Cp(X) is countably tight when X is compact

Let $X$ be a completely regular space (also called Tychonoff space). If $X$ is a compact space, what can we say about the function space $C_p(X)$, the space of all continuous real-valued functions with the pointwise convergence topology? When $X$ is an uncountable space, $C_p(X)$ is not first countable at every point. This follows from the fact that $C_p(X)$ is a dense subspace of the product space $\mathbb{R}^X$ and that no dense subspace of $\mathbb{R}^X$ can be first countable when $X$ is uncountable. However, when $X$ is compact, $C_p(X)$ does have a convergence property, namely $C_p(X)$ is countably tight.

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Tightness

Let $X$ be a completely regular space. The tightness of $X$, denoted by $t(X)$, is the least infinite cardinal $\kappa$ such that for any $A \subset X$ and for any $x \in X$ with $x \in \overline{A}$, there exists $B \subset A$ for which $\lvert B \lvert \le \kappa$ and $x \in \overline{B}$. When $t(X)=\omega$, we say that $Y$ has countable tightness or is countably tight. When $t(X)>\omega$, we say that $X$ has uncountable tightness or is uncountably tight. Clearly any first countable space is countably tight. There are other convergence properties in between first countability and countable tightness, e.g., the Frechet-Urysohn property. The notion of countable tightness and tightness in general is discussed in further details here.

The fact that $C_p(X)$ is countably tight for any compact $X$ follows from the following theorem.

Theorem 1
Let $X$ be a completely regular space. Then the function space $C_p(X)$ is countably tight if and only if $X^n$ is Lindelof for each $n=1,2,3,\cdots$.

Theorem 1 is the countable case of Theorem I.4.1 on page 33 of [1]. We prove one direction of Theorem 1, the direction that will give us the desired result for $C_p(X)$ where $X$ is compact.

Proof of Theorem 1
The direction $\Longleftarrow$
Suppose that $X^n$ is Lindelof for each positive integer. Let $f \in C_p(X)$ and $f \in \overline{H}$ where $H \subset C_p(X)$. For each positive integer $n$, we define an open cover $\mathcal{U}_n$ of $X^n$.

Let $n$ be a positive integer. Let $t=(x_1,\cdots,x_n) \in X^n$. Since $f \in \overline{H}$, there is an $h_t \in H$ such that $\lvert h_t(x_j)-f(x_j) \lvert <\frac{1}{n}$ for all $j=1,\cdots,n$. Because both $h_t$ and $f$ are continuous, for each $j=1,\cdots,n$, there is an open set $W(x_j) \subset X$ with $x_j \in W(x_j)$ such that $\lvert h_t(y)-f(y) \lvert < \frac{1}{n}$ for all $y \in W(x_j)$. Let the open set $U_t$ be defined by $U_t=W(x_1) \times W(x_2) \times \cdots \times W(x_n)$. Let $\mathcal{U}_n=\left\{U_t: t=(x_1,\cdots,x_n) \in X^n \right\}$.

For each $n$, choose $\mathcal{V}_n \subset \mathcal{U}_n$ be countable such that $\mathcal{V}_n$ is a cover of $X^n$. Let $K_n=\left\{h_t: t \in X^n \text{ such that } U_t \in \mathcal{V}_n \right\}$. Let $K=\bigcup_{n=1}^\infty K_n$. Note that $K$ is countable and $K \subset H$.

We now show that $f \in \overline{K}$. Choose an arbitrary positive integer $n$. Choose arbitrary points $y_1,y_2,\cdots,y_n \in X$. Consider the open set $U$ defined by

$U=\left\{g \in C_p(X): \forall \ j=1,\cdots,n, \lvert g(y_j)-f(y_j) \lvert <\frac{1}{n} \right\}$.

We wish to show that $U \cap K \ne \varnothing$. Choose $U_t \in \mathcal{V}_n$ such that $(y_1,\cdots,y_n) \in U_t$ where $t=(x_1,\cdots,x_n) \in X^n$. Consider the function $h_t$ that goes with $t$. It is clear from the way $h_t$ is chosen that $\lvert h_t(y_j)-f(x_j) \lvert<\frac{1}{n}$ for all $j=1,\cdots,n$. Thus $h_t \in K_n \cap U$, leading to the conclusion that $f \in \overline{K}$. The proof that $C_p(X)$ is countably tight is completed.

The direction $\Longrightarrow$
See Theorem I.4.1 of [1].

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Remarks

As shown above, countably tightness is one convergence property of $C_p(X)$ that is guaranteed when $X$ is compact. In general, it is difficult for $C_p(X)$ to have stronger convergence properties such as the Frechet-Urysohn property. It is well known $C_p(\omega_1+1)$ is Frechet-Urysohn. According to Theorem II.1.2 in [1], for any compact space $X$, $C_p(X)$ is a Frechet-Urysohn space if and only if the compact space $X$ is a scattered space.

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Reference

1. Arkhangelskii, A. V., Topological Function Spaces, Mathematics and Its Applications Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1992.

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$\copyright \ 2014 - 2015 \text{ by Dan Ma}$