The purpose of this section is to review some well-known concepts and results from separable Banach space theory. Our focus is the weak-*topology on the dual of a separable Banach space. A reference for most of this material is Chapter V of Dunford and Schwartz .
Let X be a Banach space. The weak topology on X is the
weakest topology such that every bounded linear functional on X is
continuous. The dual space of X is the space X* of all
bounded linear functionals on X. The norm of
is defined by
A key theorem concerning the weak-* topology is:
Proof. See , page 424.
In considering weak-* sequential convergence, an important fact to keep in mind is the following consequence of the Banach-Steinhaus theorem:
Proof. See , page 66.
A set is said to be weak-*sequentially closed if it is closed under weak-* limits of sequences, i.e., weak-* and for all imply .
For an arbitrary set , being weak-* sequentially closed is not in general equivalent to being weak-* closed. In particular, the weak-* topology is not in general metrizable, even when X is separable. This is shown by the following theorem.
Proof. We first prove the following lemma.
Proof. For any finite set , is a subspace of X of codimension at most the cardinality of F, and hence in particular it intersects for each . By the Banach-Alaoglu theorem, Bn(X*) is weak-* compact, and so Bn(X*)n is weak-* compact as well. Thus for each n we can find a finite set such that, for each finite set of cardinality n, intersects Gn. Letting be an enumeration without repetition of , we obtain the desired sequence.
Proof of Theorem 2.5. Since X is separable, it follows by Theorem 2.1 that X* is weak-*separable, so let be a countable weak-* dense subset of X*. By the preceding lemma, for each n we can find a sequence such that for all k and and x*n belongs to the weak, and hence weak-*, closure of . Thus is a countable set which is weak-*dense in X*. On the other hand, for each n, is finite, so by Corollary 2.4 Z is weak-* sequentially closed.
The previous theorem shows that a set in X* can be weak-*sequentially closed yet far from weak-* closed, even when X is separable. Nevertheless, it turns out that for convex sets in X*, being weak-* sequentially closed is equivalent to being weak-* closed, provided X is separable. We shall obtain this result as a consequence of the following well-known theorem:
Proof. See , page 429.
The special case of the Krein-Smulian theorem for subspaces of X* is originally due to Banach ( page 124):
Proof. For a subspace Z of X*, we have . Hence is weak-* closed for all r if and only if is weak-* closed. The desired result follows immediately from the Krein-Smulian theorem.
A set Z in X* is said to be bounded-weak-* closed if is weak-*-closed for all r>0. This defines yet another topology on X*, the bounded-weak-* topology. By the Banach-Alaoglu theorem, weak-* closed sets are bounded-weak-*closed, but the converse does not hold in general. We can paraphrase the Krein-Smulian theorem by saying that a convex set in X* is weak-* closed if and only if it is bounded-weak-* closed.
Proof. By definition, Z is bounded-weak-* closed if and only if is weak-* closed for all r. Since X is separable, we have by Theorem 2.1 that Br(X*) is weak-* compact and weak-* metrizable. Hence, for all r, is weak-*closed if and only if is weak-* sequentially closed. By Corollary 2.4 it now follows that is weak-* closed for all r if and only if Z is weak-* sequentially closed. This completes the proof.
We now obtain the desired result:
Proof. Immediate from Theorem 2.7 plus Lemma 2.9.
Again, the special case when Z is a subspace of X* is due to Banach ( page 124):
We now turn to a discussion of weak-* sequential closure ordinals.
For an arbitrary set
let Z' denote the set of
weak-* limits of sequences from Z. Define a transfinite sequence
an ordinal, by
In the remainder of this section and the next section, we shall prove some results which completely answer the question of which ordinals can arise as closure ordinals of subspaces of X* where X is a separable Banach space. This question was first answered completely by McGehee  and Sarason [19,20,21].
Proof. For r>0 and an ordinal, let be the weak-*closure of . For fixed r>0, the sets form an increasing, transfinite sequence of compact subsets of a compact metric space, namely Br(X*) with the weak-*topology (Theorem 2.1). This transfinite sequence must therefore stabilize at some countable ordinal. Since for all , it follows that the transfinite sequence also stabilizes at a countable ordinal, call it . Put . Then is a countable ordinal. We claim that is weak-* sequentially closed. To see this, suppose that x* is the weak-* limit of a sequence from . By Corollary 2.3, there exists such that for all . Hence , so in particular and our claim is proved. Thus , i.e., is countable.
Specializing to subspaces of X*, we can say more:
Proof. By the previous lemma, is countable. Suppose that , for some countable limit ordinal . As is norm closed, this implies that , where denotes the norm closure of . Thus is a closed subset of a complete metric space, written as a countable union of closed sets. By the Baire category theorem, there must be an ordinal such that has non-void interior as a subset of , i.e., contains the intersection of an open (in norm) ball with . But is a subspace of , so it must be all of . Since , it follows that , whence . We have now shown that is not a limit ordinal. Thus must be either 0 or a successor ordinal. If then Z is weak-* sequentially closed, and hence is weak-* closed by Corollary 2.11. This completes the proof. See also Kechris and Louveau , page 157.
It is known that the converse of the previous theorem also holds: For every countable successor ordinal , we can find a subspace Z of the dual X* of a separable Banach space X such that . In the next section we present a proof of this result, with and Z weak-*dense in .
The study of closure ordinals of subspaces of X* has an interesting history. Von Neumann ( page 380) exhibits a set such that 0 is in the weak closure of S yet no sequence from S converges weakly to 0. The first example of a subspace Z of X* such that is due to Mazurkiewicz . Banach ( pages 209-213) proves that for every there is a subspace Z of such that and states the analogous result for all countable ordinals. For the proof Banach refers to a ``forthcoming'' paper which seems never to have appeared, and this reference is omitted from the English translation . Later, McGehee  proves the stronger result that for each countable ordinal there exists a weak-* dense subspace of whose closure ordinal is exactly (but note that McGehee's notation differs from ours). In the next section we reprove this result of McGehee. Sarason [19,20,21] proves a similar result for the spaces and . In view of the theorem above, these results of McGehee and Sarason are in a sense best possible. While McGehee's proof uses sets of synthesis and uniqueness, our proof in the next section is much more elementary.