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Consider $\Sigma = \{a,b\}$. Now $\Sigma^*$ represents the collection of all possible strings over alphabet $\Sigma = \{a,b\}$. As there exists an enumeration procedure for $\Sigma^*$, it is countably infinite. As $\Sigma^*$ consists of strings of all lengths, it also consists of strings of infinite length. Let us consider a subset $S$ of $\Sigma^*$, namely

$$ S = \{\text{Set of all strings of infinite length}\}. $$

From Cantor’s diagonalization argument, it can be proved that $S$ is uncountably infinite. But we also know that every subset of a countably infinite set is finite or countably infinite. This leads to a contradiction.

Where did the above argument go wrong?

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    $\begingroup$ $\Sigma^*$ does not contain infinite length strings. It contains all strings with finite length, however. $\endgroup$
    – nir shahar
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 11:27
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    $\begingroup$ Adding to what @nirshahar said. If you are having problem to get the idea. Note $\Sigma^*$ is set of all possible strings of finite length from our alphabet $\Sigma$. $\Sigma^*=\Sigma^0 \cup \Sigma^1 \cup \Sigma^2 ...$ Any possible string which you take from $\Sigma^*$ as per the above definition has a finite length say $n$, but this length might be very very huge, but is finite however. And the strings of infinite length are a different situation after all. They do not have a finite length. $w \in S$ ($S$ defined by you) is a continuous stretch of symbols from $\Sigma$, $\notin \Sigma^n$ $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ $\Sigma ^*$ is the set of all finite strings over $\Sigma$. By contrast, the set of all strings of infinite length over $\Sigma$ is sometimes referred to as $\Sigma^\omega$ or $\Sigma^{\mathbb{N}}$. As you already know, $\Sigma^*$ is countable, and as you've just discovered, $\Sigma^\omega$ is uncountable. $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ Similar question: Strings of infinite length? $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 15:46

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The argument went wrong at the point where you said that $\Sigma^*$ includes strings of infinite length. Specifically your set $S$ is an empty set. $\Sigma^*$ includes just an infinite number of strings of arbitrarily large but finite lengths.

As some commenters pointed out infinite strings are in $\Sigma^\omega$ which is uncountable.

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