At a related thread at MSE an expert in reverse mathematics noted that "As the modern consensus is that only nonstandard models have infinitesimals, it will be quite challenging to give a concrete example of one." Such a challenge of giving concrete examples of infinitesimals would presumably also apply to infinite numbers.

I find this difficult to understand because if one has weak theories like Peano Arithmetic in mind, Skolem already constructed explicit models in 1933, in particular without relying on the axiom of choice. This was analyzed in detail by Stillwell in his article in the 1970s; see e.g., here.

Meanwhile, if one aims for the full power of the transfer principle as in Robinson's framework then an infinite integer $H$ would immediately produce nonmeasurable objects like $\{A\subseteq\mathbb{N}:H\in{}^{\ast}\!A\}$ so that a construction would be of difficulty comparable to Banach-Tarski and the like.

What is the *nontrivial* logical content of an assertion that infinite numbers are hard to come by, in the sense of reverse mathematics, perhaps in reference to theories of intermediate strength?

models, it's only said that non-standardnumbersmay be hard to find since, according to common belief, one model has no non-standard numbers. $\endgroup$45more comments