Set theory seminar -Forcing axioms and inner models -Intermezzo

This posting complements a series of talks given at the Set Theory Seminar at BSU from September 12 to October 24, 2008. Here is a list of links to the talks in this series:
  • First talk, September 12, 2008.
  • Second talk, September 19, 2008.
  • Third talk, September 26, 2008.
  • Fourth talk, October 3, 2008.
  • Fifth talk, October 10, 2008.
  • Sixth talk, October 17, 2008.
  • Seventh talk, October 24, 2008.

[Version of October 31.]

I’ll use this post to provide some notes about consistency strength of the different natural hierarchies that forcing axioms and their bounded versions suggest. This entry will be updated with some frequency until I more or less feel I don’t have more to add. Feel free to email me additions, suggestions and corrections, or to post them in the comments. In fact, please do.

  • The consistency strength of {sf MM} is bounded above by a supercompact cardinal. See Foreman, Magidor, Shelah, Martin’s maximum, saturated ideals, and nonregular ultrafilters. I. Ann. of Math. (2) 127 (1) (1988), 1-47.
  • {sf PFA} implies that there is a non-domestic premouse. This in turn implies that there is a sharp for an inner model with a proper class of strong cardinals and a proper class of Woodin cardinals. See Jensen, Schimmerling, Schindler, Steel, Stacking mice. The Journal of Symbolic Logic, to appear.
  • This is significantly stronger than {sf AD}^{L({mathbb R})} in any forcing extension and that the existence of inner models of {sf AD}_{mathbb R} containing all the reals.

  • {sf BPFA} is equiconsistent with a reflecting cardinal.
Definition: Let omega_1lekappalelambda be cardinals, with kappa regular. Then kappa is H_lambda-reflecting iff for any ain H_lambda and any varphi, if there is some regular theta such that H_thetamodelsvarphi(a) then there are stationarily many Nprec H_lambda with |N|<kappa and ain N such that there is some theta'<kappa such that H_theta'modelsvarphi(pi_N(a)), where pi_N:Ntotilde N is the transitive collapse of N.


This notion is due to Miyamoto. We say that kappa is reflecting iff it is H_kappa-reflecting; this relativizes down to L; in fact, kappa being H_{kappa^+}-reflecting relativizes to L. kappa is supercompact iff it is H_lambda-reflecting for all lambdagekappa

The proof of the equiconsistency of {sf BPFA} and reflecting cardinals goes back to Goldstern, Shelah, The bounded proper forcing axiom. The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 60 (1) March 1995, 58-73.


Definition: For any cardinal kappageomega_1, let {sf PFA}_T(kappa) denote the following fragment of {sf PFA}: Given any proper {mathbb P} and any sequence (D_alpha:alpha<omega_1) of predense subsets of {mathbb P} with |D_alpha|lekappa for each alpha, there is a filter Gsubseteq{mathbb P} meeting all the D_alpha.


The subscript T is for Todorcevic, who seems to have been first to study these fragments systematically. See Todorcevic, Localized reflection and fragments of {sf PFA}. In DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, vol 58, 2002, 135-148. Notice {sf PFA}_T(omega_1) is {sf BPFA}.
  • {sf PFA}_T(omega_2) is equiconsistent with an H_{kappa^+}-reflecting cardinal kappa.
  • {sf PFA}_T(lambda) (for lambdageomega_2) implies lnotsquare(kappa) for all regular cardinals kappain[omega_2,lambda]. For lambda>omega_3, this already implies the lower bound mentioned above for {sf PFA}. For lambda=omega_3, this implies {sf AD}^{L({mathbb R})}. See for example Schimmerling, Coherent sequences and threads. Adv. Math. 216 (1) (2007), 89-117.
  • {sf PFA}_T(omega_{1+alpha}) is consistent relative to a H_{kappa^{+alpha}}-reflecting cardinal alpha. This follows from the results in Miyamoto, Localized reflecting cardinals and weak segments of {sf PFA}. Preprint, 1996. The same holds with {sf SPFA}_T in place of {sf PFA}_T.
  • On the other hand, {sf MM}_T(lambda) seems significantly stronger than {sf SPFA}_T(lambda). For example, {sf BMM} implies that for every set X there is an inner model that contains X and has a strong cardinal, see Schindler, Bounded Martin’s Maximum and strong cardinals, in: Set theory. Centre de recerca Matematica, Barcelona 2003-4 (Bagaria, Todorcevic, eds.), Basel 2006, 401-406. 
  • An upper bound for the consistency strength of {sf BMM} is omega+1 Woodin cardinals. This is a result of Woodin, and it is buried somewhere in The Axiom of Determinacy, Forcing Axioms, and the Nonstationary ideal, De Gruyter, 1999, but I couldn’t find it this time; it probably follows from the arguments on {sf MM}({mathfrak c}) on section 9.2. You can see a proof in Schindler’s talk The role of absoluteness and correctness, Barcelona, 2003 (pages 76-80). [Please let me know if you find the proof in Woodin’s book.]

Definition: For any cardinal kappageomega_1, let {sf PFA}(kappa) denote {sf PFA} restricted to forcings of size at most kappa

This notation is due to Woodin. I believe {sf PFA}_T(kappa) is a more useful notion, so one should probably call that one {sf PFA}(kappa) and this one {sf PFA}_W(kappa), or something like that.

  • {sf PFA}(omega) is just Martin’s axiom for Cohen forcing. It is equiconsistent with {sf ZFC}.
  • A bit more interestingly, {sf PFA}(omega_1) is also equiconsistent with {sf ZFC}. I heard the rumor that {sf PFA}(omega_1) implies {mathfrak c}=omega_2, but I remain skeptical. 
  • Clearly, {sf PFA}(omega_2)+{mathfrak c}=omega_2 follows from {sf PFA}_T(omega_2), so it can be forced over L and has consistency strength at most an H_{kappa^+}-reflecting cardinal kappa (also called a Sigma^1_2-indescribable cardinal). {sf PFA}({mathfrak c}) settles the size of the continuum, see Velickovic, Forcing axioms and stationary sets. Adv. Math. 94 (2) (1992), 256-284. This fragment has consistency strength at least a weakly compact (or Pi^1_1-indescribable) cardinal. 
  • Foreman and Larson showed that {sf MM}(omega_2) implies {mathfrak c}=omega_2, but their arguments do not even seem to adapt to {sf SPFA}(omega_2). See Foreman, Larson, Small posets and the continuum. Unpublished note, 2004. 
  • Woodin has investigated {sf MM}({mathfrak c}) in his book mentioned above, where he shows that it implies the existence of sharps for all subsets of omega_2 (see section 9.5); this is the first step of an induction showing that {sf MM}({mathfrak c}) implies {sf PD}. Later work of Steel and Zoble has extended this to show that it in fact implies {sf AD}^{L({mathbb R})}, see Determinacy from strong reflection, preprint, September 16, 2008. Steel and Zoble conjecture that {sf MM}({mathfrak c}) has consistency strength at least omega^2 Woodin cardinals. Woodin also establishes (in section 9.2 of the book mentioned above) that {sf ZF}+{sf AD}_{mathbb R}+Thetambox{ is regular} is an upper bound for the consistency strength of {sf MM}({mathfrak c}). Recent work of  Sargsyan shows that this determinacy hypothesis has strength below a Woodin limit of Woodin cardinals. 
  • {sf PFA}({mathfrak c}^+) implies {sf AD}^{L({mathbb R})}.
  • {sf PFA}({mathfrak c}^{++}) implies the lower bound mentioned above of an inner model with a proper class of Woodin cardinals and a proper class of strong cardinals. 

Compare the following with the notion of indescribability defined above.

Definition: Let lambdaletheta be cardinals. We say that lambda is (theta,Sigma^2_1)subcompact, or that null[lambda,theta] is a Sigma^2_1indescribable interval of cardinals, iff for all Qsubseteq H_theta and formulas varphi(x), if there is some Bsubseteq H_{theta^+} such that (H_{theta^+},in,B)modelsvarphi(Q), then there is some eta with kappaleeta<lambda, and sets Psubseteq H_eta and Asubseteq H_{eta^+} such that (H_{eta^+},in,A)modelsvarphi(P), and there is an elementary embedding pi : (H_eta,P) to(H_theta,Q) with critical point kappa such that pi(kappa)=lambda.
mbox{ }
This notion is due to Neeman and Schimmerling, see their joint paper Hierarchies of forcing axioms I, The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 73 (2008), 343-362, and Neeman, Hierarchies of forcing axioms II, The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 73 (2008), 522-542.
mbox{ }
Supercompactness of lambda is equivalent to null[lambda,theta] being Sigma^2_1-indescribable for all thetagelambda.
mbox{ }
Recall that a poset {mathbb P} is thetalinked iff is the union of theta compatible sets. This of course holds if |{mathbb P}|=theta, and it of course implies that {mathbb P} is theta^+-cc.
mbox{ }
Definition: {sf PFA}(lambdambox{-linked}) is the assertion that {sf PFA} holds restricted to lambda-linked posets.
  • {sf PFA}({mathfrak c}mbox{-linked}) and {sf SPFA}({mathfrak c}mbox{-linked}) are equiconsistent with the existence of a lambda such that null[lambda,lambda] is a Sigma^2_1-indescribable interval of cardinals. We also say that lambda is Sigma^2_1-indescribable, and this notion relativizes to L
  • More generally, the existence of a kappa such that null[kappa,kappa^{+tau}] is Sigma^2_1-indescribable is an upper bound for the consistency strength of {mathfrak c}=omega_2+{sf PFA}(omega_{2+tau}mbox{-linked}). For tau=1 Neeman has shown that this is quite close to an equiconsistency. It is possible that the equiconsistency holds for all tau, and once inner model theory is developed at the appropriate level, we will be able to prove this. For tau=1, this upper bound falls beyond the upper bound for {sf MM}({mathfrak c}) mentioned above.
  • One can generalize the notions above to include Sigma^m_n-indescribability  for all m,n (see the Neeman, Schimmerling paper for details). A cardinal lambda with null [lambda,lambda^+] a Sigma^2_2-indescribable interval is an upper bound for the consistency strength of {sf SPFA}({mathfrak c}^++mbox{-cc})

Index of talks:

  • First talk, September 12, 2008.
  • Second talk, September 19, 2008.
  • Third talk, September 26, 2008.
  • Fourth talk, October 3, 2008.
  • Fifth talk, October 10, 2008.
  • Sixth talk, October 17, 2008.
  • Seventh talk, October 24, 2008.

3 Responses to Set theory seminar -Forcing axioms and inner models -Intermezzo

  1. […] theory seminar -Forcing axioms and inner models III (See also the Intermezzo for discussion of hierarchies of forcing […]

  2. […] Set theory seminar -Forcing axioms and inner models V (See also the recently updated Intermezzo.) […]

  3. […] to the intermezzo for a discussion of consistency strengths. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Set […]

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