Miha E. Habič, PhD 2017, CUNY Graduate Center

Miha E. Habič successfully defended his dissertation under my supervision at the CUNY Graduate Center on April 7th, 2017, earning his Ph.D. degree in May 2017.

It was truly a pleasure to work with Miha, who is an outstanding young mathematician with enormous promise. I shall look forward to seeing his continuing work.

Miha Habic

Cantor’s paradise | MathOverflow | MathSciNet  | NY Logic profilear$\chi$iv

Miha E. Habič, “Joint Laver diamonds and grounded forcing axioms,”  Ph.D. dissertation for The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, May, 2017 (arxiv:1705.04422).

Abstract. In chapter 1 a notion of independence for diamonds and Laver diamonds is investigated. A sequence of Laver diamonds for $\kappa$ is joint if for any sequence of targets there is a single elementary embedding $j$ with critical point $\kappa$ such that each Laver diamond guesses its respective target via $j$. In the case of measurable cardinals (with similar results holding for (partially) supercompact cardinals) I show that a single Laver diamond for $\kappa$ yields a joint sequence of length $\kappa$, and I give strict separation results for all larger lengths of joint sequences. Even though the principles get strictly stronger in terms of direct implication, I show that they are all equiconsistent. This is contrasted with the case of $\theta$-strong cardinals where, for certain $\theta$, the existence of even the shortest joint Laver sequences carries nontrivial consistency strength. I also formulate a notion of jointness for ordinary $\diamondsuit_\kappa$-sequences on any regular cardinal $\kappa$. The main result concerning these shows that there is no separation according to length and a single $\diamondsuit_\kappa$-sequence yields joint families of all possible lengths.


In chapter 2 the notion of a grounded forcing axiom is introduced and explored in the case of Martin’s axiom. This grounded Martin’s axiom, a weakening of the usual axiom, states that the universe is a ccc forcing extension of some inner model and the restriction of Martin’s axiom to the posets coming from that ground model holds. I place the new axiom in the hierarchy of fragments of Martin’s axiom and examine its effects on the cardinal characteristics of the continuum. I also show that the grounded version is quite a bit more robust under mild forcing than Martin’s axiom itself.

Miha Habic defenseMiha will shortly begin a post-doctoral research position at Charles University in Prague.

Resurrection axioms and uplifting cardinals

[bibtex key=HamkinsJohnstone2014:ResurrectionAxiomsAndUpliftingCardinals]

Abstract. We introduce the resurrection axioms, a new class of forcing axioms, and the uplifting cardinals, a new large cardinal notion, and prove that various instances of the resurrection axioms are equiconsistent over ZFC with the existence of uplifting cardinal.

Many classical forcing axioms can be viewed, at least informally, as the claim that the universe is existentially closed in its forcing extensions, for the axioms generally assert that certain kinds of filters, which could exist in a forcing extension $V[G]$, exist already in $V$. In several instances this informal perspective is realized more formally: Martin’s axiom is equivalent to the assertion that $H_{\frak{c}}$ is existentially closed in all c.c.c. forcing extensions of the universe, meaning that $H_{\frak{c}}\prec_{\Sigma_1}V[G]$ for all such extensions; the bounded proper forcing axiom is equivalent to the assertion that $H_{\omega_2}$ is existentially closed in all proper forcing extensions, or $H_{\omega_2}\prec_{\Sigma_1}V[G]$; and there are other similar instances.

In model theory, a submodel $M\subset N$ is existentially closed in $N$ if existential assertions true in $N$ about parameters in $M$ are true already in $M$, that is, if $M$ is a $\Sigma_1$-elementary substructure of $N$, which we write as $M\prec_{\Sigma_1} N$. Furthermore, in a general model-theoretic setting, existential closure is tightly connected with resurrection, the theme of this article.

Elementary Fact. If $\mathcal{M}$ is a submodel of $\mathcal{N}$, then the following are equivalent.

  1. The model $\mathcal{M}$ is existentially closed in $\mathcal{N}$.
  2. $\mathcal{M}\subset \mathcal{N}$ has resurrection. That is, there is a further extension $\mathcal{M}\subset\mathcal{N}\subset\mathcal{M}^+$ for which $\mathcal{M}\prec\mathcal{M}^+$.

We call this resurrection because although certain truths in $\mathcal{M}$ may no longer hold in the extension $\mathcal{N}$, these truths are nevertheless revived in light of $\mathcal{M}\prec\mathcal{M}^+$ in the further extension to $\mathcal{M}^+$.

In the context of forcing axioms, we are more interested in the case of forcing extensions than in the kind of arbitrary extension $\mathcal{M}^+$ arising in the fact, and in this context the equivalence of (1) and (2) breaks own, although the converse implication $(2)\to(1)$ always holds, and every instance of resurrection implies the corresponding instance of existential closure. This key observation leads us to the main unifying theme of this article, the idea that

resurrection may allow us to formulate more robust forcing axioms 

than existential closure or than combinatorial assertions about filters and dense sets. We therefore introduce in this paper a spectrum of new forcing axioms utilizing the resurrection concept.

Main Definition. Let $\Gamma$ be a fixed definable class of forcing notions.

  1. The resurrection axiom $\text{RA}(\Gamma)$ is the assertion that for every forcing notion $\mathbb{Q}\in\Gamma$ there is further forcing $\mathbb{R}$, with $\vdash_{\mathbb{Q}}\mathbb{R}\in\Gamma$, such that if $g\ast h\subset\mathbb{Q}\ast\mathbb{R}$ is $V$-generic, then $H_{\frak{c}}\prec H_{\frak{c}}^{V[g\ast h]}$.
  2. The weak resurrection axiom $\text{wRA}(\Gamma)$ is the assertion that for every $\mathbb{Q}\in\Gamma$ there is further forcing $\mathbb{R}$, such that if $g\ast h\subset\mathbb{Q}\ast\mathbb{R}$ is $V$-generic, then $H_{\frak{c}}\prec H_{\frak{c}}^{V[g\ast h]}$.

The main result is to prove that various formulations of the resurrection axioms are equiconsistent with the existence of an uplifting cardinal, where an inaccessible cardinal $\kappa$ is uplifting, if there are arbitrarily large inaccessible cardinals $\gamma$ for which $H_\kappa\prec H_\gamma$.  This is a rather weak large cardinal notion, having consistency strength strictly less than the existence of a Mahlo cardinal, which is traditionally considered to be very low in the large cardinal hierarchy.  One highlight of the article is our development of “the world’s smallest Laver function,” the Laver function concept for uplifting cardinals, and we perform an analogue of the Laver preparation in order to achieve the resurrection axiom for c.c.c. forcing.

Main Theorem. The following theories are equiconsistent over ZFC:

  1. There is an uplifting cardinal.
  2. $\text{RA}(\text{all})$.
  3. $\text{RA}(\text{ccc})$.
  4. $\text{RA}(\text{semiproper})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  5. $\text{RA}(\text{proper})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  6. For some countable ordinal $\alpha$, the axiom $\text{RA}(\alpha\text{-proper})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  7. $\text{RA}(\text{axiom-A})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  8. $\text{wRA}(\text{semiproper})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  9. $\text{wRA}(\text{proper})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  10. For some countable ordinal $\alpha$, the axiom $\text{wRA}(\alpha\text{-proper})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  11. $\text{wRA}(\text{axiom-A})+\neg\text{CH}$.
  12. $\text{wRA}(\text{countably closed})+\neg\text{CH}$.

The proof outline proceeds in two directions: on the one hand, the resurrection axioms generally imply that the continuum $\frak{c}$ is uplifting in $L$; and conversely, given any uplifting cardinal $\kappa$, we may perform a suitable lottery iteration of $\Gamma$ forcing to obtain the resurrection axiom for $\Gamma$ in a forcing extension with $\kappa=\frak{c}$.

In a follow-up article, currently nearing completion, we treat the boldface resurrection axioms, which allow a predicate $A\subset\frak{c}$ and ask for extensions of the form $\langle H_{\frak{c}},{\in},A\rangle\prec\langle H_{\frak{c}}^{V[g\ast h]},{\in},A^\ast\rangle$, for some $A^\ast\subset\frak{c}^{V[g\ast h]}$ in the extension.  In that article, we prove the equiconsistency of various formulations of boldface resurrection with the existence of a strongly uplifting cardinal, which we prove is the same as a superstrongly unfoldable cardinal.