Cantor set: a null set having the cardinality of the continuum

Definition of the Cantor set

The Cantor ternary set (named Cantor set below) \(K\) is a subset of the real segment \(I=[0,1]\). It is built by induction:

  • Starting with \(K_0=I\)
  • If \(K_n\) is a finite disjoint union of segments \(K_n=\cup_k \left[a_k,b_k\right]\), \[K_{n+1}=\bigcup_k \left(\left[a_k,a_k+\frac{b_k-a_k}{3}\right] \cup \left[a_k+2\frac{b_k-a_k}{3},b_k\right]\right)\]

And finally \(K=\displaystyle \bigcap_{n \in \mathbb{N}} K_n\). The Cantor set is created by repeatedly deleting the open middle third of a set of line segments starting with the segment \(I\).

The Cantor set is a closed set as it is an intersection of closed sets. Continue reading Cantor set: a null set having the cardinality of the continuum

A module without a basis

Let’s start by recalling some background about modules.

Suppose that \(R\) is a ring and \(1_R\) is its multiplicative identity. A left \(R\)-module \(M\) consists of an abelian group \((M, +)\) and an operation \(R \times M \rightarrow M\) such that for all \(r, s \in R\) and \(x, y \in M\), we have:

  1. \(r \cdot (x+y)= r \cdot x + r \cdot y\) (\( \cdot\) is left-distributive over \(+\))
  2. \((r +s) \cdot x= r \cdot x + s \cdot x\) (\( \cdot\) is right-distributive over \(+\))
  3. \((rs) \cdot x= r \cdot (s \cdot x)\)
  4. \(1_R \cdot x= x \)

\(+\) is the symbol for addition in both \(R\) and \(M\).
If \(K\) is a field, \(M\) is \(K\)-vector space. It is well known that a vector space \(V\) is having a basis, i.e. a subset of linearly independent vectors that spans \(V\).
Unlike for a vector space, a module doesn’t always have a basis. Continue reading A module without a basis

An unbounded convex not containing a ray

We consider a normed vector space \(E\) over the field of the reals \(\mathbb{R}\) and a convex subset \(C \subset E\).

We suppose that \(0 \in C\) and that \(C\) is unbounded, i.e. there exists points in \(C\) at distance as big as we wish from \(0\).

The following question arises: “does \(C\) contains a ray?”. It turns out that the answer depends on the dimension of the space \(E\). If \(E\) is of finite dimension, then \(C\) always contains a ray, while if \(E\) is of infinite dimension \(C\) may not contain a ray. Continue reading An unbounded convex not containing a ray

A compact whose convex hull is not compact

We consider a topological vector space \(E\) over the field of the reals \(\mathbb{R}\). The convex hull of a subset \(X \subset E\) is the smallest convex set that contains \(X\).

The convex hull may also be defined as the intersection of all convex sets containing X or as the set of all convex combinations of points in X.

The convex hull of \(X\) is written as \(\mbox{Conv}(X)\). Continue reading A compact whose convex hull is not compact

A vector space not isomorphic to its double dual

In this page \(\mathbb{F}\) refers to a field. Given any vector space \(V\) over \(\mathbb{F}\), the dual space \(V^*\) is defined as the set of all linear functionals \(f: V \mapsto \mathbb{F}\). The dual space \(V^*\) itself becomes a vector space over \(\mathbb{F}\) when equipped with the following addition and scalar multiplication:
\[\left\{
\begin{array}{lll}(\varphi + \psi)(x) & = & \varphi(x) + \psi(x) \\
(a \varphi)(x) & = & a (\varphi(x)) \end{array} \right. \] for all \(\phi, \psi \in V^*\), \(x \in V\), and \(a \in \mathbb{F}\).
There is a natural homomorphism \(\Phi\) from \(V\) into the double dual \(V^{**}\), defined by \((\Phi(v))(\phi) = \phi(v)\) for all \(v \in V\), \(\phi \in V^*\). This map \(\Phi\) is always injective. Continue reading A vector space not isomorphic to its double dual

A field that can be ordered in two distinct ways

For a short reminder about ordered fields you can have a look to following post. We prove there that \(\mathbb{Q}\) can be ordered in only one way.

That is also the case of \(\mathbb{R}\) as \(\mathbb{R}\) is a real-closed field. And one can prove that the only possible positive cone of a real-closed field is the subset of squares.

However \(\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2})\) is a subfield of \(\mathbb{R}\) that can be ordered in two distinct ways. Continue reading A field that can be ordered in two distinct ways

An infinite field that cannot be ordered

Introduction to ordered fields

Let \(K\) be a field. An ordering of \(K\) is a subset \(P\) of \(K\) having the following properties:

ORD 1
Given \(x \in K\), we have either \(x \in P\), or \(x=0\), or \(-x \in P\), and these three possibilities are mutually exclusive. In other words, \(K\) is the disjoint union of \(P\), \(\{0\}\), and \(-P\).
ORD 2
If \(x, y \in P\), then \(x+y\) and \(xy \in P\).

We shall also say that \(K\) is ordered by \(P\), and we call \(P\) the set of positive elements. Continue reading An infinite field that cannot be ordered

A function that is everywhere continuous and nowhere differentiable

Let \(f_1(x) = |x|\) for \(| x | \le \frac{1}{2}\), and let \(f_1\) be defined for other values of \(x\) by periodic continuation with period \(1\). \(f_1\) graph looks like following picture:
van-der-Waerden first function picture

\(f_1\) is continuous everywhere and differentiable on \(\mathbb{R} \setminus \mathbb{Z}\). Continue reading A function that is everywhere continuous and nowhere differentiable

A compact convex set whose extreme points set is not close

Let’s remind that an extreme point \(c\) of a convex set \(C\) in a real vector space \(E\) is a point in \(C\) which does not lie in any open line segment joining two points of \(C\).

The specific case of dimension \(2\)

Proposition: when \(C\) is closed and its dimension is equal to \(2\), the set \(\hat{C}\) of its extreme points is closed.
Continue reading A compact convex set whose extreme points set is not close

Mathematical exceptions to the rules or intuition