$X$ is Hausdorff if and only if the diagonal of $X\times X$ is closed

Let $X$ be a topological space. The diagonal of $X \times X$ is the subset $$D = \{(x,x)\in X\times X\mid x \in X\}.$$
Show that $X$ is Hausdorff if and only if $D$ is closed in $X \times X$.

First, I tried to show that $X \times X \setminus D$ is open using the fact that $X \times X$ is Hausdorff (because $X$ is Hausdorff), but I couldn’t find an open set that contains a point outside $D$ and is disjoint to it…


You have two things to show: that if $D$ is closed, then $X$ is Hausdorff, and that if $X$ is Hausdorff, then $D$ is closed.

Suppose first that $D$ is closed in $X\times X$. To show that $X$ is Hausdorff, you must show that if $x$ and $y$ are any two points of $X$, then there are open sets $U$ and $V$ in $X$ such that $x\in U$, $y\in V$, and $U\cap V=\varnothing$. The trick is to look at the point $p=\langle x,y\rangle\in X\times X$. Because $x\ne y$, $p\notin D$. This means that $p$ is in the open set $(X\times X)\setminus D$. Thus, there must be a basic open set $B$ in the product topology such that $p\in B\subseteq(X\times X)\setminus D$. Basic open sets in the product topology are open boxes, i.e., sets of the form $U\times V$, where $U$ and $V$ are open in $X$, so let $B=U\times V$ for such $U,V\subseteq X$. Can you see how to use this to get the desired open neighborhoods of $x$ and $y$?

Now suppose that $X$ is Hausdorff. To show that $D$ is closed in $X\times X$, you need only show that $(X\times X)\setminus D$ is open. To do this, just take any point $p\in(X\times X)\setminus D$ and show that it has an open neighborhood disjoint from $D$. I suggest that you try to reverse what I did above. First, $p=\langle x,y\rangle$ for some $x,y\in X$, and since $p\notin D$, $x\ne y$. Now use disjoint open neighborhoods of $x$ and $y$ to build a basic open box around $p$ that is disjoint from $D$.

Source : Link , Question Author : Br09 , Answer Author : Brian M. Scott

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