Normal x compact needs not be subnormal

In this post, we revisit a counterexample that was discussed previously in this blog. A previous post called “Normal x compact needs not be normal” shows that the Tychonoff product of two normal spaces needs not be normal even when one of the factors is compact. The example is \omega_1 \times (\omega_1+1). In this post, we show that \omega_1 \times (\omega_1+1) fails even to be subnormal. Both \omega_1 and \omega_1+1 are spaces of ordinals. Thus they are completely normal (equivalent to hereditarily normal). The second factor is also a compact space. Yet their product is not only not normal; it is not even subnormal.

A subset M of a space Y is a G_\delta subset of Y (or a G_\delta-set in Y) if M is the intersection of countably many open subsets of Y. A subset M of a space Y is a F_\sigma subset of Y (or a F_\sigma-set in Y) if Y-M is a G_\delta-set in Y (equivalently if M is the union of countably many closed subsets of Y).

A space Y is normal if for any disjoint closed subsets H and K of Y, there exist disjoint open subsets U_H and U_K of Y such that H \subset U_H and K \subset U_K. A space Y is subnormal if for any disjoint closed subsets H and K of Y, there exist disjoint G_\delta subsets V_H and V_K of Y such that H \subset V_H and K \subset V_K. Clearly any normal space is subnormal.

A space Y is pseudonormal if for any disjoint closed subsets H and K of Y (one of which is countable), there exist disjoint open subsets U_H and U_K of Y such that H \subset U_H and K \subset U_K. The space \omega_1 \times (\omega_1+1) is pseudonormal (see this previous post). The Sorgenfrey plane is an example of a subnormal space that is not pseudonormal (see here). Thus the two weak forms of normality (pseudonormal and subnormal) are not equivalent.

The same two disjoint closed sets that prove the non-normality of \omega_1 \times (\omega_1+1) are also used for proving non-subnormality. The two closed sets are:

    H=\left\{(\alpha,\alpha): \alpha<\omega_1 \right\}

    K=\left\{(\alpha,\omega_1): \alpha<\omega_1 \right\}

The key tool, as in the proof for non-normality, is the Pressing Down Lemma ([1]). The lemma has been used in a few places in this blog, especially for proving facts about \omega_1 (e.g. this previous post on the first uncountable ordinal). Lemma 1 below is a lemma that is derived from the Pressing Down Lemma.

Pressing Down Lemma
Let S be a stationary subset of \omega_1. Let f:S \rightarrow \omega_1 be a pressing down function, i.e., f satisfies: \forall \ \alpha \in S, f(\alpha)<\alpha. Then there exists \alpha<\omega_1 such that f^{-1}(\alpha) is a stationary set.

Lemma 1
Let L=\left\{(\alpha,\alpha) \in \omega_1 \times \omega_1: \alpha \text{ is a limit ordinal} \right\}. Suppose that L \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty O_n where each O_n is an open subset of \omega_1 \times \omega_1. Then [\gamma,\omega_1) \times [\gamma,\omega_1) \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty O_n for some \gamma<\omega_1.

Proof of Lemma 1
For each n and for each \alpha<\omega_1 where \alpha is a limit, choose g_n(\alpha)<\alpha such that [g_n(\alpha),\alpha] \times [g_n(\alpha),\alpha] \subset O_n. The function g_n can be chosen since O_n is open in the product \omega_1 \times \omega_1. By the Pressing Down Lemma, for each n, there exists \gamma_n < \omega_1 and there exists a stationary set S_n \subset \omega_1 such that g_n(\alpha)=\gamma_n for all \alpha \in S_n. It follows that [\gamma_n,\omega_1) \times [\gamma_n,\omega_1) \subset O_n for each n. Choose \gamma<\omega_1 such that \gamma_n<\gamma for all n. Then [\gamma,\omega_1) \times [\gamma,\omega_1) \subset O_n for each n. \blacksquare

Theorem 2
The product space \omega_1 \times (\omega_1+1) is not subnormal.

Proof of Theorem 2
Let H and K be defined as above. Suppose H \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty U_n and K \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty V_n where each U_n and each V_n are open in \omega_1 \times (\omega_1+1). Without loss of generality, we can assume that U_n \cap (\omega_1 \times \left\{\omega_1 \right\})=\varnothing, i.e., U_n is open in \omega_1 \times \omega_1 for each n. By Lemma 1, [\gamma,\omega_1) \times [\gamma,\omega_1) \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty U_n for some \gamma<\omega_1.

Choose \beta>\gamma such that \beta is a successor ordinal. Note that (\beta,\omega_1) \in \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty V_n. For each n, there exists some \delta_n<\omega_1 such that \left\{\beta \right\} \times [\delta_n,\omega_1] \subset V_n. Choose \delta<\omega_1 such that \delta >\delta_n for all n and that \delta >\gamma. Note that \left\{\beta \right\} \times [\delta,\omega_1) \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty V_n. It follows that \left\{\beta \right\} \times [\delta,\omega_1) \subset [\gamma,\omega_1) \times [\gamma,\omega_1) \subset \bigcap_{n=1}^\infty U_n. Thus there are no disjoint G_\delta sets separating H and K. \blacksquare



  1. Kunen, K., Set Theory, An Introduction to Independence Proofs, First Edition, North-Holland, New York, 1980.


\copyright \ 2014 \text{ by Dan Ma}


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