Let ℒ be the first order language of field theory with an additional one place predicate symbol. In [B2] it was shown that the elementary theory T of the class of all pairs of real closed fields, i.e., ℒ-structures ‹K, L›, K a real closed field, L a real closed subfield of K, is undecidable.
The aim of this paper is to show that the elementary theory Ts of a nontrivial subclass of containing many naturally occurring pairs of real closed fields is decidable (Theorem 3, §5). This result was announced in [B2]. An explicit axiom system for Ts will be given later. At this point let us just mention that any model of Ts, is elementarily equivalent to a pair of power series fields ‹R0((TA)), R1((TB))› where R0 is the field of real numbers, R1 = R0 or the field of real algebraic numbers, and B ⊆ A are ordered divisible abelian groups. Conversely, all these pairs of power series fields are models of Ts.
Theorem 3 together with the undecidability result in [B2] answers some of the questions asked in Macintyre [M]. The proof of Theorem 3 uses the model theoretic techniques for valued fields introduced by Ax and Kochen [A-K] and Ershov [E] (see also [C-K]). The two main ingredients are
(i) the completeness of the elementary theory of real closed fields with a distinguished dense proper real closed subfield (due to Robinson [R]),
(ii) the decidability of the elementary theory of pairs of ordered divisible abelian groups (proved in §§1-4).
I would like to thank Angus Macintyre for fruitful discussions concerning the subject. The valuation theoretic method of classifying theories of pairs of real closed fields is taken from [M].