A set is a collection of items. Mathematicians usually refer to the items as elements. A set is said to contain elements. The order of the elements makes no difference. A set emerges from the elements that it contains. When you define a set, such as the set of integers or counting numbers, you define the set of all elements it can contain. You might not name all the elements, however, because a set can consist of a finite or infinite number of elements. You still define the condition by which you can determine whether a given item is or is not an element of the set.

For example, you might picture a set of prime numbers. A prime number is a positive integer that you can generate by multiplication using only the number itself and ...

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