FOM: re: On CH/1

Kanovei kanovei at
Mon Dec 8 13:04:08 EST 1997

>From: Harvey Friedman <friedman at>
>Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 02:28:20 +0100
> I strongly suspect that by 2100, the CH situation will be clarified

Still there is something strange in around CH. It looks like 
more a cultural rather mathematical phenomenon. Indeed 
compare two *problems*:

CH: ........

CD (cube duplicate): express 2^(1/3) as a combination of square roots

To solve CH means to find a "computation", which involves logical 
inherence, ending by CH or its negation. 

To solve CD means to find a "computation", which involves square 
roots, ending by 2^(1/3).

Both have been proved to be impossible, so in principle both have 
one and the same mathematical status.  

Both are important for certain types of mathematics. Perhaps there 
are many mathematicians who say CD is more important, at least for 
1 and 2 (if not for 3 as well) in the HF scheme. 

But who now cares how to solve CD by 2100 ? 
Why after all CH is so attractive as a topic for discussions ? 

Vladimir Kanovei

More information about the FOM mailing list