# Thread: Topological characterization of Continuity

1. ## Topological characterization of Continuity

" $g$ is continuous if and only if $g^{-1}(A)$ is open whenever $A\in{\mathbb{R}}$ is an open set."

When is it best to use this definition and what would the steps be to use it?

I was thinking the implication "if $g^{-1}(A)$ is open whenever $A\in{\mathbb{R}}$ is an open set, then $g$ is continuous," might be helpful for counter examples.

For example,

suppose $f:{\mathbb{R}}\rightarrow\\A\in{\mathbb{R}}$ and $f(x)=[[x]]$ (floor function).

Do I have $f^{-1}(V_{\epsilon}(f(c)))$ produceds an open set (where $V_{\epsilon}(f(c))$ is a $\epsilon$-neighborhood centered at some limit point c of the domain of $f$)?

Could I use it to show $f(x)=1/x$ is not coninuous at zero?

I can't find many examples of this characterization of countinuity, so I am finding it hard to work with. I would like to know how to use it for practical continuity problems, as in, showing a particular function is continuous on some interval.

Thanks

2. Originally Posted by Danneedshelp
Could I use it to show $f(x)=1/x$ is not coninuous at zero?
That is because if $\phi:X\mapsto Y$ is to be continuos as $x=x_0$ then $x_0\in X$. So.....

3. Notice an important distinction between this definition of "continuous" and the one from Calculus I: in Calculus I we define "continuous at a point" and then say that a function is continuous "on a set" if and only if it is continous at each point of that set. Here, we are defining "continuous" on the entire space. There is no way to talk about a function that is "continous" at some points in the space and not at others.