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Worms, gaps and hydras
 Mathematical Logic Quarterly
, 2005
"... We define a direct translation from finite rooted trees to finite natural functions which shows that the Worm Principle introduced by Lev Beklemishev is equivalent to a very slight variant of the wellknown KirbyParis ’ Hydra Game. We further show that the elements in a reduction sequence of the Wo ..."
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We define a direct translation from finite rooted trees to finite natural functions which shows that the Worm Principle introduced by Lev Beklemishev is equivalent to a very slight variant of the wellknown KirbyParis ’ Hydra Game. We further show that the elements in a reduction sequence of the Worm Principle determine a bad sequence in the wellquasiordering of finite sequences of natural numbers with respect to Friedman’s gapembeddability. 1
Die another day
 Proceedings of the 4th International Conference ‘FUN with Algorithms 4’, Lecture Notes in Computer Science
, 2007
"... Abstract. The Hydra was a manyheaded monster from Greek mythology that would immediately replace a head that was cut off by one or two new heads. It was the second task of Hercules to kill this monster. In an abstract sense, a Hydra can be modeled as a tree where the leaves are the heads, and when ..."
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Abstract. The Hydra was a manyheaded monster from Greek mythology that would immediately replace a head that was cut off by one or two new heads. It was the second task of Hercules to kill this monster. In an abstract sense, a Hydra can be modeled as a tree where the leaves are the heads, and when a head is cut off some subtrees get duplicated. Different Hydra species differ by which subtress can be duplicated in which multiplicity. Using some deep mathematics, it had been shown that two classes of Hydra species must always die, independent of the order in which heads are cut off. In this paper we identify three properties for a Hydra that are necessary and sufficient to make it immortal or force it to die. We also give a simple combinatorial proof for this classification. Now, if Hercules had known this... 1
Brief introduction to unprovability
"... Abstract The article starts with a brief survey of Unprovability Theory as of autumn 2006. Then, as an illustration of the subject's modeltheoretic methods, we reprove exact versions of unprovability results for the ParisHarrington Principle and the KanamoriMcAloon Principle using indiscernibles. ..."
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Abstract The article starts with a brief survey of Unprovability Theory as of autumn 2006. Then, as an illustration of the subject's modeltheoretic methods, we reprove exact versions of unprovability results for the ParisHarrington Principle and the KanamoriMcAloon Principle using indiscernibles. In addition, we obtain a short accessible proof of unprovability of the ParisHarrington Principle. The proof employs old ideas but uses only one colouring and directly extracts the set of indiscernibles from its homogeneous set. We also present modified, abridged statements whose unprovability proofs are especially simple. These proofs were tailored for teaching purposes. The article is intended to be accessible to the widest possible audience of mathematicians, philosophers and computer scientists as a brief survey of the subject, a guide through the literature in the field, an introduction to its modeltheoretic techniques and, finally, a modeltheoretic proof of a modern theorem in the subject. However, some understanding of logic is assumed on the part of the readers. The intended audience of this paper consists of logicians, logicaware mathematicians andthinkers of other backgrounds who are interested in unprovable mathematical statements.