MA and its effect on Tree Partitions

(This is the presentation I gave for Stevo Todorcevic’s course Combinatorial Set Theory on Feb 28, 2012. The material comes from Stevo’s 1983 paper “Partition Relations for Partially Ordered Sets”.)

In partition relations for ordinals, it has been established that:

Theorem (Erdos-Rado). \omega_1 \rightarrow (\omega_1, \omega+1)^2

Later it was shown that this is the best you can do, as the strengthenings are consistent:

Theorem(Hajnal). Under CH, \omega_1 \not\rightarrow (\omega_1, \omega+2)^2
Theorem (Todorcevic). Under PFA, for any countable ordinal \alpha , \omega_1 \rightarrow (\omega_1, \alpha)^2

Moving on, we can ask the same questions about non-special trees, which in some way are the tree analogue of “uncountable” or “large”.

Theorem (Todorcevic). Nonspecial Tree \rightarrow (Nonspecial Tree, \omega+1)^2

This is the analogue or the Erdos-Rado theorem.

Recall that a tree T is nonspecial if T \rightarrow (\omega)^1_\omega , which means that any countable partition T contains an infinite set. (This is a generalization of uncountable, because for countable sets you can always put one element per colour.)

We will show the following:

Theorem (Todorcevic). Under MA, for T a tree with no uncountable chains and \vert T \vert = 2^{\aleph_0} we have T \not\rightarrow (T, \omega+2)^2 .

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The Delta-System Lemma

This is a delta system of rivers. I didn't know this until last year.

Now that you know the basics of countable elementary submodels (CESM), you might think that you are in the clear. “Mike”, you say arrogantly, “I know all the most basic properties of CESMs, without proof I remind you, what else could I possibly want?”. I gently and patiently remind you that CESMs are worthless unless you know how to apply them properly.

So let’s do that.

Here are two theorems whose proofs you might already know, but that can be proved using elementary submodels. I will show you a proof of the \Delta -system lemma (a fundamental lemma in infinitary combinatorics) and a topological theorem of Arhangel’skii. Both of these proofs are taken from Just & Weese’s book “Discovering Modern Set Theory 2”, chapter 24.

Continue reading The Delta-System Lemma