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Simultaneously vanishing higher derived limits

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 June 2021

Jeffrey Bergfalk
Universität Wien, Institut für Mathematik, Kurt Gödel Research Center, Kolingasse 14-16, 1010 Wien, Austria;. Centro de Ciencas Matemáticas, UNAM, A.P. 61-3, Xangari, Morelia, Michoacán, 58089, México; E-mail:
Chris Lambie-Hanson
Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA; E-mail:


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In 1988, Sibe Mardešić and Andrei Prasolov isolated an inverse system $\textbf {A}$ with the property that the additivity of strong homology on any class of spaces which includes the closed subsets of Euclidean space would entail that $\lim ^n\textbf {A}$ (the nth derived limit of $\textbf {A}$ ) vanishes for every $n>0$ . Since that time, the question of whether it is consistent with the $\mathsf {ZFC}$ axioms that $\lim ^n \textbf {A}=0$ for every $n>0$ has remained open. It remains possible as well that this condition in fact implies that strong homology is additive on the category of metric spaces.

We show that assuming the existence of a weakly compact cardinal, it is indeed consistent with the $\mathsf {ZFC}$ axioms that $\lim ^n \textbf {A}=0$ for all $n>0$ . We show this via a finite-support iteration of Hechler forcings which is of weakly compact length. More precisely, we show that in any forcing extension by this iteration, a condition equivalent to $\lim ^n\textbf {A}=0$ will hold for each $n>0$ . This condition is of interest in its own right; namely, it is the triviality of every coherent n-dimensional family of certain specified sorts of partial functions $\mathbb {N}^2\to \mathbb {Z}$ which are indexed in turn by n-tuples of functions $f:\mathbb {N}\to \mathbb {N}$ . The triviality and coherence in question here generalise the classical and well-studied case of $n=1$ .

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