The topology induced by the norm of a normed vector space is such that the space is a topological vector space.

Can you tell me if my proof is correct? Of course we have to show that addition and scalar multiplication are continuous with respect to the product topology (induced by the norm).

(1) To show that $(x,y) \mapsto x + y$ is continuous let $\varepsilon > 0$. I can show that the norm $\|\cdot\|_{V \times V}: V \times V \to \mathbb R$ defined as $\|(x,y) - (x_0, y_0) \| = \|x-x_0\| + \|y_0 - y\|$ induces the same topology as the product topology on $V \times V$. Hence we can choose $\delta = \varepsilon$ to get $$ \| (x+y) - (x_0+y_0)\| \leq \|x-x_0\| + \|y-y_0\| < \delta = \varepsilon$$

(2) To show that $V \times K \to V$, $(v, \alpha) \mapsto \alpha v$ is continuous at $(v,\alpha)$, observe that $$\| \alpha v - \beta w\| = \| \alpha v - \beta w + \alpha w - \alpha w\| = \|\alpha(v-w) + (\alpha - \beta) w\| \leq |\alpha| \|v-w\| + |\alpha - \beta| \|w\|$$

Hence $\| \alpha v - \beta w\| < \varepsilon$ if $\|v-w\| < \frac{\varepsilon}{2 |\alpha|}$ and $|\alpha - \beta| < \frac{\varepsilon}{2 \|w\|}$. Unfortunately, the second inequality depends on $w$. How do I make it independent of $w$? Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ I do not like the wording of this question. A topology is a structure you equip onto a set, not a property that a set can have. You should say that the norm induces a topology making $V$ a topological vector space. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2012 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @QiaochuYuan The first sentence? Or where? $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2012 at 16:42
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, the first sentence (equivalently the title). I should mention that this is a minor nitpick; I just think most people use the word "is" too loosely. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2012 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ Hint: recall (from your introductory analysis course) the proof of the sum and product rule for limits in $\mathbb{R}$. Then put norm signs in appropriate places. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2012 at 17:51

2 Answers 2


The first point is fine. For the second, fix $(v_0,\alpha_0)\in V\times K$ and $\varepsilon >0$. We have to find $\delta>0$ such that if $|\alpha-\alpha_0|\leq \delta$ and $|v-v_0|\leq \delta$ then $\lVert \alpha_0v_0-\alpha v\rVert\leq \varepsilon$. We have \begin{align} \lVert \alpha_0v_0-\alpha v\rVert&\leq \lVert \alpha_0v_0-\alpha v_0\rVert+ \lVert \alpha v_0-\alpha v\rVert\\ &=|\alpha_0-\alpha|\lVert v_0\rVert+|\alpha|\lVert v-v_0\rVert\\ &\leq |\alpha_0-\alpha|(\lVert v_0\rVert+\lVert v-v_0\rVert)+|\alpha_0|\lVert v-v_0\rVert. \end{align} We take $\delta$ such that $\delta^2+\delta(\lVert v_0\rVert+|\alpha_0|)\leq \varepsilon$ (which is possible).

In this case, $\lVert \alpha_0v_0-\alpha v\rVert\leq \varepsilon$ when $|\alpha-\alpha_0|\leq \delta$ and $|v-v_0|\leq \delta$.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, how did you get $$|\alpha_0-\alpha|\| v_0\|+|\alpha|\| v-v_0\| \leq |\alpha_0-\alpha|(\| v_0\|+\| v-v_0\|)+|\alpha_{\color{\red}{0}}|\| v-v_0\|$$? I can see that $$|\alpha_0-\alpha|\lVert v_0\rVert+|\alpha|\lVert v-v_0\rVert \leq |\alpha_0-\alpha|(\lVert v_0\rVert+\lVert v-v_0\rVert)+|\alpha|\lVert v-v_0\rVert$$ $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2012 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ I wrote $|\alpha|\leq |\alpha-\alpha_0|+|\alpha_0|$. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2012 at 16:43

Let fix $\alpha$ and $ x$ such that,

$$\|x-x_0\|<1 $$ then, $$\|x\| \le \|x-x_0\|+\|x_0\|\le \|x_0\|+1$$

\begin{align}\|\alpha x -\alpha_0x_0\| &= \|\alpha x -\alpha_0 x+\alpha_0 x-\alpha_0x_0\| \\&\le \|x\||\alpha -\alpha_0| +|\alpha_0| \|x-x_0\|\\&< (\|x_0\|+1)|\alpha -\alpha_0| +(|\alpha_0|+1) \|x-x_0\|\\&\le \max\left[(\|x_0\|+1),(|\alpha_0|+1)\right]\color{red}{\left[|\alpha -\alpha_0| + \|x-x_0\|\right]}\\&\le 2\max\left[(\|x_0\|+1),(|\alpha_0|+1)\right]\color{red}{\max\left[|\alpha -\alpha_0| , \|x-x_0\|\right]} \end{align}

for any $\varepsilon>0$ if you take $$\color{red}{\delta= \min\left(1, \frac{\varepsilon}{ 2\max(\|x_0\|+1),(|\alpha_0|+1)}\right)}$$ Then for any $x$ and $\lambda$ such that, $$\color{red}{\max\left[|\alpha -\alpha_0| , \|x-x_0\|\right] <\delta}$$ you get, $$\color{blue}{ \|\alpha x -\alpha_0x_0\|<\varepsilon}$$

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    $\begingroup$ Please avoid posting duplicate answers: math.stackexchange.com/a/2523719/44121. (I removed the old version) $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2017 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ @JackD'Aurizio it is up to you delete what you want but. actually I discover that the other post was duplicate after somebody rise up that up. in a meanwhile I had already answered the question. may be you got back and read the comments on that post . and check the timing. you will see that it was not intentional. I don't fall in to the same trap twice $\endgroup$
    – Guy Fsone
    Nov 17, 2017 at 15:06

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