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I understand that there is a definition of p-adic Banach algebras and that a significant amount of functional analysis can be developed in the non-archimedean setting. Is there a p-adic version of C*-algebras? If so, is there an analogue of the GNS construction?

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Would a "reference-request" tag be appropriate for your question? (Just that your question seems to be asking for pointers to any possible literature on the topic, rather than "how do I do prove this particular result?") – Yemon Choi Oct 19 '11 at 2:39
Yes, I am looking for possible references. I'm interested in trying to develop some basic theory myself, but I'd like to know if it has already been done. – Ian M. Oct 19 '11 at 4:56
up vote 21 down vote accepted

There exists a complete theory of non-Archimedean commutative Banach algebras. In particular, there are conditions under which an algebra is isomorphic to the algebra of continuous functions. For the commutative case, they can be seen as the counterparts of the $C^*$ condition. Note that there is no natural involution in the p-adic case. See

V. Berkovich, Spectral theory and analytic geometry over non-Archimedean fields, AMS, 1990 (the above conditions are in Corollary 9.2.7);

A. Escassut, Ultrametric Banach algebras, World Scientific, 2003.

For the noncommutative case, very little is known.

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Great answer! Thank you for the references. – Ian M. Oct 19 '11 at 7:17

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