# BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS. Proof. We shall define inductively a decreasing sequence of infinite subsets of N

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1 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS SIMON THOMAS 1. The Finite Basis Problem Definition 1.1. Let C be a class of structures. Then a basis for C is a collection B C such that for every C C, there exists B B such that B embeds into C. Theorem 1.2 (Ramsey). If χ : [N] 2 2 is any function, then there exists an infinite X N such that χ [X] 2 is a constant function. Proof. We shall define inductively a decreasing sequence of infinite subsets of N N = S 0 S 1 S 2 S n together with an associated increasing sequence of natural numbers 0 = a 0 < a 1 < a 2 < < a n < with a n = min S n as follows. Suppose that S n has been defined. For each ε = 0, 1, define Sn ε = {l S n {a n } χ({a n, l}) = ε}. Then we set Sn, 0 if Sn 0 is infinite; S n+1 = Sn, 1 otherwise. Notice that if n < m < l, then a m, a l S n+1 and so χ({a n, a m }) = χ({a n, a l }). Thus there exists ε n 2 such that χ({a n, a m }) = ε n for all m > n. There exists a fixed ε 2 and an infinite E N such that ε n = ε for all n E. Hence X = {a n n E} satisfies our requirements. 1

2 2 SIMON THOMAS Corollary 1.3. Each of the following classes has a finite basis: (i) the class of countably infinite graphs; (ii) the class of countably infinite linear orders; (iii) the class of countably infinite partial orders. Example 1.4. The class of countably infinite groups does not admit a countable basis. Theorem 1.5 (Sierpinski). ω 1, ω1 R. Proof. Suppose that f : ω 1 R is order-preserving. If ran f is bounded above, then it has a least upper bound r R. Hence, since (, r) = R, we can suppose that ran f is unbounded in R. Then for each n N, there exists α n ω 1 such that f(α n ) > n. Hence if α = sup α n ω 1, then f(α) > n for all n N, which is a contradiction. Theorem 1.6 (Sierpinski). There exists an uncountable graph Γ = R, E such that: Γ does not contain an uncountable complete subgraph. Γ does not contain an uncountable null subgraph. Proof. Let be a well-ordering of R and let < be the usual ordering. If r s R, then we define r E s iff r < s r s. Question 1.7. Can you find an explicit well-ordering of R? Question 1.8. Can you find an explicit example of a subset A R such that A = ℵ 1? An Analogue of Church s Thesis. The explicit subsets of R n are precisely the Borel subsets. Definition 1.9. The collection B(R n ) of Borel subsets of R n is the smallest collection such that: (a) If U R n is open, then U B(R n ).

3 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 3 (b) If A B(R n ), then R n A B(R n ). (c) If A n B(R n ) for each n N, then A n B(R n ). In other words, B(R n ) is the σ-algebra generated by the collection of open subsets of R n. Main Theorem If A R is a Borel subset, then either A is countable or else A = R. Definition A binary relation R on R is said to be Borel iff R is a Borel subset of R R. Example The usual order relation on R R = {(x, y) R R x < y} is an open subset of R R. Hence R is a Borel relation. Main Theorem There does not exist a Borel well-ordering of R. 2. Topological Spaces Definition 2.1. If (X, d) is a metric space, then the induced topological space is (X, T ), where T is the topology with open basis B(x, r) = {y X d(x, y) < r} x X, r > 0. In this case, we say that the metric d is compatible with the topology T and we also say that the topology T is metrizable. Definition 2.2. A topological space X is said to be Hausdorff iff for all x y X, there exist disjoint open subsets U, V X such that x U and y V. Remark 2.3. If X is a metrizable space, then X is Hausdorff. Definition 2.4. Let X be a Hausdorff space. If (a n ) n N is a sequence of elements of X and b X, then lim a n = b iff for every open nbhd U of b, we have that a n U for all but finitely many n. Definition 2.5. If X, Y are topological spaces, then the map f : X Y is continuous iff whenever U Y is open, then f 1 (U) X is also open.

4 4 SIMON THOMAS Definition 2.6. Let (X, T ) be a topological space. Then the collection B(T ) of Borel subsets of X is the smallest collection such that: (a) T B(T ). (b) If A B(T ), then X A B(T ). (c) If A n B(T ) for each n N, then A n B(T ). In other words, B(T ) is the σ-algebra generated by T. We sometimes write B(X) instead of B(T ). Example 2.7. Let d be the usual Euclidean metric on R 2 and let (R 2, T ) be the corresponding topological space. Then the New York metric ˆd( x, ȳ) = x 1 y 1 + x 2 y 2 is also compatible with T. Remark 2.8. Let (X, T ) be a metrizable space and let d be a compatible metric. Then ˆd(x, y) = min{d(x, y), 1} is also a compatible metric. Definition 2.9. A metric (X, d) is complete iff every Cauchy sequence converges. Example The usual metric on R n is complete. Hence if C R n is closed, then the metric on C is also complete. Example If X is any set, the discrete metric on X is defined by 0, if x = y; d(x, y) = 1, otherwise. Clearly the discrete metric is complete. Definition Let (X, T ) be a topological space. (a) (X, T ) is separable iff it has a countable dense subset. (b) (X, T ) is a Polish space iff it is separable and there exists a compatible complete metric d.

5 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 5 Example Let 2 N be the set of all infinite binary sequences (a n ) = (a 0, a 1,, a n, ), where each a n = 0, 1. Then we can define a metric on 2 N by d((a n ), (b n )) = n=0 a n b n 2 n+1. The corresponding topological space (2 N, T ) is called the Cantor space. It is easily checked that 2 N is a Polish space. For each finite sequence c = (c 0,, c l ) 2 <N, let U c = {(a n ) 2 N a n = c n for all 0 n l}. Then {U c c 2 <N } is a countable basis of open sets. Remark Let (X, T ) be a separable metrizable space and let d be a compatible metric. If {x n } is a countable dense subset, then B(x n, 1/m) = {y X d(x n, y) < 1/m} n N, 0 < m N, is a countable basis of open sets. Example 2.15 (The Sorgenfrey Line). Let T be the topology on R with basis { [r, s) r < s R }. Then (X, T ) is separable but does not have a countable basis of open sets. Definition If (X 1, d 1 ) and (X 2, d 2 ) are metric spaces, then the product metric on X 1 X 2 is defined by d( x, ȳ) = d 1 (x 1, y 1 ) + d 2 (x 2, y 2 ). The corresponding topology has an open basis {U 1 U 2 U 1 X 1 and U 2 X 2 are open }. Definition For each n N, let (X n, d n ) be a metric space. Then the product metric on n X n is defined by d( x, ȳ) = n=0 1 2 n+1 min{d n(x n, y n ), 1}.

6 6 SIMON THOMAS The corresponding topology has an open basis consisting of sets of the form U 0 U 1 U n, where each U n X n is open and U n = X n for all but finitely many n. Example The Cantor space 2 N is the product of countably many copies of the discrete space 2 = {0, 1}. Theorem If X n, n N, are Polish spaces, then n X n is also Polish. Proof. For example, to see that n X n is separable, let {V n,l l N} be a countable open basis of X n for each n N. Then n X n has a countable open basis consisting of the sets of the form U 0 U 1 U n, where each U n {V n,l l N} {X n } and U n = X n for all but finitely many n. Choosing a point in each such open set, we obtain a countable dense subset. 3. Perfect Polish Spaces Definition 3.1. A topological space X is compact iff whenever X = i I U i is an open cover, there exists a finite subset I 0 I such that X = i I 0 U i. Remark 3.2. If (X, d) is a metric space, then the topological space (X, T ) is compact iff every sequence has a convergent subsequence. Theorem 3.3. The Cantor space is compact. Definition 3.4. If (X, T ) is a topological space and Y X, then the subspace topology on Y is T Y = { Y U U T }. Theorem 3.5. (a) A closed subset of a compact space is compact. (b) Suppose that f : X Y is a continuous map between the topological spaces X, Y. If Z X is compact, then f(z) is also compact. (c) Compact subspaces of Hausdorff spaces are closed. Definition 3.6. Let X be a topological space. (i) The point x is a limit point of X iff {x} is not open. (ii) X is perfect iff all its points are limit points.

7 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 7 (iii) Y X is a perfect subset iff Y is closed and perfect in its subspace topology. Theorem 3.7. If X is a nonempty perfect Polish space, then there is an embedding of the Cantor set 2 N into X. Definition 3.8. A map f : X Y between topological spaces is an embedding iff f induces a homeomorphism between X and f(x). (Here f(x) is given the subspace topology.) Lemma 3.9. A continuous injection f : X Y from a compact space into a Hausdorff space is an embedding. Proof. It is enough to show that if U X is open, then f(u) is open in f(x). Since X U is closed and hence compact, it follows that f(x U) is compact in Y. Since Y is Hausdorff, it follows that f(x U) is closed in Y. Hence f(u) = ( Y f(x U) ) f(x) is an open subset of f(x). Definition A Cantor scheme on a set X is a family (A s ) s 2 <N X such that: of subsets of (i) A sˆ0 A sˆ1 = for all s 2 <N. (ii) A sˆi A s for all s 2 <N and i 2. Proof of Theorem 3.7. Let d be a complete compatible metric on X. We will define a Cantor scheme (U s ) s 2 <N on X such that: (a) U s is a nonempty open ball; (b) diam(u s ) 2 length(s) ; (c) cl(u sˆi ) U s for all s 2 <N and i 2. Then for each ϕ 2 N, we have that U ϕ n = cl(u ϕ n ) is a singleton; say {f(ϕ)}. Clearly the map f : 2 N X is injective and continuous, and hence is an embedding. We define U s by induction on length(s). Let U be an arbitrary nonempty open ball with diam(u ) 1. Given U s, choose x y U s and let U sˆ0, U sˆ1 be sufficiently small open balls around x, y respectively. Definition A point x in a topological space X is a condensation point iff every open nbhd of x is uncountable.

8 8 SIMON THOMAS Theorem 3.12 (Cantor-Bendixson Theorem). If X is a Polish space, then X can be written as X = P C, where P is a perfect subset and C is a countable open subset. Proof. Let P = {x X x is a condensation point of X} and let C = X P. Let {U n } be a countable open basis of X. Then C = {U n U n is countable } and hence C is a countable open subset. To see that P is perfect, let x P and let U be an open nbhd of x in X. Then U is uncountable and hence U P is also uncountable. Corollary Any uncountable Polish space contains a homeomorphic copy of the Cantor set 2 N. 4. Polish subspaces Theorem 4.1. If X is a Polish space and U X is open, then U is a Polish subspace. Proof. Let d be a complete compatible metric on X. Then we can define a metric ˆd on U by ˆd(x, y) = d(x, y) + 1 d(x, X U) 1 d(y, X U). It is easily checked that ˆd is a metric. Since ˆd(x, y) d(x, y), every d-open set is also ˆd-open. Conversely suppose that x U, d(x, X U) = r > 0 and ε > 0. Choose δ > 0 such that if 0 < η δ, then η + r η d(y, X U) r + η and hence and so η r(r η) < ε. If d(x, y) = η < δ, then 1 r 1 r η 1 d(x, X U) 1 d(y, X U) 1 r 1 r + η η r(r η) 1 d(x, X U) 1 d(y, X U) η r(r + η). η Thus ˆd(x, y) η + + r(r η) < ε. Thus the ˆd-ball of radius ε around x contains the d-ball of radius δ and so every ˆd-open set is also d-open. Thus ˆd is compatible with the subspace topology on U and we need only show that ˆd is complete. Suppose that (x n ) is a ˆd-Cauchy sequence. Then (x n ) is also a d-cauchy sequence and so there exists x X such that x n x. In addition, lim 1 i,j d(x i, X U) 1 d(x j, X U) = 0

9 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 9 and so there exists s R such that lim i 1 d(x i, X U) = s. In particular, d(x i, X U) is bounded away from 0 and hence x U. Definition 4.2. A subset Y of a topological space is said to be a G δ -set iff there exist open subsets {V n } such that Y = V n. Example 4.3. Suppose that X is a metrizable space and that d is a compatible metric. If F X is closed, then F = {x X d(x, F ) < 1/n} is a G δ -set. n=1 Corollary 4.4. If X is a Polish space and Y X is a G δ -set, then Y is a Polish subspace. Proof. Let Y = V n, where each V n is open. By Theorem 4.1, each V n is Polish. Let d n be a complete compatible metric on V n such that d n 1. Then we can define a complete compatible metric on Y by 1 ˆd(x, y) = 2 n+1 d n(x, y). n=0 The details are left as an exercise for the reader. Example 4.5. Note that Q R is not a Polish subspace. Theorem 4.6. If X a Polish space and Y X, then Y is a Polish subspace iff Y is a G δ -set. Proof. Suppose that Y is a Polish subspace and let d be a complete compatible metric on Y. Let {U n } be an open basis for X. Then for every y Y and ε > 0, there exists U n such that y U n and diam(y U n ) < ε, where the diameter is computed with respect to d. Let A = {x cl(y ) ( ε > 0) ( n) x U n and diam(y U n ) < ε} = {Un cl(y ) diam(y U n ) < 1/m}. m=1

10 10 SIMON THOMAS Thus A is a G δ -set in cl(y ). Since cl(y ) is a G δ -set in X, it follows that A is a G δ -set in X. Furthermore, we have already seen that Y A. Suppose that x A. Then for each m 1, there exists U nm such that x U nm and diam(y U nm ) < 1/m. Since Y is dense in A, for each m 1, there exists y m Y U n1 U nm. Thus y 1, y 2,... is a d-cauchy sequence which converges to x and so x Y. Thus Y = A is a G δ -set. 5. Changing The Topology Theorem 5.1. Let (X, T ) be a Polish space and let A X be a Borel subset. Then there exists a Polish topology T A T on X such that B(T ) = B(T A ) and A is clopen in (X, T A ). Theorem 5.2 (The Perfect Subset Theorem). Let X be a Polish space and let A X be an uncountable Borel subset. Then A contains a homeomorphic copy of the Cantor set 2 N. Proof. Extend the topology T of X to a Polish topology T A with B(T ) = B(T A ) such that A is clopen in (X, T A ). Equipped with the subspace topology T A relative to (X, T A ), we have that (A, T A ) is an uncountable Polish space. Hence there exists an embedding f : 2 N (A, T A ). Clearly f is also a continuous injection of 2N into (X, T A ) and hence also of 2 N into (X, T ). Since 2 N is compact, it follows that f is an embedding of 2 N into (X, T ). We now begin the proof of Theorem 5.1. Lemma 5.3. Suppose that (X 1, T 1 ) and (X 2, T 2 ) are disjoint Polish spaces. Then the disjoint union (X 1 X 2, T ), where T = {U V U T 1, V T 2 }, is also a Polish space. Proof. Let d 1, d 2 be compatible complete metrics on X 1, X 2 such that d 1, d 2 1. Let ˆd be the metric defined on X 1 X 2 by d 1 (x, y), if x, y X 1 ; ˆd(x, y) = d 2 (x, y), if x, y X 2 ; 2, otherwise. Then ˆd is a complete metric which is compatible with T.

11 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 11 Lemma 5.4. Let (X, T ) be a Polish space and let F X be a closed subset. Let T F be the topology generated by T {F }. Then (X, T F ) is a Polish space, F is clopen in (X, T F ), and B(T ) = B(T F ). Proof. Clearly T F is the topology with open basis T {U F U T } and so T F is the disjoint union of the relative topologies on X F and F. Since F is closed and X F is open, it follows that their relatives topologies are Polish. So the result follows by Lemma 5.3. Lemma 5.5. Let (X, T ) be a Polish space and let (T n ) be a sequence of Polish topologies on X such that T T n B(T ) for each n N. Then the topology T generated by T n is Polish and B(T ) = B(T ). Proof. For each n N, let X n denote the Polish space (X, T n ). Consider the diagonal map ϕ : X X n defined by ϕ(x) = (x, x, x, ). We claim that ϕ(x) is closed in X n. To see this, suppose that (x n ) / ϕ(x); say, x i x j. Then there exist disjoint open sets U, V T T i, T j such that x i U and x j V. Then (x n ) X 0 X i 1 U X i+1 X j 1 V X j+1 X n ϕ(x). In particular, ϕ(x) is a Polish subspace of X n ; and it is easily checked that ϕ is a homeomorphism between (X, T ) and ϕ(x). Proof of Theorem 5.1. Consider the class S = {A B(T ) A satisfies the conclusion of Theorem 5.1 }. It is enough to show that S is a σ-algebra such that T S. Clearly S is closed under taking complements. In particular, Lemma 5.4 implies that T S. Finally suppose that {A n } S. For each n N, let T n be a Polish topology which witnesses that A n S and let T be the Polish topology generated by T n. Then A = A n is open in T. Applying Lemma 5.4 once again, there exists a Polish topology T A T such that B(T A ) = B(T ) = B(T ) and A is clopen in (X, T A ). Thus A S. 6. The Borel Isomorphism Theorem Definition 6.1. If (X, T ) is a topological space, then the corresponding Borel space is (X, B(T )).

12 12 SIMON THOMAS Theorem 6.2. If (X, T ) and (Y, S) are uncountable Polish spaces, then the corresponding Borel spaces (X, B(T )) and (Y, B(S)) are isomorphic. Definition 6.3. Let (X, T ) and (Y, S) be topological spaces and let f : X Y. (a) f is a Borel map iff f 1 (A) B(T ) for all A B(S). (b) f is a Borel isomorphism iff f is a Borel bijection such that f 1 is also a Borel map. Definition 6.4. Let (X, T ) be a topological space and let Y X. Then the Borel subspace structure on Y is defined to be B(T ) Y = { A Y A B(T ) }. Equivalently, we have that B(T ) Y = B(T Y ). Theorem 6.5 (The Borel Schröder-Bernstein Theorem). Suppose that X, Y are Polish spaces, that f : X Y is a Borel isomorphism between X and f(x) and that g : Y X is a Borel isomorphism between Y and g(y ). Then there exists a Borel isomorphism h : X Y. Proof. We follow the standard proof of the Schröder-Bernstein Theorem, checking that all of the sets and functions involved are Borel. Define inductively X 0 = X X n+1 = g(f(x n )) Y 0 = Y Y n+1 = f(g(y n )) Then an easy induction shows that X n, Y n, f(x n ) and g(y n ) are Borel for each n N. Hence X = X n and Y = Y n are also Borel. Furthermore, we have that f(x n g(y n )) = f(x n ) Y n+1 g(y n f(x n )) = g(y n ) X n+1 f(x ) = Y Finally define A = X (X n g(y n )) n B = (Y n f(x n )) n

13 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 13 Then A, B are Borel, f(a) = Y B and g(b) = X A. Thus we can define a Borel bijection h : X Y by f(x), if x A; h(x) = g 1 (x) otherwise. Definition 6.6. A Hausdorff topological space X is zero-dimensional iff X has a basis consisting of clopen sets. Theorem 6.7. Every zero-dimensional Polish space X can be embedded in the Cantor set 2 N. Proof. Fix a countable basis {U n } of clopen sets and define f : X 2 N by f(x) = ( χ U0 (x),, χ Un (x), ), where χ Un : X n 2 is the characteristic function of U n. Since the characteristic function of a clopen set is continuous, it follows that f is continuous; and since {U n } is a basis, it follows that f is an injection. Also f(u n ) = f(x) {ϕ 2 N ϕ(n) = 1} is open in f(x). Hence f is an embedding. Thus Theorem 6.2 is an immediate consequence of Theorem 6.5, Corollary 3.13 and the following result. Theorem 6.8. Let (X, T ) be a Polish space. Then there exists a Borel isomorphism f : X 2 N between X and f(x). Proof. Let {U n } be a countable basis of open sets of (X, T ) and let F n = X U n. By Lemma 5.4, for each n N, the topology generated by T {F n } is Polish. Hence, by Lemma 5.5, the topology T generated by T {F n n N} is Polish. Clearly the sets of the form U n F m1 F mt form a clopen basis of (X, T ). Hence, applying Theorem 6.7, there exists an embedding f : (X, T ) 2 N. Clearly f : (X, T ) 2 N is a Borel isomorphism between X and f(x).

14 14 SIMON THOMAS 7. The nonexistence of a well-ordering of R Theorem 7.1. There does not exists a Borel well-ordering of 2 N. Corollary 7.2. There does not exists a Borel well-ordering of R. Proof. An immediate consequence of Theorems 7.1 and 6.2. Definition 7.3. The Vitali equivalence relation E 0 on 2 N is defined by: (a n ) E 0 (b n ) iff there exists m such that a n = b n for all n m. Definition 7.4. If E is an equivalence relation on X, then an E-transversal is a subset T X which intersects every E-class in a unique point. Theorem 7.5. There does not admit a Borel E 0 -transversal. Let C 2 = {0, 1} be the cyclic group of order 2. Then we can regard 2 N = n C 2 as a direct product of countably many copies of C 2. Define Γ = n C 2 = {(a n ) n C 2 a n = 0 for all but finitely many n}. Then Γ is a subgroup of n C 2 and clearly (a n ) E 0 (b n ) iff ( γ Γ) γ (a n ) = (b n ). Definition 7.6. A probability measure µ on an algebra B P(X) of sets is a function µ : F [0, 1] such that: (i) µ( ) = 0 and µ(x) = 1. (ii) If A n B, n N, are pairwise disjoint and A n B, then µ( A n ) = µ(a n ). Example 7.7. Let B 0 2 N consist of the clopen sets of the form A F = {(a n ) (a 0,, a m 1 ) F}, where F 2 m for some m N. Then µ(a F ) = F /2 m is a probability measure on B 0. Furthermore, it is easily checked that µ is Γ-invariant in the sense that µ(γ A F ) = µ(a F ) for all γ Γ. Theorem 7.8. µ extends to a Γ-invariant probability measure on B(2 N ).

15 BOREL SETS, WELL-ORDERINGS OF R AND THE CONTINUUM HYPOTHESIS 15 Sketch Proof. First we extend µ to arbitrary open sets U by defining µ(u) = sup{µ(a) A B 0 and A U}. Then we define an outer measure µ on P(2 N ) by setting µ (Z) = inf{µ(u) U open and Z U}. Unfortunately there is no reason to suppose that µ is countably additive; and so we should restrict µ to a suitable subcollection of P(2 N ). A minimal requirement for Z to be a member of this subcollection is that ( ) µ (Z) + µ (2 N Z) = 1; and it turns out that: (i) µ is countably additive on the collection B of sets satisfying condition ( ). (ii) B is a σ-algebra contain the open subsets of 2 N. (iii) If U B is open, then µ (U) = µ(u). Clearly µ is Γ-invariant and hence the probability measure µ B(2 N ) satisfies our requirements. Remark 7.9. In order to make the proof go through, it turns out to be necessary to define B to consist of the sets Z which satisfy the apparently stronger condition that ( ) µ (E Z) + µ (E Z) = µ (E) for every E 2 N. Proof of Theorem 7.5. If T is a Borel tranversal, then T is µ-measurable. Since 2 N = γ Γ γ T, it follows that 1 = µ(2 N ) = γ Γ µ(γ T ). But this is impossible, since µ(γ T ) = µ(t ) for all γ Γ. We are now ready to present the proof of Theorem 7.1. Suppose that R 2 N 2 N is a Borel well-ordering of 2 N and let E 0 be the Vitali equivalence relation on 2 N. Applying Theorem 7.5, the following claim gives the desired contradiction.

16 16 SIMON THOMAS Claim T = { x 2 N x is the R-least element of [x] E0 } is a Borel E 0 - transversal. Proof of Claim Clearly T is an E 0 -transversal and so it is enough to check that T is Borel. If γ Γ, then the map x γ x is a homeomorphism and it follows easily that is a closed subset of 2 N 2 N. Hence M γ = {(x, γ x) x 2 N } L γ = {(x, γ x) x R γ x} = M γ R is a Borel subset of 2 N 2 N. Let f γ : 2 N 2 N 2 N be the continuous map defined by f γ (x) = (x, γ x). Then T γ = {x 2 N x R γ x} = f 1 γ (L γ ) is a Borel subset of 2 N and hence T = γ 0 T γ is also Borel.

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