The Contact Algebra of the Euclidean Plane has Infinitely Many Elements


Abstract. Let REL(O*E) be the relation algebra of binary relations defined on the Boolean algebra O*E of regular open regions of the Euclidean plane E. The aim of this paper is to prove that the canonical contact relation C of O*E generates a subalgebra REL(O*E, C) of REL(O*E) that has infinitely many elements. More precisely, REL(O*,C) contains an infinite family {SPPn, n ≥ 1} of relations generated by the relation SPP (Separable Proper Part). This relation can be used to define point-free concept of connectedness that for the regular open regions of E coincides with the standard topological notion of connectedness, i.e., a region of the plane E is connected in the sense of topology if and only if it has no separable proper part. Moreover, it is shown that the contact relation algebra REL(O*E, C) and the relation algebra REL(O*E, NTPP) generated by the non-tangential proper parthood relation NTPP, coincide. This entails that the allegedly purely topological notion of connectedness can be defined in mereological terms.

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Thomas Mormann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München (PhD)


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