# Kuratowski embedding

In mathematics, the Kuratowski embedding allows one to view any metric space as a subset of some Banach space. It is named after Kazimierz Kuratowski.

Specifically, if (X,d) is a metric space, x0 is a point in X, and Cb(X) denotes the Banach space of all bounded continuous real-valued functions on X with the supremum norm, then the map

$\Phi :X\rightarrow C_{b}(X)$ defined by

$\Phi (x)(y)=d(x,y)-d(x_{0},y)\quad {\mbox{for all}}\quad x,y\in X$ is an isometry.

Note that this embedding depends on the chosen point x0 and is therefore not entirely canonical.

The Kuratowski–Wojdysławski theorem states that every bounded metric space X is isometric to a closed subset of a convex subset of some Banach space. (N.B. the image of this embedding is closed in the convex subset, not necessarily in the Banach space.) Here we use the isometry

$\Psi :X\rightarrow C_{b}(X)$ defined by

$\Psi (x)(y)=d(x,y)\quad {\mbox{for all}}\quad x,y\in X$ The convex set mentioned above is the convex hull of Ψ(X).

In both of these embedding theorems, we may replace Cb(X) by the Banach space  ∞(X) of all bounded functions XR, again with the supremum norm, since Cb(X) is a closed linear subspace of  ∞(X).

These embedding results are useful because Banach spaces have a number of useful properties not shared by all metric spaces: they are vector spaces which allows one to add points and do elementary geometry involving lines and planes etc.; and they are complete. Given a function with codomain X, it is frequently desirable to extend this function to a larger domain, and this often requires simultaneously enlarging the codomain to a Banach space containing X.

## History

Formally speaking, this embedding was first introduced by Kuratowski, but a very close variation of this embedding appears already in the paper of Fréchet where he first introduces the notion of metric space.