Locally compact space

In topology and related branches of mathematics, a topological space is called locally compact if, roughly speaking, each small portion of the space looks like a small portion of a compact space. More precisely, it is a topological space in which every point has a compact neighborhood.

In mathematical analysis locally compact spaces that are Hausdorff are of particular interest, which are abbreviated as LCH spaces.[1]

There are other common definitions: They are all equivalent if X is a Hausdorff space (or preregular). But they are not equivalent in general:

4. X is Hausdorff and satisfies any (or equivalently, all) of the previous conditions.

Condition (1) is probably the most commonly used definition, since it is the least restrictive and the others are equivalent to it when X is Hausdorff. This equivalence is a consequence of the facts that compact subsets of Hausdorff spaces are closed, and closed subsets of compact spaces are compact.

As they are defined in terms of relatively compact sets, spaces satisfying (2), (2'), (2") can more specifically be called locally relatively compact.[2][3] Steen & Seebach[4] calls (2), (2'), (2") strongly locally compact to contrast with property (1), which they call locally compact.

Condition (4) is used, for example, in Bourbaki.[5] In almost all applications, locally compact spaces are indeed also Hausdorff. These locally compact Hausdorff (LCH) spaces are thus the spaces that this article is primarily concerned with.

Every compact Hausdorff space is also locally compact, and many examples of compact spaces may be found in the article compact space. Here we mention only:

As mentioned in the following section, if a Hausdorff space is locally compact, then it is also a Tychonoff space. For this reason, examples of Hausdorff spaces that fail to be locally compact because they are not Tychonoff spaces can be found in the article dedicated to Tychonoff spaces. But there are also examples of Tychonoff spaces that fail to be locally compact, such as:

The first two examples show that a subset of a locally compact space need not be locally compact, which contrasts with the open and closed subsets in the previous section. The last example contrasts with the Euclidean spaces in the previous section; to be more specific, a Hausdorff topological vector space is locally compact if and only if it is finite-dimensional (in which case it is a Euclidean space). This example also contrasts with the Hilbert cube as an example of a compact space; there is no contradiction because the cube cannot be a neighbourhood of any point in Hilbert space.

Every locally compact preregular space is, in fact, completely regular. It follows that every locally compact Hausdorff space is a Tychonoff space. Since straight regularity is a more familiar condition than either preregularity (which is usually weaker) or complete regularity (which is usually stronger), locally compact preregular spaces are normally referred to in the mathematical literature as locally compact regular spaces. Similarly locally compact Tychonoff spaces are usually just referred to as locally compact Hausdorff spaces.

Every locally compact Hausdorff space is a Baire space. That is, the conclusion of the Baire category theorem holds: the interior of every union of countably many nowhere dense subsets is empty.

A subspace X of a locally compact Hausdorff space Y is locally compact if and only if X can be written as the set-theoretic difference of two closed subsets of Y. As a corollary, a dense subspace X of a locally compact Hausdorff space Y is locally compact if and only if X is an open subset of Y. Furthermore, if a subspace X of any Hausdorff space Y is locally compact, then X still must be the difference of two closed subsets of Y, although the converse needn't hold in this case.

Quotient spaces of locally compact Hausdorff spaces are compactly generated. Conversely, every compactly generated Hausdorff space is a quotient of some locally compact Hausdorff space.

For locally compact spaces local uniform convergence is the same as compact convergence.

The Pontryagin dual of a topological abelian group A is locally compact if and only if A is locally compact. More precisely, Pontryagin duality defines a self-duality of the category of locally compact abelian groups. The study of locally compact abelian groups is the foundation of harmonic analysis, a field that has since spread to non-abelian locally compact groups.