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In mathematics, the real line, or real number line is the line whose points are the real numbers. That is, the real line is the set R of all real numbers, viewed as a geometric space, namely the Euclidean space of dimension one. It can be thought of as a vector space (or affine space), a metric space, a topological space, a measure space, or a linear continuum.
Just like the set of real numbers, the real line is usually denoted by the symbol R (or alternatively, , the letter “R” in blackboard bold). However, it is sometimes denoted R^{1} in order to emphasize its role as the first Euclidean space.
This article focuses on the aspects of R as a geometric space in topology, geometry, and real analysis. The real numbers also play an important role in algebra as a field, but in this context R is rarely referred to as a line. For more information on R in all of its guises, see real number.
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As a linear continuum
The real line is a linear continuum under the standard < ordering. Specifically, the real line is linearly ordered by <, and this ordering is dense and has the leastupperbound property.
In addition to the above properties, the real line has no maximum or minimum element. It also has a countable dense subset, namely the set of rational numbers. It is a theorem that any linear continuum with a countable dense subset and no maximum or minimum element is orderisomorphic to the real line.
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