Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Tychonoff space

In topology and related brances of mathematics, Tychonoff spaces and completely regular spaces are particularly nice kinds of topological spaces. These conditions are examples of separation axioms.

Tychonoff spaces are named after Andrey Tychonoff, whose Russian name (Тихонов) is also sometimes transliterated as "Tychonov", "Tikhonov", "Tihonov", or "Tichonov".

Table of contents
1 Definitions
2 Examples and counterexamples
3 Properties


Suppose that X is a topological space.

X is a completely regular space iff, given any closed set F and any point x that does not belong to F, there is a continuous function f from X to the real line R such that f(x) = 0 and f(y) = 1 for every y in F. In fancier terms, this condition says that x and F can be separated by a function.

X is a Tychonoff space, or T space, or Tπ space, or completely T3 space if and only if it is both completely regular and Hausdorff).

Note that some mathematical literature uses different definitions for the term "completely regular" and the terms involving "T". The definitions that we have given here are the ones usually used today; however, some authors switch the meanings of the two kinds of terms, or use all terms synonymously for only one condition. In Wikipedia, we will use the terms "completely regular" and "Tychonoff" freely, but we'll avoid the less clear "T" terms. In other literature, you should take care to find out which definitions the author is using. (The phrase "completely regular Hausdorff", however, is unambiguous, and always means a Tychonoff space.) For more on this issue, see History of the separation axioms.

Completely regular spaces and Tychonoff spaces are related through the notion of Kolmogorov equivalence. A topological space is Tychonoff iff it's both completely regular and T0. On the other hand, a space is completely regular iff its Kolmogorov quotient is Tychonoff.

Examples and counterexamples

Almost every topological space studied in mathematical analysis is Tychonoff, or at least completely regular. For example, the real line is Tychonoff. Other examples include:


Complete regularity and Tychonoff-ness are preserved by taking initial topologies. In particular, all subspacess and product spaces of Tychonoff or completely regular spaces have the same property.

Tychonoff spaces are precisely those topological spaces which can be embedded in a compact Hausdorff space. More precisely, for every Tychonoff space X, there exists a compact Hausdorff space K and an injective continuous map jX → K such that j−1 is also continuous. Of particular interest are those embeddings where j(X) is dense in K; these are called Hausdorff compactifications of X.

Among those Hausdorff compactifications, there is a unique "most general" one, the Stone-Cech compactification βX. It is characterised by the universal property that, given a continuous map f from X to any other compact Hausdorff space Y, there is a unique continuous map g: βX → Y that extends f in the sense that f = g o j.

As mentioned above, every uniform space has a completely regular topology. Conversely, any completely regular space X can be made into a uniform space in some way. If X is Tychonoff, then the uniform structure can be chosen so that βX becomes the completion of the uniform space X.