**52**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Is there a 0-1 law for the theory of groups?

Several months ago, Dominik asked the question Is there a 0-1 law for the theory of groups? on mathstackexchange, but although his question received attention there is still no answer. By asking the ...

**43**

votes

**18**answers

4k views

### What are some results in mathematics that have snappy proofs using model theory?

I am preparing to teach a short course on "applied model theory" at UGA this summer. To draw people in, I am looking to create a BIG LIST of results in mathematics that have nice proofs using model ...

**39**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Is the ultraproduct concept fundamentally category-theoretic?

Once again, I would like to take advantage of the large number of knowledgable category theorists on this site for a question I have about category-theoretic aspects of a fundamental logic concept.
...

**37**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Has decidability got something to do with primes?

Note: I have modified the question to make it clearer and more relevant. That makes some of references to the old version no longer hold. I hope the victims won't be furious over this.
Motivation:
...

**34**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Heuristic argument that finite simple groups _ought_ to be “classifiable”?

Obviously there exists a list of the finite simple groups, but why should it be a nice list, one that you can write down?
Solomon's AMS article goes some way toward a historical / technical ...

**31**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Is $π$ definable in $(\Bbb R,0,1,+,×,<,\exp)$?

(This question is originally from Math.SE, where it didn't receive any answers.)
Is there a first-order formula $\phi(x) $ with exactly one free variable $ x $ in the language of ordered fields ...

**27**

votes

**3**answers

684 views

### Is the field of constructible numbers known to be decidable?

By the field of constructible numbers I mean the union of all finite towers of real quadratic extensions beginning with $\mathbb{Q}$. By decidable I mean the set of first order truths in this field, ...

**26**

votes

**15**answers

5k views

### What's a magical theorem in logic?

Some theorems are magical: their hypotheses are easy to meet, and when invoked (as lemmas) in the midst of an otherwise routine proof, they deliver the desired conclusion more or less ...

**25**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Illustrating Edward Nelson's Worldview with Nonstandard Models of Arithmetic

Mathematician Edward Nelson is known for his extreme views on the foundations of mathematics, variously described as "ultrafintism" or "strict finitism" (Nelson's preferred term), which came into the ...

**25**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Interactions between (set theory, model theory) and (algebraic geometry, algebraic number theory ,…)

Set theory and model theory have many applications outside of logic, in particular in algebra, topology, analysis, ...
On the other hand model theory, in particular after Hrushovski, found many ...

**25**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### A preprint of Sela concerning the work of Kharlampovich-Miyasnikov

Yesterday, Z. Sela published a preprint in arXiv which claims that the solution of Olga Kharlampovich and Alexi Miyasnikov for the Tarski problem on decidablity of the first order theories of free ...

**24**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Composite pairs of the form n!-1 and n!+1

It's well known that the numbers of the form $n!\pm1$ are not always prime. Indeed, Wilson's Theorem guarantees that $(p-2)!-1$ and $(p-1)!+1$ are composite for every prime number $p > 5$.
Is ...

**24**

votes

**0**answers

525 views

### Where do uncountable models collapse to?

Suppose $T$ is a complete first-order theory (in an finite, or at worst countable, language). Given any model $\mathcal{M}\models T$ of cardinality $\kappa$, we can ask whether $\mathcal{M}$ can be ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

642 views

### Do the analogies between metamathematics of set theory and arithmetic have some deeper meaning?

By "formal analogies" between the metamathematics of $\mathsf{ZFC}$/set theory and $\mathsf{PA}$(=Peano Arithmetic)/first order arithmetic, I mean facts such as the following:
We are considering a ...

**22**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Supervenience in mathematics

I'm not quite sure if this is the right place to ask, and if this is the right way to ask, but I dare.
In philosophy (of mind, e.g.) the concept of supervenience is used:
"Supervenience [is] used ...

**21**

votes

**9**answers

2k views

### What is… A Grossone?

Y. Sergeyev developed a positional system for representing infinite numbers using a basic unit called a "grossone", as well as what he calls an "infinity computer". The mathematical value of this ...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### What are the advantages of the more abstract approaches to nonstandard analysis?

This question does not concern the comparative merits of standard (SA) and nonstandard (NSA) analysis but rather a comparison of different approaches to NSA. What are the concrete advantages of the ...

**21**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### What are some proofs of Godel's Theorem which are *essentially different* from the original proof?

I am looking for examples of proofs of Godel's (First) Incompleteness Theorem which are essentially different from (Rosser's improvement of) Godel's original proof.
This is partly inspired by ...

**20**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### What is Realistic Mathematics?

This post is partially about opinions and partially about more precise mathematical questions. Most of this post is not as formal as a precise mathematical question. However, I hope that most readers ...

**20**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### The Closure-Complement-Intersection Problem

Background
Let $A$ be a subset of a topological space $X$. An old problem asks, by applying various combinations of closure and complement operations, how many distinct subsets of $X$ can you ...

**19**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Reasons to believe Vopenka's principle/huge cardinals are consistent

There are a number of informal heuristic arguments for the consistency of ZFC, enough that I am happy enough to believe that ZFC is consistent. This is true for even some of the more tame large ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

818 views

### Main open computational problems in quantifier elimination?

A language is said to have quantifier elimination if every first-order-logic sentence in the language can be shown to be equivalent to a quantifier-free sentence, i.e., a sentence without any ...

**18**

votes

**4**answers

783 views

### Varieties where every algebra is free

I'd like to know more about varieties (in the sense of universal algebra) where every algebra is free. Another way to state the condition is that the comparison functor from the Kleisli category to ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### Isomorphism types or structure theory for nonstandard analysis

My question is about nonstandard analysis, and the diverse possibilities for the choice of the nonstandard model R*. Although one hears talk of the nonstandard reals R*, there are of course many ...

**17**

votes

**10**answers

2k views

### Completeness vs Compactness in logic

One standard approach to showing compactness of first-order logic is to show completeness, of which compactness is an easy corollary. I am told this approach is deprecated nowadays, as Compactness is ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Is non-existence of the hyperreals consistent with ZF?

I know that it is possible to construct the hyperreal number system in ZFC by using the axiom of choice to obtain a non-principal ultrafilter. Would the non-existence of a set of hyperreals be ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

727 views

### Is there a Leibnizian model with no definable elements, in a finite language?

A first-order structure $M$ is Leibnizian, if any two distinct
elements $a,b\in M$ satisfy different $1$-types; that is, if there
is some formula $\varphi$ such that $M\models\varphi(a)$ and
...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Universe view vs. Multiverse view of Set Theory

Here I refer to Hamkins' slides:
http://lumiere.ens.fr/~dbonnay/files/talks/hamkins.pdf
particularly, to the "Universe view simulated inside Multiverse", p. 22.
My question is: is it very unsound ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

827 views

### Hrushovski's Construction

Zilber expressed a conjecture for $\aleph_{1}$- categorical theories (In the 80s).
Zilber's Conjecture: The geometry of any $\aleph_{1}$- categorical structure is one of the following:
(a) Trivial ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

943 views

### Application of Fraïssé construction in set theory

As you know Fraïssé limit construction and its generalization, Hrushovski's construction, have many applications in model theory to build models with interesting property.
Now I would like to know ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Category theory and model theory as “natural” counterparts

I am aware of the profound discussion of the relationship between category theory and model theory (e.g. at The n-Category Café) but do wonder why category theory (CT) is not opposed to model theory ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

654 views

### Which graphs are elementarily equivalent to their own disjoint sums?

In Stefan Geschke's recent
question,
one of the solutions observed that the graph consisting of
a single infinite beaded chain, a $\mathbb{Z}$-chain where
each integer is connected to its nearest ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

442 views

### Variant of Conceptual Completeness

Let $\mathcal{C}$ and $\mathcal{D}$ be pretopoi, and let $f: \mathcal{C} \rightarrow \mathcal{D}$ be a pretopos functor (that is, a functor which preserves finite coproducts, finite limits, and ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### In model theory, does compactness easily imply completeness?

Recall the two following fundamental theorems of mathematical logic:
Completeness Theorem: A theory T is syntactically consistent -- i.e., for no statement P can the statement "P and (not P)" be ...

**15**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### Three questions on large simple groups and model theory

Yesterday, in the short course on model theory I am currently teaching, I gave the following nice application of downward Lowenheim-Skolem which I found in W. Hodges A Shorter Model Theory:
Thm: Let ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

850 views

### What is the spectrum of possible cofinality types for cuts in an ordered field? Or in a model of the hyperreals? Or in a nonstandard model of arithmetic?

I am interested to know the full range of possibilities for the cofinality type of cuts in an ordered field and in other structures, such as nonstandard models of arithmetic.
Definitions. ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Is there a known natural model of Peano Arithmetic where Goodstein's theorem fails?

(I've previously asked this question on the sister site here, but got no responses).
Goodstein's Theorem is the statement that every Goodstein sequence eventually hits 0. It turns out that this ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

958 views

### nonstandard models and mathematical theorems

Is there a first order statement about the natural numbers (not nonstandard analysis) such that the truth of the statement is easier to see in a nonstandard model? In other words, do nonstandard ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

557 views

### Is the class of additive groups of rings axiomatizable?

I know that it is impossible to axiomatize the multiplicative structures of rings, called $R$-semigroups. Is anything known about the first-order axiomatizability of the class of abelian groups which ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

213 views

### Existence property for ordered fields

A theory $T$ has the existence property (EP) if the following holds:
Let $\phi(x)$ be a formula with one free variable (and no parameters) such that $T \vdash (\exists x) \phi(x)$. Then there is ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Non-ZFC set theory and nonuniqueness of the hyperreals: problem solved?

The reals are the unique complete ordered field. The hyperreals $\mathbb{R}^\*$ are not unique in ZFC, and many people seemed to think this was a serious objection to them. Abraham Robinson responded ...

**14**

votes

**0**answers

889 views

### Defining $\mathbb{Z}$ in $\mathbb{Q}$

It was proved by Poonen that $\mathbb{Z}$ is definable in $\mathbb{Q}$ using $\forall \exists$ formula. Koenigsmann has shown that $\mathbb{Z}$ is in fact definable by universal formula. What is the ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

926 views

### When does Vopěnka's principle hold?

Vopěnka's principle (VP) is the statement that, given any proper class $\{\mathcal{A}_\eta: \eta\in ON\}$ of first-order structures in the same language, there are some $\alpha\not=\beta$ with ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

706 views

### Can Suslin (or Aronszajn) lines ever be orderings of abelian groups?

I am interested in realizing linear orders as orderings of abelian groups. In particular, can Suslin lines (and other classes of line) be realised in this way?
Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a class of ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

770 views

### Connes' embedding conjecture for uncountable groups

In this topic, I will use the word uncountable group referring to groups whose cardinality is $\leq|\mathbb R|$.
Notation: $R$ is the hyperfinite $II_1$-factor, $\omega$ is a free ultrafilter on the ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Do the real numbers “know” that they are countable in a larger model?

(This was first posted to math.stackexchange but had no answers there after several days):
Let ${\mathbb R}$ be the set of real numbers in whatever is your favorite model of $ZFC$. Then (by Levy ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

907 views

### Can we recognize when a category is equivalent to the category of models of a first order theory?

Many of the most canonical early examples of categories
arise as the collection of models of a fixed first order
theory, with the related model-theoretic concept of
homomorphism. For example, the ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

376 views

### Groups and pregeometries

Definition.
For an infinite structure $\mathcal{A}$ and $cl : P(dom(\mathcal{A})) \longrightarrow P(dom(\mathcal{A}))$ , we say
that $(\mathcal{A}, cl)$ is a structure carrying an $\omega$-homogeneous ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

219 views

### Near model completeness

A theory $T$ is called near model complete if every formula is equivalent to a Boolean combination of existential formulas mod $T$. I wonder whether there is an equivalent "semantic" definition of ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

322 views

### Is this theory decidable?

It is well-known that both Presburger arithmetic (by contrast with Peano arithmetic) and Tarski geometry are decidable. I was in the shower this morning and wondered whether there exists an elegant ...