Concise but thorough and systematic, this categorical discussion of the real number system presents a series of step-by-step axioms, each illustrated by examples. The highly accessible text is suitable for readers at varying levels of knowledge and experience: advanced high school students and college undergraduates as well as prospective high school and college instructors. The abundance of examples and the wealth of exercises—more than 300, all with answers provided—make this a particularly valuable book for self-study.
The first two chapters examine fields and ordered fields, followed by an introduction to natural numbers and mathematical induction. Subsequent chapters explore composite and prime numbers, integers and rational numbers, congruences and finite fields, and polynomials and rational functions. Additional topics include intervals and absolute value, the axiom of completeness, roots and rational exponents, exponents and logarithms, and decimal expansions. A helpful Appendix concludes the text.