Embeddings of the universe into the constructible universe, current state of knowledge

Set theory seminarFriday, March 6, 201510:00 amGC 6417

Joel David Hamkins

Embeddings of the universe into the constructible universe, current state of knowledge

The City University of New York

I shall describe the current state of knowledge concerning the question of whether there can be an embedding of the set-theoretic universe into the constructible universe. The main question is: can there be an embedding $j:Vto L$ of the set-theoretic universe $V$ into the constructible universe $L$, when $Vneq L$? The notion of embedding here is merely that $xin y$ if and only if $j(x)in j(y)$, and such a map need not be elementary nor even $Delta_0$-elementary. It is not difficult to see that there can generally be no $Delta_0$-elementary embedding $j:Vto L$, when $Vneq L$.  Nevertheless, the question arises very naturally in the context of my previous work on the embeddability phenomenon, which shows that every countable model $M$ does admit an embedding $j:Mto L^M$ into its constructible universe. More generally, any two countable models of set theory are comparable; one of them embeds into the other. Indeed, one model $langle M,in^Mrangle$ embeds into another $langle N,in^Nrangle$ just in case the ordinals of the first $text{Ord}^M$ order-embed into the ordinals of the second $text{Ord}^N$.  In these theorems, the embeddings $j:Mto L^M$ are defined completely externally to $M$, and so it was natural to wonder to what extent such an embedding might be accessible inside $M$. Currently, the question remains open, but we have some partial progress, settling it in a number of cases.

This is joint work of myself, W. Hugh Woodin, Menachem Magidor, with contributions also by David Aspero, Ralf Schindler and Yair Hayut.  See more information at the links below:

Blog post for this talk |  Related MathOverflow question | Article

Professor Hamkins (Ph.D. 1994 UC Berkeley) conducts research in mathematical and philosophical logic, particularly set theory, with a focus on the mathematics and philosophy of the infinite.  He has been particularly interested in the interaction of forcing and large cardinals, two central themes of contemporary set-theoretic research.  He has worked in the theory of infinitary computability, introducing (with A. Lewis and J. Kidder) the theory of infinite time Turing machines, as well as in the theory of infinitary utilitarianism and, more recently, infinite chess.  His work on the automorphism tower problem lies at the intersection of group theory and set theory.  Recently, he has been preoccupied with various mathematical and philosophical issues surrounding the set-theoretic multiverse, engaging with the emerging debate on pluralism in the philosophy of set theory, as well as the mathematical questions to which they lead, such as in his work on the modal logic of forcing and set-theoretic geology.

Posted by on February 27th, 2015