ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

feferman–schütte ordinal

Imagine you have a list of numbers that goes on forever and ever. This is what we call an ordinal. The Feferman-Schütte ordinal is a super long list of numbers that is bigger than any other ordinal that has a simple name.

To make it a bit simpler, think of it like a number line that stretches infinitely in both directions. The Feferman-Schütte ordinal is what we use to measure how far down the line we've gone.

It's really hard to explain how big this list of numbers is, but let's just say it's so big that if you start at the beginning and try to count all the way through to the end, it would take you an infinite amount of time to finish.

In math, it's important to have a way to compare different numbers, and the Feferman-Schütte ordinal helps us with that. It's used to measure how many steps we need to take to get from one number to the next, and it helps us understand just how huge some numbers can really be.

So, in summary, the Feferman-Schütte ordinal is a really big list of numbers that helps us measure how far we've gone on an infinite number line, and it's bigger than any other ordinal that has a simple name.