## Stevo’s Forcing Class Fall 2012 – Class 12

(This is the twelfth lecture in Stevo Todorcevic’s Forcing class, held in the fall of 2012. You can find the eleventh lecture here. Quotes by Stevo are in dark blue; some are deep, some are funny, some are paraphrased so use your judgement. As always I appreciate any type of feedback, including reporting typos, in the comments below.)

## Stevo’s Forcing Class Fall 2012 – Class 11

(This is the eleventh lecture in Stevo Todorcevic’s Forcing class, held in the fall of 2012. You can find the tenth lecture here. Quotes by Stevo are in dark blue; some are deep, some are funny, some are paraphrased so use your judgement. As always I appreciate any type of feedback, including reporting typos, in the comments below.)

## Stevo’s Forcing Class Fall 2012 – Class 10

(This is the tenth lecture in Stevo Todorcevic’s Forcing class, held in the fall of 2012. You can find the ninth lecture here. Quotes by Stevo are in dark blue; some are deep, some are funny, some are paraphrased so use your judgement. As always I appreciate any type of feedback, including reporting typos, in the comments below. I am sure that this one has a ton of typos. There are also some omissions which I will try to patch up.)

## Stevo’s Forcing Class Fall 2012 – Class 9

(This is the ninth lecture in Stevo Todorcevic’s Forcing class, held in the fall of 2012. You can find the eighth lecture here. Quotes by Stevo are in dark blue; some are deep, some are funny, some are paraphrased so use your judgement. As always I appreciate any type of feedback, including reporting typos, in the comments below.)

## Stevo’s Forcing Class Fall 2012 – Class 8

(This is the eighth lecture in Stevo Todorcevic’s Forcing class, held in the fall of 2012. You can find the seventh lecture here. Quotes by Stevo are in dark blue; some are deep, some are funny, some are paraphrased so use your judgement. I didn’t take these notes, so there are few Stevo quotes. Thanks to Dana Bartasova for letting me reproduce her notes here. As always I appreciate any type of feedback, including reporting typos, in the comments below.)

## The Delta-System Lemma

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.

## A Practical Guide to Using Countable Elementary Submodels

So, you may have heard about these things called countable elementary submodels. You may have heard that they work like magic and do all sorts of amazing things. “Mathematical voodoo” some might say. “Witchcraft!” others declare. Hearing this you become intrigued and set out to harness this black power. You quickly realize that there are very few places to learn this dark art; the protectors of this knowledge don’t want it leaking out.

Here I hope to lay out the essential things you need to know (and omit the things you don’t need to know) so that you can start using countable elementary submodels. I am going to lay out as little of the machinery as possible and display only the relevant applicable facts you will need for most proofs involving elementary submodels.

1. A Countable Submodel of What?

The universe of all sets $V$ is a ‘model’ for set theory, but it is too big. If we did have a model for set theory we would know that there is a countable submodel of it, by Lowenheim-Skolem. Of course we can’t assert that set theory has a model as this would be equivalent to asserting the consistency of set theory. The clever way around this is to realize that any proof in mathematics only ever uses finitely many axioms of set theory and references only finitely many specific sets. It is always possible to find a model $H$ of those finitely many axioms and special sets. (Aside, for those of you who have seen this before, why doesn’t this violate the compactness theorem? It’s tricky.) Here $H$ will be our copy of the universe, just for a given proof, and we will take a countable submodel of $H$, not $V$. This is where the language “Take a large enough fragment of ZFC” comes from.

As it turns out there is a class of sets that we usually draw $H$ from. We usually take $H$ to be a set $H(\alpha)$, where $\alpha$ is a cardinal and $H(\alpha)$ is the set of all sets hereditarily of cardinality less than $\alpha$. This doesn’t really matter at all. So don’t fret about this. Continue reading A Practical Guide to Using Countable Elementary Submodels