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Math Help - Open Sets in the Product Toplogy

  1. #1
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    Open Sets in the Product Toplogy

    I have a problem that is two fold. First, I am not comfortable with the notation that my textbook uses. I am familiar with another notation of product space (from say Munkres which I read on my own first). Secondly, I am not really comfortable wit the product toplogy. I can get away most of the time, i.e., when the products are finite and hence equal to the box topology but when I must use the product topology I get a headache :-) So I am hoping that maybe somebody here could help me.

    First off here, is the begining of the problem I am trying to solve:

    Let \mathcal{K} be a set of continuous functions from (X, \tau) into [0,1].

    Define K : X \to [0,1]^\mathcal{K} by K(x)(f) = f(x).

    I then translated it into what I think is right in notation that I am familiar with. Here it is:

    Consider \{ f_\alpha \}_{\alpha \in J}, an indexed set of continuous functions f_\alpha : X \to [0,1] and define f : X \to [0,1]^J by f(x) = (f_\alpha(x))_{\alpha \in J}.

    Assuming that is right, my next problem is to show that K or in my notation f is continuous. But what are the open sets in [0,1]^J. I think they are \pi^{-1}_\alpha(U) where U is open in [0,1]? Are these open sets functions? I understand that the "points" in [0,1]^J are functions (i.e. the f_\alpha's), but what are the open sets. Are they an uncountable number of continuous functions. Let me stop here before I start sounding really dumb.

    Thanks for the help.
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  2. #2
    Super Member Rebesques's Avatar
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    If I understand what you are saying, you just pick open sets A_j\subset [0,1] and show that the set f^{-1}(\times_j A_j) is open in X.

    To this end, notice that f^{-1} (\times_j A_j)=\cup_j f_j^{-1} (A_j) and that the f_j are continuous.
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  3. #3
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    The way to get your head round the product topology is to remember that a neighbourhood of a point can only control finitely many of the coordinates of that point.

    But before you can consider neighbourhoods, you have to be clear about what a point in the product space looks like. A point z in [0,1]^{\mathcal{K}} is a collection of coordinates z=(z_f)_{f\in\mathcal{K}} indexed by the functions in \mathcal{K} (where z_f\in[0,1] for each coordinate z_f).

    A typical neighbourhood of z in the product topology is the set N(z) consisting of all elements w=(w_f)\in [0,1]^{\mathcal{K}} which differ from z by less than ε at a finite number of coordinates, say the coordinates f_1,\:f_2,\,\ldots,f_n. Thus N(z) = \{w\in [0,1]^{\mathcal{K}} : |w_{f_j} - z_{f_j}|< \varepsilon\;(1\leqslant j\leqslant n)\}.

    Now we can start to look at the map K:X\to [0,1]^{\mathcal{K}}, which is defined by (K(x))_f = f(x). The condition for K(y) to lie in the neighbourhood N(K(x)) is |(K(y))_{f_j} - (K(x))_{f_j}|<\varepsilon for 1≤j≤n, or in other words |f_j(y)-f_j(x)|<\varepsilon. To prove that K is continuous, we have to show that this condition will hold whenever y is close enough to x in the space X. But since the condition only involves finitely many functions f_j\in\mathcal{K}, and these functions are all continuous, it should be easy enough to see that this can be done.
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