Riemann Removable Singularities Theorem

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Let $U \subset \C$ be a domain, let $z_0 \in U$, and let $f: U \setminus \{z_0\} \to \C$ be holomorphic.

Then the following are equivalent:

$(1): \quad f$ extends to a holomorphic function $f: U \to \C$.
$(2): \quad f$ extends to a continuous function $f: U \to \C$.
$(3): \quad f$ is bounded in a neighborhood of $z_0$.
$(4): \quad f(z) = o(1/|z-z_0|)$ as $z\to z_0$.


Without loss of generality, we may assume that $U = \Bbb D := \{z \in \C: |z| < 1\}$ and that $z_0=0$.

(Otherwise, restrict $f$ to a suitable disk centered at $z_0$, and precompose with a suitable affine map.)

A holomorphic function is continuous, a continuous function is locally bounded, so $(1) \implies (2) \implies (3)$. Also, $(3) \implies (4)$ by definition.

That $(2) \implies (1)$ follows from the proof of the Residue Theorem. (For completeness, we sketch a self-contained argument below.)

Now assume that $(4)$ holds; i.e. $z \cdot f(z) \to 0$ as $z\to 0$. We need to show that (b) holds.

By assumption, the function

$g(z) := \begin{cases} z \cdot f(z) & z \ne 0 \\ 0 & \text{otherwise}\end{cases}$

is continuous in $\Bbb D$ and holomorphic in $\Bbb D \setminus \{0\}$.

By applying the direction (b) $\implies$ (a) to this function, we see that $g$ is holomorphic in $\Bbb D$. We have :

$\displaystyle g'(0) = \lim_{z \to 0} \frac{g(z)} z = \lim_{z \to 0} f(z)$

so $f$ extends continuously to $\Bbb D$, as claimed.

To prove $(2) \implies (1)$, we use Morera's Theorem and the Residue Theorem.

By Morera's theorem, we need to show that $\displaystyle \int_C f(z) dz = 0$ for every closed curve $C$ in $\Bbb D$.

It follows from the Cauchy integral theorem that we only need to check that $\displaystyle \int_C f(z) = 0$ for a simple closed loop surrounding $0$, and that this integral is independent of the loop $C$.

Letting $C = C_\epsilon (0)$ be the circle of radius $\epsilon$ around $0$, we see that

$\displaystyle \left|\int_{C_\epsilon} f(z)dz\right| \le 2 \pi \epsilon \max_{z \in C_\epsilon} |f(z)| \to 0$

as $\epsilon\to 0$ (because $f$ is continuous in $0$ by assumption).

This completes the proof.


Source of Name

This entry was named for Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann.