Ngô Quốc Anh

April 14, 2019

Extending functions between metric spaces: Continuity, uniform continuity, and uniform equicontinuity

Filed under: Giải Tích 3, Giải tích 8 (MA5206) — Tags: — Ngô Quốc Anh @ 15:02

This topic concerns a very classical question: extend of a function f : X \to Y between two metric spaces to obtain a new function \widetilde f : \overline X \to Y enjoying certain properties. I am interested in the following three properties:

  • Continuity,
  • Uniformly continuity,
  • Pointwise equi-continuity, and
  • Uniformly equi-continuity.

Throughout this topic, by X and Y we mean metric spaces with metrics d_X and d_Y respectively.

CONTINUITY IS NOT ENOUGH. Let us consider the first situation where the given function f : X \to Y is only assumed to be continuous. In this scenario, there is no hope that we can extend such a continuous function f to obtain a new continuous function \widetilde f : \overline X \to Y. The following counter-example demonstrates this:

Let X = [0,\frac 12 ) \cup (\frac 12, 1] and let f be any continuous function on X such that there is a positive gap between f(\frac 12+) and f(\frac12-). For example, we can choose

\displaystyle f(x)=\begin{cases}x^2&\text{ if } x<\frac 12,\\x^3 & \text{ if } x>\frac 12.\end{cases}

Since f is monotone increasing, we clearly have

\displaystyle f(\frac12-)-f(\frac 12+)=\frac18.

Hence any extension \widetilde f of f cannot be continuous because \widetilde f will be discontinuous at x =\frac 12. Thus, we have just shown that continuity is not enough. For this reason, we require f to be uniformly continuous.

SIMPLE OBSERVATIONS. We start with the following basic results.


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