# Accumulation points and subsequences of sequences

Let $$(x_n)$$ be a sequence in $$\mathbb{R}$$, reals. It is not necessarily convergent.

a) Show that if $$L$$ is the limit of some convergent subsequence $$(x_{f(n)})$$ of $$(x_n)$$, then $$L$$ is an accumulation point of the set $$\{x_n|n \in \mathbb{N}\}$$. (Here we are meant to presume $$(x_n)$$ does not converge and that the set is infinite.)

b) Suppose that $$A$$ is an accumulation point of $$\{x_n | n\in \mathbb{N}\}$$. Is $$A$$ the limit of some subsequence of $$(x_n)$$?

For a), I am having a bit of a hard time with it because I'm not completely sure how to actually show $$L$$ is an accumulation point of the set.

By definition: A point $$a\in\mathbb{R}$$ is an accumulation point of A if, for all $$r > 0$$, the intersection $$B(x, r) ∩ A$$ contains infinitely many points. (Not required that $$a\in A$$)

So I need to show that the point $$L\in\mathbb{R}$$ is an accumulation point of the set $$\{x_n|n \in \mathbb{N}\}$$ if, for all $$r > 0$$, the intersection $$B(L, r) ∩ \{x_n|n \in \mathbb{N}\}$$ contains infinitely many points. So if I show that intersection $$B(L, r) ∩ \{x_n|n \in \mathbb{N}\}$$ contains infinitely many points, then I've proven it? I'm having a hard time actually showing this though but I guess I have an idea of what I'm aiming to do.

For b), I need to prove it or disprove it by counterexample.

I think the statement is basically asking me to prove/disprove that:

$$A$$ is an accumulation point if there exists a subsequence $$x_{f(n)}$$ such that $$lim_{n→\infty}x_{f(n)}=A$$?

I can't really think of a counterexample in this context of the reals, so I think it might be true. I'm not completely sure how to prove it though. I was thinking that if I somehow show that for some arbitrary $$A$$, an accumulation point, there exists a subsequence $$x_{f(n)}$$ such that $$lim_{n→\infty}x_{f(n)}=A$$, so this is then true for all $$A$$, or all accumulation points.

for b), I found this: Accumulation points of sequences as limits of subsequences? which is similar, but I didn't get some of the answers since they seemed a bit more advanced and I'm not completely sure if it's the same context.

• If one considers $(x_n)$ a constant sequence say, a,a,a,a,..., then how is the statement in a) true?
– Koro
Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 18:37
• @Koro if it's a constant sequence, then the subsequence would also just be $a,a,a,a...$, so the limit of the subsequence would be $a$, which is the limit of the sequence $(x_n)$. So I need to show that the point $a$ is an accumulation point of the set $\{x_n|n \in \mathbb{N}\}$ if, for all $r > 0$, the intersection $B(a, r) ∩ \{x_n|n\in \mathbb{N}\}$ contains infinitely many points. But would it contain infinitely many points? because the set will just be $a,a,a,a...$, so the intersection would just be $a$? Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 19:20
• But in case of constant sequence the set {$a_n:n\in \mathbb N$} is just a singleton set and equals {a} so the intersection with B(a,r) can't be infinite. I think you want to assume the set {$a_n:n\in \mathbb N$} infinite in a).
– Koro
Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 19:34
• @Koro I suppose it's meant to be infinite then and not some constant sequence then. I didn't really consider this much because the question says to prove it, so I took it as true by assumption. Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 19:41

Let's consider the set $$X=\{x_n: n\in \mathbb N\}$$ to be infinite.

In this case, b) holds.

There is an $$x_{n_1}\in X$$ such that $$x_{n_1}\in B(A,1)$$. Choose $$x_{n_2}\in X\setminus \{x_{n_1}\}$$such that $$n_2>n_1, x_{n_2}\in B(A,\frac 12)$$.

Continue like this, and choose $$x_{n_k}\in X\setminus \{x_{n_1},\cdots, x_{n_{k-1}}\}$$ such that $$n_k>n_{k-1}, x_{n_k}\in B(A, \frac 1k)$$ for $$k>2$$.

It follows that for every $$k\in \mathbb N$$ the following holds: $$|x_{n_k}-A|\lt \frac 1k$$

It follows that $$\lim_{k\to \infty} x_{n_k}=A$$

If the set $$X$$ is finite, a) is not true as the definition of accumulation point stated in OP doesn't hold ($$B(L, r)\cap X$$ can only be finite).

• @eddie: the way the definition of accumulation point in given in OP, I'd say not necessarily. Consider the sequence $(x_n)$ given as 1,2,1,3,1,4,1,5,.... for example which has $(x_{2n})$ as subsequence converging to 1 but 1 is not an accumulation point of the sequence.
– Koro
Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 16:35
• @eddie: Glad that you found it helpful. It may happen that you wrote the question here incorrectly. So I think you should again look up the material to see how they defined accumulation point for sequences and not for sets.
– Koro
Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 17:51
• @eddie: still the example in my comment is a counterexample to a).
– Koro
Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 4:32
• @eddie:Instead of considering the convergent subsequence mentioned in a), you could consider the convergent subsequence that is not eventually constant (that is, if $(y_n)$ is the convergent subsequence then for every $N\in \mathbb N$, there is some n>N such that $y_N\ne y_n$).
– Koro
Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 17:22
• @eddie: in that case, you just have to use the definition of limit. Since the subsequence converges to some L. By definition of limit, for every $\epsilon\gt 0,$ there is an N such that $x_n\in (L-\epsilon, L+\epsilon)$ for all $n\ge N$.
– Koro
Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 4:23