# Meeting a set of spheres in $\mathbb{R}^n$

Let $n \geq 1$ be an integer. Let us call $S\subseteq \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ an $n$-sphere if there is $x\in \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ and $r\in \mathbb{R}$ with $r>0$ such that $$S = \{z\in \mathbb{R}^{n+1}: \|z-x\| = r\},$$ where $\|\cdot\|$ denotes the Euclidean norm in $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$.

Suppose that ${\cal S}\neq \emptyset$ is a set of $n$-spheres in $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$.

Is there $M\subseteq \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ such that $M$ intersects every member of ${\cal S}$, but for each $m\in M$ there is $S\in {\cal S}$ such that $S \cap (M\setminus \{m\}) = \emptyset$?

Note. The answer is positive if the set ${\cal S}$ is finite.

• should it be $n$-spheres in $\mathbb{R}^{n+1}$? the use of the word radii seems to suggest this. – Nick L Sep 5 '17 at 13:06
• You are right - thanks! Will edit accordingly – Dominic van der Zypen Sep 5 '17 at 13:09
• Could you maybe give a complete definition (e.g. a sphere with radius $r$ and center $c$ is the set of all points ...). I think I have a counter-example, but it depends of course on what a "sphere" is for you. – Dirk Sep 5 '17 at 13:10
• @Dirk, thanks, I will do this in the next edit of the question, should be online in about 5 minutes – Dominic van der Zypen Sep 5 '17 at 13:11
• @DirkLiebhold I hope the formulation of the question is more solid now – Dominic van der Zypen Sep 5 '17 at 13:18

Let $(S_i)_{i \in I}$ be a family of spheres of cardinality $|I| < \mathfrak{c}$ and let $S$ be a sphere distinct from each $S_i$. Each intersection $S \cap S_i$ is a (possibly degenerate) circle. Since there is a continuum of circles inside $S$, one can find a circle $C \subseteq S$ distinct from each $S \cap S_i$. Each intersection $C \cap S \cap S_i$ consists of at most two points. Since $|I| < \mathfrak{c} = |C|$, the family $(C \cap S \cap S_i)_{i \in I}$ does not cover $C$. In particular $S \setminus \bigcup_{i \in I} S_i$ is non-empty.
Using this and applying the method used by Martin Sleziak to answer your previous question Meeting a set of lines in $\mathbb{R}^n$ (or as in Will Brian's answer above), one gets a positive answer in ZFC.