Lecture notes on Topology

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  • Lecture notes on Topology


    Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Science, VietnamNational University, 227 Nguyen Van Cu, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.Email: hqvu@hcmus.edu.vn









  • ABSTRACT. This is a set of lecture notes for a series of introductory courses in

    topology for undergraduate students at the University of Science, Ho Chi Minh

    City. It is written to be delivered by myself, tailored to my students. I did not write

    it with other lecturers or self-study readers in mind.

    In writing these notes I intend that more explanations and discussions will

    be carried out in class. I hope by presenting only the essentials these notes will be

    more suitable for classroom use. Some details are left for students to fill in or to be

    discussed in class.

    A sign

    in front of a problem notifies the reader that this is an important

    one although it might not appear to be so initially. A sign * indicates a relatively

    more difficult problem.

    The latest version of this set of notes is available at

    http://www.math.hcmus.edu.vn/hqvu/teaching/n.pdf, and the source file isat

    http://www.math.hcmus.edu.vn/hqvu/teaching/n.tar.gz. This work is releashedto Public Domain (CC0) wherever applicable, see

    http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/, otherwise it is licensed un-

    der the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, see


    September 16, 2016.


  • Contents

    Introduction 1

    General Topology 31. Infinite sets 32. Topological space 113. Continuity 174. Connectedness 235. Convergence 306. Compact space 367. Product of spaces 448. Real functions and Spaces of functions 519. Quotient space 58Other topics 65

    Algebraic Topology 6910. Structures on topological spaces 6911. Classification of compact surfaces 7612. Homotopy 8413. The fundamental group 8814. The fundamental group of the circle 9315. Van Kampen theorem 9816. Homology 10417. Homology of cell complexes 110Other topics 116

    Differential Topology 11718. Smooth manifolds 11719. Tangent spaces and derivatives 12120. Regular values 12621. Critical points and the Morse lemma 13122. Flows 13623. Manifolds with boundaries 14024. Sard theorem 14425. Orientation 14626. Topological degrees of maps 151Guide for further reading 156



    Suggestions for some problems 157

    Bibliography 161

    Index 163



    Topology is a mathematical subject that studies shapes. A set becomes a topo-logical space when each element of the set is given a collection of neighborhoods.Operations on topological spaces must be continuous, bringing certain neighbor-hoods into neighborhoods.

    Unlike geometry, there is no notion of distance. So topology is more generalthan geometry. But usually people do not classify geometry as a subfield of topol-ogy. On the other hand, if one forgets the distance from geometrical objects, onegets topological space. This is a more prevalent point of view: topology is the partof geometry that does not concern distance.

    FIGURE 0.1. How to make a closed trip such that every bridge(a blue arc) is crossed exactly once? This is the problem SevenBridges of Konigsberg, studied by Leonard Euler in the 18th cen-tury. It does not depend on the size of the bridges.

    Characteristics of topology. Operations on topological objects are more re-laxed: beside moving around (allowed in geometry), stretching or bending areallowed in topology (not allowed in geometry). For example, in topology circles -big or small, anywhere - are same. Ellipses and circles are same.

    On the other hand in topology tearing or breaking are not allowed: circles arestill different from lines.

    While topological operations are more flexible they still retain some essentialproperties of spaces.

    Contributions of topology. Topology provides basic notions to areas of math-ematics where continuity appears.

    Topology focuses on some essential properties of spaces. It can be used inqualitative study. It can be useful where metrics or coordinates are not available,not natural, or not necessary.

    Topology often does not stand alone: there are fields such as algebraic topol-ogy, differential topology, geometric topology, combinatorial topology, quantumtopology, . . .

    Topology often does not solve a problem by itself, but contributes importantunderstanding, settings, and tools. Topology features prominently in differentialgeometry, global analysis, algebraic geometry, theoretical physics . . .

  • General Topology

    1. Infinite sets

    General Topology is the part of Topology that studies basic settings, also calledPoint-set Topology.

    In General Topology we often work in very general settings, in particular weoften deal with infinite sets.

    We will not define what a set is. In other words, we will work on the level ofnaive set theory, pioneered by Georg Cantor in the late 19th century. We will usefamiliar notions such as maps, Cartesian product of two sets, . . . without recallingdefinitions. We will not go back to definitions of the natural numbers or the realnumbers.

    Still, we should be aware of certain problems in naive set theory.

    EXAMPLE (Russells paradox). Consider the set S = {x | x / x} (the set ofall sets which are not members of themselves). Then whether S S or not isundecidable, since answering yes or no to this question leads to contradiction. 1

    Axiomatic systems for the theory of sets have been developed since then. Inthe Von Neumann-Bernays-Godel system a more general notion than set, calledclass (lp), is used. In this course, we do not distinguish set, class, or collection(h), but in occasions where we deal with set of sets we often prefer the termcollection. For more one can read [End77, p. 6], [Dug66, p. 32].

    Indexed collection. Suppose that A is a collection, I is a set and f : I Ais a map. The map f is called an indexed collection, or indexed family (h c nhch s). We often write fi = f (i), and denote the indexed collection f by ( fi)iI{ fi}iI . Notice that it can happen that fi = f j for some i 6= j.

    EXAMPLE. A sequence of elements in a set A is a collection of elements of Aindexed by the set Z+ of positive integer numbers, written as (an)nZ+ .

    Relation. A relation (quan h) R on a set S is a non-empty subset of the setS S.

    When (a, b) R we often say that a is related to b and often write a R b.A relation said to be:

    1Discovered in 1901 by Bertrand Russell. A famous version of this paradox is the barber paradox: Ina village there is a barber; his job is to do hair cut for a villager if and only if the villager does not cuthis hair himself. Consider the set of all villagers who had their hairs cut by the barber. Is the barberhimself a member of that set?



    (a) reflexive (phn x) if a S, (a, a) R.(b) symmetric (i xng) if a, b S, (a, b) R (b, a) R.(c) antisymmetric (phn i xng) if a, b S, ((a, b) R (b, a) R)

    a = b.(d) transitive (bc cu) if a, b, c S, ((a, b) R (b, c) R) (a, c) R.

    An equivalence relation on S is a relation that is reflexive, symmetric and transitive.If R is an equivalence relation on S then an equivalence class (lp tng ng)

    represented by a S is the subset [a] = {b S | (a, b) R}. Two equivalenceclasses are either coincident or disjoint. The set S is partitioned (phn hoch) intothe disjoint union of its equivalence classes.

    Countable sets. Two sets are said to be set-equivalent if there is a bijectionfrom one set to the other set. A set is said to be finite if it is equivalent to a subset{1, 2, 3, . . . , n} of all positive integers Z+ for some n Z+. If a set is not finite wesay that it is infinite.

    DEFINITION. A set is called countably infinite (v hn m c) if it is equiv-alent to the set of all positive integers. A set is called countable if it is either finiteor countably infinite.

    Intuitively, a countably infinite set can be counted by the positive integers.The elements of such a set can be indexed by the set of all positive integers as asequence a1, a2, a3, . . . .

    EXAMPLE. The set Z of all integer numbers is countable.

    PROPOSITION. A subset of a countable set is countable.

    PROOF. The statement is equivalent to the statement that a subset of Z+ iscountable. Suppose that A is an infinite subset of Z+. Let a1 be the smallestnumber in A. Let an be the smallest number in A \ {a1, a2, . . . , an1}. Then an1 0 such that B(x, e) is contained in U. This is equivalent to sayingthat a non-empty open set is a union of balls.

    To check that this is indeed a topology, we only need to check that the in-tersection of two balls is a union of balls. Let z B(x, rx) B(y, ry), let rz =min{rx d(z, x), ry d(z, y)}. Then the ball B(z, rz) will be inside both B(x, rx)and B(y, ry).

    3Be careful that not everyone uses this convention. For instance Kelley [Kel55] uses this convention butMunkres [Mun00] requires a neighborhood to be open.


    Thus a metric space is canonically a topological space with the topology gen-erated by the metric. When we speak about topology on a metric space we mean thistopology.

    EXAMPLE (normed spaces). Recall that a normed space (khng gian nhchun) is briefly a vector spaces equipped with lengths of vectors. Namely, anormed space is a set X with a structur