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Ramsey theory

Ramsey theory is a branch of mathematics that asks questions such as: Can order always be found in what appears to be disorder? If so, how much can be found and how big a chunk of disorder is needed to find a particular amount of order in it? Ramsey theory is named after the English mathematician Frank P. Ramsey (1904–1926) who started the field in 1928 while wrestling with a problem in logic. (Frank's one-year-younger brother, Arthur, served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1961 to 1974.) His life was cut short in 1930, at the age of 26, following a bout of jaundice. Ramsey suspected that if a system was big enough, even if it seemed to be disorderly to an arbitrary degree, it was bound to contain pockets of order from which information about the system could be gleaned.

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