Sealing of the universally baire sets

Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 27 (3):254-266 (2021)
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A set of reals is universally Baire if all of its continuous preimages in topological spaces have the Baire property. ${\sf Sealing}$ is a type of generic absoluteness condition introduced by Woodin that asserts in strong terms that the theory of the universally Baire sets cannot be changed by set forcings. The ${\sf Largest\ Suslin\ Axiom}$ is a determinacy axiom isolated by Woodin. It asserts that the largest Suslin cardinal is inaccessible for ordinal definable surjections. Let ${\sf LSA}$ - ${\sf over}$ - ${\sf uB}$ be the statement that in all generic extensions there is a model of $\sf {LSA}$ whose Suslin, co-Suslin sets are the universally Baire sets. We outline the proof that over some mild large cardinal theory, $\sf {Sealing}$ is equiconsistent with $\sf {LSA}$ - $\sf {over}$ - $\sf {uB}$. In fact, we isolate an exact theory that is equiconsistent with both. As a consequence, we obtain that $\sf {Sealing}$ is weaker than the theory “ $\sf {ZFC}$ + there is a Woodin cardinal which is a limit of Woodin cardinals.” This significantly improves upon the earlier consistency proof of $\sf {Sealing}$ by Woodin. A variation of $\sf {Sealing}$, called $\sf {Tower \ Sealing}$, is also shown to be equiconsistent with $\sf {Sealing}$ over the same large cardinal theory. We also outline the proof that if V has a proper class of Woodin cardinals, a strong cardinal, and a generically universally Baire iteration strategy, then $\sf {Sealing}$ holds after collapsing the successor of the least strong cardinal to be countable. This result is complementary to the aforementioned equiconsistency result, where it is shown that $\sf {Sealing}$ holds in a generic extension of a certain minimal universe. This theorem is more general in that no minimal assumption is needed. A corollary of this is that $\sf {LSA}$ - $\sf {over}$ - $\sf {uB}$ is not equivalent to $\sf {Sealing}$.



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