# Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem

## Contents

## Theorem

Every bounded sequence of real numbers has a convergent subsequence.

### General Form

Every infinite bounded space in a real Euclidean space has at least one limit point.

## Proof 1

Let $\sequence {x_n}$ be a bounded sequence in $\R$.

By the Peak Point Lemma, $\sequence {x_n}$ has a monotone subsequence $\sequence {x_{n_r} }$.

Since $\sequence {x_n}$ is bounded, so is $\sequence {x_{n_r} }$.

Hence, by the Monotone Convergence Theorem (Real Analysis), the result follows.

$\blacksquare$

## Proof 2

Let $\left \langle {x_n} \right \rangle_{n \in \N}$ be a bounded sequence in $\R$.

By definition there are real numbers $c, C \in \R$ such that $c < x_n < C$.

Then at least one of the sets:

- $\left\{{x_n : c < x_n < \dfrac{c + C} 2 }\right\}, \left\{{x_n : \dfrac{c + C} 2 < x_n < C }\right\}, \left\{{x_n : x_n = \dfrac{c + C} 2 }\right\}$

contains infinitely many elements.

If the set $\left\{{x_n : x_n = \dfrac{c + C} 2 }\right\}$ is infinite there's nothing to prove.

If this is not the case, choose the first element from the infinite set, say $x_{k_1}$.

Repeat this process for $\left \langle {x_n} \right \rangle_{n > k_1}$.

As a result we obtain subsequence $\left \langle {x_{k_n}} \right \rangle_{n \in \N}$.

By construction $\left \langle {x_{k_n}} \right \rangle_{n \in \N}$ is a Cauchy sequence and therefore converges.

$\blacksquare$

## Also see

## Source of Name

This entry was named for Bernhard Bolzano and Karl Weierstrass.

## Historical Note

The Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem is a crucial property of the real numbers discovered independently by both Bernhard Bolzano and Karl Weierstrass during their work on putting real analysis on a rigorous logical footing.

It was originally referred to as **Weierstrass's Theorem** until Bolzano's thesis on the subject was rediscovered.

## Sources

- 1962: Bert Mendelson:
*Introduction to Topology*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 2.5$: Limits: Exercise $5$