Using Dushnik-Miller to prove that every sigma-compact group is ccc

(This is the write-up for a talk I gave in the Toronto Student Set Theory and Topology seminar on May 2, 2013.)

A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk for the set-theoretic topology course I was in, on the topic of cardinal invariants of topological groups. While I was preparing that presentation I discovered the following fact:

Theorem [Tkachenko, 1983] Every \sigma -compact group is ccc.

I will present a proof that I have adapted from Tkachenko’s original paper (“Souslin property in free topological groups on bicompacta”) and the proof that appears in Arhangel’skii & Tkachenko’s big purple book (Section 5.3 of Topological Groups and Related Structures). Both proofs involve first proving a Ramsey result about covers of a space, then using this to prove that a particular space has “weak-precalibre \aleph_1 ” (i.e. Property K) which is a property that implies ccc. Learning this proof has been part of my ongoing attempt to learn how Ramsey results show up in topology.

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