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CiteWeb id: 20160000119

CiteWeb score: 381

We can characterize the real line, up to order isomorphism, by the following list of properties: R is order complete, order dense, has no first or last elements, and contains a countable dense subset. (One shows first that the countable dense subset is order isomorphic to the rationals, Q, and then that the ordered set is isomorphic to the Dedekind completion of its dense subset.) Souslin raised the question as to whether the "countable dense subset" condition could be replaced by the following consequence [15]: (*) Every disjoint family of non-empty open intervals is countable.' We use SH (Souslin's Hypothesis) to denote the following proposition: Every order complete order dense linearly ordered set satisfying ( * ) contains a countable dense subset. We use ZFC to denote Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (including the axiom of choice). In [16], Tennenbaum constructed models of ZFC in which SH is false. Moreover, in one of these models the continuum hypothesis (CH) is false, while in another one, the generalized continuum hypothesis (GCH) is true. Thus SH is independent of the usual axioms of set theory. (This result is due, independently, to Jech [7].)2

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