Erdős cardinals

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The $\alpha$-Erdős cardinals were introduced by Erdős and Hajnal in [1] and arose out of their study of partition relations. A cardinal $\kappa(\alpha)$ is $\alpha$-Erdős if it is the least cardinal $\kappa$ such that $\kappa\rightarrow (\alpha)^{\lt\omega}_2$ (if any such cardinal exists). A partition property $\kappa\to(\lambda)^n_\gamma$ asserts that for every function $F:[\kappa]^n\to\gamma$ there is $H\subseteq\kappa$ with $|H|=\lambda$ such that $F\upharpoonright[H]^n$ is constant. The more general partition property $\kappa\to(\lambda)^{\lt\omega}_\gamma$ asserts that for every function $F:[\kappa]^{\lt\omega}\to\gamma$ there is $H\subseteq\kappa$ with $|H|=\lambda$ such that $F\upharpoonright[H]^n$ is constant for every $n$, although the value of $F$ on $[H]^n$ may be different for different $n$. Indeed, if $\kappa$ is $\alpha$-Erdős, then $\kappa\rightarrow (\alpha)^{\lt\omega}_\lambda$ for all $\lambda<\kappa$ (Silver's PhD thesis). A cardinal $\kappa$ is Ramsey precisely when it is $\kappa$-Erdős. If $\alpha<\beta$, then $\kappa(\alpha)<\kappa(\beta)$ [1].

Erdős cardinals and the constructible universe

  • $\omega_1$-Erdős cardinals imply that $0^\sharp$ exists and hence there cannot be $\omega_1$-Erdős cardinals in $L$. [2]
  • $\alpha$-Erdős cardinals are downward absolute to $L$ for $L$-countable $\alpha$. More generally, $\alpha$-Erdős cardinals are downward absolute to any transitive model of ${\rm ZFC}$ for $M$-countable $\alpha$. [3]

Relations with other large cardinals

  • Every $\alpha$-Erdős cardinal is inaccessible. (Silver's PhD thesis)
  • If an $\alpha$-Erdős cardinal is not Ramsey, then it is not weakly compact since then $\alpha<\kappa$, and hence it is $\Pi_1^1$-describable.
  • An $\alpha$-Erdős cardinal is subtle. [4]
  • An $\omega$-Erdős cardinal is a stationary limit of ineffable cardinals. [5]
  • An $\omega$-Erdős cardinal implies the consistency of a proper class of [[$\alpha$-iterable|$n$-iterable]] cardinals for every $1\leq n<\omega$. [6]


  1. Erdős, Paul and Hajnal, Andras. On the structure of set-mappings. Acta Math Acad Sci Hungar 9:111--131, 1958. MR   bibtex
  2. Silver, Jack. Some applications of model theory in set theory. Ann Math Logic 3(1):45--110, 1971. MR   bibtex
  3. Silver, Jack. A large cardinal in the constructible universe. Fund Math 69:93--100, 1970. MR   bibtex
  4. Jensen, Ronald and Kunen, Kenneth. Some combinatorial properties of $L$ and $V$. Unpublished, 1969. www   bibtex
  5. Jech, Thomas J. Set Theory. Third, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2003. (The third millennium edition, revised and expanded) bibtex
  6. Gitman, Victoria. Ramsey-like cardinals. The Journal of Symbolic Logic 76(2):519-540, 2011. www   arχiv   MR   bibtex
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