma _{1}}$ definition in ${\displaystyle L}$ iff it is a member of ${\displaystyle L_{\sigma }}$.[5]p.6
• A set ${\displaystyle x\subseteq \mathbb {N} }$ is ${\displaystyle \Delta _{2}^{1}}$ iff it is a member of ${\displaystyle L_{\sigma }}$.[5]p.6
• A set ${\displaystyle x\subseteq \mathbb {N} }$ is ${\displaystyle \Sigma _{2}^{1}}$ iff it is ${\displaystyle \sigma }$-recursively enumerable, in the terminology of alpha recursion theory.[5]p.6

#### Variants of stable ordinals

These are weakened variants of stable ordinals. There are ordinals with these properties smaller than the aforementioned least nonprojectible ordinal,[5] for example an ordinal is ${\displaystyle (+1)}$-stable iff it is ${\displaystyle \Pi _{n}^{0}}$-reflecting for all natural ${\displaystyle n}$.[18]

• A countable ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called ${\displaystyle (+\beta )}$-stable iff ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\alpha +\beta }}$[5]
• A countable ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called ${\displaystyle (^{+})}$-stable iff ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\beta }}$, where ${\displaystyle \beta }$ is the least admissible ordinal larger than ${\displaystyle \alpha }$.[5][25]
• A countable ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called ${\displaystyle (^{++})}$-stable iff ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\beta }}$, where ${\displaystyle \beta }$ is the least admissible ordinal larger than an admissible ordinal larger than ${\displaystyle \alpha }$.[25]
• A countable ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called inaccessibly-stable iff ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\beta }}$, where ${\displaystyle \beta }$ is the least recursively inaccessible ordinal larger than ${\displaystyle \alpha }$.[5]
• A countable ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called Mahlo-stable iff ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\beta }}$, where ${\displaystyle \beta }$ is the least recursively Mahlo ordinal larger than ${\displaystyle \alpha }$.[5]
• A countable ordinal ${\displaystyle \alpha }$ is called doubly ${\displaystyle (+1)}$-stable iff there is a ${\displaystyle (+1)}$-stable ordinal ${\displaystyle \beta >\alpha }$ such that ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }\prec _{\Sigma _{1}}L_{\beta }}$.[5]

Stronger weakenings of stability have appeared in proof-theoretic publications, including analysis of subsystems of second-order arithmetic. [26]

## A pseudo-well-ordering

Within the scheme of notations of Kleene some represent ordinals and some do not. One can define a recursive total ordering that is a subset of the Kleene notations and has an initial segment which is well-ordered with order-type ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{\mathrm {CK} }}$. Every recursively enumerable (or even hyperarithmetic) nonempty subset of this total ordering has a least element. So it resembles a well-ordering in some respects. For example, one can define the arithmetic operations on it. Yet it is not possible to effectively determine exactly where the initial well-ordered part ends and the part lacking a least element begins.

For an example of a recursive pseudo-well-ordering, let S be ATR0 or another recursively axiomatizable theory that has an ω-model but no hyperarithmetical ω-models, and (if needed) conservatively extend S with Skolem functions. Let T be the tree of (essentially) finite partial ω-models of S: A sequence of natural numbers ${\displaystyle x_{1},x_{2},...,x_{n}}$ is in T iff S plus ∃m φ(m) ⇒ φ(x⌈φ⌉) (for the first n formulas φ with one numeric free variable; ⌈φ⌉ is the Gödel number) has no inconsistency proof shorter than n. Then the Kleene–Brouwer order of T is a recursive pseudowellordering.

Any such construction must have order type ${\displaystyle \omega _{1}^{CK}\times (1+\eta )+\rho }$, where ${\displaystyle \eta }$ is the order type of ${\displaystyle (\mathbb {Q} ,<)}$, and ${\displaystyle \rho }$ is a recursive ordinal. [27]

## References

Most books describing large countable ordinals are on proof theory, and unfortunately tend to be out of print.

### On recursive ordinals

• Wolfram Pohlers, Proof theory, Springer 1989 ISBN 0-387-51842-8 (for Veblen hierarchy and some impredicative ordinals). This is probably the most readable book on large countable ordinals (which is not saying much).
• Gaisi Takeuti, Proof theory, 2nd edition 1987 ISBN 0-444-10492-5 (for ordinal diagrams)
• Kurt Schütte, Proof theory, Springer 1977 ISBN 0-387-07911-4 (for Veblen hierarchy and some impredicative ordinals)
• Craig Smorynski, The varieties of arboreal experience Math. Intelligencer 4 (1982), no. 4, 182–189; contains an informal description of the Veblen hierarchy.
• Hartley Rogers Jr., Theory of Recursive Functions and Effective Computability McGraw-Hill (1967) ISBN 0-262-68052-1 (describes recursive ordinals and the Church–Kleene ordinal)
• Larry W. Miller, Normal Functions and Constructive Ordinal Notations, The Journal of Symbolic Logic, volume 41, number 2, June 1976, pages 439 to 459, JSTOR 2272243,
• Hilbert Levitz, Transfinite Ordinals and Their Notations: For The Uninitiated, expository article (8 pages, in PostScript)
• Herman Ruge Jervell, Truth and provability, manuscript in progress.

### Inline references

1. ^ Buchholz, W. (1986-01-01). "A new system of proof-theoretic ordinal functions". Annals of Pure and Applied Logic. 32: 195–207. doi:10.1016/0168-0072(86)90052-7. ISSN 0168-0072.
2. ^ Simpson, Stephen G. (2009). Subsystems of Second Order Arithmetic. Perspectives in Logic (2 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88439-6.
3. ^
4. ^ Buchholz, Wilfried; Feferman, Solomon; Pohlers, Wolfram; Sieg, Wilfried (1981). Iterated Inductive Definitions and Subsystems of Analysis: Recent Proof-Theoretical Studies. Lecture Notes in Mathematics. Vol. 897. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-New York. doi:10.1007/bfb0091894. ISBN 3-540-11170-0. MR 0655036.
5. "A Zoo of Ordinals" (PDF). Madore. 2017-07-29. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
6. ^ W. Buchholz, A new system of proof-theoretic ordinal functions (1984) (lemmata 1.3 and 1.8). Accessed 2022-05-04.
7. ^ Rathjen, Michael (1994-01-01). "Collapsing functions based on recursively large ordinals: A well-ordering proof for KPM". Archive for Mathematical Logic. 33 (1): 35–55. doi:10.1007/BF01275469. ISSN 1432-0665. S2CID 35012853.
8. ^ "Ordinal notations based on a weakly Mahlo cardinal" (PDF). University of Leeds. 1990. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
9. ^ "Proof Theory of Reflection" (PDF). University of Leeds. 1993-02-21. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
10. ^ a b Stegert, Jan-Carl (2010). "Ordinal proof theory of Kripke-Platek set theory augmented by strong reflection principles". miami.uni-muenster.de. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
11. ^ Friedman, H., Jensen, R. (1968). Note on admissible ordinals. In: Barwise, J. (eds) The Syntax and Semantics of Infinitary Languages. Lecture Notes in Mathematics, vol 72. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
12. ^ Sacks, Gerald E. (1976). "Countable admissible ordinals and hyperdegrees". Advances in Mathematics. 20 (2): 213–262. doi:10.1016/0001-8708(76)90187-0.
13. ^ a b "Subsystems of Second-Order Arithmetic" (PDF). Penn State Institution. 2006-02-07. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
14. ^ F. G. Abramson, G. E. Sacks, "Uncountable Gandy Ordinals" (1976), p.387. Accessed 13 February 2023.
15. ^ a b A. Kechris, "Spector Second-order Classes and Reflection". Appearing in Generalized Recursion Theory II: Proceedings of the 1977 Oslo Symposium, Studies in Logic and the Foundation of Mathematics vol. 94 (1978), pp.147--183
16. ^ Arai, Toshiyasu (2015). "A simplified analysis of first-order reflection". arXiv:1907.17611v1.
17. ^ W. Richter, P. Aczel, Inductive Definitions and Reflection Properties of Admissible Ordinals (1973)
18. ^ a b c d Richter, Wayne; Aczel, Peter (1974-01-01). "Inductive Definitions and Reflecting Properties of Admissible Ordinals" (PDF). Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics. 79: 301–381. doi:10.1016/S0049-237X(08)70592-5. hdl:10852/44063. ISBN 9780444105455. ISSN 0049-237X.
19. ^ S. Feferman, "Indescribable Cardinals and Admissible Analogues" (2013, unpublished). Accessed 18 November 2022.
20. ^ K. J. Devlin, An introduction to the fine structure of the constructible hierarchy, Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics (vol. 79, 1974). Accessed 2022-12-04.
21. ^ "Fred G. Abramson, Locally countable models of ${\displaystyle \Sigma _{1}}$-separation" (2014). Accessed 2022 July 23.
22. ^ K. J. Devlin, An introduction to the fine structure of the constructible hierarchy (1974). Accessed 21 February 2023.
23. ^ W. Marek, K. Rasmussen, Spectrum of L in libraries (WorldCat catalog) (EuDML page), Państwowe Wydawn. Accessed 2022-12-01.
24. ^ Barwise (1976), theorem 7.2.
25. ^ a b Simpson, Stephen G. (1978-01-01). "Short Course on Admissible Recursion Theory". Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics. 94: 355–390. doi:10.1016/S0049-237X(08)70941-8. ISBN 9780444851635. ISSN 0049-237X.
26. ^ Arai, Toshiyasu (1996). "Introducing the hardline in proof theory". arXiv:1104.1842v1 [math.LO].
27. ^ W. Chan, The countable admissible ordinal equivalence relation (2017), p.1233. Accessed 28 December 2022.