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# Handout on bases of topologies

## Definition 1. Let X be a nonempty set and T be a topology on X.

A family B of subsets of X is called a basis for T or a base for T if
(1) For every B ∈ B we have B ∈ T
and
(2) Every nonempty set U ∈ T can be represented as a union of
some family of sets from B.
If B is a basis for a topology T on X, we also say that B generates
T.

## Theorem 1 [Criterion for being a basis of T ]

Let X be a nonempty set, T be a topology on X and let B be a
family of sets from T .
Then B is a basis for T if and only if whenever U ∈ T and x ∈ U ,
then there exists B ∈ B such that x ∈ B ⊆ U .

Example 1.
(1) {(a, b)|a, b ∈ R, a < b} is a basis for the Euclidean topology Te
on R.
(2) {(a, b)|a, b ∈ Q, a < b} is a basis for the Euclidean topology Te
on R.
(3) {(−∞, a)|a ∈ R} is not a basis for the Euclidean topology Te
on R.
(4) {(a, b) × (c, d)|a, b, c, d ∈ Q, a < b, c < d} is a basis for the
Euclidean topology Te on R2 .
(5) For every integer m ≥ 1 the family {B(x, n1 )|x ∈ Rm , n ≥ 1, n ∈
Z} is a basis for the Euclidean topology Te on Rm .
(6) Let X be a nonempty set. Then {{x}|x ∈ X} is a basis for the
discrete topology on X.
(7) Let X be a nonempty set. Then {X} is a basis for the trivial
topology on X.
(8) Let X = R. Then {(a, b)|a, b ∈ R, a < b} is not a basis for the
trivial topology on X.
(9) Let X = R. For a ∈ R let Ua := R \ {a} = (−∞, a) ∪ (a, ∞).
Then {Ua |a ∈ R} is not a basis for the finite-complement topol-
ogy Tf c on R.

## Definition 2. Let X be a nonempty set. A family B of subsets of

X is called a topological basis with respect to X or a topological basis
on X if the following two conditions hold:
(1) For every x ∈ X there exists B ∈ B such that x ∈ B.
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## (2) Whenever x ∈ X, B1 , B2 ∈ B are such that x ∈ B1 ∩ B2 then

there exists B ∈ B such that x ∈ B ⊆ B1 ∩ B2 .

## Theorem 2. Let X be a nonempty set and let B be a family of

subsets of X. Then the following hold:
(1) B is a basis for some topology on X if and only if B is a topo-
logical basis with respect to X.
(2) If B is a topological basis with respect to X, then there exists a
unique topology T on X such that B is a basis for T . Namely,
T consists of the empty set and of all nonempty subsets U of
X such that U represented as the union of some family of sets
from B.
Example 2:
(1) Let X = R and let
B = {(−∞, a)|a ∈ R} ∪ {(b, ∞)|b ∈ R}.
Then B is not a topological basis with respect to X since
property (2) from Definition 2 does not hold for B. Therefore
there does not exist a topology on X such that B is a basis for
this topology.
(2) Let X = R and
B = {(a, b] |a, b ∈ R, a < b}.
Then B is a topological basis with respect to X. Therefore
there exists a unique topology T on R such that B is a basis
for T . This topology is called the upper limit topology on R.
(3) For each n ∈ Z define the set A(n) as follows: A(n) = {n} if n
is odd and A(n) = {n − 1, n, n + 1} if n is even.
Put B = {A(n)|n ∈ Z}.
Then B is a topological basis on Z. Therefore there exists a
unique topology T on Z such that B is a basis for T . This T
is called the digital topology on Z.
(4) Let X be a nonempty set and let F be the family of all finite
subsets of X. Determine whether or not F is a topological
basis on X. If F is a topological basis on X, determine which
topology F generates.
(5) Let X, Y be nonempty sets. Let T1 be a topology on X and let
T2 be a topology on Y . Put
B = {U × V |U ∈ T1 , V ∈ T2 }
Then B is a topological basis on X ×Y . The topology on X ×Y
generated by B is called the product topology.
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## Think about whether or not B itself is a topology on X × Y .

(6) Let X = R and let Y ⊆ X. Determine for which Y the family
{Y } is a topological basis on R.
(7) Let X = R and
B = {[a, b] : a, b ∈ R, a < b}
Is B a topological basis on R?