Cp(X) where X is a separable metric space

Let \tau be an uncountable cardinal. Let \prod_{\alpha < \tau} \mathbb{R}=\mathbb{R}^{\tau} be the Cartesian product of \tau many copies of the real line. This product space is not normal since it contains \prod_{\alpha \in \omega_1} \omega=\omega^{\omega_1} as a closed subspace. However, there are dense subspaces of \mathbb{R}^{\tau} are normal. For example, the \Sigma-product of \tau copies of the real line is normal, i.e., the subspace of \mathbb{R}^{\tau} consisting of points which have at most countably many non-zero coordinates (see this post). In this post, we look for more normal spaces among the subspaces of \mathbb{R}^{\tau} that are function spaces. In particular, we look at spaces of continuous real-valued functions defined on a separable metrizable space, i.e., the function space C_p(X) where X is a separable metrizable space.

For definitions of basic open sets and other background information on the function space C_p(X), see this previous post.


C_p(X) when X is a separable metric space

In the remainder of the post, X denotes a separable metrizable space. Then, C_p(X) is more than normal. The function space C_p(X) has the following properties:

  • normal,
  • Lindelof (hence paracompact and collectionwise normal),
  • hereditarily Lindelof (hence hereditarily normal),
  • hereditarily separable,
  • perfectly normal.

All such properties stem from the fact that C_p(X) has a countable network whenever X is a separable metrizable space.

Let L be a topological space. A collection \mathcal{N} of subsets of L is said to be a network for L if for each x \in L and for each open O \subset L with x \in O, there exists some A \in \mathcal{N} such that x \in A \subset O. A countable network is a network that has only countably many elements. The property of having a countable network is a very strong property, e.g., having all the properties listed above. For a basic discussion of this property, see this previous post and this previous post.

To define a countable network for C_p(X), let \mathcal{B} be a countable base for the domain space X. For each B \subset \mathcal{B} and for any open interval (a,b) in the real line with rational endpoints, consider the following set:

    [B,(a,b)]=\left\{f \in C(X): f(B) \subset (a,b) \right\}

There are only countably many sets of the form [B,(a,b)]. Let \mathcal{N} be the collection of sets, each of which is the intersection of finitely many sets of the form [B,(a,b)]. Then \mathcal{N} is a network for the function space C_p(X). To see this, let f \in O where O=\bigcap_{x \in F} [x,O_x] is a basic open set in C_p(X) where F \subset X is finite and each O_x is an open interval with rational endpoints. For each point x \in F, choose B_x \in \mathcal{B} with x \in B_x such that f(B_x) \subset O_x. Clearly f \in \bigcap_{x \in F} \ [B_x,O_x]. It follows that \bigcap_{x \in F} \ [B_x,O_x] \subset O.

Examples include C_p(\mathbb{R}), C_p([0,1]) and C_p(\mathbb{R}^\omega). All three can be considered subspaces of the product space \mathbb{R}^c where c is the cardinality of the continuum. This is true for any separable metrizable X. Note that any separable metrizable X can be embedded in the product space \mathbb{R}^\omega. The product space \mathbb{R}^\omega has cardinality c. Thus the cardinality of any separable metrizable space X is at most continuum. So C_p(X) is the subspace of a product space of \le continuum many copies of the real lines, hence can be regarded as a subspace of \mathbb{R}^c.

A space L has countable extent if every closed and discrete subset of L is countable. The \Sigma-product \Sigma_{\alpha \in A} X_\alpha of the separable metric spaces \left\{X_\alpha: \alpha \in A \right\} is a dense and normal subspace of the product space \prod_{\alpha \in A} X_\alpha. The normal space \Sigma_{\alpha \in A} X_\alpha has countable extent (hence collectionwise normal). The examples of C_p(X) discussed here are Lindelof and hence have countable extent. Many, though not all, dense normal subspaces of products of separable metric spaces have countable extent. For a dense normal subspace of a product of separable metric spaces, one interesting problem is to find out whether it has countable extent.


\copyright \ 2014 \text{ by Dan Ma}


One thought on “Cp(X) where X is a separable metric space

  1. Pingback: Continuous functions on the Sorgenfrey line | Dan Ma's Topology Blog

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