Model theory is the study of (classes of) mathematical structures (e.g. groups, fields, graphs, universes of set theory) using tools from mathematical logic. Objects of study in model theory are models for formal languages which are structures that give meaning to the sentences of these formal ...

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

For each first order sentence $\phi$ in the language of groups, define : $$p_N(\phi)=\frac{\text{number of nonisomorphic groups $G$ of order} \le N\text{ such that } \phi \text{ is valid in } ...
48
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8answers
4k views

How is the Gödel's Completeness Theorem not a tautology?

As a physicist trying to understand the foundations of modern mathematics (in particular Model Theory) $-$ I have a hard time coping with the border between syntax and semantics. I believe a lot would ...
30
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6answers
1k views

What is an efficient nesting of mathematical theorems?

Various mathematical areas of research evolved from a wide and diverse range of questions. Many are physical in nature or come from informatics/computer science, some are procedural or optimization ...
26
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4answers
1k views

Is $\mathbb{N}$ impossible to pin down?

I don't know if this is appropriate for math.stackexchange, or whether philosophy.stackexchange would have been a better bet, but I'll post it here because the content is somewhat technical. In ZFC, ...
26
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2answers
497 views

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

Is there a first-order formula $\phi(x) $ with exactly one free variable $ x $ in the language of ordered fields together with the unary function symbol $ \exp $ such that in the standard ...
22
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1answer
521 views

Model existence for infinitary logics

One of the problems of infinitary logic is that it is possible for compactness to fail in a spectacular way: for example, one can concoct an inconsistent set of axioms whose proper subsets are all ...
21
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1answer
358 views

FO-definability of the integers in (Q, +, <)

With $Q$ the set of rational numbers, I'm wondering: Is the predicate "Int($x$) $\equiv$ $x$ is an integer" first-order definable in $(Q, +, <)$ where there is one additional constant symbol ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Are there number systems corresponding to higher cardinalities than the real numbers?

As most of you know, the set $\omega$ with cardinality $\aleph_0$ corresponds to what we normally know as the natural numbers $\mathbb{N}$, and the set $\mathcal{P}(\omega)$ with cardinality ...
19
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1answer
611 views

Murder at Hilbert's Hotel!

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate in any way. I doubt it's an original question. Due to my ignorance, it's difficult for me to search for appropriate things. Motivation. This question is inspired by ...
16
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3answers
375 views

Applications of model theory to analysis

Some of the more organic theories considered in model theory (other than set theory, which, from what I've seen, seems to be quite distinct from "mainstream" model theory) are those which arise from ...
16
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1answer
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Non-standard models of arithmetic for Dummies

Why is (1) a copy of $\mathbb{N}$ "followed by" a copy of $\mathbb{Z}$ not a (non-standard) model of arithmetic, neither (2) a copy of $\mathbb{N}$ followed by an infinite sequence of copies of ...
15
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1answer
257 views

Is $\Bbb R$ definable in $(\Bbb C,0,1,+,*,\exp)$?

Is there a first-order formula ϕ(x) with exactly one free variable $x$ in the language of fields together with the unary function symbol $\exp$ such that in the standard interpretation of this ...
15
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1answer
556 views

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

Goodstein's Theorem is the statement that every Goodstein sequence eventually hits 0. It is known to be independent of Peano Arithemtic (PA), and in fact, was the first such purely number theoretic ...
15
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1answer
562 views

Non-ZFC set theory and 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
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5answers
1k views

In plain language, what's the difference between two things that are 'equivalent', 'equal', and 'identical'?

In plain language, what's the difference between two things that are 'equivalent', 'equal', 'identical', and isomorphic? If the answer depends on the area of mathematics, then please take the ...
14
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3answers
631 views

Comparing Category Theory and Model Theory (with examples from Group Theory).

The following question eats my brain: The standard definition of a "category" and a list of examples following this definition confuses me. My question is simple: (Q1)If someone write "the category ...
14
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2answers
505 views

Comparing countable models of ZFC

Let us consider the class $\cal C$ of countable models of ZFC. For ${\mathfrak A}=(A,{\in}_A)$ and ${\mathfrak B}=(B,{\in}_B)$ in $\cal C$ I say that ${\mathfrak A}<{\mathfrak B}$ iff there is a ...
14
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2answers
649 views

Intersection of Algebraic Topology/Geometry and Model Theory/Set Theory

Is there any intersection between the ideas of Algebraic Topology/Geometry (I know that there is most certainly a non-trivial intersection between Algebraic Geometry, Algebraic Topology, Arithmetic ...
14
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1answer
322 views

A *finite* first order theory whose finite models are exactly the $\Bbb F_p$?

Since this question turned out to be trivial, I'm now asking this strengthened version: Is there a finitely axiomatized first order theory $T$ in the language of rings such that its finite models ...
14
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1answer
319 views

What lessons have mathematicians drawn from the existence of non-standard models?

So, as someone whose knowledge of mathematics has always come from studying it with an eye towards philosophical/foundational issues and studying it with other philosophers (who are not primarily ...
13
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9answers
981 views

Learning Model Theory

What books/notes should one read to learn model theory? As I do not have much background in logic it would be ideal if such a reference does not assume much background in logic. Also, as I am ...
13
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2answers
303 views

A sentence false in a field of characteristic $0$ but true in all fields of positive characteristic?

Consider the language $L=\{+,\cdot, 0, 1\}$ of rings. It is easy to show using compactness that if $\sigma$ is a sentence that holds in all fields of characteristic $0$, there is some $N\in \mathbb N$ ...
13
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5answers
217 views

Does “=” have to be interpreted as equality?

To put it briefly: In model theory, we are allowed to interpret any relation symbol in any way we like. So why do people seem to require that "$=$" is interpreted as the actual equality? Let me ...
13
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1answer
148 views

Tennenbaum's theorem without overspill

While trying to clean up Wikipedia's proof sketch for Tennenbaum's theorem (there is no computable non-standard model of Peano Arithmetic), the following strategy occurred to me. Since it seems to be ...
12
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1answer
754 views

(Why) is topology nonfirstorderizable?

Is it the right point of view to say, that topology is nonfirstorderizable (only) because the union of arbitrarily many open sets has to be open? And if "arbitrarily many" was relaxed to "finitely ...
12
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3answers
242 views

Axiom of Choice and Determinacy

In my set theory course we have been talking about the axiom of determinacy. One of the first things we showed was that $AD$ and $AC$ are incompatible. We later showed that $ZF+AD$ implies the ...
12
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3answers
395 views

On Pudlak's “Life in an Inconsistent World”

In his Logical Foundation of Mathematics and Computational Complexity (2013), Pavel Pudlak invites the readers to ponder about fictitious people whose natural numbers are nonstandard. His exposition ...
12
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3answers
432 views

Does every complete theory admit quantifier elimination?

Does every complete theory admit quantifier elimination? I know that at least in some simple cases the reverse is true; such as some reducts of number theory.Thanks
11
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4answers
1k views

How can there be genuine models of set theory?

I know that this a beginner's question asked too many times, but I still didn't get an answer which lets me quit asking: Given that a model/interpretation of a theory (in the Tarskian sense) is a ...
11
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2answers
237 views

Putting down axioms for some symbols. Playing with their consequences qualitatively and symbolically. Building theories. The book?

I am interested in the design and building of theories. By building theories, I mean putting down axioms of various kinds, over various fields, exploring their perhaps interesting, or probably boring, ...
11
votes
3answers
322 views

Why does creating a model show consistency?

As per the title, why does the ability to generate a model from axioms prove they are consistent?
11
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1answer
260 views

Number of automorphisms of saturated models

I have the following assignment question: Let $M$ be an $L$-model of cardinality $\kappa$. Assume $M$ is saturated. How can you show that $|\text{Aut}(M)|=2^{|M|}$? I see two possible ...
11
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0answers
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Non-axiomatisability and ultraproducts

Let $T$ be a first-order theory over a language $L$, and let $\mathcal{M}$ be a subclass of the class of models of $T$. As I understand it, if there is no theory $\hat{T}$ over $L$ whose class of ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Example of non-isomorphic structures which are elementarily equivalent

I just started learning model theory on my own, and I was wondering if there are any interesting examples of two structures of a language L which are not isomorphic, but are elementarily equivalent ...
10
votes
2answers
441 views

Is Gödel's incompleteness theorem provable without any model-theoretic notion?

The entry on Gödel's incompletenss theorem in Wikipedia says: Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, ...
10
votes
2answers
284 views

Can a model of set theory think it is well-founded and in fact not be?

ZF's axiom of regularity implies that no infinite descending sequence of sets $x_1 \ni x_2 \ni x_3 \ni \cdots$ exists. Precisely this theorem asserts the non-existence of a map from $\mathbb{N}$ to ...
10
votes
1answer
204 views

Do ordered fields and archimedian ordered fields have the same first-order theory?

Let us suppose that the first-order language of ordered fields has symbols for addition, subtraction, multiplication and order, and constant symbols for 0 and 1. An ordered field is said to be ...
10
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2answers
480 views

A question on linear orders and elementary equivalence

Does anybody know whether the following statement is true or false? Conjecture: For every linear order $\langle A, \leq \rangle$ there is a (topologically) closed subset $X$ of $\mathbb{R}$ (the real ...
10
votes
1answer
220 views

Is this a characterization of well-orders?

While grading some papers and thinking about a question related to well-orders (in particular, pointing a mistake in a solution), I came to think of a reasonable characterization for well-orders. I ...
10
votes
1answer
128 views

Is there a universal property for the ultraproduct?

Given an ultrafilter U on a set I and a collection of ser X_i ($I \in I$) one defines the ultraproduct as the quotient of $\prod X_i $ by the identification $x_i=y_i :\leftrightarrow \{i:x_i=y_i\} \in ...
10
votes
1answer
143 views

Saturated Boolean algebras in terms of model theory and in terms of partitions

Let $\kappa$ be an infinite cardinal. A Boolean algebra $\mathbb{B}$ is said to be $\kappa$-saturated if there is no partition (i.e., collection of elements of $\mathbb{B}$ whose pairwise meet is $0$ ...
10
votes
2answers
294 views

Can A Decidable Theory Have Nonrecursive Models?

Tennenbaum's theorem proves neither addition nor multiplication can be recursive in any countable non-standard model of arithmetic. Tennenbaum's proof applies to theories much weaker than PA. ...
10
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1answer
298 views

Compactness Theorem Application

I am doing an exercise on the compactness theorem of first order logic. The task is to prove that there is no singe first order sentence which is satisfied in exactly the infinite graphs (thereby, a ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Showing any countable, dense, linear ordering is isomorphic to a subset of $\mathbb{Q}$

I'm trying to knock out a few of the later exercises from Enderton's Elements of Set Theory. This problem is #17, found on page 227. A partial ordering $R$ is said to be dense iff whenever $xRz$, ...
9
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2answers
241 views

Is there a well defined “intended” model of the real numbers in the same sense as there is one for the natural numbers?

Background: We know that PA has more models than the intended model, N, because it is not strong enough and is also satisfied by non-intended models, known as non-standard models of arithmetic. When ...
9
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1answer
193 views

Gödel's way of teaching non-standard models to Takeuti.

In Memoirs of a Proof Theorist, Gaisi Takeuti relates how Gödel taught him about nonstandard models in an "interesting" way: It went as follows. Let T be a theory with a nonstandard model. By ...
9
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1answer
764 views

Show that binary < “less than” relation is not definable on set of Natural Numbers with successor function

After reading about the question, I've come to believe that it would suffice to exhibit and automorphism of that is not order preserving. However, I'm unsure of how to construct such an automorphism, ...
9
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1answer
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Choosing a Master Thesis Topic: Logic - Model Theory

I am a first-year graduate student in maths. Around these days, I feel I must decide on which exact part of mathematics I shall go through. Infact, I have narrowed down the suitable options but still ...
9
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1answer
228 views

$\mathcal U$ Grothendieck universe. Is $\mathcal{P(U)}$ a model for NBG?

Suppose we are in ZFC, let $\mathcal U$ be an uncountable Grothendieck universe and consider the set of its parts $\mathcal{P(U)}$. (I will index axioms as $(\mathcal U.n)$) Note that if $x \in ...
8
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5answers
585 views

What is exactly the meaning of being isomorphic?

I know that the concept of being isomorphic depends on the category we are working in. So specifically when we are building a theory, like when we define the natural numbers, or the real numbers, or ...