# Simple question about measurable characteristic function

 P: 312 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Prove that the characteristic function $\chi_A: X\rightarrow R, \chi_A(x)=1,x\in A; \chi_A(x)=0, x\notin A$, where A is a measurable set of the measurable space $(X,\psi)$, is measurable. 2. Relevant equations a function $f: X->R$ is measurable if for any usual measurable set M of R, $f^{-1}(M)$ is measurable in $(X,\psi)$ 3. The attempt at a solution Obviously $f^{-1}([0,1])=X$, where the universal set X need not be a measurable set in a general measurable space $(X,\psi)$, which only requires that the (uncountable) union of all measurable sets is X. But the book explicitly asked to prove for a general measurable space. What am I missing here? Thank you.
 Quote by sunjin09 3. The attempt at a solution Obviously $f^{-1}([0,1])=X$, where the universal set X need not be a measurable set in a general measurable space $(X,\psi)$, which only requires that the (uncountable) union of all measurable sets is X. But the book explicitly asked to prove for a general measurable space. What am I missing here? Thank you.
$X=A\cup A^{c}$
 P: 312 But $A^c$ need not be measurable in a general measurable space, which is not necessarily a Borel field, only a $\sigma$-ring whose union is X. Am I completely wrong?
 P: 312 This is the book I use http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=9PXuAAAAMAAJ The definition of general measurable space in this book Definition 7.1(3). Let X be a (universal) set and let psi be a sigma-ring on X which has the property that X is a (not necessarily countable) union of sets taken from the collection psi. Then the ordered pair (X, psi) is called a measurable space. The members of psi are referred to as the measurable sets of X. A example in the book is let X be an uncountable set and psi be all countable subset of X. This is a wiki page on sigma-ring: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigma-ring In the last paragraph: "σ-rings can be used instead of σ-fields in the development of measure and integration theory, if one does not wish to require that the universal set be measurable." In the same book there is this problem: Let (X, psi) be a general measurable space. Show that the characteristic function of $A\subset X$ is measurable iff A is measurable. ( Remark: In the text we gave the proof for a Borel space only. ) P.S. I seem to have figured it out. In the book, for a general measurable space, a measurable function f is defined in such a way that the set on which f is 0 is eliminated. Since $\chi_A(A^c)=0, A^c$ need not be measurable. Thank you both!