# 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.

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Tightness

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 $C_p(\omega_1+1)$.

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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.

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Normality

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.

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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.

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Remark

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.

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Reference

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.

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