In mathematics, in general topology, compactification is the process or result of making a topological space into a compact space. A compact space is a space in which every open cover of the space contains a finite subcover. The methods of compactification are various, but each is a way of controlling points from "going off to infinity" by in some way adding "points at infinity" or preventing such an "escape".
Consider the real line with its ordinary topology. This space is not compact; in a sense, points can go off to infinity to the left or to the right. It is possible to turn the real line into a compact space by adding a single "point at infinity" which we will denote by ∞. The resulting compactification can be thought of as a circle (which is compact as a closed and bounded subset of the Euclidean plane). Every sequence that ran off to infinity in the real line will then converge to ∞ in this compactification. The direction in which a number approaches in