Product topology

In topology and related areas of mathematics, a product space is the cartesian product of a family of topological spaces equipped with a natural topology called the product topology.
Contents 
Definition
Let I be a (possibly infinite) index set and suppose X_{i} is a topological space for every i in I. Set X = Π X_{i}, the cartesian product of the sets X_{i}. For every i in I, we have a canonical projection p_{i} : X → X_{i}. The product topology on X is defined to be the coarsest topology (i.e. the topology with the fewest open sets) for which all the projections p_{i} are continuous.
Explicitly, the product topology on X can be described as the topology generated by sets of the form p_{i}^{−1}(U), where i in I and U is an open subset of X_{i}. In other words, the sets {p_{i}^{−1}(U)} form a subbase for the topology on X. A subset of X is open if and only if it is a union of (possibly infinitely many) intersections of finitely many sets of the form p_{i}^{−1}(U).
We can describe a basis for the product topology using bases of the constituting spaces X_{i}. Suppose that for each i in I we choose a set Y_{i} which is either the whole space X_{i} or a basis set of that space, in such a way that X_{i} = Y_{i} for all but finitely many i in I. Let B be the cartesian product of the sets Y_{i}. The collection of all sets B that can be constructed in this fashion is a basis of the product space. In particular, this means that a product of finitely many spaces has a basis given by the products of base elements of the X_{i}.
If the index set is finite (in particular, for a product of two topological spaces) then the product topology admits a simpler description. In this case product of the topologies of each X_{i} forms a basis for the topology on X. In general, the product of the topologies of each X_{i} forms a basis for what is called the box topology on X. In general, the box topology is finer than the product topology, but for finite products they coincide.
Examples
If one starts with the standard topology on the real line R and defines a topology on the product of n copies of R in this fashion, one obtains the ordinary Euclidean topology on R^{n}.
The Cantor set is homeomorphic to the product of countably many copies of the discrete space {0,1} and the space of irrational numbers is homeomorphic to the product of countably many copies of the natural numbers, where again each copy carries the discrete topology.
Properties
The product space X, together with the canonical projections, can be characterized by the following universal property: If Y is a topological space, and for every i in I, f_{i} : Y → X_{i} is a continuous map, then there exists precisely one continuous map f : Y → X such that the following diagram commutes:
CategoricalProduct02.png
Characteristic property of product spaces
This shows that the product space is a product in the category of topological spaces. If follows from the above universal property that a map f : Y → X is continuous iff f_{i} = p_{i} o f is continuous for all i in I. In many cases it is often easier to check that the component functions f_{i} are continuous. Checking whether a map g : X→ Z is continuous is usually more difficult; one tries to use the fact that the p_{i} are continuous in some way.
In addition to being continuous, the canonical projections p_{i} : X → X_{i} are open maps. This means that any open subset of the product space remains open when projected down to the X_{i}. The converse is not true: if W is a subspace of the product space whose projections down to all the X_{i} are open, then W need not be open in X. (Consider for instance W = R^{2} \ (0,1)^{2}.) The canonical projections are not generally closed maps.
The product topology is also called the topology of pointwise convergence because of the following fact: a sequence (or net) in X converges if and only if all its projections to the spaces X_{i} converge. In particular, if one considers the space X = R^{I} of all real valued functions on I, convergence in the product topology is the same as pointwise convergence of functions.
An important theorem about the product topology is Tychonoff's theorem: any product of compact spaces is compact. This is easy to show for finite products, while the general statement is equivalent to the axiom of choice.
Relation to other topological notions
 Separation
 Every product of T_{0} spaces is T_{0}
 Every product of T_{1} spaces is T_{1}
 Every product of Hausdorff spaces is Hausdorff
 Every product of Regular spaces is Regular
 Every product of Tychonoff spaces is Tychonoff
 A product of normal spaces need not be normal
 Compactness
 Every product of compact spaces is compact (Tychonoff's theorem)
 A product of locally compact spaces need not be locally compact
 Connectedness
 Every product of connected (resp. pathconnected) spaces is connected (resp. pathconnected)
 Every product of hereditarily disconnected spaces is hereditarily disconnected.
A map that "locally looks like" a canonical projection F × U → U is called a fiber bundle.