Quote:
Originally Posted by jyb
This isn't quite correct. The axioms of the reals minus the least upper bound property gives you an ordered field, but it is not sufficient to characterize the rationals. Specifically, it need not be Archimedean, which the rationals are. E.g. see the surreal numbers, for which these axioms apply, but which are certainly not isomorphic to the rationals.

Correct. The rationals are the
smallest ordered field, in the sense that they are embedded in every other ordered field, so that would be the missing axiom. I couldn't tell you how that implies the Archimedean property (I proved it for the reals in my analysis class, but that proof is based on completeness).