TOPICS

# Supremum

The supremum is the least upper bound of a set , defined as a quantity such that no member of the set exceeds , but if is any positive quantity, however small, there is a member that exceeds (Jeffreys and Jeffreys 1988). When it exists (which is not required by this definition, e.g., does not exist), it is denoted (or sometimes simply for short). The supremum is implemented in the Wolfram Language as MaxValue[f, constr, vars].

More formally, the supremum for a (nonempty) subset of the affinely extended real numbers is the smallest value such that for all we have . Using this definition, always exists and, in particular, .

Whenever a supremum exists, its value is unique. On the real line, the supremum of a set is the same as the supremum of its set closure.

Consider the real numbers with their usual order. Then for any set , the supremum exists (in ) if and only if is bounded from above and nonempty.

Infimum, Limit, Supremum Limit, Upper Bound

Portions of this entry contributed by Jerome R. Breitenbach

## Explore with Wolfram|Alpha

More things to try:

## References

Croft, H. T.; Falconer, K. J.; and Guy, R. K. Unsolved Problems in Geometry. New York: Springer-Verlag, p. 2, 1991.Jeffreys, H. and Jeffreys, B. S. "Upper and Lower Bounds." §1.044 in Methods of Mathematical Physics, 3rd ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, p. 13, 1988.Knopp, K. Theory of Functions Parts I and II, Two Volumes Bound as One, Part I. New York: Dover, p. 6, 1996.Royden, H. L. Real Analysis, 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan, p. 31, 1988.Rudin, W. Real and Complex Analysis, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, p. 7, 1987.

Supremum

## Cite this as:

Breitenbach, Jerome R. and Weisstein, Eric W. "Supremum." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. https://mathworld.wolfram.com/Supremum.html