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.

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$C_p(X)$ 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.

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$\copyright \ 2014 \text{ by Dan Ma}$