Normed Linear Spaces
This chapter gives an introduction to the theory of normed linear spaces. A skeptical reader may wonder why this topic in pure mathematics is useful in applied mathematics. The reason is quite simple: Many problems of applied mathematics can be formulated as a search for a certain function, such as the function that solves a given differential equation. Usually the function sought must belong to a definite family of acceptable functions that share some useful properties. For example, perhaps it must possess two continuous derivatives. The families that arise naturally in formulating problems are often linear spaces. This means that any linear combination of functions in the family will be another member of the family. It is common, in addition, that there is an appropriate means of measuring the “distance” between two functions in the family. This concept comes into play when the exact solution to a problem is inaccessible, while approximate solutions can be computed. We often measure how far apart the exact and approximate solutions are by using a norm. In this process we are led to a normed linear space, presumably one appropriate to the problem at hand. Some normed linear spaces occur over and over again in applied mathematics, and these, at least, should be familiar to the practitioner. Examples are the space of continuous functions on a given domain and the space of functions whose squares have a finite integral on a given domain.
KeywordsBanach Space Linear Space Unit Ball Cauchy Sequence Normed Linear Space
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