Semialgebraic set

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In mathematics, a semialgebraic set is a subset S of Rn for some real closed field R (for example R could be the field of real numbers) defined by a finite sequence of polynomial equations (of the form P(x_1,...,x_n)=0) and inequalities (of the form Q(x_1,...,x_n) > 0), or any finite union of such sets. A semialgebraic function is a function with semialgebraic graph. Such sets and functions are mainly studied in real algebraic geometry which is the appropriate framework for algebraic geometry over the real numbers.

Properties[edit]

Similarly to algebraic subvarieties, finite unions and intersections of semialgebraic sets are still semialgebraic sets. Furthermore, unlike subvarieties, the complement of a semialgebraic set is again semialgebraic. Finally, and most importantly, the Tarski–Seidenberg theorem says that they are also closed under the projection operation: in other words a semialgebraic set projected onto a linear subspace yields another such (as case of elimination of quantifiers). These properties together mean that semialgebraic sets form an o-minimal structure on R.

A semialgebraic set (or function) is said to be defined over a subring A of R if there is some description as in the definition, where the polynomials can be chosen to have coefficients in A.

On a dense open subset of the semialgebraic set S, it is (locally) a submanifold. One can define the dimension of S to be the largest dimension at points at which it is a submanifold. It is not hard to see that a semialgebraic set lies inside an algebraic subvariety of the same dimension.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Bochnak, J.; Coste, M.; Roy, M.-F. (1998), Real algebraic geometry, Berlin: Springer-Verlag .
  • Bierstone, Edward; Milman, Pierre D. (1988), "Semianalytic and subanalytic sets", Inst. Hautes Études Sci. Publ. Math. 67: 5–42, doi:10.1007/BF02699126, MR 972342 .
  • van den Dries, L. (1998), Tame topology and o-minimal structures, Cambridge University Press .

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