Abelian Group Theory

Volume 1006 of the series Lecture Notes in Mathematics pp 285-303

Proper Forcing and Abelian Groups

  • Alan H. MeklerAffiliated withResearch supported by Natural Science, Engineering Council of Canada

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It is well known that assuming Martin’s axiom and the negation of the continuum hypothesis (MA+−1CH) has a dramatic effect on Abelian group theory. One only has to think of Shelah’s resolution of the Whitehead problem (cf[S1] or [E1]). MA+−NCH has certain drawbacks. It is not strong enough to resolve questions about the structure of ω1-separable groups which can be resolved by an extension and it is not consistent with the continuum hypothesis. In this paper I shall talk about generalizations due to Shelah of MA+−ICH, the proper forcing axioms, and their relation to Abelian group theory. (From hereon “group” will mean “Abelian group”.) Section I is devoted to some preliminaries and the statement of the proper forcing axioms. In section II a useful result about choosing a cub almost disjoint from a ladder system assuming PFA(ω1) is proved in order to illustrate how the axiom works. Proper posets are redefined in section III using elementary submodels. This section simplifies the task of writing the remainder of the paper. But it is explained for the reader who is unversed in logic how to ignore this section.