A useful embedding for Cp(X)

Let X be a Tychonoff space (also called completely regular space). By C_p(X) we mean the space of all continuous real-valued functions defined on X endowed with the pointwise convergence topology. In this post we discuss a scenario in which a function space can be embedded into another function space. We prove the following theorem. An example follows the proof.

Theorem 1
Suppose that the space Y is a continuous image of the space X. Then C_p(Y) can be embedded into C_p(X).

Proof of Theorem 1
Let t:X \rightarrow Y be a continuous surjection, i.e., t is a continuous function from X onto Y. Define the map \psi: C_p(Y) \rightarrow C_p(X) by \psi(f)=f \circ t for all f \in C_p(Y). We show that \psi is a homeomorphism from C_p(Y) into C_p(X).

First we show \psi is a one-to-one map. Let f,g \in C_p(Y) with f \ne g. There exists some y \in Y such that f(y) \ne g(y). Choose some x \in X such that t(x)=y. Then f \circ t \ne g \circ t since (f \circ t)(x)=f(t(x))=f(y) and (g \circ t)(x)=g(t(x))=g(y).

Next we show that \psi is continuous. Let f \in C_p(Y). Let U be open in C_p(X) with \psi(f) \in U such that

    U=\left\{q \in C_p(X): \forall \ i=1,\cdots,n, \ q(x_i) \in U_i \right\}

where x_1,\cdots,x_n are arbitrary points of X and each U_i is an open interval of the real line \mathbb{R}. Note that for each i, f(t(x_i)) \in U_i. Now consider the open set V defined by:

    V=\left\{r \in C_p(Y): \forall \ i=1,\cdots,n, \ r(t(x_i)) \in U_i \right\}

Clearly f \in V. It follows that \psi(V) \subset U since for each r \in V, it is clear that \psi(r)=r \circ t \in U.

Now we show that \psi^{-1}: \psi(C_p(Y)) \rightarrow C_p(Y) is continuous. Let \psi(f)=f \circ t \in \psi(C_p(Y)) where f \in C_p(Y). Let G be open with \psi^{-1}(f \circ t)=f \in G such that

    G=\left\{r \in C_p(Y): \forall \ i=1,\cdots,m, \ r(y_i) \in G_i \right\}

where y_1,\cdots,y_m are arbitrary points of Y and each G_i is an open interval of \mathbb{R}. Choose x_1,\cdots,x_m \in X such that t(x_i)=y_i for each i. We have f(t(x_i)) \in G_i for each i. Define the open set H by:

    H=\left\{q \in \psi(C_p(Y)) \subset C_p(X): \forall \ i=1,\cdots,m, \ q(x_i) \in G_i \right\}

Clearly f \circ t \in H. Note that \psi^{-1}(H) \subset G. To see this, let r \circ t \in H where r \in C_p(Y). Now r(t(x_i))=r(y_i) \in G_i for each i. Thus \psi^{-1}(r \circ t)=r \in G. It follows that \psi^{-1} is continuous. The proof of the theorem is now complete. \blacksquare



The proof of Theorem 1 is not difficult. It is a matter of notating carefully the open sets in both function spaces. However, the embedding makes it easy in some cases to understand certain function spaces and in some cases to relate certain function spaces.

Let \omega_1 be the first uncountable ordinal, and let \omega_1+1 be the successor ordinal to \omega_1. Furthermore consider these ordinals as topological spaces endowed with the order topology. As an application of Theorem 1, we show that C_p(\omega_1+1) can be embedded as a subspace of C_p(\omega_1). Define a continuous surjection g:\omega_1 \rightarrow \omega_1+1 as follows:

    g(\gamma) = \begin{cases} \omega_1 & \mbox{if } \ \gamma =0 \\ \gamma-1 & \mbox{if } \ 1 \le \gamma < \omega \\ \gamma & \mbox{if } \ \omega \le \gamma < \omega_1  \end{cases}

The map g is continuous from \omega_1 onto \omega_1+1. By Theorem 1, C_p(\omega_1+1) can be embedded as a subspace of C_p(\omega_1). On the other hand, C_p(\omega_1) cannot be embedded in C_p(\omega_1+1). The function space C_p(\omega_1+1) is a Frechet-Urysohn space, which is a property that is carried over to any subspace. The function C_p(\omega_1) is not Frechet-Urysohn. Thus C_p(\omega_1) cannot be embedded in C_p(\omega_1+1). A further comparison of these two function spaces is found in this subsequent post.

\copyright \ 2014 \text{ by Dan Ma}


1 thought on “A useful embedding for Cp(X)

  1. Pingback: Drawing more Sorgenfrey continuous functions | Dan Ma's Topology Blog

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