"Small rigid subsets of the reals"

21 February 2013
Will Brian

A topological space is called rigid if its only autohomeomorphism is the identity map. Using the Axiom of Choice it is easy to construct rigid subsets of the real line R, but sets constructed in this way always have size continuum. I will explore the question of whether it is possible to have rigid subsets of R that are small, meaning that their cardinality is smaller than that of the continuum. On the one hand, we will see that forcing can be used to produce models of ZFC in which such small rigid sets abound. On the other hand, I will introduce a combinatorial axiom that can be used to show the consistency with ZFC of the statement "CH fails but every rigid subset of R has size continuum". Only a working knowledge of basic set theory (roughly what one might remember from C1.2b) and topology will be assumed.

  • Advanced Class Logic