Comparing two 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. It is a well known fact that any continuous real-valued function f defined on either \omega_1 or \omega_1+1 is eventually constant, i.e., there exists some \alpha<\omega_1 such that the function f is constant on the ordinals beyond \alpha. Now consider the function spaces C_p(\omega_1) and C_p(\omega_1+1). Thus individually, elements of these two function spaces appear identical. Any f \in C_p(\omega_1) matches a function f^* \in C_p(\omega_1+1) where f^* is the result of adding the point (\omega_1,a) to f where a is the eventual constant real value of f. This fact may give the impression that the function spaces C_p(\omega_1) and C_p(\omega_1+1) are identical topologically. The goal in this post is to demonstrate that this is not the case. We compare the two function spaces with respect to some convergence properties (countably tightness and Frechet-Urysohn property) as well as normality.



One topological property that is different between C_p(\omega_1) and C_p(\omega_1+1) is that of tightness. The function space C_p(\omega_1+1) is countably tight, while C_p(\omega_1) is not countably tight.

Let X be a 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 X has countable tightness or is countably tight. When t(X)>\omega, we say that X has uncountable tightness or is uncountably tight.

First, we show that the tightness of C_p(\omega_1) is greater than \omega. For each \alpha<\omega_1, define f_\alpha: \omega_1 \rightarrow \left\{0,1 \right\} such that f_\alpha(\beta)=0 for all \beta \le \alpha and f_\alpha(\beta)=1 for all \beta>\alpha. Let g \in C_p(\omega_1) be the function that is identically zero. Then g \in \overline{F} where F is defined by F=\left\{f_\alpha: \alpha<\omega_1 \right\}. It is clear that for any countable B \subset F, g \notin \overline{B}. Thus C_p(\omega_1) cannot be countably tight.

The space \omega_1+1 is a compact space. The fact that C_p(\omega_1+1) is countably tight 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 a special case of Theorem I.4.1 on page 33 of [1] (the countable case). One direction of Theorem 1 is proved in this previous post, the direction that will give us the desired result for C_p(\omega_1+1).


The Frechet-Urysohn property

In fact, C_p(\omega_1+1) has a property that is stronger than countable tightness. The function space C_p(\omega_1+1) is a Frechet-Urysohn space (see this previous post). Of course, C_p(\omega_1) not being countably tight means that it is not a Frechet-Urysohn space.



The function space C_p(\omega_1+1) is not normal. If C_p(\omega_1+1) is normal, then C_p(\omega_1+1) would have countable extent. However, there exists an uncountable closed and discrete subset of C_p(\omega_1+1) (see this previous post). On the other hand, C_p(\omega_1) is Lindelof. The fact that C_p(\omega_1) is Lindelof is highly non-trivial and follows from [2]. The author in [2] showed that if X is a space consisting of ordinals such that X is first countable and countably compact, then C_p(X) is Lindelof.


Embedding one function space into the other

The two function space C_p(\omega_1+1) and C_p(\omega_1) are very different topologically. However, one of them can be embedded into the other one. The space \omega_1+1 is the continuous image of \omega_1. Let g: \omega_1 \longrightarrow \omega_1+1 be a continuous surjection. Define a map \psi: C_p(\omega_1+1) \longrightarrow C_p(\omega_1) by letting \psi(f)=f \circ g. It is shown in this previous post that \psi is a homeomorphism. Thus C_p(\omega_1+1) is homeomorphic to the image \psi(C_p(\omega_1+1)) in C_p(\omega_1). The map g is also defined in this previous post.

The homeomposhism \psi tells us that the function space C_p(\omega_1), though Lindelof, is not hereditarily normal.

On the other hand, the function space C_p(\omega_1) cannot be embedded in C_p(\omega_1+1). Note that C_p(\omega_1+1) is countably tight, which is a hereditary property.



There is a mapping that is alluded to at the beginning of the post. Each f \in C_p(\omega_1) is associated with f^* \in C_p(\omega_1+1) which is obtained by appending the point (\omega_1,a) to f where a is the eventual constant real value of f. It may be tempting to think of the mapping f \rightarrow f^* as a candidate for a homeomorphism between the two function spaces. The discussion in this post shows that this particular map is not a homeomorphism. In fact, no other one-to-one map from one of these function spaces onto the other function space can be a homeomorphism.



  1. Arkhangelskii, A. V., Topological Function Spaces, Mathematics and Its Applications Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1992.
  2. Buzyakova, R. Z., In search of Lindelof C_p‘s, Comment. Math. Univ. Carolinae, 45 (1), 145-151, 2004.

\copyright \ 2014 \text{ by Dan Ma}


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