The existential theory of equicharacteristic henselian valued fields

26 February 2015
William Anscombe

We present some recent work - joint with Arno Fehm - in which we give an `existential Ax-Kochen-Ershov principle' for equicharacteristic henselian valued fields. More precisely, we show that the existential theory of such a valued field depends only on the existential theory of the residue field. In residue characteristic zero, this result is well-known and follows from the classical Ax-Kochen-Ershov Theorems. In arbitrary (but equal) characteristic, our proof uses F-V Kuhlmann's theory of tame fields. One corollary is an unconditional proof that the existential theory of F_q((t)) is decidable. We will explain how this relates to the earlier conditional proof of this result, due to Denef and Schoutens.