Which groups are isomorphic to automorphism groups of models of Peano Arithmetic? It will be shown here that any group that has half a chance of being isomorphic to the automorphism group of some model of Peano Arithmetic actually is.
For any structure , let Aut() be its automorphism group. There are groups which are not isomorphic to any model = (N, +, ·, 0, 1, ≤) of PA. For example, it is clear that Aut(N), being a subgroup of Aut((, <)), must be torsion-free. However, as will be proved in this paper, if (A, <) is a linearly ordered set and G is a subgroup of Aut((A, <)), then there are models of PA such that Aut() ≅ G.
If is a structure, then its automorphism group can be considered as a topological group by letting the stabilizers of finite subsets of A be the basic open subgroups. If ′ is an expansion of , then Aut(′) is a closed subgroup of Aut(). Conversely, for any closed subgroup G ≤ Aut() there is an expansion ′ of such that Aut(′) = G. Thus, if is a model of PA, then Aut() is not only a subgroup of Aut((N, <)), but it is even a closed subgroup of Aut((N, ′)).
There is a characterization, due to Cohn [2] and to Conrad [3], of those groups G which are isomorphic to closed subgroups of automorphism groups of linearly ordered sets.