topological space

topological space

noun Mathematics.
a set with a collection of subsets or open sets satisfying the properties that the union of open sets is an open set, the intersection of two open sets is an open set, and the given set and the empty set are open sets.

Origin:
1945–50

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topological space
 
n
maths a set S with an associated family of subsets τ that is closed under set union and finite intersection. S and the empty set are members of τ

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

topological space

in mathematics, generalization of Euclidean spaces in which the idea of closeness, or limits, is described in terms of relationships between sets rather than in terms of distance. Every topological space consists of: (1) a set of points; (2) a class of subsets defined axiomatically as open sets; and (3) the set operations of union and intersection. In addition, the class of open sets in (2) must be defined in such a manner that the intersection of any finite number of open sets is itself open and the union of any, possibly infinite, collection of open sets is likewise open. The concept of limit point is of fundamental importance in topology; a point p is called a limit point of the set S if every open set containing p also contains some point (s) of S (points other than p, should p happen to lie in S ). The concept of limit point is so basic to topology that, by itself, it can be used axiomatically to define a topological space by specifying limit points for each set according to rules known as the Kuratowski closure axioms. Any set of objects can be made into a topological space in various ways, but the usefulness of the concept depends on the manner in which the limit points are separated from each other. Most topological spaces that are studied have the Hausdorff property, which states that any two points can be contained in nonoverlapping open sets, guaranteeing that a sequence of points can have no more than one limit point.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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