In this paper, we show that the theory of ordered differential fields has a model completion. We also show that any real differential field, finitely generated over the rational numbers, is isomorphic to some field of real meromorphic functions. In the last section of this paper, we combine these two results and discuss the problem of deciding if a system of differential equations has real analytic solutions. The author wishes to thank G. Stengle for some stimulating and helpful conversations and for drawing our attention to fields of real meromorphic functions.
§ 1. Real and ordered fields. A real field is a field in which −1 is not a sum of squares. An ordered field is a field F together with a binary relation < which totally orders F and satisfies the two properties: (1) If 0 < x and 0 < y then 0 < xy. (2) If x < y then, for all z in F, x + z < y + z. An element x of an ordered field is positive if x > 0. One can see that the square of any element is positive and that the sum of positive elements is positive. Since −1 is not positive, an ordered field is a real field. Conversely, given a real field F, it is known that one can define an ordering (not necessarily uniquely) on F [2, p. 274]. An ordered field F is a real closed field if: (1) every positive element is a square, and (2) every polynomial of odd degree with coefficients in F has a root in F. For example, the real numbers form a real closed field. Every ordered field can be embedded in a real closed field. It is also known that, in a real closed field K, polynomials satisfy the intermediate value property, i.e. if f(x) ∈ K[x] and a, b ∈ K, a < b, and f(a)f(b) < 0 then there is a c in K such that f(c) = 0.