The magnitude of metric spaces

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Magnitude is a real-valued invariant of metric spaces, analogous to Euler characteristic of topological spaces and cardinality of sets. The definition of magnitude is a special case of a general categorical definition that clarifies the analogies between cardinality-like invariants in mathematics. Although this motivation is a world away from geometric measure, magnitude, when applied to subsets of $\{R}^n$, turns out to be intimately related to invariants such as volume, surface area, perimeter and dimension. We describe several aspects of this relationship, providing evidence for a conjecture (first stated in joint work with Willerton) that magnitude encodes all the most important invariants of classical integral geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-905
JournalDocumenta mathematica
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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