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Fun with Fields

  • Author(s): Johnson, William Andrew
  • Advisor(s): Scanlon, Thomas
  • et al.

This dissertation is a collection of results in model theory, related in one way or another to fields, NIP theories, and elimination of imaginaries. The most important result is a classification of dp-minimal fields, presented in Chapter 9. We construct in a canonical fashion a non-trivial Hausdorff definable field topology on any unstable dp-minimal field. Using

this we classify the dp-minimal pure fields and valued fields up to elementary equivalence. Furthermore we prove that every VC-minimal field is real closed or algebraically closed.

In Chapter 11, we analyze the theories of existentially closed fields with several valuations and orderings, as studied by van den Dries. We show that these model complete theories are NTP2, and analyze forking, dividing, and burden in these theories. The theory of algebraically closed fields with n independent valuation rings turns out to be an example of such a theory. This provides a new and natural example of an NTP2 theory which is neither

simple nor NIP, nor even a conceptual hybrid of something simple and something NIP.

In Chapter 8, we exhibit a bad failure of elimination of imaginaries in a dense o-minimal structure. We produce an exotic interpretable set which cannot be put in definable bijection with a definable set, after naming any amount of parameters. However, we show that these exotic interpretable sets are still amenable to some of the tools of tame topology: they must

admit nice definable topologies locally homeomorphic to definable sets.

Chapter 12 proves the existence of Z/nZ-valued definable strong Euler characteristics on pseudofinite fields, which measure the non-standard “size” of definable sets, mod n. The non-trivial result is that these “sizes” are definable in families of definable sets. This could probably be proven using etale cohomology, but we give a more elementary proof relying heavily on the theory of abelian varieties.

We also present simplified and new proofs of several model-theoretic facts, including the definability of irreducibility and Zariski closure in ACF (Chapter 10), and elimination of imaginaries in ACVF (Chapter 6). This latter fact was originally proven by Haskell, Hrushovski, and Macpherson. We give a proof that is drastically simpler, inspired by Poizat’s proofs of elimination of imaginaries in ACF and DCF.

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