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Diophantine Geometry from Model Theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2014

Thomas Scanlon*
Affiliation:
Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3840, USA E-mail: , scanlon@math.berkeley.edu

Abstract

§1. Introduction. With Hrushovski's proof of the function field Mordell-Lang conjecture [16] the relevance of geometric stability theory to diophantine geometry first came to light. A gulf between logicians and number theorists allowed for contradictory reactions. It has been asserted that Hrushovski's proof was simply an algebraic argument masked in the language of model theory. Another camp held that this theorem was merely a clever one-off. Still others regarded the argument as magical and asked whether such sorcery could unlock the secrets of a wide coterie of number theoretic problems.

In the intervening years each of these prejudices has been revealed as false though such attitudes are still common. The methods pioneered in [16] have been extended and applied to a number of other problems. At their best, these methods have been integrated into the general methods for solving diophantine problems. Moreover, the newer work suggests limits to the application of model theory to diophantine geometry. For example, all such known applications are connected with commutative algebraic groups. This need not be an intrinsic restriction, but its removal requires serious advances in the model theory of fields.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Association for Symbolic Logic 2001

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