The compactness tag is for questions about compactness and its many variants (e.g. sequential compactness, countable compactness) as well locally compact spaces; compactifications (e.g. one-point, Stone-Čech) and other topics closely related to compactness.

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84
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12answers
6k views

Why is compactness so important?

I've read many times that 'compactness' is such an extremely important and useful concept, though it's still not very apparent why. The only theorems I've seen concerning it are the Heine-Borel ...
44
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is compactness in logic called compactness?

In logic, a semantics is said to be compact iff if every finite subset of a set of sentences has a model, then so to does the entire set. Most logic texts either don't explain the terminology, or ...
32
votes
5answers
7k views

What's going on with “compact implies sequentially compact”?

I've seen both counterexamples and proofs to "compact implies sequentially compact", and I'm not sure what's going on. Apparently there are compact spaces which are not sequentially compact; quick ...
32
votes
4answers
823 views

To show that the set point distant by 1 of a compact set has Lebesgue measure $0$

Could any one tell me how to solve this one? Let $K$ be a compact subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$, and $$A:=\{x\in\mathbb{R}^n:d(x,K)=1\}.$$ Show that $A$ has Lebesgue measure $0$. Thank you!
31
votes
11answers
2k views

What should be the intuition when working with compactness?

I have a question that may be regarded by many as duplicate since there's a similar one at MathOverflow. The point is that I think I'm not really getting the idea on compactness. I mean, in ...
27
votes
1answer
622 views

When is Stone-Čech compactification the same as one-point compactification?

For the space $\omega_1$ (with the order topology) we have $\beta\omega_1=\omega_1+1$ (or $\beta[0,\omega_1)=[0,\omega_1]$, if you prefer this notation), i.e., it is an example of a space for which ...
26
votes
2answers
345 views

Paracompactness of CW complexes (rather long)

I finished reading Lee's 'introduction to topological manifolds' (2nd edition) and I'm currently tying up some loose ends. One thing I can't understand is the proof of paracompactness of CW complexes. ...
23
votes
11answers
6k views

How to prove $[a,b]$ is compact?

Let $[a,b]\subseteq \mathbb R$. As we know, it is compact. This is a very important result. However, the proof for the result may be not familar to us. Here I want to collect the ways to prove $[a,b]$ ...
21
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1answer
2k views

Theorem of Arzelà-Ascoli

The more general version of this theorem in Munkres' 'Topology' (p. 290 - 2nd edition) states that Given a locally compact Hausdorff space $X$ and a metric space $(Y,d)$; a family $\mathcal F$ of ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

If every real-valued continuous function is bounded on $X$ (metric space), then $X$ is compact.

Let $X$ be a metric space. Prove that if every continuous function $f: X \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ is bounded, then $X$ is compact. This has been asked before, but all the answers I have seen prove the ...
20
votes
1answer
229 views

If $S\times\mathbb{R}$ is homeomorphic to $T\times\mathbb{R}$, and $S$ and $T$ are compact, can we conclude that $S$ and $T$ are homeomorphic?

If $S \times \mathbb{R}$ is homeomorphic to $T \times \mathbb{R}$ and $S$ and $T$ are compact, connected manifolds (according to an earlier question if one of them is compact the other one needs to be ...
19
votes
1answer
255 views

Let $f:K\to K$ with $\|f(x)-f(y)\|\geq ||x-y||$ for all $x,y$. Show that equality holds and that $f$ is surjective. [duplicate]

$K$ is a compact subset of $\Bbb R^n$ and $f:K\rightarrow K $ satisfies : $$\|f(x)-f(y)\|\geq \|x-y\|$$ Show that $f$ is bijective, and that : $$\|f(x)-f(y)\| = \|x-y\| $$ It's easy to show that ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Compact sets are closed?

I feel really ignorant in asking this question but I am really just don't understand how a compact set can be considered closed? I mean by definition of a compact set it means that given an open cover ...
16
votes
2answers
413 views

Topological spaces in which every proper closed subset is compact

Let $X$ be a topological space. It is a basic result that that if $X$ is compact, then every proper closed subset $Y \subset X$ is compact. Out of curiosity, I would like to explore the converse of ...
16
votes
2answers
968 views

Compactness of $\operatorname{Spec}(A)$

In an exercise in Atiyah-Macdonald it asks to prove that the prime spectrum $\operatorname{Spec}(A)$ of a commutative ring $A$ as a topological space $X$ (with the Zariski Topology) is compact. Now ...
16
votes
2answers
788 views

Understanding Alexandroff compactification

Is the Alexandroff one-point compactification of a locally compact Hausdorff space ($\mathbf{LCHaus}$) a functor to the category of compact Hausdorff spaces ($\mathbf{CHaus}$)? It seems to me that one ...
16
votes
1answer
346 views

Can compacts on a real line behave “paradoxically” with respect to unions, intersections, and translation? What about other topological groups?

I have the following question i cannot answer myself. Consider two compacts $A$ and $B$ on the real line $\mathbb R$. Let $A'$ be a translation of $A$ and $B'$ a translation of $B$: $A' = A + a$, ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Projection map being a closed map

Let $\pi: X \times Y \to X$ be a projection map where $Y$ is compact. Prove that $\pi$ is a closed map. First I would like to see a proof of this claim. I want to know that here why compactness is ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

How to understand compactness? [duplicate]

How to understand the compactness in topology space in intuitive way?
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Intersection of finite number of compact sets is compact?

Is the the intersection of a finite number of compact sets is compact? If not please give a counter example to demonstrate this is not true. I said that this is true because the intersection of ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Topology of matrices

1.Consider the set of all $n×n$ matrices with real entries as the space $\mathbb R^{n^2}$ . Which of the following sets are compact? (a) The set of all orthogonal matrices. (b) The set of all ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Countable compact spaces as ordinals

I heard at some point (without seeing a proof) that every countable, compact space $X$ is homeomorphic to a countable successor ordinal with the usual order topology. Is this true? Perhaps someone can ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Isometry in compact metric spaces

Why is the following true? If $(X,d)$ is a compact metric space and $f: X \rightarrow X$ is non-expansive (i.e $d(f(x),f(y)) \leq d(x,y)$) and surjective then $f$ is an isometry.
15
votes
1answer
390 views

Cardinality of a locally compact Hausdorff space without isolated points

I am interested in the following result: Theorem. A locally compact Hausdorff topological space $X$ without isolated points has at least cardinality $\mathfrak{c}$. To prove it, one can find two ...
14
votes
2answers
466 views

Why we use the word 'compact' for compact spaces?

Considering the definition of compactness in either Analysis or Topology books, or its equivalent definitions (i.e. [It] is compact $\Longleftrightarrow\dots$), I couldn't understand why ...
14
votes
5answers
402 views

Compactness in $\mathbb{Q}$

Proving that $[0,1]\subset\mathbb{R}$ is compact you make use of completeness and this is a fundamental step in order to characterize compact subsets of $\mathbb{R}$. Trying to state an analogous ...
14
votes
2answers
332 views

Given a fiber bundle $F\to E\overset{\pi}{\to} B$ such that $F,B$ are compact, is $E$ necessarily compact?

Consider a (locally trivial) fiber bundle $F\to E\overset{\pi}{\to} B$, where $F$ is the fiber, $E$ the total space and $B$ the base space. If $F$ and $B$ are compact, must $E$ be compact? This ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

A compact Hausdorff space that is not metrizable

Is there an example of a compact Hausdorff space that is not metrizable? I was thinking maybe the space of continuous functions $f: X \rightarrow Y$ between topological spaces $X, Y$, might work, but ...
14
votes
2answers
407 views

Is there a “tree-like” proof of compactness theorem in the case of uncountably many variables?

I like proofs using trees and König's lemma, since they are very visual. One of the applications of König's lemma you can show to students is proving compactness theorem for propositional calculus, ...
14
votes
2answers
255 views

Are compact spaces characterized by “closed maps to Hausdorff spaces”?

It is well known that any continuous map from a compact space to a Hausdorff space must be a closed map. Does this fact characterize compactness? That is, if for a space $X$, every continuous map to ...
13
votes
2answers
399 views

Is a space compact iff it is closed as a subspace of any other space?

I am trying to come up with an alternate definition of a compact topological space that coincides with the usual one. Sorry if my topology is a little rusty. My proposed alternative definition is ...
13
votes
2answers
432 views

A non-compact topological space where every continuous real map attains max and min

Today I learnt in class that if $X$ is compact then any continuous map $f:X\to\mathbb{R}$ attains max and min. I was thinking if the converse is true: If every continuous map $f:X\to\mathbb{R}$ ...
12
votes
2answers
140 views

Is $\mathbb{R}^n$ properly homotopy equivalent to $\mathbb{R}^m$ if $n \neq m$?

$\DeclareMathOperator{\id}{id} \newcommand{\R}{\mathbb{R}}$ If $f,g : X \to Y$ are two maps (all maps considered are continuous here), a homotopy between $f$ and $g$ is a map $H : [0,1] \times X \to ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

compactness / sequentially compact

I'm looking for two examples: A space which is compact but not sequentially compact A space which is sequentially compact but not compact Explanations why the spaces are compact / not compact and ...
12
votes
1answer
342 views

Are there non-Hausdorff examples of maximal compact topologies in the lattice of topologies on a set?

In the lattice of topologies on a set $X$, the compact topologies are a lower set in the lattice, while the Hausdorff topologies are an upper set. A result of this theorem is that the compact ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

If $A$ and $B$ are compact, then so is $A+B$.

This is an exercise in Chapter 1 from Rudin's Functional Analysis. Prove the following: Let $X$ be a topological vector space. If $A$ and $B$ are compact subsets of $X$, so is $A+B$. My guess: ...
12
votes
1answer
242 views

Let $D$ be a bounded domain (open connected) in $ \mathbb C$ and assume that complement of $D$ is connected.Then show that $\partial D$ is connected

I am trying to prove the following famous result in Point Set Topology. Let $D$ be a bounded domain (open connected) in $ \mathbb C$ and assume that complement of $D$ is connected. Then show that ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

A subset of a compact set is compact?

Claim:Let $S\subset T\subset X$ where $X$ is a metric space. If $T$ is compact in $X$ then $S$ is also compact in $X$. Proof:Given that $T$ is compact in $X$ then any open cover of T, there is a ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Understanding the definition of a compact set

I just need a bit of help clarifying the definition of a compact set. Let's start with the textbook definition: A set $S$ is called compact if, whenever it is covered by a collection of open sets ...
11
votes
6answers
748 views

Pseudocompactness does not imply compactness

It is well known that compactness implies pseudocompactness; this follows from the Heine–Borel theorem. I know that the converse does not hold, but what is a counterexample? (A pseudocompact space is ...
11
votes
1answer
220 views

Does there exist a topology for a set $X$ which is compact and Hausdorff?

For every set $X$ and every topology $\tau$ over $X$ we have that $\tau$ contains the trivial topology $\{ X, \emptyset\}$, which is compact, and is contained in the discrete topology $\{ S: S ...
11
votes
2answers
200 views

The smallest compactification

I've been reading about compactifications, and I am very familiar with the Stone-Čech compactification, which can be thought of as the largest compactification of a space. For a locally compact space ...
11
votes
2answers
328 views

Can compact sets completey determine a topology?

Suppose that $\tau_1$ and $\tau_2$ are two topologies on a set $X$ with the property that $K\subset X$ is compact with respect to $\tau_1$ if and only if $K$ is compact with respect to $\tau_2$. Then ...
11
votes
2answers
112 views

Is any compact, path-connected subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$ the continuous image of $[0,1]$?

If $f:[0,1] \to \mathbb{R}^n$ is any continuous map, then the image $f([0,1])$ is a compact, path-connected set, which is easy to show using some elementary topology. My question is the converse: ...
11
votes
3answers
303 views

Spaces where all compact subsets are closed

All compact subsets of a Hausdorff space are closed and there are T$_1$ spaces (also T$_1$ sober spaces) with non-closed compact subspaces. So I looking for something in between. Is there a ...
11
votes
1answer
189 views

Proving that a metric space is a group

I'm stuck on this relatively hard problem. Let $G$ be a non-empty set, $d$ a distance on $G$ and $\cdot$ an associative operation on $G$ $\cdot$ is such that $$\forall a \in G , \forall x \in G ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Prove: Every compact metric space is separable

How to prove that Every compact metric space is separable$?$ Thanks in advance!!
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Compact open sets which are not closed.

Can a nonclosed open subset of a $T_1$ topological space be compact? I mean an open compact set which is not clopen.
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What do compact sets look like in the rationals?

I'm trying to prove that $\mathbb Q$ is not locally compact and I'm having trouble seeing what the compact sets are. Besides merely thinking of sets and then checking if they are compact or not, is ...
10
votes
1answer
466 views

How many points does Stone-Čech compactification add?

I would like to know how Stone-Čech compactification works with simple examples, like $(0,1)$, $\mathbb{R}$, and $B_r(0)$ (the open ball of $R^2)$. I've studied the one-point compactification and this ...