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Questions tagged [general-topology]

Everything involving general topological spaces: generation and description of topologies; open and closed sets, neighborhoods; interior, closure; connectedness; compactness; separation axioms; bases; convergence: sequences, nets and filters; continuous functions; compactifications; function spaces; etc. Please use the more specific tags, (algebraic-topology), (differential-topology), (metric-spaces), (functional-analysis) whenever appropriate.

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Why can you turn clothing right-side-out?

My nephew was folding laundry, and turning the occasional shirt right-side-out. I showed him a "trick" where I turned it right-side-out by pulling the whole thing through a sleeve instead of the ...
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Does there exist a bijection of $\mathbb{R}^n$ with itself such that the forward map is connected but the inverse is not?

Let $(X,\tau), (Y,\sigma)$ be two topological spaces. We say that a map $f: \mathcal{P}(X)\to \mathcal{P}(Y)$ between their power sets is connected if for every $S\subset X$ connected, $f(S)\subset Y$ ...
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Your favourite application of the Baire Category Theorem

I think I remember reading somewhere that the Baire Category Theorem is supposedly quite powerful. Whether that is true or not, it's my favourite theorem (so far) and I'd love to see some applications ...
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A Topology such that the continuous functions are exactly the polynomials

I was wondering which fields $K$ can be equipped with a topology such that a function $f:K \to K$ is continuous if and only if it is a polynomial function $f(x)=a_nx^n+\cdots+a_0$. Obviously, the ...
63k views

Any open subset of $\Bbb R$ is a at most countable union of disjoint open intervals. [Collecting Proofs]

This question has probably been asked. However, I am not interested in just getting the answer to it. Rather, I am interested in collecting as many different proofs of it which are as diverse as ...
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Why can't differentiability be generalized as nicely as continuity?

The question: Can we define differentiable functions between (some class of) sets, "without $\Bbb R$"* so that it Reduces to the traditional definition when desired? Has the same use in at least some ...
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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 ...
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Is there a homology theory that counts connected components of a space?

It is well-known that the generators of the zeroth singular homology group $H_0(X)$ of a space $X$ correspond to the path components of $X$. I have recently learned that for Čech homology the ...
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What functions can be made continuous by “mixing up their domain”?

Definition. A function $f:\Bbb R\to\Bbb R$ will be called potentially continuous if there is a bijection $\phi:\Bbb R\to\Bbb R$ such that $f\circ \phi$ is continuous. So one could say a potentially ...
19k views

Intuition of the meaning of homology groups

I am studying homology groups and I am looking to try and develop, if possible, a little more intuition about what they actually mean. I've only been studying homology for a short while, so if ...
19k views

Elementary proof that $\mathbb{R}^n$ is not homeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^m$

It is very elementary to show that $\mathbb{R}$ isn't homeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^m$ for $m>1$: subtract a point and use the fact that connectedness is a homeomorphism invariant. Along similar ...
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Real life applications of Topology

The other day I and my friend were having an argument. He was saying that there is no real life application of Topology at all whatsoever. I want to disprove him, so posting the question here. What ...
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In $n>5$, topology = algebra

During the study of the surgery theory I faced following sentence: Surgery theory works best for $n > 5$, when "topology = algebra". I don't know what is the meaning of topology=algebra. Can ...
6k views

What concept does an open set axiomatise?

In the context of metric (and in general first-countable) topologies, it's reasonably clear what a closed set is: a set $F$ is closed if and only if every convergent sequence of points in $F$ ...
5k 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 ...
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Let, $A\subset\mathbb{R}^2$. Show that $A$ can contain at most one point $p$ such that $A$ is isometric to $A \setminus \{p\}$.

A challenge problem from Sally's Fundamentals of Mathematical Analysis. Problem reads: Suppose $A$ is a subset of $\mathbb{R}^2$. Show that $A$ can contain at most one point $p$ such that $A$ is ...
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Why did mathematicians introduce the concept of uniform continuity?

I have solved many problems regarding uniform continuity, but still I can't understand the following: Is there any practical application of this concept, or it is just a theoretical concept? Is there ...
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Why Zariski topology?

Why in algebraic geometry we usually consider the Zariski topology on $\mathbb A^n_k$? Ultimately it seems a not very interesting topology, infact the open sets are very large and it doesn't satisfy ...
21k 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 ...
21k views

When is the closure of an open ball equal to the closed ball?

It is not necessarily true that the closure of an open ball $B_{r}(x)$ is equal to the closed ball of the same radius $r$ centered at the same point $x$. For a quick example, take $X$ to be any set ...
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Why can't you flatten a sphere?

It's a well-known fact that you can't flatten a sphere without tearing or deforming it. How can I explain why this is so to a 10 year old? As soon as an explanation starts using terms like "Gaussian ...
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Is there a name for this type of polygon?

Is there a name for a polygon in which you could place a light bulb that would light up all of its area? (for which there exists a point so that for all points inside it the line connecting those two ...
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Why is one “$\infty$” number enough for complex numbers?

Can anyone give me a rigorous explanation, why one needs only one number "$\infty$", when dealing with complex numbers, instead of $2$ numbers $+\infty, \ -\infty$ like in the case, when dealing with ...
Why is it that $\mathbb{Q}$ cannot be homeomorphic to _any_ complete metric space?
Why is it that $\mathbb{Q}$ cannot be homeomorphic to any complete metric space? Certainly $\mathbb{Q}$ is not a complete metric space. But completeness is not a topological invariant, so why is the ...