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INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES

Subject : Analysis
Course : Metric Spaces
Author Name : Dr. Jeetendra Aggarwal and Rajesh Singh
College/Department : Department of Mathematics
Shivaji College, University of Delhi
and
Department of Mathematics
University of Delhi
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 2

Table of Contents

Chapter: Introduction Metric Spaces


1. Learning Outcomes
2. Prerequisites
3. Introduction
4. Example of Metric Spaces
5. Metric Subspaces And Metric Superspaces
6. Isometries
7. Assorted Examples Of Metric Spaces
8. Norms on Vector Spaces
9. Solved Problems
10. Summary
11. Problems
12. References
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 3

1. LEARNING OUTCOMES
This chapter will introduce the reader to the concept of metrics (a class of functions which
is regarded as generalization of the notion of distance) and metric spaces. A lot emphasis
has been given to motivate the ideas under discussion to help the reader develop skill in
using his imagination to visualize the abstract nature of the subject. Variety of examples
along with real life applications have been provided to understand and appreciate the
beauty of metric spaces. Moreover the concepts of metric subspace, metric superspace,
isometry (i.e., distance preserving functions between metric spaces) and norms on linear
spaces are also discussed in detail.

2. PREREQUISITES
It is assumed that the reader has done a course which includes introductory real
analysis, that is, the reader has familiarity with concepts like convergence of sequence of
real numbers, continuity of real valued functions etc. But it is nowhere assumed that the
reader has mastered these topics and hence all the concepts are well explained. Next we
list few inequalities that are required in the chapter.

Inequalities

1. Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality

Let , for = 1,2, , , then following inequality holds:

| | | |2 | |2 .
=1 =1 =1

2. Minkowskis Inequality

Let , for = 1,2, , and 1 be any real number. Then


1 1 1

(| + | ) (| | ) + (| | ) .
=1 =1 =1

3. Minkowskis Inequality for Infinite Sums

Let 1 be any real number and { }1 , { }1 be real sequences such that


| | < | | < .
=1 =1

Then
=1| + | is convergent. Moreover,

1 1 1

(| + | ) (| | ) + (| | ) .
=1 =1 =1

Theorem A. For any , , , ,


2
[( 2 + 2 ) + ( 2 + 2 )] [ + ]2 + [ + ]2 .

Proof: Consider
( )2 0
2 2 + 2 2 2 0
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 4

2 2 + 2 2 2
2 2 + 2 2 + 2 2 + 2 2 2 2 + 2 2 + 2 [ 2 2 + 2 2 ]
2 ( 2 + 2 ) + 2 ( 2 + 2 ) ( + )2
( 2 + 2 )( 2 + 2 ) ( + )2

( 2 + 2 )( 2 + 2 ) ( + ) [ ]

2( 2 + 2 )( 2 + 2 ) 2( + )

( 2 + 2 ) + ( 2 + 2 ) + 2( 2 + 2 )( 2 + 2 ) ( 2 + 2 ) + ( 2 + 2 ) + 2( + )
2
[( 2 + 2 ) + ( 2 + 2 )] [ + ]2 + [ + ]2

Hence the Inequality.

3. INTRODUCTION

A metric space is a non-empty set equipped with structure determined by a well-defined


notion of distance. The term metric is derived from the word metor (measure). Natural
and immediate questions that comes to mind are what do we mean by measure, what can
be measured and how it can be measured? In the search of answers to these questions,
let us consider the following example:

Suppose a person wants to go from New Delhi to


Mumbai. The adjoining figure gives possible routes from
New Delhi to Mumbai. Depending on the situation, he
may travel by taking any of the given possible option.
We note that there are two different ways to interpret
his journey.

(i) Navigational distance (in km) from New Delhi


to Mumbai.
(ii) Navigational time (in hrs) to reach from New
Delhi to Mumbai

Suppose he travels via NH48, then the distance travelled is 1402 km and time taken is
21h 31min. So in this example, Time and Distance represent two different modes of
measurement.

Here, we shall discuss and learn about a very special class of functions that measure
difference which mathematicians were able to identify in the beginning of the 20th century.
In the mathematical literature, this special class is represented as distance. In the plane,
distance between two points is measured along the straight line joining them. Our
objective in this chapter is to illustrate through examples the different ways of measuring
difference (distance) between objects besides straight line measurements, so that
students can grasp the abstract nature of the subject.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 5

To begin with, let us observe the fundamental properties of


straight line distance measured between two points in 2 . From
high school geometry, we know that straight line distance
between points A and B is (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 .

Properties of straight line distance


1. Measurement between distinct points is a positive real number.
2. Two points in a space are identical if and only if measurement between them is
zero.
3. Measurement is symmetric in nature i.e., distance measured along to is same
as measured along to .
4. Measurement between two points is less than or equal
to the total distance taken when we travel via some
other point.

From the first two properties, we observe that


straight line distance is non-negative real +
number.

How to generalize all these ideas under one notion so that the properties remain intact?
The solution is provided by real valued functions which measures difference. Such
functions are known as metric in the mathematical literature. Further since the prototype
for such functions is straight line distance, these functions are often regarded as distance
functions.

These functions were first considered in 1905, by the French mathematician Maurice
Frechet who thought of generalizing the notion of distances and extending them to arbitrary
sets. In his doctoral dissertation Less Espaces Abstrait, he introduced the concept of a
metric on a set.

Metric Space
Let be any set and let : be a real valued function satisfying the following
properties:
P1. (, ) 0 for all , ;
P2. (, ) = 0 =
P3. (, ) = (, ) for all ,
P4. (, ) (, ) + (, ) for all , ,

The function is called a metric on (sometimes the distance function on ). The


ordered pair (, ) is called a metric space. Thus a metric space consists of a non-empty
set equipped with a concept of distance (metric). If there is no ambiguity on the metric
considered, then we simply denote the metric space (, ) by . We refer the elements in
as points and (, ) as the distance between the points and .

Trivially, an empty function is the only metric on the empty set. Also, owing to condition
second, the only metric on a singleton set is the zero function.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 6

4. EXAMPLES OF METRIC SPACES


Example 4.1 The Real Line
Let be the set of all real numbers and : be a function defined as
(, ) = | | , .
Then we shall prove that is a metric on

First observe that by definition, (, ) 0 , . Therefore P1 holds.


For any , in ,
(, ) = 0 | | = 0 = .
Therefore P2 holds.
Again, for any , in ,
(, ) = | | = | | = (, ).
Therefore P3 holds.

To see the triangle inequality (P4), suppose , , be any three points.


Consider
(, ) = | |
= |( ) + ( )|
| | + | |
= (, ) + (, ).
It follows that
(, ) (, ) + (, ) , , .
Thus all the four axioms are satisfied. Hence is a metric on and the ordered pair (, )
is a metric space. The metric is called the usual or standard metric or Euclidean
metric on .

Example 4.2 The Euclidean Metric on (Extension of Euclidean metric on )


Let be the set of all complex number and be a function defined as
(, ) = | | , .
Then is a metric on , called the usual metric or Euclidean Metric on . Of course,
is an extension to of the Euclidean metric on i.e.,
= | .

Example 4.3 The Euclidean Plane 2


Let = 2 be the set of all ordered pairs of real numbers and
2 2 be a function defined as
(, ) = (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 .

We shall show that is a metric on 2 . By definition,


(, ) 0 , 2 .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 7

For any = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 ,

(, ) = 0 (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 = 0
1 1 = 0 2 2 = 0
1 = 1 2 = 2
= .
For all = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) ,
2

(, ) = (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2

= (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2
= (, ).
Suppose = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 be any three points.
Consider,

(, ) = (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2

= [(1 1 ) + (1 1 )]2 + [(2 2 ) + (2 2 )]2

= [ + ]2 + [ + ]2
where = 1 1 , = 1 1 , = 2 2 = 2 2 .
Applying Theorem A , we get

(, ) 2 + 2 + 2 + 2

(1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 + (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2
(, ) + (, ).

Thus all the four axioms are satisfied. It follows that is a metric on 2 and the ordered
pair (2 , ) is a metric space. The metric is called the Euclidean metric on 2 , and the
metric space (2 , ) is called the 2-dimensional Euclidean Space .

Example 4.4 Taxi Cab Metric on 2


Let 2 be the set of all ordered pairs of real numbers and 2 2 be a function
defined as
(, ) = |1 1 | + |2 2 | = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 .
We shall show that is a metric on 2 .

By definition, is a non-negative function and hence P1 holds.

For P2, consider any = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2, then


(, ) = 0 |1 1 | + |2 2 | = 0
|1 1 | = 0 |2 2 | = 0
1 = 1 2 = 2
(1 , 2 ) = (1 , 2 ) . ., = .

Now again for P3, consider any = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 ,


(, ) = |1 1 | + |2 2 | = |1 1 | + |2 2 | = (, ) .

Thus P3 is satisfied.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 8

To see triangle inequality (P4), let = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 be any points in


3 . Then
(, ) = |1 1 | + |2 2 |
= |(1 1 ) + (1 1 )| + |(2 2 ) + (2 2 )|
|1 1 | + |1 1 | + |2 2 | + |2 2 |
= |1 1 | + |2 2 | + |1 1 | + |2 2 |
= (, ) + (, ) .
Hence all the four axioms of a metric is satisfied by , therefore is a metric on 2 .

Figure 2. Road Map of a City

Example 4.5 Maximum Metric on 2


Let 2 be the set of all ordered pairs of real numbers and 2 2 be a function
defined as
(, ) = max {|1 1 |, |2 2 |} = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 .
We shall show that is a metric on 2 .

By definition, is a non-negative function and hence P1 holds.

For P2, consider any = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2,


(, ) = 0 max {|1 1 |, |2 2 |} = 0
|1 1 | = 0 |2 2 | = 0
1 = 1 2 = 2
(1 , 2 ) = (1 , 2 ) . ., = .
For any = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 ,
(, ) = max {|1 1 |, |2 2 |}
= max {|1 1 |, |2 2 |}
= (, ) .
Thus P3 is satisfied.
To see triangle inequality (P4), let = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 be any points in
3 . Consider
|1 1 | = |(1 1 ) + (1 1 )|
|1 1 | + |1 1 |
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 9

max {|1 1 |, |2 2 | } + max{|1 1 |, |2 2 |}


= (, ) + (, )
. ., |1 1 | (, ) + (, ) ()
Similarly,
|2 2 | (, ) + (, ) . ()
From () and () it follows that
max {|1 1 |, |2 2 |} (, ) + (, )
. . , (, ) (, ) + (, ) .
Hence the triangle inequality holds and therefore is a metric on 2 .

Example 4.6 Let = 2 and 2 2 be defined by

| |
(, ) = {
|| + ||
where = (1 , 2 ) and = (1 , 2 ) 2 . Show that is a metric
on 2 . (Here | | = (, ) and || = (, 0) and is Euclidean
metric on 2 . )

Proof: Clearly, (, ) 0 , 2 .

For any , 2
| |
(, ) = {
|| + ||
(, )
={
(, 0) + (, 0)
(, )
={
(, 0) + (, 0)
| |
={
|| + ||
= (, ) .
By definition of , observe that
(, ) | | , 2 . () [ | | || + ||]
Thus for any , 2
(, ) = 0 | | = 0 =.
Also, = implies that and are in the same ray from the origin and therefore
(, ) = | | = 0 .
Finally to prove triangle inequality, consider any , , 2 .
Case I and are in the same ray from the origin
Then
(, ) = | |
= (, )
(, ) + (, )
= | | + | |
(, ) + (, ) [ ()]
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 10

Case II and are in the different ray from the origin.

Subcase I and are in different ray from the origin


Then
(, ) = || + ||
= (, 0) + (0, )
(, 0) + [(0, ) + (, )]
= || + [|| + | |]
= [|| + ||] + | |
(, ) + (, ) [ | | (, ) . ()]
= (, ) + (, )

Subcase II and are in same ray from the origin.

Then and are in different ray from the origin. Therefore


(, ) = || + ||
= (, 0) + (0, )
(, ) + (, 0) + (0, )
= | | + || + ||
= (, ) + (, ) .

Thus in all the cases triangle inequality is satisfied and hence is a metric on 2 .

Railway Metric

The metric given in Example 4 is


called the as it can be
used to describe the following
situation (hypothetical).
Consider a proposed metro network
of India for 2030 where all the major
towns lie on some metro track
originating from Delhi (see adjoining
Figure). Thus on this network, one
can travel directly between any two
towns which lie on the same metro
track to Delhi. Otherwise first one has
to go Delhi and change to another
line.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 11

Example 4.7 Metric on a Circle in


Consider any circle
= {(, ) 2 2 + 2 = 2 }
= {( cos , sin ) 0 < 2} .
Then the function : given by
|2 1 | 0 |2 1 | = ( cos 1 , sin 1 )
(, ) = { }
(2 |2 1 |) < |2 1 | < 2 = ( cos 2 , sin 2 )
is a metric on .

Note that here (, ) denotes the shortest distance along the circle from to i.e., length
of the minor arc between and .

Example 4.8 Navigation of Flights (Metric on a Sphere in )

Have you ever wondered why an individual flight is flying on a particular route? Long
distance flight paths are designed in the most efficient way to get from point A to point B
on the other side of the world. The shortest distance between two points in Euclidean
space is the length of the straight line between them. But as we can travel only along the
surface of the earth (sphere) i.e., circular path, we have to design some way to find the
shortest path between them.

Figure 3. Flights following great circle routes.

In the above figure, an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Hong Kong looks like it is taking
a very long route, but its actually the shortest distance between the two cities.

On the sphere, distances between two points is measured along the surface of the sphere
(as opposed to a straight line through the spheres interior).
Through any two points on a sphere that are not directly opposite to each other,
there is a unique great circle (i.e. a circle around the surface of the earth whose center
coincides with the center of the earth). The length of the minor arc between the two points
on the great circle is the great-circle distance between the points.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 12

Between two points that are directly opposite each other, there are infinitely many
great circles, but all great-circle arcs between antipodal points have the same length. i.e.
half the circumference of the circle.
In the adjoining figure, and are points
that are not directly opposite each other
and , are points that are directly
opposite each other.
In the figure, it can be easily seen that
there is a unique great-circle passing
through and . Also, two distinct great
circles passing through and are
Figure 4 illustrated.

Mostly long distance flights use great-circle routes to travel between two locations on the
globe. So the next time when you want to go east and the moving map on your flight
shows that you are heading north, remember that you are actually taking the shortest
path to your destination. And if you are lucky enough, you might even get to see the north
pole!

If is a sphere and , belong to , we can define (, ) to be the shortest distance


along a great circle joining and i.e.,

(, ) =
= .
1 1 + 2 2 + 3 3
= . cos 1 ( )
2

where is the radius of the great circle


and is the angle which the
subtends at the center of the great circle.

It is a good exercise to verify that is a metric on . The metric is popularly


known as geodesic metric. This is the most useful metric to determine distance on the
Earths surface.
Example 4.9 Metric on the Set of Intervals of
Let denote the collection of closed intervals of of the type [, ] i.e.,
= {[, ] , , } .
The function given by
(, ) = max {| |, | |} = [, ] , = [, ]
is a metric on .
On the lines similar to Example 4.5, it is straightforward to check that P1, P2, P3 holds.
Now we need to check triangle inequality (P4), let = [, ], = [, ], = [, ] be any
three closed intervals of . Consider
(, ) = max {| |, | |}
= max {|( ) + ( )|, |( ) + ( )|}
max {| | + | |, | | + | |} ()
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 13

Now
| | max {| |, | |} = (, ) ()
| | max {| |, | |} = (, ) ()
Adding () and (), we get
| | + | | (, ) + (, ) . ()
Similarly,
| | + | | (, ) + (, ) . ()
From () and (),
max {| | + | |, | | + | |} (, ) + (, ) ()
Now from () and (), we conclude that
(, ) (, ) + (, ) .
Thus P4 holds and hence satisfies all the four axioms of a metric.

In above example we restricted ourselves to only closed intervals of the type


[, ] and it is necessary to do so. Excluding intervals of the type (, ), (, ],
(, ), [, ) and (, ) ensures that takes values in . Also, if we have
included all intervals of the type (, ), (, ] and [, ), then the function
would have failed to satisfy P2. In fact
([, ], [, )) = [, ] [, ) .

Example 4.10 The space of all functions from [, ] to [, ]


Let be the set of all functions from [0,1] to [0,1] and be the real valued function on
given by
(, ) = sup{|() ()| [0, 1]} , .
Then (, ) is a metric space.
To verify the fact that (, ) is a metric space, we shall first verify that is indeed a function
i.e., is well defined. For any , ,

(), () [0,1]
|() ()| 1 [0,1]
{|() ()| [0, 1]} [ 1 ]
sup{|() ()| [0, 1]} .

It follows that (, ) < , . Hence is well defined.

Next to show that d is a metric on , we shall verify triangle inequality (other properties
can be easily verified). Consider any , , . Then for any [0, 1], we observe that

|() ()| sup {|() ()|} |() ()| sup {|() ()|} .
x[0,1] x[0,1]

Then
|() ()| |() ()| + |() ()|
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 14

sup {|() ()|} + sup {|() ()|}


x[0,1] x[0,1]

= (, ) + (, ).
. ., |() ()| (, ) + (, ) [0,1]

Now, taking supremum over all [0, 1], we get


sup {|() ()|} (, ) + (, )
x[0,1]

. . , (, ) (, ) + (, ).
Hence triangle inequality follows, therefore is a metric on .

Example 4.11 The Space of bounded functions

Let be any non-empty set and () be the set of all real (complex) valued bounded
functions defined on i.e.,
() = { | sup|()| < } .
xS

Define a function () () as
(, ) = sup {|() ()|} , ().
xS

Then is a well defined function.


For this we just need to show that (, ) , whenever , ().

Now , () implies that there exist positive real numbers , such that

sup{|()|} sup{|()|} .
xS xS

For any ,
|() ()| |()| + |()| + .

Taking supremum over all , we get


sup{|() ()|} + < .
xS

Thus (, ) < , (). Hence is well defined.


On the lines similar to that in Example 4.10, it can be shown that is a metric on ().

Example 4.12 The space of continuous functions on [, ]


Let be the set of all real valued continuous functions defined on the interval [, ]. Define
a function as
(, ) = sup {|() ()|} , .
[,]

Since and are continous on [, ], therefore is a continous function on [, ].


Consequently, | | is a continous function on [, ]. Since on a closed and bounded
interval every continuous function is bounded, therefore | | is bounded on [, ].
Hence sup {|() ()|} exists. Thus is a well defined function. Geometrically, (, )
[,]

measures the largest vertical distance between the graph of and the graph of (see
Figure 5).
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 15

Figure 5. (, )represents the length of the dotted line segment.

It can be easily verified that d is a metric on ( . ). The metric space


(, ) is denoted by [, ]. Since every continuous function on a closed and bounded
interval is bounded, therefore we have [, ] [, ]. In fact the metric can be seen as
the one induced by the metric in Example 4.11.

Note: Whatever we have discussed in this example is also true for the complex valued
functions defined on the closed interval [, ].

Example 4.13 Another metric on the set of all continuous functions


Let be the set of all continuous functions defined on the interval [, ]. We equip the set
with another metric defined as

(, ) = |() ()| , .

As discussed in Example 4.12, continuity of , implies continuity of | |. Since integral


of a continuous function over a closed and bounded interval is always finite, therefore
(, ) exists for any , . Thus is a well defined function.

For any ,

|() ()| 0 [, ]

|() ()| 0

(, ) 0.

Hence P1 holds.
For P2, first observe that, (, ) = 0 whenever = .
On the other hand,
(, ) = 0

|() ()| = 0

|() ()| = 0 [, ] [ | | | | 0]
=
Thus (, ) = 0 if and only if = .
It is easy to see that (, ) = (, ) , .
Now for triangle inequality, consider , , be any three elements, then

(, ) = |() ()|

INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 16


= |(() ()) + (() ())|


[|() ()| + |() ()|] [ ]


= |() ()| + |() ()|

= (, ) + (, ).
Thus all the axioms for a metric is satisfied. Hence is indeed a metric on .
Geometrically, the measure of the distance between and i.e., (, ) represents the
area between their graphs.

Figure 6. (, ) represents the area of the shaded portion.

Note: There exists non-negative non-zero functions whose integral is zero. Thus the set
of all functions cannot be made a metric space with the above metric. Consider the function
[0,2] given by
0 1
() = { .
1 = 1
2
Then it is can be seen that 0 () = 0.

Example 4.14 Discrete Metric

Let be a non-empty set and be a function defined as


1
(, ) = { .
0 =
Then is a metric on .
Clearly, (, ) 0 , .

By definition of , (, ) = 0 = .

Let , be any two points.


= , (, ) = 0 = (, )
, (, ) = 1 = (, ) .

Thus in either case (, ) = (, ).


Let , , be any three points.

Case 1. =
In this case (, ) = 0 and therefore
(, ) (, ) + (, ). [ . , (, ) 0 (, ) 0]

Case 2.
In this case, (, ) = 1. Since , we have three possibilities :
i. =, (, ) = 0 (, ) = 1
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 17

ii. , = (, ) = 1 (, ) = 0
iii. , (, ) = 1 (, ) = 1

In each case we observe that (, ) + (, ) 1. Therefore 1 = (, ) (, ) + (, ).

Hence in both Case 1 and Case 2, triangle inequality is satisfied. Thus is a metric on
and is called the discrete metric on .

Given any set ( ), there always exists a metric on , viz., discrete metric.

Example 4.15 The Euclidean Plane

Let = {(1 , . . . , ) , = 1,2, . . . , } be the set of all -tuples of real numbers and
be a function defined as
1
2

(, ) = (( )2 ) = (1 , , ), = (1 , , ) .
=1

Then d is a metric on .

By definition, is a non-negative real valued function.


For any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) ,
(, ) = 0
1
2

(( )2 ) = 0
=1

= 0 , = 1,2, ,
= , = 1,2, ,
= .

For any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) ,
1
2

(, ) = (( )2 )
=1
1
2

= (( )2 ) = (, ).
=1

Let = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) be any three points. Then


1 1
2 2

(, ) = (( )2 ) = ({( ) + ( )}2 )
=1 =1

Let = , = for = 1,2, . . . , . This implies


1
2

(, ) = (( + )2 ) ()
=1
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 18

Now from Cauchy-Schwarz inequality we have,


1 1
2 2

( 2 ) ( 2 )
=1 =1 =1
1 1
2 2

2 2 ( 2 ) ( 2 )
=1 =1 =1

Now adding =1 2 + =1 2 on both sides we get,


1 1
2 2

2 + 2 + 2 2 + 2 + 2 ( 2 ) ( 2 )
=1 =1 =1 =1 =1 =1 =1
1 1
2 2

(2 + 2 + 2 ) 2 + 2 + 2 ( 2 ) ( 2 )
=1 =1 =1 =1 =1
1 1 2
2 2

( + )2 [( 2 ) + ( 2 ) ]
=1 =1 =1

1 1 1
2 2 2

(( + )2 ) ( 2 ) + ( 2 ) ()
=1 =1 =1

Using () in equation (), we get


1 1
2 2

(, ) ( 2 ) + ( 2 )
=1 =1
1 1
2 2

= (( )2 ) + (( )2 )
=1 =1

= (, ) + (, ).
It follows that
(, ) (, ) + (, ) , , .
Therefore all the axioms are satisfied. Hence is a metric on .

Alternate proof of triangle inequality by induction

Let = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) . We need to show that


(, ) (, ) + (, )

. ., ( )2 ( )2 + ( )2 .
=1 =1 =1

If = 1, then

1 1 1

( )2 = |1 1 | |1 1 | + |1 1 | = ( )2 + ( )2 .
=1 =1 =1
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 19

Hence for = 1, (, ) (, ) + (, ).

Suppose it is true for = i.e.,

( )2 ( )2 + ( )2 .
=1 =1 =1

Now we shall prove the claim for = + 1. Consider


+1

( )2 = ( )2 + (+1 +1 )2 .
=1 =1

Using induction hypothesis , we get


2
+1

( )2 ( )2 + ( )2 + [(+1 +1 ) + (+1 +1 )]2


=1 =1 =1
[ ]

By setting = =1( )2 , = =1( )2 , = (+1 +1 ) and = (+1 +1 ),

we get
+1

( )2 ( + )2 + ( + )2
=1
2
[(2 + 2 ) + ( 2 + 2 )] [ ]
2

= ( )2 + (+1 +1 )2 + ( )2 + (+1 +1 )2
=1 =1
( )
2
+1 +1

= ( )2 + ( )2
=1 =1
( )

Taking square root on both sides, we get

+1 +1 +1

( )2 ( )2 + ( )2 .
=1 =1 =1

Therefore for = + 1, (, ) (, ) + (, ).

Hence by the principle of mathematical induction,

(, ) (, ) + (, ) .

The metric is called the Euclidean metric on , and the metric space ( , ) is called
the n-dimensional Euclidean Space . For = 2, the n-dimensional Euclidean
Space is called the Euclidean Plane or Cartesian Plane (Example 4.3).
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 20

Example 4.16 The n-dimensional Product Space


Let = {(1 , . . . , ) , = 1,2, . . . , } be the set of all -tuples of real numbers and
be a function defined as
(, ) = max {| | 1 } = (1 , , ), = (1 , , ) .
Then is a metric on .
By definition, is a real valued non-negative function.
For any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) ,
(, ) = 0
max {| | 1 } = 0
= 0 , = 1,2, ,
= , = 1,2, ,
= .
For any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) ,
(, ) = max {| | 1 }
= max {| | 1 }
= (, ).
Consider any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) .
Now for each (1 ),
| | = |( ) + ( )|
| | + | |
max {| | 1 } + max {| | 1 }
= (, ) + (, )
Taking maximum over , we have
max {| | 1 } (, ) + (, )
(, ) (, ) + (, ).

It follows that (, ) (, ) + (, ) , , .
Thus all the four axioms are satisfied. Hence is a metric on and the ordered pair
( , ) is a metric space. The metric is called the Product metric on , and the
metric space ( , ) is called the n-dimensional Product Space . For = 2, the metric
in Example 4.5 is a special case of metric.

Example 4.17 Generalized Taxi Cab Metric for


Let = {(1 , . . . , ) , = 1,2, . . . , } be the set of all n-tuples of real numbers and
be a function defined as

(, ) = | | = (1 , , ), = (1 , , ) .
=1

Then is a metric on .

By definition, is a non-negative real valued function.


INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 21

For any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) ,
(, ) = 0

| | = 0
=1

| | = 0 , = 1,2, ,
= 0 , = 1,2, ,
= , = 1,2, ,
= .
For any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) ,

(, ) = | | = | | = (, ).
=1 =1

Consider any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) . Now


(, ) = | |
=1

= |( ) + ( )|
=1

(| | + | |)
=1

= | | + | |
=1 =1

= (, ) + (, )

It follows that (, ) (, ) + (, ) , , .
Thus all the four axioms are satisfied. Hence is a metric on and the ordered pair
( , ) is a metric space. Taxi cab metric on 2 in Example 4.4 is a special case of the
above metric .

Metric Derived from other Metrics

Example 4.18 Let (, ) be a metric space and : be a function defined as


(, )
(, ) = , .
1 + (, )
Then is a metric on .
Proof: Since (, ) 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .
For any , ,
(, ) (, )
(, ) = = = (, )
1 + (, ) 1 + (, )
Also,
(, )
(, ) = 0 = 0 (, ) = 0 =
1 + (, )
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 22

To prove triangle inequality, consider any , ,

(, )
(, ) =
1 + (, )
1
=1
1 + (, )
(, ) (, ) + (, )
1 1 + (, ) 1 + (, ) + (, )
1
1 + (, ) + (, ) 1 1

[ 1 + (, ) 1 + (, ) + (, ) ]
(, ) + (, )
=
1 + (, ) + (, )
(, ) (, )
= +
1 + (, ) + (, ) 1 + (, ) + (, )
(, ) (, )
+
1 + (, ) 1 + (, )
= (, ) + (, ) .

Hence is a metric on .

Example 4.19 Let (, ) be a metric space. The function given by

(, ) = min {1, (, )} ,
is also a metric on .

Proof: Since (, ) 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .

For any , ,
(, ) = 0 min {1, (, )} = 0
(, ) = 0
=.

Also,
(, ) = min {1, (, )} = min {1, (, )} = (, )

Now to verify triangle inequality, let , , be any points. Then

(, ) (, ) + (, ) .

Since min {1, (, )} (, ), it follows that

min {1, (, )} (, ) + (, ) (A)

Also,
min {1, (, )} 1 ()
From () and (),
min {1, (, )} min {1, (, ) + (, )} ()

Claim: min {1, (, ) + (, )} (, ) + (, ).

Case I (, ) 1 or (, ) 1

We discuss the case for (, ) 1. Then


INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 23

min {1, (, ) + (, )} = 1
= min {1, (, )}
min {1, (, )} + min {1, (, )}
= (, ) + (, ).

Similar calculation can be done for (, ) 1.

Case II (, ) < 1 and (, ) < 1

Then
(, ) = min {1, (, )} = (, ) (, ) = min {1, (, )} = (, ).
Now since
min {1, (, ) + (, )} (, ) + (, ) ,

it follows that
min {1, (, ) + (, )} (, ) + (, ) .

Therefore from both the cases we conclude that

min {1, (, ) + (, )} (, ) + (, ) ()

From () and (), we get

(, ) = min {1, (, )} (, ) + (, ) .

Thus is a metric on .

Observe that the metrics defined in Example 4.18 and Example 4.19 are
bounded metrics ((, ) (, ) , ). Thus given any
metric on any given set , we can always define a bounded metric on .

Example 4.20 Dilation of a Metric

Let (, ) be a metric space and > 0 be any real number. Then : defined as
(, ) = (, )
is a metric on .

Proof: Since > 0 and (, ) 0 , , it follows that (, ) 0 , .

For any , ,
(, ) = 0
(, ) = 0
(, ) = 0 [ > 0]
=

Also, (, ) = (, ) = (, ) = (, ) .

For triangle inequality consider any , ,

(, ) = (, )
[(, ) + (, )]
= (, ) + (, )
= (, ) + (, ) .

Hence is a metric on .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 24

Example 4.21 Metric derived using an injective real valued function

Let be a set, (, ) be a metric space and : be an injective function. Then the


function defined as
(, ) = ((), ())
is a metric on .

Proof: Since ((), ()) 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .

For any , ,
(, ) = 0 ((), ()) = 0 () = () = .

Also,
(, ) = (() , ()) = ((), ()) = (, ) .

For triangle inequality, consider any , , . Then

(, ) = ((), ())
((), ()) + ((), ())
= (, ) + (, ) .

Hence is a metric on .

Note that we cannot drop the condition of injectiveness of the given


function in Example 4.21. The function may fail to be a metric.

For example consider the many one function : given by


.
Then the function given by
(, ) = | | ,
is not a metric on . It fails to satisfy P2 . In fact
(, ) = .

Example 4.22 Let be any subset and be an injective (one-one) function.


Define a function as
(, ) = |() ()| , .
Then is a metric on .
Proof: To show that is a metric on , we shall just show that (, ) = 0 = . Other
axioms can be proved easily using the basic properties of real numbers and the modulus
function.
Now for any , , consider
(, ) = 0
|() ()| = 0
() = ()
= [ . ]
Thus (, ) = 0 = .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 25

Alternatively, we can deduce that is a metric on from Example 4.21 by simply putting
= and taking to be usual metric on i.e., (, ) = | | , .

Example 4.23 The function is a metric on in each of the following cases:


For any , ,
1. (, ) = | 3 3 |
2. (, ) = | |

Example 4.24 Inverse Metric on +


Since the function + + given by 1 is an injective function, therefore the
function + + given by
(, ) = | 1 1 | , +
is a metric on + . The metric is called the inverse metric on + . [Hint : Take = + ,
= + , usual metric on + and : + + as () = 1 in Example 4.21]

Example 4.25 Inverse Metric on


= {}

Consider the set = {} (here symbol "" represents a point outside ).


Define as

(, ) = |1 1 |

(, ) = (, ) = 1 , .

(, ) = 0 }
Then is a metric on
.

Proof: Define
as
1
() = { .
0 =
Then the function can be rewritten as

(, ) = |() ()| .
,
, it is enough to prove that is
In view of Example 4.21, to show that is a metric on
an injective function.
Claim: is an injective function.
Let ,
be any two distinct points i.e., .

Case I ,
Since , therefore 1 1 and hence () ().
Case II and =
Then () = 1 0 and () = () = 0. Therefore () ().
Case III = and
Then () = () = 0 and () = 1 0. Therefore () ().

. It follows that is
Thus in all the above cases we get () (), whenever , ,
an injective function on
. Hence is a metric on
(see . ).
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 26

Example 4.26 Sum of two metrics is again a metric

Let be any set and 1 , 2 be any two metrics on . Then the function :
defined as
(, ) = 1 (, ) + 2 (, )
is a metric on .

Proof: Since 1 (, ) 0 2 (, ) 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .


For any , ,
(, ) = 0
1 (, ) + 2 (, ) = 0
1 (, ) = 0, 2 (, ) = 0 [ 1 , 2 0]
=
Also,
(, ) = 1 (, ) + 2 (, ) = 1 (, ) + 2 (, ) = (, ) .

For triangle inequality, consider any , , . Then

(, ) = 1 (, ) + 2 (, )
1 (, ) + 1 (, ) + 2 (, ) + 2 (, )
= [1 (, ) + 2 (, )] + [1 (, ) + 2 (, )]
= (, ) + (, ) .
Hence is a metric on .

Example 4.27 Suppose (, ) is a metric space and : be a function. Show that


the function (, ) (, ) + |() ()| is a metric on .

Proof: Define : as
(, ) = (, ) + |() ()| , .

Since (, ) 0 |() ()| 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .


For any , ,
(, ) = 0 (, ) + |() ()| = 0
(, ) = 0 |() ()| = 0

Now (, ) = 0 implies = . [Note that |() ()| = 0 need not imply = ]


On the other hand,
= (, ) = 0 () = ()
(, ) + |() ()| = 0
(, ) = 0 .
For any , ,

(, ) = (, ) + |() ()|
= (, ) + |() ()|
= (, ) .

Finally to prove triangle inequality, consider any , , ,

(, ) = (, ) + |() ()|
(, ) + (, ) + |() ()| + |() ()|
= (, ) + |() ()| + (, ) + |() ()|
= (, ) + (, ) .

Hence the triangle inequality. Thus is a metric on .


INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 27

Looking at the function on in the above example, one might


be tempted to think that to deduce that is a metric on , we can
use the fact sum of two metrics is again a metric. But it is
worthwhile to note here that we cannot deduce such conclusion
directly as is not given injective and thus the function
(, ) |() ()|
may fail to be metric.

Example 4.28 Let be any set and 1 , 2 be any two metrics on . Then the function
: defined as
2 2
(, ) = (1 (, )) + (2 (, ))
is a metric on .

Proof: Since 1 (, ) 0 2 (, ) 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .

For any , ,
(, ) = 0
2 2
(1 (, )) + (2 (, ))

1 (, ) = 0 2 (, ) = 0
= .
Also,
2 2
(, ) = (1 (, )) + (2 (, ))

2 2
= (1 (, )) + (2 (, ))

= (, ).

To prove triangle inequality we will use the following inequality


2
[( 2 + 2 ) + ( 2 + 2 )] [ + ]2 + [ + ]2 , , , [ ] ()

Now consider any , ,

2 2
(, ) = (1 (, )) + (2 (, ))

2 2
(1 (, ) + 1 (, )) + (2 (, ) + 2 (, )) [ 1 2 ]

2 2 2 2
(1 (, )) + (2 (, )) + (1 (, )) + (2 (, )) . [ ()]

Hence is a metric on .

Example 4.29 Let be any set and 1 , 2 be any two metrics on . Then the function
: defined as
(, ) = max {1 (, ), 2 (, )}
is a metric on .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 28

Proof: Since 1 (, ) 0 2 (, ) 0 , , therefore (, ) 0 , .


For any , ,
(, ) = 0
max{1 (, ), 2 (, )}
1 (, ) = 0 2 (, ) = 0
= .

Also,
(, ) = max{1 (, ), 2 (, )}
= max{1 (, ), 2 (, )}
= (, ) .

For triangle inequality, consider any , , . Then

1 (, ) 1 (, ) + 1 (, ) (, ) + (, )
2 (, ) 2 (, ) + 2 (, ) (, ) + (, )

Therefore it follows that


max {1 (, ), 2 (, )} (, ) + (, )
(, ) (, ) + (, ) .
Hence is a metric on .

If is any non-empty set and , are two metrics on . Then the function
defined as
(, ) = { (, ), (, )}
need not be a metric on .

Consider = and 1 , 2 be two metrics on given by


1 (, ) = | |
} , .
2 (, ) = | 3 3 |

Let be the function defined as


(, ) = min {1 (, ), 2 (, )} , .
Claim: is not a metric on .
We will show that does not satisfy triangle inequality. Let
1 1
= , =2 , = .
4 2
Then
7 1 3
1 (, ) = 1.75 , 1 (, ) = 0.25 1 (, ) = 1.5 ;
4 4 2
511 7 63
2 (, ) = 7.98 , 2 (, ) = 0.11 2 (, ) = 7.88
64 64 8
7 7 3
(, ) = 1.75 , (, ) = 0.11 (, ) = 1.5 .
4 64 2
Thus (, ) > (, ) + (, ) and consequently, P4 is not satisfied. Hence is not a
metric on .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 29

5. METRIC SUBSPACES AND METRIC SUPERSPACES


Definition 5.1 ( )

Let (, ) be a metric space and be any nonempty set. Let be the restriction of
to the set i.e, given as

(, ) = (, ) , . ., = | .

Since is a metric on , therefore the mapping is a metric on and is called the


relative metric induced on by . The space (, ) is called the metric subspace of
the metric space (, ).

Example 5.2 Consider the real line (, ) with usual metric given by
(, ) = | | ,

and the complex plane (, ) with usual metric given by


(, ) = | | ,

From definition of and , it is clear that


(, ) = (, ) , . . , = |

Therefore (, ) is a metric subspace of the complex plane (, ).

Example 5.3 Any subset of ( . , , , , [0,1], [0,1), (0,1), (0,1) (2, 3) . ) is


a metric subspace of the real line (, u).

Definition 5.4 ( )

If is a metric space and is a subset of , we can induce metric on by restricting the


metric of on . The question arises, can we do the reverse thing?
Suppose (, ) is a metric space and is a proper superset of . Can we define a metric
on Y that is an extension of ? The answer is yes and it can be done in several ways, but
we shall elaborate only one method.

Consider a metric space (, ) and . Since is non-empty, take any metric on


. Choose and fix two points and \.

Now define as

(, ) ,

(, ) ,
(, ) = ,
(, ) + 1 + (, )
{(, ) + 1 + (, )

Then is a metric on such that


= | .

First observe that (, ) 0 , . Thus P1 holds.

For P2, consider any , .


Case I ,
Then
(, ) = 0 (, ) = 0 [ , (, ) = (, )]
=
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 30

Case II ,
Then
(, ) = 0 (, ) = 0 [ , (, ) = (, )]
=

Case III and


In this case and (, ) 0.

Case IV and
In this case and (, ) 0.

From all the above cases it follows that


(, ) = 0 = , .
Thus P2 holds.

To see that P3 holds, consider any , .

Case I , .
Then
(, ) = (, ) = (, ) = (, ) .
Case II , .
Then
(, ) = (, ) = (, ) = (, ) .

Case III and


Then
(, ) = (, ) + 1 + (, )
= (, ) + 1 + (, )
= (, ) + 1 + (, )
= (, ) .

Case IV and
Similar to Case III.

Hence P3 is verified.
Now for triangle Inequality consider any , , . We have

Case I ,

If , then
(, ) = (, ) (, ) + (, ) = (, ) + (, ).
If , then
(, ) = (, )
(, ) + (, ) [ ]
[(, ) + 1 + (, )] + [(, ) + 1 + (, )]
= (, ) + (, )

Case II ,

If , then
(, ) = (, )
(, ) + (, ) [ ]
[(, ) + 1 + (, )] + [(, ) + 1 + (, )]
= (, ) + (, )
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 31

If , then
(, ) = (, ) (, ) + (, ) = (, ) + (, ).

Case III and

If , then
(, ) = (, ) + 1 + (, )
(, ) + (, ) + 1 + (, )
(, ) + {(, ) + 1 + (, )}
= (, ) + (, )
If , then
(, ) = (, ) + 1 + (, )
(, ) + 1 + (, ) + (, )
{(, ) + 1 + (, )} + (, )
= (, ) + (, ) .
Case IV
Similar to case III.

How the metric is obtained? (An Intuitive Idea)

Since = ( ), therefore
= ( ) ( ( )) (( ) ( )) (( ) ) .

Since we want the metric to be an extension of , therefore on the metric


should coincide with . Hence we set
(, ) = (, ) , .

Since triangle inequality has to be satisfied we cannot define arbitrarily on the


remaining portion. So whats next ? Since restricted to must be a metric and
(( ) ( )) ( ) = , we can take any arbitrary metric on and set
(, ) = (, ) , .

Now we need to define on ( ( )) (( ) ) using metrics and . But to use


metrics and for any point (, ) ( ), we have to connect with some point
of and with some point of . Since it has to be done for all (, ) ( ) as
well as for all (, ) ( ) , so we fix two points

and which will do our required job.

Now if we define
(, ) + (, ) (, ) ( )
(, ) = {
(, ) + (, ) (, ) ( )

then is non-negative, symmetric and satisfies triangle inequality, but in this case
(, ) = 0, with . To avoid this failure, we add 1 in both the cases i.e., we define
(, ) + (, ) + 1 (, ) ( )
(, ) = {
(, ) + (, ) + 1 (, ) ( )
It is important to note that instead of 1, we could have used any positive real number
. Also, we have an arbitrary choice of metric on . Thus given a metric space
(, ) and a proper superset of , we can have uncountable number of metrics
on extending the metric on .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 32

6. ISOMETRIES
Definition 6.1 Suppose (, ) and (, ) are metric spaces and be any function.
Then is said to be an isometry or an isometric map if
((), ()) = (, ) , .
In view of the definition, we observe that an
isometry is a distance preserving function.
Furthermore, we observe that an isometry is an
injective function

() = () ((), ()) = 0
(, ) = 0
= .

If is an isometry, then we say that the metric subspace ((), ) of (, ) is an isomteric


copy of the space (, ). Thus metric space (, ) is isometric copy of (, ) if and only if
is a surjective isometry.

Theorem 6.2 Inverse of a surjective isometry is an isometry.

Proof: Let (, ) and (, ) be two metric spaces and : be a surjective isometry.

Claim : 1 is an isometry.
Consider any , , then there exists , such that () = and () = . Now

( 1 (), 1 ()) = ( 1 (()), 1 (()) )


= (, )
= ((), ()) [ ]
= (, ) .

Thus ( 1 (), 1 ()) = (, ) , . Hence it follows that 1 is an isometry.

From above theorem it follows that if (, ) is an isometric copy of (, ), then (, ) is also


an isometric copy of (, ). Thus we can simply say that (, ) is isometric to (, ).

Example 6.3 Consider the real line (, ) with as usual metric and the euclidean space
(3 , ). Then the inclusion map 1 3 given by
1 () = (, 0, 0)
is an isometry. In fact, for any ,

(1 (), 1 ()) = ( )2 + (0 0)2 + (0 0)2

= ( )2
= | |
= (, ) .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 33

Thus 1 is an isometry and {(, 0,0) } (popularly known as -axis) is isometric copy of
in 3 . Hence, under isometry, can be considered as a metric subspace of 3 , however
as a set is not even a subset of 3 .

Similarly, it can be shown that the other inclusion map 2 3 given by


2 () = (0, , 0)
is an isometry. Moreover, {(0, , 0) } (-axis) is isometric copy of in 3 .
Also, -plane {(, , 0) , } in 3 is an isometric copy of 2 under the isometry
2 3 given by
((, )) = (, , 0) (, ) 2 .
Obviously, all other lines and planes in 3 are isometric copy of and 2 , respectively.

Example 6.4 is isometric to


Let be the usual metric on 2 and be the usual metric on . We shall show that the
function : 2 defined as
((, )) = + (, ) 2
is an isometry.

For any (, ), (, ) 2 ,

(((, )), ((, ))) = |((, )) (, )|

= |( + ) ( + )|
= |( ) + ( )|

= ( )2 + ( )2
= ((, ), (, )) .

Hence it follows that 2 is isometric to .

Example 6.5 Let (, ) be a metric space, be any set and be an injective map.
Then the function 2 given by

(, ) = ((), ()) ,
is a metric on induced by and . (Example 4.21)

From the definition of , we observe that (, ) is an isometric copy of ((), ) with the
injective function as an isometry map.

Example 6.6 The injective map : defined as

() = 2

is not an isometry because |(1) (2)| = |2 4| |1 2|.

Example 6.7 The real line (, ) and the discrete metric space (, ) are not isometric
copies of each other. In fact for any injective function : () ()

((1), (5)) = 1 4 = |1 5| = (1,5) .


INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 34

In view of above example we observe that isometries also depends on metric structure.

Since distances are preserved in isometric copies of any given metric space. Thus
whenever we shall be concerned with only metric properties, we will treat all isometric
spaces as identical spaces.

7. ASSORTED EXAMPLES OF METRIC SPACES


Example 7.1 - Metric on Set of Rationals
Let be a prime number and be any non-zero rational number. Then = / for some
, . Consider

= = =

for some , , , , , 0 and , are relatively prime to .
Thus each non-zero rational number can be expressed as

, , .

Next we show that such is unique. Let 1 , 2 , 1 , 2 , 1 , 2 such that 1 , 2 , 1 , 2 are
relatively prime to and
1 2
1 = 2
1 2

2 1
1 2 =
1 2
1 2 = 0 . ., 1 = 2
Hence the uniqueness.
Thus we have seen that for any non-zero rational , there exists a unique such that

= , (, ) = 1 (, ) = 1 .

We define || to be . Also, we set |0| to be 0.

With the help of above expressions, we have a metric on the set of


rationals , called the - on , given by
(, ) = | | .
We shall prove is indeed a metric on .
By definition, is a non-negative function. Now for any , , let

= .

Then
( )
= .

Thus
| | = | | =
. . , (, ) = (, ) =
Hence the function is symmetric.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 35

Also, by definition,
(, ) = 0 | | = 0 = 0 = .
To see triangle inequality, consider any , , and let
1 2 3
= , = = .
1 2 3
Further let = min {, }. Now
1
= = +
1
2 3
= +
2 3

= , , = 2 3


= , " , 0 (" , ) = 1


= + ( , ) = 1 ( , ) = 1

Thus by uniqueness of , we have = + . . , . Consequently, we have
= max { , } +
| | | | + | | .

Example 7.2 Let be any non-empty set and () be the set of all finite subsets of . For
all , (), let (, ) = ( ) ( ) be the symmetric difference between and .
Let : () () be the function given by

(, ) = |(, )| = | | + | | , ()

where || denotes the cardinality of set .

We shall prove that is a metric on ().


Clearly, (, ) 0 , () and hence P1 is satisfied.
For P2, consider any , (),
(, ) = 0 |(, )| = 0
| | + | | = 0
| | = 0 | | = 0
= =

= .

Thus P2 holds.
For P3 consider any , (),
(, ) = |(, )| = | | + | |
= | | + | |
= |(, )|
= (, ) .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 36

Now let , , () be any sets. Consider

=
= ( ( ))
= (( ) ( ))
= ( ) ( )
( ) ( )[ ]
= ( ) ( )

Thus it follows that


| | | | + | | .

Similarly,
| | | | + | | .

Hence
(, ) = |(, )|
= | | + | |
| | + | | + | | + | |
= | | + | | + | | + | |
= |(, )| + |(, )|
= (, ) + (, ) .

Thus P4 holds.
Since all the four axioms of a metric are satisfied by , therefore is a metric on ().

To show ( ) ( ), we can also take the element


containment approach. In fact,
\




( ) ( )

Example 7.3 Consider another metric on defined as


1

(, ) = (| | ) = (1 , , ), = (1 , , ) .
=1
To see that is indeed a metric on , we shall just verify triangle inequality (other
axioms can be easily proved).

Consider any = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ), = (1 , . . . , ) . Now


INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 37

(, ) = (| | )
=1
1

= (|( ) + ( )| )
=1
1 1

(| | ) + (| | ) [ ].
=1 =1
(, ) + (, ).

Thus triangle inequality holds. Hence is a metric on and ( , ) is a metric space.


For = 2, the metric space ( , ) is the Euclidean space of dimension 2.

Example 7.4 The space ()


Let = () be the set of all real sequences = such that
=1| | < i.e.,

= { | | < }.
=1
Consider the function defined as

(, ) = | |
=1
where = , = .

For = , = , we have

| | < | | < .
=1 =1
Since the sum of two convergent series is convergent, therefore

(| | + | |) < .
=1
Now for all ,
| | | | + | |
Thus by Comparison test for series of positive terms, it follows that

| | < .
=1
Hence is a well defined function on .

By definition, is a non-negative real valued function.


For any = , = ,
(, ) = 0

| | = 0
=1
= 0 ,
= ,
= .
For any = , = ,

(, ) = | |
=1
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 38

= | |
=1

= (, ).

Let = , = , = be any three points. Then


(, ) = | |
=1

= |( ) + ( )|
=1

| | + | |
=1 =1

= (, ) + (, ).
It follows that
(, ) (, ) + (, ) , , .
Therefore all the axioms are satisfied. Hence is a metric on .

Example 7.5 The space () of all square summable sequences


Let = () be the set of all square summable real sequences = i.e.,
1
2

= { (| |2 ) < }.
=1

Consider the function defined as


1
2

(, ) = (| |2 )
=1
where = , = . Then is a metric on .

For = , = , we have
1 1
2 2

(| |2 ) < (| |2 ) < .
=1 =1
Using Minkowskis Inequality for infinite sums, we have
1 1 1
2 2 2

(| + ( )|2 ) (| |2 ) + (| |2 ) <
=1 =1 =1
Therefore (, ) is a finite real number for all , .
By definition, is a non-negative.
For any = , = ,
(, ) = 0
1
2

(| |2 ) = 0
=1
= 0 ,
= ,
= .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 39

For any = , = ,
1
2

(, ) = (| |2 )
=1
1
2

= (| |2 ) = (, ).
=1

Let = , = , = be any three points. Then


1 1
2 2

(, ) = (| |2 ) = (|( ) + ( )|2 )
=1 =1

Let = , = for all . This implies


1
2

(, ) = (| + |2 )
=1

Now from Minkowskis inequality for infinite sums we have,


1 1
2 2

(, ) (| |2 ) + (| |2 )
=1 =1
1 1
2 2

= (| |2 ) + (| |2 )
=1 =1

= (, ) + (, ).
It follows that
(, ) (, ) + (, ) , , .
Therefore all the axioms are satisfied. Hence is a metric on .

The space 2 () is also called the Hilbert space.

Example 7.6 The space ()


Let be the set of all real sequences = such that
1

(| | ) < .
=1
Consider the function defined as
1

(, ) = (| | )
=1
where = , = . Then is a metric on .

Verification of the fact that is indeed a metric is similar to Example 7.5.

Example 7.7 The space () of all bounded sequences

Let = () be the set of all bounded sequence of real numbers i.e.,


= { sup {| | } < }.
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 40

Let be a function defined as


(, ) = sup {| | } = , = .
Then is metric on .

To verify this, we first need to show that is a well defined function. For that it is enough
to show that if = , = , then (, ) .

Since , , there exist real numbers and such that


| | | | .
Now for all ,
| | | | + | | +
sup {| | } +
Thus it follows that 0 (, ) + and therefore (, ) . Thus is a well defined
function.
For function , properties P1, P2 and P3 can be easily verified.

For triangle inequality, consider = , = , = . Then


| | | | + | |
sup {| | } + sup {| | }
(, ) + (, ).
Taking supremum over , we get
sup {| | } (, ) + (, )
(, ) (, ) + (, ) .
Thus is a metric on .

Example 7.8 (The extended complex plane and its spherical representation)
Let = {} = be the extended complex plane. We wish to introduce some metric
on using which we can discuss the continuity of functions which assumes the value
infinity. To achieve this we represent as the unit sphere in 3 ,
= {(1 , 2 , 3 ) 3 12 + 22 + 32 = 1}.
Clearly, the complex plane can be identified with the set {(1 , 2 , 0) 1 , 2 }. With this
identification, the complex plane can be seen as the plane passing through the equator
of the unit sphere .

Now for any point , clearly, the line joining the point and the North pole = (0,0,1)
on intersects the sphere at exactly one point .If || > 1, then lies in northern
hemispheere, and if || < 1 then lies in the southern hemisphere. Moreover, if || = 1 then
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 41

= . These fact establishes that there exists one-to-one correspondence ( ) between


and the set {}. Moreover, as || , approaches . Therefore to accomplish a one-
to-one correspondence between the extended plane and the sphere , we identify the
north pole with of the extended plane. Thus is represented as the sphere . This
correspondence between the points of and is called the stereographic projection.

Now let us explore this representation. Let = + be any point in and = ( , , )


be the corresponding point in 3 . We wish to express in terms of and . The line in
3 through = (, , 0) and = (0,0,1) is given by
, = {(1 ) + () < < }
= {((1 ), (1 ), ) < < } . ()
Now since , , therefore there exists some (, ) such that

= ((1 ), (1 ), ) . ()
Also, since , therefore we have
1 = (1 )2 2 + (1 )2 2 + 2 = (1 )2 ||2 + 2
1 2 = (1 )2 ||2
1 2
= ||2 [ 1]
(1 )2
||2 1
= [ & ]
||2 + 1
Thus using value of s in equation (), we get
2 2 ||2 1
1 = 2 , 2 = 2 , 3 =
|| + 1 || + 1 ||2 + 1
+ ( ) ||2 1
. ., 1 = , 2 = , 3 = ()
||2 + 1 ||2 + 1 ||2 + 1

, if we are given a point = ( , , ) , then setting = 3 and using it in


the equation (), we arrive at
1 + 2
= .
1 3
Thus we have shown that we can represent the extended complex plane by the unit
sphere S. Hence using the Euclidean metric defined on 3 we can define a metric on the
extended complex plane as follows:
+
1
3 2

(, ) = (, ) = [( )2 ] , ()
=1

where is the usual metric on 3 and = (1 , 2 , 3 ), = (1 , 2 , 3 ) are the points in unit


sphere corresponding to , respectively. Now we are in a position to define our distance
function on the extended plane .
Now since , lies on , therefore from equation () it follows that
1
(, ) = [2 2(1 1 + 2 2 + 3 3 )]2 .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 42

Then using equation (), we get


2| |
(, ) = 1 ,
[(1 + ||2 ) + (1 + | |2 )]2
2
(, ) = 1 .
(1 + ||2 )2

8. NORMS ON VECTOR SPACES (OR LINEAR SPACES)

So far while defining metrics on any given set, we never bothered about the algebraic
properties inherited by the set considered. But most of the examples we considered till
now have some inherited algebraic properties. In fact, the most
familiar examples we considered like , 2 , and space [0,1] of
continuous function on [0,1] are all vector spaces (linear
spaces) over or .

Consider the space (2 , ), where is the Euclidean metric. Let


2 . Suppose we want to measure the length of the vector
= (1 , 2 ). From high school geometry, using Pythagoras
Theorem, length of the vector is 12 + 22 = (, 0).

Also for any scalar , length of the vector is ||12 + 22 i.e., (, 0) = ||(, 0).

Further for any vector , length of the vector is (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 i.e.,

( , 0) = (, ).

Since we always generalize the ideas from familiar examples, thus to define a metric on
any arbitrary vector space, we must keep in mind that a metric defined on a vector space
should satisfy the following conditions:

1. ( , 0) = (, ) ,
2. (, 0) = ||(, 0) for any scalar and for all .

Now to define such a metric, we first need to find the answer to the following question.
Why the usual metrics on , 2 , and [0,1] satisfies the above two properties? We see
that to define usual metrics on , 2 , and [0,1] we use absolute value of a number in ,
the magnitude of a vector in 2 , the modulus of a complex number in and the maximum
value of || for any in [0,1].

These ideas leads to the introduction of an interesting concept called norms defined on a
linear space using its algebraic properties. It relates the algebraic and geometric (metric)
properties possessed by a linear space.

Norm on a Linear Space


A norm on a linear space over or is a real function which satisfy the
following properties:
1. 0 .

2. For any , = 0 if and only if = 0.

3. = || and for any scalar .


INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 43

4. + + for any , .

A normed linear space, denoted by (, ) is a linear space with a norm defined on it.
For each , the number is called the length of the vector w.r.t norm . If is
a linear subspace of and is restriction of to , then (, ) is called a normed
linear subspace of (, ). It is easy to see that (, ) in itself is a normed linear
space.

Theorem 8.1.1 If is a norm on a linear space , then : given by

(, ) = ,

is a metric on .

Proof: Since is a non-negative function, it follows that (, ) 0 , .


Further for any , ,
(, ) = 0 = 0 = 0 = .
Also,
(, ) =
= 1( )
= |1| [ = || ]
=
= (, ) .

Finally, to see triangle inequality, consider for any , ,

(, ) =
= ( ) + ( )
+
= (, ) + (, ) .

Thus is a metric on .

Definition 8.1.2 Given any normed linear space (, ), the metric : given by

(, ) = ,

is called the metric determined by the norm or a metric induced by the norm.

Theorem 8.1.3 Let be a linear space and : be any metric. Then is


determined by a norm if and only if following conditions are satisfied:

1. ( , 0) = (, ) ,

2. (, 0) = ||(, 0) and for any scalar .

Proof: Suppose is induced by the norm i.e.,

(, ) = , .

For any , ,
( , 0) = ( ) 0
=
= (, ) .

Also, for any


(, 0) = 0
= ( 0)
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 44

= || 0
= ||(, 0) .

, suppose (1) and (2) hold. Define as

= (, ) .

Since (, 0) 0 , it follows that 0 .

Also, for any

= 0 (, 0) = 0 = 0 .

Now for scalar and for any ,


= (, 0)
= ||(, 0)
= || .

For triangle inequality, consider any ,

+ = ( + , 0)
( + , ) + (, 0) [ ]
= ( + , 0) + (, 0)
= (, 0) + (, 0)
= + .

Thus the function is a norm on .

Remark 8.1.4 From proof of the above theorem, if a metric is induced by a norm, then
that norm is given as
= (, ) .

Linear Space Metric Determined by a norm Norm which induces the


given metric
:
over (, ) = = (, )

| | ||

| | ||

2 (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 12 + 22

2 |1 1 | + |2 2 | |1 | + |2 |

=1( )2 =1 2

=1| | =1| |

max | | max | |
1in 1in

| | ||

| | (-adic metric) ||

[0,1] max |() ()| max |()|


x[0,1] x[0,1]

1 1
[0,1]
|() ()| |()|
0 0
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 45

Example 8.1.5 ( )

1. The discrete metric on a linear space ( {0}) cannot be determined by a norm.


2. The metric on given by
| |
(, ) =
1 + | |
cannot be determined by a norm.
3. If is a metric on a vector space ( {0}) which is determined by a norm, then
the metric on given by
0 =
(, ) = {
1 + (, )
cannot be induced by a norm.
Also, the metric on given by
( )
(, ) =
1 + (, )
cannot be determined by a norm.

Note that all the above metric does not satisfy the conditions of Theorem 8.1.3 and
hence are metric which cannot be induced by a norm.

Proposition 8.1.6 Let be a linear space and : be any metric. The following
statements are equivalent:

i. ( , 0) = (, ) ,
ii. ( + , + ) = (, ) , , .

Proposition 8.1.7 Let be a linear space and : be any metric. The following
statements are equivalent:

i. (, 0) = ||(, 0) and for any scalar


ii. (, ) = ||(, ) , and for any scalar .

In view of above propositions, Theorem 8.1.3 can be rewritten as:

Theorem 8.1.8 Let be a linear space and : be any metric. Then is


determined by a norm if and only if following conditions are satisfied:

1. ( + , + ) = (, ) , ,

2. (, ) = ||(, ) and for any scalar .

9. SOLVED PROBLEMS
Problem 1. Let be any non-empty set and : be any real valued function.
Then is a metric on if and only if for all , , , following two conditions hold :

1. (. ) = 0 =
2. (, ) (, ) + (, ).

Proof: Let be a metric on , then satisfies all the four axioms of a metric.
Clearly, (1) holds. Now for any , , ,
(, ) (, ) + (, ) [ ]
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 46

= (, ) + (, ) [ ]

, suppose (1) and (2) hold.

To show is symmetric, consider any , , then

(, ) (, ) + (, ) [ (2) = ]
= (, ) [ (1) (, ) = 0]
Also,
(, ) (, ) + (, , ) = (, ).
Thus it follows that for any , , (, ) = (, ).
Now to verify that is a non-negative function, again consider , . Then
0 = (, ) (, ) + (, ) = 2(, )
(, ) 0 .
Thus (, ) 0 for all , .
Now for any , , ,
(, ) (, ) + (, ) [ (2)]
= (, ) + (, ).

Thus satisfies all the axioms and hence is a metric on .

Problem 2. Suppose that is a metric on a set . Prove that

|(, ) (, )| (, ) + (, ) , , , .

Proof: Consider for any , , , ,

(, ) (, ) + (, ) [ ]
(, ) + [(, ) + (, )] [ ]
= (, ) + (, ) + (, ) [ ]
(, ) (, ) (, ) + (, ) . ()

Again,
(, ) (, ) + (, )
(, ) + [(, ) + (, )]
(, ) (, ) (, ) + (, ) ()

From () and () it follows that


|(, ) (, )| (, ) + (, ) , , , .

Problem 3. Prove that the function 2 2 given by


0 =

(, ) = (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 , 2 {(0,0)}

{1 + (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2
is a metric on 2 .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 47

Proof: By definition, (, ) 0 , 2 and therefore P1 holds.


Since = (, ) = 0, therefore to prove P2, it is enough to prove that
(, ) = 0 = , 2 .
For this first observe that

(, ) (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 ()

Now
(, ) = 0
(1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 = 0 [ () ]
1 = 1 2 = 2
= .

Hence P2 holds.

Also, from definition, it is clear that is a symmetric function i.e.,


(, ) = (, ) , 2 . ()
Now for triangle inequality (P4), consider any = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 . There
are three possibilities:

Case I. =

Then, (, ) = 0 (, ) + (, ) .

Case II. and , 2 {(0,0)}


Then
(, ) = (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2
2 2
= ((1 1 ) + (1 1 )) + ((2 2 ) + (2 2 ))

(1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 + (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 [ ]
(, ) + (, ) [ ()]
= (, ) + (, ).

Case III. Exactly one of and is (0,0).

Without loss in generality, assume that (0,0) and = (0,0).


Subcase (i) = (0,0) .
Then
(, ) = (, ) [ = ]
= (, ) + (, ). [ (, ) = 0]

Subcase (ii) (0,0).


Then
(, ) = ((1 , 2 ), (0,0))
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 48

= 1 + 12 + 22

2 2
= 1 + (1 + (1 1 )) + (2 + (2 2 ))

1 + 12 + 22 + (1 1 )2 + (2 2 )2 [ ]

= (, ) + (, )
= (, ) + (, ).

Hence in all the three cases we get,


(, ) (, ) + (, ) = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2 .

It follows that is a metric on 2 .

10. SUMMARY
In this chapter, we have introduced the concept of metric space, discussed the motivation
behind studying this concept. We also discussed how this concept is being used in real life
scenario. Being closely related to the notion of distance, it has many applications in the
field of navigation. One such instance where it is being associated with the navigation of
aeroplanes is discussed. We have discussed various metrics on the set of reals, on , on
the set of functions etc. to illustrate the abstract nature of the distance. Later in the
chapter, the notions of metric subspace and superspace were introduced and a method of
finding a metric superspace from a given metric space is discussed. In fact, we observed
that we can have uncountable extensions of a given metric to some superset of that space.
We also touched upon the concept of isometry i.e., distance preserving functions and
discussed some standard examples associated with this concept. Finally we discussed
special types of metrics determined by a norm on a vector space, which relates the
algebraic properties of the vector space with its geometric properties. We hope that the
content presented in the chapter would be of immense help to the students who are
beginners in the subject.

11. PROBLEMS
Question 1. Show that the function : defined as

|| + | | + ||
(, ) = { ,
0 =
is a metric on .

Question 2. Prove that the function given by


| |
(, ) = ,
1 + 2 1 + 2
is a metric on .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 49

Question 3. Prove that the function 2 2 given by


|1 1 | 2 = 2
(, ) = { = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2
|1 | + |2 2 | + |1 |

is a metric on 2 .

Question 4. Prove that the function 2 2 given by


|1 1 | + |2 2 |
(, ) = = (1 , 2 ), = (1 , 2 ) 2
1 + 12 + 22 1 + 12 + 22
is a metric on 2 .

Question 5. Let (, ) be any metric space and and be disjoint subsets of such
that = . Show that the function given by
1 + (, )
(, ) = {
(, )
is a metric on .

Question 6. Let be the set of all sequences of real numbers. Prove that the function
given by

1 | |
(, ) =
= { }1 , = { }1
2 1 + | |
=1

is a metric on .

Question 7. Let be any set and 1 , 2 , , be metrics on . Show that the function
: defined as

(, ) = (, )
=1
is a metric on .

Question 8. Let be any set and 1 , 2 , , be metrics on . Prove that the function
: defined as
(, ) = max { (, )}
1in

is a metric on .

Question 9. Let be any set and 1 , 2 , , be metrics on . Prove that :


defined as

(, ) = [ (, )]2
=1

is a metric on .

Question 10. Prove that the function defined as


(, ) = |sin( )| ,

is not a metric on .
INTRODUCTION TO METRIC SPACES 50

12. REFERENCES
[1] Micheal O Searcoid, Metric Spaces, Springer International Edition, New Delhi, 2008.

[2] Satish Shirali and Harkrishan L. Vasudeva, Metric Spaces, Springer, 2006.

[3] George F. Simmons, Introduction to Topology and Modern Analysis, McGraw-Hill


Book Co., New York, 1963.

[4] E.T. Copson, Metric Spaces, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1968.
[5] M.K Singal and Asha Rani Singal, Topics in Analysis II (Metric Spaces), R. Chand
and Co., New Delhi, 2005.