Diamond principle

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In mathematics, and particularly in axiomatic set theory, the diamond principle ◊ is a combinatorial principle introduced by Ronald Jensen in Jensen (1972) that holds in the constructible universe and that implies the continuum hypothesis. Jensen extracted the diamond principle from his proof that V=L implies the existence of a Suslin tree.


The diamond principle ◊ says that there exists a ◊-sequence, in other words sets Aα⊆α for α<ω1 such that for any subset A of ω1 the set of α with A∩α = Aα is stationary in ω1.

More generally, for a given cardinal number \kappa and a stationary set  S\subseteq\kappa , the statement ◊S (sometimes written ◊(S) or ◊κ(S)) is the statement that there is a sequence \langle A_\alpha: \alpha \in S \rangle such that

  • each  A_\alpha \subseteq \alpha
  • for every  A \subseteq \kappa, \{\alpha \in S: A \cap \alpha = A_\alpha\} is stationary in \kappa

The principle ◊ω1 is the same as ◊.

The diamond plus principle ◊+ says that there exists a +-sequence, in other words a countable collection Aα of subsets of α for each countable ordinal α such that for any subset A of ω1 there is a closed unbounded subset C of ω1 such that for all α in C we have A∩α ∈ Aα and C∩α ∈ Aα.

Properties and use[edit]

Jensen (1972) showed that the diamond principle ◊ implies the existence of Suslin trees. He also showed that V=L implies the diamond plus principle, which implies the diamond principle, which implies the CH. In particular the diamond principle and the diamond plus principle are both independent of the axioms of ZFC. Also + CH implies ◊, but Shelah gave models of ♣ + ¬ CH, so ◊ and ♣ are not equivalent (rather, ♣ is weaker than ◊).

The diamond principle ◊ does not imply the existence of a Kurepa tree, but the stronger ◊+ principle implies both the ◊ principle and the existence of a Kurepa tree.

Akemann & Weaver (2004) used ◊ to construct a C*-algebra serving as a counterexample to Naimark's problem.

For all cardinals κ and stationary subsets S⊆κ+, ◊S holds in the constructible universe. Recently Shelah proved that for κ>ℵ0, ◊κ+ follows from 2^\kappa=\kappa^+.

See also[edit]