# INTRODUCTION TO DESCRIPTIVE SET THEORY

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1 INTRODUCTION TO DESCRIPTIVE SET THEORY ANUSH TSERUNYAN Mathematicians in the early 20 th century discovered that the Axiom of Choice implied the existence of pathological subsets of the real line lacking desirable regularity properties (for example nonmeasurable sets). This gave rise to descriptive set theory, a systematic study of classes of sets where these pathologies can be avoided, including, in particular, the definable sets. In the first half of the course, we will use techniques from analysis and set theory, as well as infinite games, to study definable sets of reals and their regularity properties, such as the perfect set property (a strong form of the continuum hypothesis), the Baire property, and measurability. Descriptive set theory has found applications in harmonic analysis, dynamical systems, functional analysis, and various other areas of mathematics. Many of the recent applications are via the theory of definable equivalence relations (viewed as sets of pairs), which provides a framework for studying very general types of classification problems in mathematics. The second half of this course will give an introduction to this theory, culminating in a famous dichotomy theorem, which exhibits a minimum element among all problems that do not admit concrete classification. Acknowledgements. These notes owe a great deal to [Kec95]; in fact, some sections are almost literally copied from it. Also, the author thanks Anton Bernshteyn and Jay Williams for submitting dense sets of corrections and suggestions to her, which significantly improved the readability and quality of these notes. Contents Part 1. Polish spaces 4 1. Definition and examples 4 2. Trees 6 2.A. Set theoretic trees 6 2.B. Infinite branches and closed subsets of A N 6 2.C. Compactness 7 2.D. Monotone tree-maps and continuous functions 8 3. Compact metrizable spaces 9 3.A. Basic facts and examples 9 3.B. Universality of the Hilbert Cube 10 3.C. Continuous images of the Cantor space 10 3.D. The hyperspace of compact sets Perfect Polish spaces 13 4.A. Embedding the Cantor space 13 4.B. The Cantor Bendixson Theorem, Derivatives and Ranks 14 1

2 2 5. Zero-dimensional spaces 16 5.A. Definition and examples 16 5.B. Luzin schemes 16 5.C. Topological characterizations of the Cantor space and the Baire space 17 5.D. Closed subspaces of the Baire space 18 5.E. Continuous images of the Baire space Baire category 19 6.A. Nowhere dense sets 19 6.B. Meager sets 19 6.C. Relativization of nowhere dense and meager 20 6.D. Baire spaces 20 Part 2. Regularity properties of subsets of Polish spaces Infinite games and determinacy 22 7.A. Non-determined sets and AD 23 7.B. Games with rules The perfect set property 24 8.A. The associated game The Baire property 25 9.A. The definition and closure properties 25 9.B. Localization 26 9.C. The Banach category theorem and a selector for = 27 9.D. The Banach Mazur game 29 9.E. The Kuratowski Ulam theorem 30 9.F. Applications Measurability A. Definitions and examples B. The null ideal and measurability C. Non-measurable sets D. The Lebesgue density topology on R 35 Part 3. Definable subsets of Polish spaces Borel sets A. σ-algebras and measurable spaces B. The stratification of Borel sets into a hierarchy C. The classes Σ 0 ξ and Π0 ξ D. Universal sets for Σ 0 ξ and Π0 ξ E. Turning Borel sets into clopen sets Analytic sets A. Basic facts and closure properties B. A universal set for Σ C. Analytic separation and Borel = D. Souslin operation A More on Borel sets A. Closure under small-to-one images B. The Borel isomorphism theorem 50

3 13.C. Standard Borel spaces D. The Effros Borel space E. Borel determinacy Regularity properties of analytic sets A. The perfect set property B. The Baire property and measurability C. Closure of BP and MEAS under the operation A The projective hierarchy Γ-complete sets A. Σ 0 ξ - and Π0 ξ-complete sets B. Σ 1 1-complete sets 61 Part 4. Definable equivalence relations, group actions and graphs Examples of equivalence relations and Polish group actions A. Equivalence relations B. Polish groups C. Actions of Polish groups Borel reducibility Perfect set property for quotient spaces A. Co-analytic equivalence relations: Silver s dichotomy B. Analytic equivalence relations: Burgess trichotomy C. Meager equivalence relations: Mycielski s theorem Concrete classifiability (smoothness) A. Definitions B. Examples of concrete classification C. Characterizations of smoothness D. Nonsmooth equivalence relations E. General Glimm Effros dichotomies F. Proof of the Becker Kechris dichotomy Definable graphs and colorings A. Definitions and examples B. Chromatic numbers C. G 0 the graph cousin of E D. The Kechris Solecki Todorčević dichotomy Some corollaries of the G 0 -dichotomy A. Proof of Silver s dichotomy B. Proof of the Luzin Novikov theorem C. The Feldman Moore theorem and E 83 References 84 3

4 4 Part 1. Polish spaces 1. Definition and examples Definition 1.1. A topological space is called Polish if it is separable and completely metrizable (i.e. admits a complete compatible metric). We work with Polish topological spaces as opposed to Polish metric spaces because we don t want to fix a particular complete metric, we may change it to serve different purposes; all we care about is that such a complete compatible metric exists. Besides, our maps are homeomorphisms and not isometries, so we work in the category of topological spaces and not metric spaces. Examples 1.2. (a) For all n N, n = {0, 1,..., n 1} is Polish with discrete topology; so is N; (b) R n and C n, for n 1; (c) Separable Banach spaces; in particular, separable Hilbert spaces, l p (N) and L p (R) for 0 < p <. The following lemma, whose proof is left as an exercise, shows that when working with Polish spaces, we may always take a complete compatible metric d 1. Lemma 1.3. If X is a topological space with a compatible metric d, then the following metric is also compatible: for x, y X, D(x, y) = min(d(x, y), 1). Proposition 1.4. (a) Completion of any separable metric space is Polish. (b) A closed subset of a Polish space is Polish (with respect to relative topology). (c) A countable disjoint union 1 of Polish spaces is Polish. (d) A countable product of Polish spaces is Polish (with respect to the product topology). Proof. (a) and (b) are obvious. We leave (c) as an exercise and prove (d). To this end, let X n, n N be Polish spaces and let d n 1 be a complete compatible metric for X n. For x, y n N X n, define d(x, y).= 2 n d n (x(n), y(n)). n N It is easy to verify that d is a complete compatible metric for the product topology on n N X n. Examples 1.5. (a) R N, C N ; (b) The Cantor space C.= 2 N, with the discrete topology on 2; 1 Disjoint union of topological spaces {X i } i I is the space i I X i.= i I {i} X i equipped with the topology generated by sets of the form {i} U i, where i I and U i X i is open.

5 (c) The Baire space N.= N N, with the discrete topology on N. (d) The Hilbert cube I N, where I = [0, 1]. As mentioned in the previous proposition, closed subsets of Polish spaces are Polish. What other subsets have this property? The proposition below answers this question, but first we recall here that countable intersections of open sets are called G δ sets, and countable unions of closed sets are called F σ. Lemma 1.6. If X is a metric space, then closed sets are G δ ; equivalently, open sets are F σ. Proof. Let C X be a closed set and let d be a metric for X. For ε > 0, define U ε.= {x X d(x, C) < ε}, and we claim that C = n U 1/n. Indeed, C n U 1/n is trivial, and to show the other inclusion, fix x n U 1/n. Thus, for every n, we can pick x n C with d(x, x n ) < 1/n, so x n x as n, and hence x C by the virtue of C being closed. Proposition 1.7. A subset of a Polish space is Polish if and only if it is G δ. Proof. Let X be a Polish space and let d X be a complete compatible metric on X. : Considering first an open set U X, we exploit the fact that it does not contain its boundary points to define a compatible metric for the topology of U that makes the boundary of U look like infinity in order to prevent sequences that converge to the boundary from being Cauchy. In fact, instead of defining a metric explicitly 2, we define a homeomorphism of U with a closed subset of X R by x (x, 1 d X (x, U) ), where d X is a complete compatible metric for X. It is, indeed, easy to verify that this map is an embedding and its image is closed. Combining countably-many instances of this gives a proof for G δ sets: given Y.= n N U n with U n open, the map Y X R N defined by 1 x (x, ( d X (x, U n ) ) ) n is a homeomorphism of Y with a closed subset of X R N. (Alexandrov): Let Y X be completely metrizable and let d Y be a complete compatible metric for Y. Define an open set V n X as the union of all open sets U X that satisfy (i) U Y, (ii) diam dx (U) < 1/n, (iii) diam dy (U Y ) < 1/n. We show that Y = n N V n. First fix x Y and take any n N. Take an open neighborhood U 1 Y of x in Y of d Y -diameter less than 1/n. By the definition of relative topology, there is an open set U 2 in X such that U 2 Y = U 1. Let U 3 be an open neighborhood of x in X of d X -diameter less than 1/n. Then U = U 2 U 3 satisfies all of the conditions above. Hence x V n. Conversely, if x n N V n, then for each n N, there is an open (relative to X) neighborhood U n X of x satisfying the conditions above. Condition (ii) implies that x Y, so any open neighborhood of x has a nonempty intersection with Y ; because of this, we can replace 2 This version of the proof was suggested by Anton Bernshteyn. 5

6 6 U n by m n U m and assume without loss of generality that (U n ) n N is decreasing. Now, take x n U n Y. Conditions (i) and (ii) imply that (x n ) n N converges to x. Moreover, condition (iii) and the fact that (U n ) n N is decreasing imply that (x n ) n N is Cauchy with respect to d Y. Thus, since d Y is complete, x n x for some x Y. Because limit is unique in Hausdorff spaces, x = x Y. As an example of a G δ subset of a Polish space, we give the following proposition, whose proof is left to the reader. Proposition 1.8. The Cantor space C is homeomorphic to a closed subset of the Baire space N, whereas N is homeomorphic to a G δ subset of C. 2. Trees 2.A. Set theoretic trees. For a nonempty set A, we denote by A <N the set of finite tuples of elements of A, i.e. A <N = A n, n N where A 0 = { }. For s A <N, we denote by s the length of s; thus, s is a function from {0, 1,..., s 1} to A. Recalling that functions are sets of pairs, the notation s t for s, t A <N means that s t and s(i) = t(i) for all i < s. Definition 2.1. For a set A, a subset T of A <N is called a (set theoretic) tree if it is closed downward under, i.e. for all s, t A <N, if t T and s t, then s T. For s A <N and a A, we write s a to denote the extension of s to a tuple of length s + 1 that takes the value a at index s. For s, t A <N, we also write s t to denote the tuple obtained by appending t at the end of s. To see why the sets T in the above definitions are called trees, we now show how to obtain a graph theoretic rooted tree G T from a set theoretic tree T. Define the vertex set of G T to be T. Note that since T is nonempty, T, and declare the root of G T. Now put an edge between s, t T if t = s a for some a A. Conversely, given a graph theoretic rooted tree G (a connected acyclic graph) with root v 0, one obtains a set theoretic tree T G on V (G) (the set of vertices of G) by identifying each vertex v with (v 1,..., v n ), where v n = v and (v 0, v 1,..., v n ) is the unique path from v 0 to v. 2.B. Infinite branches and closed subsets of A N. Call a tree T on A pruned if for every s T, there is a A with s a T. Given a tree T on a set A, we denote by [T ] the set of infinite branches through T, that is, [T ] = {x A N n N(x n T )}. Thus we obtain a subset of A N from a tree. Conversely, given a subset Y A N, we can obtain a tree T Y on A by: T Y = {x n x Y, n N}. Note that T Y is a pruned tree. It is also clear that Y [T Y ], but for which subsets Y do we have [T Y ] = Y? To answer this question, we give A the discrete topology and consider A N as a topological space with the product topology. Note that the sets of the form N s.= {x A N s x}, for s A <N, form a basis for the product topology on A N.

7 Lemma 2.2. For a tree T on A, [T ] is a closed subset of A N. Proof. We show that the complement of [T ] is open. Indeed, if x [T ], then there is n N such that s = x n T. But then N s [T ] =. Proposition 2.3. A subset Y A N is closed if and only if Y = [T Y ]. Proof. The right-to-left direction follows form the previous lemma, so we prove left-to-right. Let Y be closed, and as Y [T Y ], we only need to show [T Y ] Y. Fix x [T Y ]. By the definition of T Y, for each n N, there is y n Y such that x n y n. It is clear that (y n ) n N converges pointwise to x (i.e. converges in the product topology) and hence x Y since Y is closed. Note that if A is countable, then A N is Polish. Examples of such spaces are the Cantor space and the Baire space, which, due to their combinatorial nature, are two of the most useful Polish spaces in descriptive set theory. We think of the Cantor space and the Baire space as the sets of infinite branches through the complete binary and N-ary trees, respectively. Trees on N in particular play a crucial role in the subject, as we will see below. 2.C. Compactness. Above, we characterized the closed subsets of A N as the sets of infinite branches through trees on A. Here we characterize the compact subsets. For a tree T on A, and s T, put T (s).= {a A s a T }. We say that a tree T on A is finitely branching if for each s T, T (s) is finite. Equivalently, in G T every vertex has finite degree. Lemma 2.4 (König). Any finitely branching infinite tree T on A has an infinite branch, i.e. [T ]. Proof. Very easy, left to the reader. For a tree T A <N, sets of the form N s [T ], for s A <N, form a basis for the relative topology on [T ]. Also, for s A <N, putting T s.= {t T t s t s}, it is clear that T s is a tree and [T s ] = N s [T ]. Proposition 2.5. For a tree T A <N, if T is finitely branching, then [T ] is compact. For a pruned tree T A <N, the converse also holds: if [T ] is compact, then T is finitely branching. Thus, a closed set Y A N is compact if and only if T Y is finitely branching. Proof. We leave proving the first statement as an exercise. For the second statement, let T be a pruned tree and suppose that [T ] is compact. Assume for contradiction that T is not finitely branching, i.e. there is s T such that T (s) is infinite. Since [T ] is compact, so is [T s ] being a closed subset, so we can focus on [T s ]. For each a T (s), the set [T s a] is nonempty because T is pruned. But then {[T s a]} a T (s) is an open cover of [T s ] that doesn t have a finite subcover since the sets in it are nonempty and pairwise disjoint. A subset of a topological space is called σ-compact or K σ if it is a countable union of compact sets. The above proposition shows that the Baire space is not compact. In fact, we have something stronger: Corollary 2.6. The Baire space N is not σ-compact. 7

8 8 Proof. For x, y N, we say that y eventually dominates x, if y(n) x(n) for sufficiently large n. Let (K n ) n N be a sequence of compact subsets of N. By the above proposition, T Kn is finitely branching and hence there is x n N that eventually dominates every element of K n. By diagonalization, we obtain x N that eventually dominates x n for all n N. Thus, x eventually dominates every element of n N K n, and hence, the latter cannot be all of N. The Baire space is not just an example of a topological space that is not σ-compact, it is in fact the canonical obstruction to being σ-compact as the following dichotomy shows: Theorem 2.7 (Hurewicz). For any Polish space X, either X is σ-compact, or else, X contains a closed subset homeomorphic to N. We will not prove this theorem here since its proof is somewhat long and we will not be using it below. 2.D. Monotone tree-maps and continuous functions. In this subsection, we show how to construct continuous functions between tree spaces (i.e. spaces of infinite branches through trees). Definition 2.8. Let S, T be trees (on sets A, B, respectively). A map ϕ S T is called monotone if s t implies ϕ(s) ϕ(t). For such ϕ let Define ϕ D ϕ [T ] by letting We call ϕ proper if D ϕ = [S]. D ϕ = {x [S] lim n ϕ(x n ) = }. ϕ (x).= ϕ(x n ). n N Proposition 2.9. Let ϕ S T be a monotone map (as above). (a) The set D ϕ is G δ in [S] and ϕ D ϕ [T ] is continuous. (b) Conversely, if f G [T ] is continuous, with G [S] a G δ set, then there is monotone ϕ S T with f = ϕ. Proof. The proof of (b) is outlined as a homework problem, so we will only prove (a) here. To see that D ϕ is G δ note that for x [S], we have x D ϕ n m ϕ(x m ) n, and the set U n,m = {x [S] ϕ(x m ) n} is trivially open as membership in it depends only on the first m coordinates. For the continuity of ϕ, it is enough to show that for each τ T, the preimage of [T τ ] under ϕ is open; but for x D ϕ, x (ϕ ) 1 ([T τ ]) ϕ (x) [T τ ] ϕ (x) τ ( σ S with ϕ(σ) τ) x S σ, and in the latter condition, is a union, and x S σ defines a basic open set. Using this machinery, we easily derive the following useful lemma. A closed set C in a topological space X is called a retract of X if there is a continuous function f X C such that f C = id C (i.e. f(x) = x, for all x C). This f is called a retraction of X to C.

9 Lemma Any nonempty closed subset X A N is a retract of A N. In particular, for any two nonempty closed subsets X Y, X is a retract of Y. Proof. Noting that T X is a nonempty pruned tree, we define a monotone map ϕ A <N T X such that ϕ(s) = s for s T X and thus ϕ will be a retraction of A N to X. For s A <N, we define ϕ(s) by induction on s. Let ϕ( ) = and assume ϕ(s) is defined. Fix a A. If s a T X, put ϕ(s a) = s a. Otherwise, note that the set {b A ϕ(s) b T X } is nonempty, since T X is pruned, and put ϕ(s a) = ϕ(s) b, where b is. 3. Compact metrizable spaces 3.A. Basic facts and examples. Recall that a topological space is called compact if every open cover has a finite subcover. By taking complements, this is equivalent to the statement that every (possibly uncountable) family of closed sets with the finite intersection property 3 has a nonempty intersection. In the following proposition we collect basic facts about compact spaces, which we won t prove (see Sections 0.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4 of [Fol99]). Proposition 3.1. (a) Closed subsets of compact topological spaces are compact. (b) Compact (in the relative topology) subsets of Hausdorff topological spaces are closed. (c) Union of finitely many compact subsets of a topological space is compact. Finite sets are compact. (d) Continuous image of a compact space is compact. In particular, if f X Y is continuous, where X is compact and Y is Hausdorff, then f maps closed (resp. F σ ) sets to closed (resp. F σ ) sets. (e) A continuous injection from a compact space into a Hausdorff space is an embedding (i.e. a homeomorphism with the image). (f) Disjoint union of finitely many compact spaces is compact. (g) (Tychonoff s Theorem) Product of compact spaces is compact. Definition 3.2. For a metric space (X, d) and ε > 0, a set F X is called an ε-net if any point in X is within ε distance from a point in F, i.e. X = y F B(y, ε), where B(y, ε) is the open ball of radius ε centered at y. Metric space (X, d) is called totally bounded if for every ε > 0, there is a finite ε-net. Lemma 3.3. Totally bounded metric spaces are separable. 9 Proof. For every n, let F n be a finite 1 n -net. Then, D = n F n is countable and dense. Proposition 3.4. Let (X, d) be a metric space. The following are equivalent: (1) X is compact. (2) Every sequence in X has a convergent subsequence. (3) X is complete and totally bounded. In particular, compact metrizable spaces are Polish. Proof. Outlined in a homework exercise. 3 We say that a family {F i } i I of sets has the finite intersection property if for any finite I 0 I, i I0 F i.

10 10 Examples of compact Polish spaces include C, T = R/Z, I = [0, 1], I N. A more advanced example is the space P (X) of Borel probability measures on a compact Polish space X under the weak -topology. In the next two subsections we will see however that the Hilbert cube and the Cantor space play special roles among all the examples. 3.B. Universality of the Hilbert Cube. Theorem 3.5. Every separable metrizable space embeds into the Hilbert cube I N. In particular, the Polish spaces are, up to homeomorphism, exactly the G δ subspaces of I N, and the compact metrizable spaces are, up to homeomorphism, exactly the closed subspaces of I N. Proof. Let X be a separable metrizable space. Fix a compatible metric d 1 and a dense subset (x n ) n N. Define f X I N by setting f(x).= (d(x, x n )) n N, for x I N. It is straightforward to show that f is injective and that f, f 1 are continuous. Corollary 3.6. Every Polish space can be embedded as a dense G δ subset into a compact metrizable space. Proof. By the previous theorem, any Polish space is homeomorphic to a G δ subset Y of the Hilbert cube and Y is dense in its closure, which is compact. As we just saw, Polish spaces can be thought of as G δ subsets of a particular Polish space. Although this is interesting on its own, it would be more convenient to have Polish spaces as closed subsets of some Polish space because the set of closed subsets of a Polish space has a nice structure, as we will see later on. This is accomplished in the following theorem. Theorem 3.7. Every Polish space is homeomorphic to a closed subspace of R N. Proof. Let X be a Polish space, and by the previous theorem, we may assume that X is a G δ subspace of I N, and let d be a complete compatible metric on I N. We use a trick similar to the one used in Proposition 1.7 when we made a G δ set look closed by changing the metric. Let X = n U n, where U n are open in I N, and put F n = I N U n. Define f X R N as follows: for x X, x(k) if n = 2k f(x)(n).= 1 d(x,f k ) if n = 2k + 1, where d is a compatible metric on I N. Even coordinates ensure that f is injective and the odd coordinates ensure that the image is closed. The continuity of f follows from the continuity of the coordinate functions x f(x)(n), for all n N. Thus, f is an embedding as I N is compact (see (e) of Proposition 3.1); in fact, f 1 is just the projection onto the even coordinates and hence is obviously continuous. 3.C. Continuous images of the Cantor space. Theorem 3.5 characterizes all compact metrizable spaces as closed subspaces of I N. Here we give another characterization using surjections instead of injections (reversing the arrows). Theorem 3.8. Every nonempty compact metrizable space is a continuous image of C.

11 Proof. First we show that I N is a continuous image of C. For this it is enough to show that I is a continuous image of C since C is homeomorphic to C N (why?). But the latter is easily done via the map f C I given by x x(n)2 n 1. n Now let X be a compact metrizable space, and by Theorem 3.5, we may assume that X is a closed subspace of I N. As we just showed, there is a continuous surjection g C I N and thus, g 1 (X) is a closed subset of C, hence a retract of C (Lemma 2.10). 3.D. The hyperspace of compact sets. In this subsection we discuss the set of all compact subsets of a given Polish space and give it a natural topology, which turns out to be Polish. Notation 3.9. For a set X and a collection A P(X), define the following for each subset U X: (U) A.= {A A A U}, [U] A.= {A A A U }. Now let X be a topological space. We denote by K(X) the collection of all compact subsets of X and we equip it with the Vietoris topology, namely, the one generated by the sets of the form (U) K(X) and [U] K(X), for open U X. Thus, a basis for this topology consists of the sets U 0 ; U 1,..., U n K(X).=(U 0 ) K(X) [U 1 ] K(X) [U 2 ] K(X)... [U n ] K(X) = {K K(X) K U 0 K U 1... K U n }, for U 0, U 1,..., U n open in X. By replacing U i with U i U 0, for i n, we may and will assume that U i U 0 for all i n. Now we assume further that (X, d) is a metric space with d 1. We define the Hausdorff metric d H on K(X) as follows: for K, L K(X), put δ(k, L).= max d(x, L), x K with convention that d(x, ) = 1 and δ(, L) = 0. Thus, letting B(L, r).= {x X d(x, L) < r}, we have δ(k, L) = inf[k B(L, r)]. r δ(k, L) is not yet a metric because it is not symmetric. So we symmetrize it: for arbitrary K, L K(X), put d H (K, L) = max {δ(k, L), δ(l, K)}. Thus, d H (K, L) = inf[k B(L, r) and L B(K, r)]. r Proposition Hausdorff metric is compatible with the Vietoris topology. Proof. Left as an exercise. Proposition If X is separable, then so is K(X). 11

12 12 Proof. Let D be a countable dense subset of X, and put Fin(D) = {F D F is finite}. Clearly Fin(D) K(X) and is countable. To show that it is dense, fix a nonempty basic open set U 0 ; U 1,..., U n K(X), where we may assume that U i U 0 for all i n. By density of D in X, there is d i U i D for each 1 i n, so {d i 1 i n} U 0 ; U 1,..., U n K(X) Fin(D). Next we will study convergence in K(X). Given K n K, we will describe what K is in terms of K n without referring to Hausdorff metric or Vietoris topology. To do this, we discuss other notions of limits for compact sets. Given any topological space X and a sequence (K n ) n N in K(X), define its topological upper limit, T lim n K n to be the set {x X Every open nbhd of x meets K n for infinitely many n}, and its topological lower limit, T lim n K n, to be the set {x X Every open nbhd of x meets K n for all but finitely many n}. It is immediate from the definitions that T lim n K n T lim n K n and both sets are closed (but may not be compact). It is also easy to check that T lim n K n = K j. i N j i If T lim n K n = T lim n K n, we call the common value the topological limit of (K n ) n N, and denote it by T lim n K n. If d 1 is a compatible metric for X, then one can check (left as an exercise) that K n K in Hausdorff metric implies K = T lim n K n. However, the converse may fail as the following examples show. Examples (a) Let X = R m and K n = B( 0, 1 + ( 1)n n ). Then K n B( 0, 1) in Hausdorff metric. (b) Let X = R and K n = [0, 1] [n, n+1]. The Hausdorff distance between different K n is 1, so the sequence (K n ) n does not converge in Hausdorff metric. Nevertheless T lim n K n exists and is equal to [0, 1]. (c) Let X = R, K 2n = [0, 1] and K 2n+1 = [1, 2], for each n N. In this case, we have T lim n K n = [0, 2], whereas T lim n K n = {1}. Finally, note that if X is first-countable (for example, metrizable) and K n then the topological upper limit consists of all x X that satisfy: (x n ) n N [ n(x n K n ) and x ni x for some subsequence (x ni ) i N ], and the topological lower limit consists of all x X that satisfy: (x n ) n N [ n(x n K n ) and x n x]. The relation between these limits and the limit in Hausdorff metric is explored more in homework problems. Here we just use the upper topological limit merely to prove the following theorem. Theorem If X is completely metrizable then so is K(X). In particular, if X is Polish, then so is K(X).

13 Proof. Let d 1 be a complete compatible metric on X and let (K n ) n N be a Cauchy sequence in K(X), where we assume without loss of generality that K n. Setting K = T lim n K n = N N n N K n, we will show that K K(X) and d H (K n, K) 0. Claim. K is compact. Proof of Claim. Since K is closed and X is complete, it is enough to show that K is totally bounded. For this, we will verify that given ε > 0 there is a finite set F X such that K B(F, ε). Let N be such that d H (K n, K m ) < ε/4 for all n, m N, and let F be an ε/4-net for K N, i.e. K N B(F, ε/4). Thus, for each n N, so n N K n B(F, ε/2), and hence K n B(K N, ε/4) B(F, ε/4 + ε/4) K K n B(F, ε/2) B(F, ε). n N It remains to show that d H (K n, K) 0. Fix ε > 0 and let N be such that d H (K n, K m ) < ε/2 for all n, m N. We will show that if n N, d H (K n, K) < ε. Proof of δ(k, K n ) < ε. By the choice of N, we have K m B(K n, ε/2) for each m N. Thus m N K m B(K n, ε/2) and hence K m N K m B(K n, ε). Proof of δ(k n, K) < ε. Fix x K n. Using the fact that (K m ) m n is Cauchy, we can find n = n 0 < n 1 <... < n i <... such that d H (K ni, K m ) < ε2 (i+1) for all m n i. Then, define x ni K ni as follows: x n0.= x and for i > 0, let x ni K ni be such that d(x ni, x ni+1 ) < ε2 (i+1). It follows that (x ni ) i N is Cauchy, so x ni y for some y X. By the definition of K, y K. Moreover, d(x, y) i=0 d(x ni, x ni+1 ) < i=0 ε2 (i+1) = ε. Proposition If X is compact metrizable, so is K(X). Proof. It is enough to show that if d is a compatible metric for X, with d 1, then (K(X), d H ) is totally bounded. Fix ε > 0. Let F X be a finite ε-net for X. Then it is easy to verify that P(F ) is an ε-net for K(X), i.e. K(X) S F B dh (S, ε). 4. Perfect Polish spaces Recall that a point x of a topological space X is called isolated if {x} is open; call x a limit point otherwise. A space is perfect if it has no isolated points. If P is a subset of a topological space X, we call P perfect in X if P is closed and perfect in its relative topology. For example, R n, R N, C n, C N, I N, C, N are perfect. Another example of a perfect space is C(X), where X compact metrizable. Caution 4.1. Q is a perfect topological space, but it is not a perfect subset of R because it isn t closed. 4.A. Embedding the Cantor space. The following definition gives a construction that is used when embedding the Cantor space. Definition 4.2. A Cantor scheme on a set X is a family (A s ) s 2 <N of subsets of X such that: (i) A s 0 A s 1 =, for s 2 <N ; (ii) A s i A s, for s 2 <N, i {0, 1}. 13

14 14 If (X, d) is a metric space and we additionally have (iii) lim n diam(a x n ) = 0, for x C, we say that (A s ) s 2 <N has vanishing diameter. In this case, we let D = {x C A x n } n N and define f D X by {f(x)}.= A x n. This f is called the associated map. Note that f is injective. Theorem 4.3 (Perfect Set Theorem). Let X be a nonempty perfect Polish space. Then there is an embedding of C into X. Proof. Fix a complete compatible metric for X. Using that X is nonempty perfect, define a Cantor scheme (U s ) s 2 <N on X by induction on s so that (i) U s is nonempty open; (ii) diam(u s ) < 1/ s ; (iii) U s i U s, for i {0, 1}. We do this as follows: let U = X and assume U s is defined. Since X does not have isolated points, U s must contain at least two points x y. Using the fact that X is Hausdorff, take two disjoint open neighborhoods U s 0 x and U s 1 y with small enough diameter so that the conditions (ii) and (iii) above are satisfied. This finishes the construction. Now let f D X be the map associated with the Cantor scheme. It is clear that D = C because for x C, n N U x n = n N U x n by the completeness of X. It is also clear that f is injective, so it is enough to prove that it is continuous (since continuous injections from compact to Hausdorff are embeddings). To this end, let x C and, for ε > 0, take an open ball B X of radius ε around f(x). Because diam(u x n ) 0 as n and f(x) U x n for all n, there is n such that U x n B. But then f(n x n ) U x n B. Corollary 4.4. Any nonempty perfect Polish space has cardinality continuum. Corollary 4.5. For a perfect Polish space X, the generic compact subset of X is perfect. More precisely, the set K p (X) = {K K(X) K is perfect} is a dense G δ subset of K(X). Proof. Left as a homework exercise. 4.B. The Cantor Bendixson Theorem, Derivatives and Ranks. The following theorem shows that Continuum Hypothesis holds for Polish spaces. Theorem 4.6 (Cantor Bendixson). Let X be a Polish space. Then X can be uniquely written as X = P U, with P a perfect subset of X and U countable open. The perfect set P is called the perfect kernel of X. We will give two different proofs of this theorem. In both, we define a notion of smallness for open sets and throw away the small basic open sets from X to get P. However, the small open sets in the first proof are larger than those in the second proof, and thus, in the first

15 proof, after throwing small basic open sets away once, we are left with no small open set, while in the second proof, we have to repeat this process transfinitely many times to get rid of all small open sets. This transfinite analysis provides a very clear picture of the structure of X and allows for defining notions of derivatives of sets and ranks. Call a point x X a condensation point if it does not have a small open neighborhood, i.e. every open neighborhood of x is uncountable. Proof of Theorem 4.6. We will temporarily call an open set small if it is countable. Let P be the set of all condensation points of X; in other words, P = X U, where U is the union of all small open sets. Thus it is clear that P is closed and doesn t contain isolated points. Also, since X is second countable, U is a union of countably many small basic open sets and hence, is itself countable. This finishes the proof of the existence. For the uniqueness, suppose that X = P 1 U 1 is another such decomposition. Thus, by definition, U 1 is small and hence U 1 U. So it is enough to show that P 1 P, which follows from the fact that in any perfect Polish space Y, all points are condensation points. This is because if U Y is an open neighborhood of a point x Y, then U itself is a nonempty perfect Polish space by Proposition 1.7 and hence is uncountable, by the Perfect Set Theorem. Corollary 4.7. Any uncountable Polish space contains a homeomorphic copy of C and in particular has cardinality continuum. In particular, it follows from Proposition 1.7 that every uncountable G δ or F σ set in a Polish space contains a homeomorphic copy of C and so has cardinality continuum; thus, the Continuum Hypothesis holds for such sets. To give the second proof, we temporarily declare an open set small if it is a singleton. Definition 4.8. For any topological space X, let X = {x X x is a limit point of X}. We call X the Cantor Bendixson derivative of X. Clearly, X is closed since X = X U, where U is the union of all small open sets. Also X is perfect iff X = X. Using transfinite recursion we define the iterated Cantor Bendixson derivatives X α, α ON, as follows: X 0.= X, X α+1.= X α, X λ.= X α, if λ is a limit. α<λ Thus (X α ) α ON is a decreasing transfinite sequence of closed subsets of X. The following theorem provides an alternative way of constructing the perfect kernel of a Polish space. Theorem 4.9. Let X be a Polish space. For some countable ordinal α 0, X α = X α 0 for all α > α 0, and X α 0 is the perfect kernel of X. Proof. Since X is second countable and (X α ) α ON is a decreasing transfinite sequence of closed subsets of X, it must stabilize in countably many steps, i.e. there is a countable ordinal α 0, such that X α = X α 0 for all α > α0. Thus (X α 0 ) = X α 0 and hence X α 0 is perfect. 15

16 16 To see that X X α 0 is countable, note that for any second countable space Y, Y Y is equal to a union of small basic open sets, and hence is countable. Thus, X X α 0 = α<α0 (X α X α+1 ) is countable since such is α 0. Definition For any Polish space X, the least ordinal α 0 as in the above theorem is called the Cantor Bendixson rank of X and is denoted by X CB. We also let X = X X CB = the perfect kernel of X. Clearly, for X Polish, X is countable X =. 5. Zero-dimensional spaces 5.A. Definition and examples. A topological space X is called disconnected if it can be partitioned into two nonempty open sets; otherwise, call X connected. In other words, X is connected if and only if the only clopen (closed and open) sets are, X. For example, R n, C n, I N, T are connected, but C and N are not. In fact, in the latter spaces, not only are there nontrivial clopen sets, but there is a basis of clopen sets; so these spaces are in fact very disconnected. We call topological spaces that admit a basis of clopen sets zero-dimensional; the name comes from a general notion of dimension (small inductive dimension) being 0 for exactly these spaces. It is clear (why?) that Hausdorff zero-dimensional spaces are totally disconnected, i.e. the only connected subsets are the singletons. However the converse fails in general even for metric spaces. The proposition below shows that zero-dimensional second-countable topological spaces have a countable basis consisting of clopen sets. To prove this proposition, we need the following. Lemma 5.1. Let X be a second-countable topological space. Then every open cover V of X has a countable subcover. Proof. Let (U n ) n N be a countable basis and put I = {n N V V such that V U n }. Note that (U n ) n I is still an open cover of X since V is a cover and every V V is a union of elements from (U n ) n I. For every n I, choose (by AC) a set V n V such that V n U n. Clearly, (V n ) n I covers X, since so does (U n ) n I. Proposition 5.2. Let X be a second-countable topological space. Then every basis B of X has a countable subbasis. Proof. Let (U n ) n N be a countable basis and for each n N, choose a cover B n B of U n (exists because B is a basis). Since each U n is a second-countable topological space, the lemma above gives a countable subcover B n B n. Put B = n B n and note that B is a basis because every U n is a union of sets in B and (U n ) n N is a basis. 5.B. Luzin schemes. Definition 5.3. A Luzin scheme on a set X is a family (A s ) s N <N of subsets of X such that (i) A s i A s j = if s N <N, i j; (ii) A s i A s, for s N <N, i N. If (X, d) is a metric space and we additionally have

17 17 (iii) lim n diam(a x n ) = 0, for x N, we say that (A s ) s N <N has vanishing diameter. In this case, we let D = {x N A x n } n N and define f D X by {f(x)}.= A x n. This f is called the associated map. From now on, for s N <N, we will denote by N s the basic open sets of N, i.e. N s = {x N x s}. Here are some useful facts about Luzin schemes. Proposition 5.4. Let (A s ) s N <N be a Luzin scheme on a metric space (X, d) that has vanishing diameter and let f D X be the associated map. (a) f is injective and continuous. (b) If A = X and A s = i A s i for each s N <N, then f is surjective. (c) If each A s is open, then f is an embedding. (d) If (X, d) is complete and A s i A s for each s N <N, i N, then D is closed. If moreover, each A s is nonempty, then D = N. Also, same holds for a Cantor scheme. Proof. In part (a), injectivity follows from (i) of the definition of Luzin scheme, and continuity follows from vanishing diameter because if x n x in D, then for every k N, f(x n ) A x k for large enough n, so d(f(x n ), f(x)) diam(a x k ), but the latter goes to 0 as k. Part (b) is straightforward, and part (c) follows from the fact that f(n s D) = A s f(d). For (d), we will show that D c is open. Fix x D c and note that the only reason why n A x n is empty is because A x n = for some n N since otherwise, n A x n = n A x n by the completeness of the metric. But then the entire N x n is contained in D c, so D c is open. 5.C. Topological characterizations of the Cantor space and the Baire space. Theorem 5.5 (Brouwer). The Cantor space C is the unique, up to homeomorphism, perfect nonempty, compact metrizable, zero-dimensional space. Proof. It is clear that C has all these properties. Now let X be such a space and let d be a compatible metric. We will construct a Cantor scheme (C s ) s 2 <N on X that has vanishing diameter such that for each s 2 <N, (i) C s is nonempty; (ii) C = X and C s = C s 0 C s 1; (iii) C s is clopen. Assuming this can be done, let f D X be the associated map. Because X is compact and each C s is nonempty closed, we have D = C. Therefore, f is a continuous injection of C into X by (a) of Proposition 5.4. Moreover, because C is compact and X is Hausdorff, f is actually an embedding. Lastly, (ii) implies that f is onto. As for the construction of (C s ) s 2 <N, partition X = i<n X i, n 2, into nonempty clopen sets of diameter < 1/2 (how?) and put C 0 i = X i... X n 1 for i < n, and C 0 i 1 = X i for i < n 1. Now repeat this process within each X i, using sets of diameter < 1/3, and so on (recursively).

18 18 Theorem 5.6 (Alexandrov Urysohn). The Baire space N is the unique, up to homeomorphism, nonempty Polish zero-dimensional space, for which all compact subsets have empty interior. Proof. Outlined in a homework problem. Corollary 5.7. The space of irrational numbers is homeomorphic to the Baire space. 5.D. Closed subspaces of the Baire space. Theorem 5.8. Every zero-dimensional separable metrizable space can be embedded into both N and C. Every zero-dimensional Polish space is homeomorphic to a closed subset of N and a G δ subset of C. Proof. The assertions about C follow from those about N and Proposition 1.8. To prove the results about N, let X be as in the first statement of the theorem and let d be a compatible metric for X. Then we can easily construct Luzin scheme (C s ) s N <N on X with vanishing diameter such that for each s N <N, (i) C = X and C s = i N C s i; (ii) C s is clopen. (Some C s may, however, be empty.) Let f D X be the associated map. By (i) and (ii), f is a surjective embedding, thus a homeomorphism between D and X. Finally, by (d) of Proposition 5.4, D is closed if d is complete. 5.E. Continuous images of the Baire space. Theorem 5.9. Any nonempty Polish space X is a continuous image of N. In fact, for any Polish space X, there is a closed set C N and a continuous bijection f C X. Proof. The first assertion follows from the second and Lemma For the second assertion, fix a complete compatible metric d on X. By (a), (b) and (d) of Proposition 5.4, it is enough to construct a Luzin scheme (F s ) s N <N on X with vanishing diameter such that for each s N <N, (i) F = X and F s = i N F s i; (ii) F s i F s, for i N. We put F.= X and attempt to define F (i) for i N as follows: take an open cover (U j ) j N of X such that diam(u j ) < 1, and put F (i).= U i ( n<i U n ). This clearly works. We can apply the same process to each F (i) and obtain F (i,j), but now (ii) may not be satisfied. To satisfy (ii), we need to use that F (i) is F σ (it is also G δ, but that s irrelevant) as we will see below. Thus, we add the following auxiliary condition to our Luzin scheme: (iii) F s is F σ. To construct such (F s ) s N <N, it is enough to show that for every F σ set F X and every ε > 0, we can write F = n N F n, where F n are pairwise disjoint F σ sets of diameter < ε such that F n F. To this end, write F = i N C i, where (C i ) i N is an increasing sequence of closed sets with C 0 =. Then F = i N (C i+1 C i ) and, as above, we can write C i+1 C i = j N E i,j, where E i,j are disjoint F σ sets of diameter < ε. Thus F = i,j E i,j works since E i,j C i+1 C i C i+1 F.

19 6. Baire category 6.A. Nowhere dense sets. Let X be a topological space. A set A X is said to be dense in B X if A B is dense in B. Definition 6.1. Let X be a topological space. A set A X is called nowhere dense if there is no nonempty open set U X in which A is dense. Proposition 6.2. Let X be a topological space and A X. The following are equivalent: (1) A is nowhere dense; (2) A misses a nonempty open subset of every nonempty open set (i.e. for every open set U there is a nonempty open subset V U such that A V = ); (3) The closure A has empty interior. Proof. Follows from definitions. Proposition 6.3. Let X be a topological space and A, U X. (a) A is nowhere dense if and only if A is nowhere dense. (b) If U is open, then U.= U U is closed nowhere dense. (c) If U is open dense, then U c is closed nowhere dense. (d) Nowhere dense subsets of X form an ideal 4. Proof. Part (a) immediately follows from (2) of Proposition 6.2. For (b) note that U is disjoint from U so its interior cannot be nonempty. Since it is also closed, it is nowhere dense by (2) of Proposition 6.2, again. As for part (c), it follows directly from (b) because by the density of U, U = U c. Finally, we leave part (d) as an easy exercise. For example, the Cantor set is nowhere dense in [0, 1] because it is closed and has empty interior. Also, any compact set K is nowhere dense in N because it is closed and the corresponding tree T K is finitely branching. Finally, in a perfect Hausdorff (T 2 is enough) space, singletons are closed nowhere dense. 6.B. Meager sets. Definition 6.4. Let X be a topological space. A set A X is meager if it is a countable union of nowhere dense sets. The complement of a meager set is called comeager. Note that the family MGR(X) of meager subsets of X is a σ-ideal 5 on X; in fact, it is precisely the σ-ideal generated by nowhere dense sets. Consequently, comeager sets form a countably closed filter 6 on X. Meager sets often have properties analogous to those enjoyed by the null sets in R n (with respect to the Lebesgue measure). The following proposition lists some of them. Proposition 6.5. Let X be a topological space and A X. (a) A is meager if and only if it is contained in a countable union of closed nowhere dense sets. In particular, every meager set is contained in a meager F σ set. 4 An ideal on a set X is a collection of subsets of X containing and closed under subsets and finite unions. 5 An σ-ideal on a set X is an ideal that is closed under countable unions. 6 A filter on a set X is the dual to an ideal on X, more precisely, it is a collection of subsets of X containing X and closed under supersets and finite intersections. If moreover, it is closed under countable intersections, we say that it is countably closed. 19

20 20 (b) A is comeager if and only if it contains a countable intersection of open dense sets. In particular, dense G δ sets are comeager. Proof. Part (b) follows from (a) by taking complements, and part (a) follows directly from the corresponding property of nowhere dense sets proved above. An example of a meager set is any σ-compact set in N. Also, any countable set in a nonempty perfect Hausdorff space is meager, so, for example, Q is meager in R. As an application of some of the statements above, we record the following random fact: Proposition 6.6. Every second countable space X contains a dense G δ (hence comeager) subset Y that is zero-dimensional in the relative topology. Proof. Indeed, if {U n } n N is a basis for X, then F = n (U n U n ) is meager F σ and Y = X F is zero-dimensional. 6.C. Relativization of nowhere dense and meager. Let X be a topological space and P be a property of subsets of X (e.g. open, closed, compact, nowhere dense, meager). We say that property P is absolute between subspaces if for every subspace Y X and A Y, A has property P as a subset of Y iff it has property P as a subset of X. Examples of properties that are absolute between subspaces are compactness and connectedness 7 (why?). It is clear that properties like open or closed are not absolute. Furthermore, nowhere dense is not absolute: let X = R and A = Y = {0}. Now A is clearly nowhere dense in R but in Y all of a sudden it is, in fact, open, and hence not nowhere dense. Thus being nowhere dense does not transfer downward (from a bigger space to a smaller subspace); same goes for meager. However, the following proposition shows that it transfers upward and that it is absolute between open subspaces. Proposition 6.7. Let X be a topological space, Y X be a subspace and A Y. (a) If A is nowhere dense (resp. meager) in Y, it is still nowhere dense (resp. meager) in X. (b) If Y is open, then A is nowhere dense (resp. meager) in Y iff it is nowhere dense (resp. meager) in X. Proof. Straightforward, using (2) of Proposition D. Baire spaces. Being a σ-ideal is a characteristic property of many notions of smallness of sets, such as being countable, having measure 0, etc, and meager is one of them. However, it is possible that a topological space X is such that X itself is meager, so the σ-ideal of meager sets trivializes, i.e. is equal to P(X). The following definition isolates a class of spaces where this doesn t happen. Definition 6.8. A topological space is said to be Baire if every nonempty open set is nonmeager. Proposition 6.9. Let X be a topological space. The following are equivalent: (a) X is a Baire space, i.e. every nonempty open set is non-meager. (b) Every comeager set is dense. (c) The intersection of countably many dense open sets is dense. 7 Thanks to Lou van den Dries for pointing out that connectedness is absolute.

21 Proof. Follows from the definitions. As mentioned above, in any topological space, dense G δ sets are comeager. Moreover, by the last proposition, we have that in Baire spaces any comeager set contains a dense G δ set. So we get: Corollary In Baire spaces, a set is comeager if and only if it contains a dense G δ set. Proposition If X is a Baire space and U X is open, then U is a Baire space. Proof. Follows from (b) of Proposition 6.7. Theorem 6.12 (The Baire Category Theorem). Every completely metrizable space is Baire. Every locally compact Hausdorff space is Baire. Proof. We will only prove for completely metrizable spaces and leave the locally compact Hausdorff case as an exercise (outlined in a homework problem). So let (X, d) be a complete metric space and let (U n ) n N be dense open. Let U be nonempty open and we show that n U n U. Put V 0 = U and since U 0 V 0, there is a nonempty open set V 1 of diameter < 1 such that V 1 U 0 V 0. Similarly, since U 1 V 1, there is a nonempty open set V 2 of diameter < 1/2 such that V 2 U 1 V 1, etc. Thus there is a decreasing sequence (V n ) n 1 of nonempty closed sets with vanishing diameter (diam(v n ) < 1/n) and such that V n U n U. By the completeness of X, n V n is nonempty (is, in fact, a singleton) and hence so is n U n U. Thus, Polish spaces are Baire and hence comeager sets in them are truly large, i.e. they are not meager! This immediately gives: Corollary In nonempty Polish spaces, dense meager sets are not G δ. In particular, Q is not a G δ subset of R. Proof. If a subset is dense G δ, then it is comeager, and hence nonmeager. Definition Let X be a topological space and P X. If P is comeager, we say that P holds generically or that the generic element of X is in P. (Sometimes the word typical is used instead of generic.) In a nonempty Baire space X, if P X holds generically, then, in particular, P. This leads to a well-known method of existence proofs in mathematics: in order to show that a given set P X is nonempty, where X is a nonempty Baire space, it is enough to show that P holds generically. Although the latter task seems harder, the proofs are often simpler since having a notion of largeness (like non-meager, uncountable, positive measure) allows using pigeon hole principles and counting, whereas constructing a concrete object in P is often complicated. The first example of this phenomenon was due to Cantor who proved the existence of transcendental numbers by showing that there are only countably many algebraic ones, whereas reals are uncountable, and hence, most real numbers are transcendental. Although the existence of transcendental numbers was proved by Liouville before Cantor, the simplicity of Cantor s proof and the apparent power of the idea of counting successfully sold Set Theory to the mathematical community. 21

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