In

^{2} = 2, yet no rational number has this property.
However, considered as a sequence of ^{''n''}, with the usual distance metric.
In contrast, infinite-dimensional _{''p''} of ''p''-adic numbers is complete for any

_{''n''}) and ''y'' = (''y''_{''n''}) in ''M'', we may define their distance as
: $d(x,\; y)\; =\; \backslash lim\_n\; d\backslash left(x\_n,\; y\_n\backslash right)$
(This limit exists because the real numbers are complete.) This is only a pseudometric, not yet a metric, since two different Cauchy sequences may have the distance 0. But "having distance 0" is an

mathematical analysis
Analysis is the branch of mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical ...

, a metric space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gene ...

is called complete (or a Cauchy space) if every Cauchy sequence
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

of points in has a limit
Limit or Limits may refer to:
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that is also in .
Intuitively, a space is complete if there are no "points missing" from it (inside or at the boundary). For instance, the set of rational number
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ...

s is not complete, because e.g. $\backslash sqrt$ is "missing" from it, even though one can construct a Cauchy sequence of rational numbers that converges to it (see further examples below). It is always possible to "fill all the holes", leading to the ''completion'' of a given space, as explained below.
Definition

; Cauchy sequence : A sequence in ametric space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gene ...

is called Cauchy if for every positive real number
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

there is a positive integer
An integer (from the Latin
Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...

such that for all positive integers ,
::.
; Expansion constant
: The expansion constant
Expansion may refer to:
Arts, entertainment and media
* '' L'Expansion'', a French monthly business magazine
* ''Expansion'' (album), by American jazz pianist Dave Burrell, released in 2004
* ''Expansions'' (McCoy Tyner album), 1970
* ''Expansio ...

of a metric space is the infimum
are equal.
Image:Supremum illustration.svg, 250px, A set A of real numbers (blue circles), a set of upper bounds of A (red diamond and circles), and the smallest such upper bound, that is, the supremum of A (red diamond).
In mathematics, the infim ...

of all constants $\backslash mu$ such that whenever the family $\backslash left\backslash $ intersects pairwise, the intersection $\backslash bigcap\_\backslash alpha\; \backslash overline(x\_\backslash alpha,\; \backslash mu\; r\_\backslash alpha)$ is nonempty.
; Complete space
: A metric space is complete if any of the following equivalent conditions are satisfied:
:#Every Cauchy sequence
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

of points in has a limit
Limit or Limits may refer to:
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* Limit (music), a way to characterize harmony
* Limit (song), "Limit" (song), a 2016 single by Luna Sea
* Limits (Paenda song), "Limits" (Paenda song), 2019 song that represented Austria in the Eurov ...

that is also in .
:#Every Cauchy sequence in converges in (that is, to some point of ).
:#The expansion constant of is ≤ 2.
:#Every decreasing sequence of non-empty#REDIRECT Empty set#REDIRECT Empty set
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, chan ...

closed subset
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

s of , with diameters tending to 0, has a non-empty intersection
The line (purple) in two points (red). The disk (yellow) intersects the line in the line segment between the two red points.
In mathematics, the intersection of two or more objects is another, usually "smaller" object. Intuitively, the inter ...

: if is closed and non-empty, for every , and , then there is a point common to all sets .
Examples

The space Q ofrational number
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ...

s, with the standard metric given by the absolute value
In , the absolute value or modulus of a , denoted , is the value of without regard to its . Namely, if is , and if is (in which case is positive), and . For example, the absolute value of 3 is 3, and the absolute value of − ...

of the , is not complete.
Consider for instance the sequence defined by and $x\_\; =\; \backslash frac\; +\; \backslash frac.$
This is a Cauchy sequence of rational numbers, but it does not converge towards any rational limit: If the sequence did have a limit , then by solving $x\; =\; \backslash frac\; +\; \backslash frac$ necessarily ''x''real number
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

s, it does converge to the irrational number
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...

$\backslash sqrt$.
The open interval
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...

, again with the absolute value metric, is not complete either.
The sequence defined by = is Cauchy, but does not have a limit in the given space.
However the closed interval is complete; for example the given sequence does have a limit in this interval and the limit is zero.
The space R of real numbers and the space C of complex number
In mathematics, a complex number is an element of a number system that contains the real numbers and a specific element denoted , called the imaginary unit, and satisfying the equation . Moreover, every complex number can be expressed in the for ...

s (with the metric given by the absolute value) are complete, and so is Euclidean space
Euclidean space is the fundamental space of . Originally, it was the of , but in modern there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer , including the three-dimensional space and the ''Euclidean plane'' (dimension two). It was introduce ...

Rnormed vector space
In mathematics, a normed vector space or normed space is a vector space over the Real number, real or Complex number, complex numbers, on which a Norm (mathematics), norm is defined. A norm is the formalization and the generalization to real vec ...

s may or may not be complete; those that are complete are Banach space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...

s.
The space C of continuous real-valued functions on a closed and bounded interval is a Banach space, and so a complete metric space, with respect to the supremum norm
frame, The perimeter of the square is the set of points in R2 where the sup norm equals a fixed positive constant.
In mathematical analysis, the uniform norm (or sup norm) assigns to real- or complex-valued bounded function
Image:Bounded and ...

.
However, the supremum norm does not give a norm on the space C of continuous functions on , for it may contain unbounded functions.
Instead, with the topology of compact convergence
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...

, C can be given the structure of a Fréchet space
In functional analysis
Image:Drum vibration mode12.gif, 200px, One of the possible modes of vibration of an idealized circular drum head. These modes are eigenfunctions of a linear operator on a function space, a common construction in functional ...

: a locally convex topological vector space
In functional analysis
200px, One of the possible modes of vibration of an idealized circular drum head. These modes are eigenfunctions of a linear operator on a function space, a common construction in functional analysis.
Functional analysis ...

whose topology can be induced by a complete translation-invariant metric.
The space Qprime number
A prime number (or a prime) is a natural number greater than 1 that is not a Product (mathematics), product of two smaller natural numbers. A natural number greater than 1 that is not prime is called a composite number. For example, 5 is prime ...

.
This space completes Q with the ''p''-adic metric in the same way that R completes Q with the usual metric.
If is an arbitrary set, then the set of all sequence
In , a sequence is an enumerated collection of in which repetitions are allowed and matters. Like a , it contains (also called ''elements'', or ''terms''). The number of elements (possibly infinite) is called the ''length'' of the sequence. Unl ...

s in becomes a complete metric space if we define the distance between the sequences and to be , where is the smallest index for which is distinct from , or if there is no such index.
This space is homeomorphic
In the field of , a homeomorphism, topological isomorphism, or bicontinuous function is a between s that has a continuous . Homeomorphisms are the s in the —that is, they are the that preserve all the of a given space. Two spaces with ...

to the product of a countable
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

number of copies of the discrete space
In topology, a discrete space is a particularly simple example of a topological space or similar structure, one in which the points form a , meaning they are ''Isolated point, isolated'' from each other in a certain sense. The discrete topology is t ...

.
Riemannian manifold
In differential geometry
Differential geometry is a mathematical
Mathematics (from Greek
Greek may refer to:
Greece
Anything of, from, or related to Greece
Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a c ...

s which are complete are called geodesic manifolds; completeness follows from the Hopf–Rinow theorem
Hopf–Rinow theorem is a set of statements about the Geodesic manifold, geodesic completeness of Riemannian manifolds. It is named after Heinz Hopf and his student Willi Rinow, who published it in 1931.
Statement
Let (''M'', ''g'') be a conne ...

.
Some theorems

Everycompact
Compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact or treaty; in more specific cases it may refer to:
* Interstate compact
* Blood compact, an ancient ritual of the Philippines
* Compact government, a type of colonial rule utilized in British N ...

metric space is complete, though complete spaces need not be compact. In fact, a metric space is compact if and only if
In logic
Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning
Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic
Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, l ...

it is complete and totally boundedIn topology
s, which have only one surface and one edge, are a kind of object studied in topology.
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structu ...

. This is a generalization of the Heine–Borel theorem
In real analysis the Heine–Borel theorem, named after Eduard Heine and Émile Borel, states:
For a subset ''S'' of Euclidean space R''n'', the following two statements are equivalent:
*''S'' is closed set, closed and bounded set, bounded
*''S'' i ...

, which states that any closed and bounded subspace of is compact and therefore complete.
Let be a complete metric space. If is a closed set, then is also complete.
Let be a metric space. If is a complete subspace, then is also closed.
If is a set and is a complete metric space, then the set of all bounded function
Image:Bounded and unbounded functions.svg, A schematic illustration of a bounded function (red) and an unbounded one (blue). Intuitively, the graph of a bounded function stays within a horizontal band, while the graph of an unbounded function does ...

s from to is a complete metric space. Here we define the distance in in terms of the distance in with the supremum norm
frame, The perimeter of the square is the set of points in R2 where the sup norm equals a fixed positive constant.
In mathematical analysis, the uniform norm (or sup norm) assigns to real- or complex-valued bounded function
Image:Bounded and ...

:$d(f,\; g)\; \backslash equiv\; \backslash sup\backslash left\backslash $
If is a topological space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ...

and is a complete metric space, then the set consisting of all continuous
Continuity or continuous may refer to:
Mathematics
* Continuity (mathematics), the opposing concept to discreteness; common examples include
** Continuous probability distribution or random variable in probability and statistics
** Continuous ga ...

bounded functions from to is a closed subspace of and hence also complete.
The Baire category theorem
The Baire category theorem (BCT) is an important result in general topology
, a useful example in point-set topology. It is connected but not path-connected.
In mathematics, general topology is the branch of topology that deals with the basic Set t ...

says that every complete metric space is a Baire space
In mathematics, a Baire space is a topological space such that every intersection of a countable collection of Open set, open dense sets in the space is also dense.
Complete metric spaces and locally compact Hausdorff spaces are examples of Baire ...

. That is, the union of countably many
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...

nowhere dense subsets of the space has empty interior
Interior may refer to:
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* Interior (Degas), ''Interior'' (Degas) (also known as ''The Rape''), painting by Edgar Degas
* Interior (play), ''Interior'' (play), 1895 play by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck
* The Interior (novel) ...

.
The Banach fixed-point theoremIn mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ha ...

states that a contraction mapping on a complete metric space admits a fixed point. The fixed-point theorem is often used to prove the inverse function theorem
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...

on complete metric spaces such as Banach spaces.
Completion

For any metric space ''M'', one can construct a complete metric space ''M′'' (which is also denoted as ), which contains ''M'' as a dense subspace. It has the followinguniversal property
In category theory
Category theory formalizes mathematical structure and its concepts in terms of a Graph labeling, labeled directed graph called a ''Category (mathematics), category'', whose nodes are called ''objects'', and whose labelled d ...

: if ''N'' is any complete metric space and ''f'' is any uniformly continuous function from ''M'' to ''N'', then there exists a unique uniformly continuous function ''f′'' from ''M′'' to ''N'' that extends ''f''. The space ''M is determined up to Two mathematical
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

isometry
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

by this property (among all complete metric spaces isometrically containing ''M''), and is called the ''completion'' of ''M''.
The completion of ''M'' can be constructed as a set of equivalence class
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

es of Cauchy sequences in ''M''. For any two Cauchy sequences ''x'' = (''x''equivalence relation
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

on the set of all Cauchy sequences, and the set of equivalence classes is a metric space, the completion of ''M''. The original space is embedded in this space via the identification of an element ''x'' of ''M with the equivalence class of sequences in ''M'' converging to ''x'' (i.e., the equivalence class containing the sequence with constant value ''x''). This defines an isometry
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities an ...

onto a dense subspace, as required. Notice, however, that this construction makes explicit use of the completeness of the real numbers, so completion of the rational numbers needs a slightly different treatment.
Cantor
A cantor or chanter is a person who leads people in singing or sometimes in prayer
Prayer is an invocation
An invocation (from the Latin verb ''invocare'' "to call on, invoke, to give") may take the form of:
* Supplication, prayer
...

's construction of the real numbers is similar to the above construction; the real numbers are the completion of the rational numbers using the ordinary absolute value to measure distances. The additional subtlety to contend with is that it is not logically permissible to use the completeness of the real numbers in their own construction. Nevertheless, equivalence classes of Cauchy sequences are defined as above, and the set of equivalence classes is easily shown to be a field
Field may refer to:
Expanses of open ground
* Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes
* Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport
* Battlefield
* Lawn, an area of mowed grass
* Meadow, a grassl ...

that has the rational numbers as a subfield. This field is complete, admits a natural total ordering
In mathematics, a total order, simple order, linear order, connex order, or full order is a binary relation on some Set (mathematics), set X, which is Antisymmetric relation, antisymmetric, Transitive relation, transitive, and a connex relation. ...

, and is the unique totally ordered complete field (up to isomorphism). It is ''defined'' as the field of real numbers (see also Construction of the real numbers
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...

for more details). One way to visualize this identification with the real numbers as usually viewed is that the equivalence class consisting of those Cauchy sequences of rational numbers that "ought" to have a given real limit is identified with that real number. The truncations of the decimal expansion give just one choice of Cauchy sequence in the relevant equivalence class.
For a prime ''p'', the ''p''-adic numbers arise by completing the rational numbers with respect to a different metric.
If the earlier completion procedure is applied to a normed vector space
In mathematics, a normed vector space or normed space is a vector space over the Real number, real or Complex number, complex numbers, on which a Norm (mathematics), norm is defined. A norm is the formalization and the generalization to real vec ...

, the result is a Banach space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...

containing the original space as a dense subspace, and if it is applied to an inner product space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...

, the result is a Hilbert space
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...

containing the original space as a dense subspace.
Topologically complete spaces

Completeness is a property of the ''metric'' and not of the ''topology
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities ...

'', meaning that a complete metric space can be homeomorphic
In the field of , a homeomorphism, topological isomorphism, or bicontinuous function is a between s that has a continuous . Homeomorphisms are the s in the —that is, they are the that preserve all the of a given space. Two spaces with ...

to a non-complete one. An example is given by the real numbers, which are complete but homeomorphic to the open interval , which is not complete.
In topology
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities ...

one considers ''completely metrizable spaceIn mathematics
Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ha ...

s'', spaces for which there exists at least one complete metric inducing the given topology. Completely metrizable spaces can be characterized as those spaces that can be written as an intersection of countably many open subsets of some complete metric space. Since the conclusion of the Baire category theorem
The Baire category theorem (BCT) is an important result in general topology
, a useful example in point-set topology. It is connected but not path-connected.
In mathematics, general topology is the branch of topology that deals with the basic Set t ...

is purely topological, it applies to these spaces as well.
Completely metrizable spaces are often called ''topologically complete''. However, the latter term is somewhat arbitrary since metric is not the most general structure on a topological space for which one can talk about completeness (see the section Alternatives and generalizations). Indeed, some authors use the term ''topologically complete'' for a wider class of topological spaces, the completely uniformizable spaces.Kelley, Problem 6.L, p. 208
A topological space homeomorphic to a separable complete metric space is called a Polish space
In the mathematical discipline of general topology, a Polish space is a separable space, separable Completely metrizable space, completely metrizable topological space; that is, a space homeomorphic to a Complete space, complete metric space that ha ...

.
Alternatives and generalizations

SinceCauchy sequence
In mathematics
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...

s can also be defined in general topological group
In mathematics, topological groups are logically the combination of Group (mathematics), groups and Topological space, topological spaces, i.e. they are groups and topological spaces at the same time, such that the Continuous function, continui ...

s, an alternative to relying on a metric structure for defining completeness and constructing the completion of a space is to use a group structure. This is most often seen in the context of topological vector space
In mathematics, a topological vector space (also called a linear topological space and commonly abbreviated TVS or t.v.s.) is one of the basic structures investigated in functional analysis.
A topological vector space is a vector space (an Abstra ...

s, but requires only the existence of a continuous "subtraction" operation. In this setting, the distance between two points ''x'' and ''y'' is gauged not by a real number ''ε'' via the metric ''d'' in the comparison ''d''(''x'', ''y'') < ''ε'', but by an open neighbourhood ''N'' of 0 via subtraction in the comparison ''x'' − ''y'' ∈ ''N''.
A common generalisation of these definitions can be found in the context of a uniform space
In the mathematical
Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ...

, where an entourage is a set of all pairs of points that are at no more than a particular "distance" from each other.
It is also possible to replace Cauchy ''sequences'' in the definition of completeness by Cauchy '' nets'' or Cauchy filters. If every Cauchy net (or equivalently every Cauchy filter) has a limit in ''X'', then ''X'' is called complete. One can furthermore construct a completion for an arbitrary uniform space similar to the completion of metric spaces. The most general situation in which Cauchy nets apply is Cauchy space In general topology and mathematical analysis, analysis, a Cauchy space is a generalization of metric spaces and uniform spaces for which the notion of Cauchy convergence still makes sense. Cauchy spaces were introduced by H. H. Keller in 1968, as ...

s; these too have a notion of completeness and completion just like uniform spaces.
See also

* * * * *Notes

References

* * Kreyszig, Erwin, ''Introductory functional analysis with applications'' (Wiley, New York, 1978). * , "Real and Functional Analysis" * {{DEFAULTSORT:Complete Metric Space Metric geometry