FOM: 79:Axioms for geometry -- A question and a program
Vaughan Pratt
pratt at CS.Stanford.EDU
Mon Jan 10 14:00:54 EST 2000
Harvey Friedman:
HF>AN AXIOMATIZATION OF EUCLIDEAN PLANE GEOMETRY BASED ON DISTANCE COMPARISON
HF>We can define the field of real numbers in (R^2,E). This is done by
HF>equivalence classes of pairs of elements of R^2.
In other words, the field structure of R is definable from a certain
eight-dimensional variety E over R, presented as its characteristic
function on R^8.
(E is a variety because the equation d((a,b),(c,d)) = d((e,f),(g,h))
defining E is expressible as (a-c)^2+(b-d)^2 = (e-g)^2+(f-h)^2.)
This prompts the following question and program.
1. What is the least dimension of variety over R from which the field
structure of R is definable in Friedman's sense?
2. Characterize the class of all such varieties.
Vaughan Pratt
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