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Is there a simple method to prove that the square of the Sorgenfrey line is not normal?

The method in the book is a little complex.

Could someone help me?

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2 gives an example of a pair of closed disjoint sets that don't have disjoint open supersets in the Sorgenfrey plane (i.e., the square of the sorgenfrey line) – Host-website-on-iPage Jul 14 '12 at 13:13
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I always use Jones' lemma. It's a handy tool to show non-normality of other spaces as well. You need some basic facts:

1) Suppose $X$ is normal. For every pair $A$, $B$ of closed disjoint non-empty subsets in $X$, there is a continuous function $f: X \rightarrow [0,1]$ such that $f(x) = 0$ for $x \in A$ and $f(x) = 1$ for $x \in B$. This is often called Urysohn's lemma.

2) If $f,g: X \rightarrow Y$ are continuous, and $Y$ is Hausdorff, and for some dense subset $D$ of $X$ we have $f(x) = g(x)$ for all $x \in D$, then $f(x) = g(x)$ for all $x \in X$. (Proof sketch: if not for some $x$, pull back disjoint open neighbourhoods of $f(x)$ and $g(x)$, both of these intersect $D$ and $f$ and $g$ cannot agree on those points.) This implies:

2') The function $R$ that maps a continuous function $f$ from $X$ to $Y$ to a continuous function $R(f)$ from $D$ to $Y$ by restricting $f$ to $D$, is 1-1.


Jones' Lemma: If $X$ is normal and $D$ is dense and infinite in $X$ and $C$ is closed and discrete (in the subspace topology) in $X$ then (as cardinal numbers) $2^{|C|} \le 2^{|D|}$.

Proof: for every non-trivial subset $A$ of $C$, $A$ and $C \setminus A$ are disjoint, closed in $X$ (both are closed in $C$, as $C$ is discrete, and closed subsets of a closed set are closed in the large set.), so by 1) there is a continuous function $f_A$ on $X$ that maps $A$ to $0$ and $C \setminus A$ to $1$.

Note that this defines a family of distinct continuous functions (if $A \neq B$ then we can find a point in $A\setminus B$ or $B \setminus A$ that shows that $f_A \neq f_B$) from $X$ to $[0,1]$. But from 2' we know that there is a 1-1 mapping from the set of all continuous functions from $X$ to $[0,1]$ to the set of all continuous functions from $D$ to $[0,1]$ and the latter set is bounded in size by $[0,1]^D = (2^{|N|})^{D} = 2^{|N||D|} = 2^{|D|}$, and the last step holds as $D$ is infinite.

As we have a family of size $2^{|C|}$ (all non-trivial, i.e. non-empty, non-$C$, subsets of $C$) we conclude that $2^{|C|} \le 2^{|D|}$, and this concludes the proof.


a) The Sorgenfrey plane: using the antidiagonal $C = \{(x, -x): x \in \mathbb{R} \}$ and $D = \mathbb{Q} \times \mathbb{Q}$ as dense subset. As $2^{|C|} = 2^\mathfrak{c} > \mathfrak{c} = 2^{|D|}$, Jones' lemma says that $X$ cannot be normal.

b) The Niemytzki plane (or Moore plane) (see e.g. here) is not normal, with a similar computation, using $C$ the $x$-axis and $D$ the rational points in the upper halfplane.

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