**75**

votes

**14**answers

7k views

### Why do we care about L^p spaces besides p = 1, p = 2, and p = infinity?

I was helping a student study for a functional analysis exam and the question came up as to when, in practice, one needs to consider the Banach space $L^p$ for some value of $p$ other than the obvious ...

**64**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### Norms of Commutators

If an $n$ by $n$ complex matrix $A$ has trace zero, then it is a commutator, which means that there are $n$ by $n$ matrices $B$ and $C$ so that $A= BC-CB$. What is the order of the best constant ...

**54**

votes

**0**answers

3k views

### 2, 3, and 4 (a possible fixed point result ?)

The question below is related to the classical Browder-Goehde-Kirk fixed point theorem.
Let $K$ be the closed unit ball of $\ell^{2}$, and let $T:K\rightarrow K$
be a mapping such that $\Vert ...

**51**

votes

**1**answer

5k views

### The mathematical theory of Feynman integrals

It is well known that Feynman integrals are one of the tools that physicists have and mathematicians haven't, sadly.
Arguably, they are the most important such tool. Briefly, the question I'd like to ...

**50**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### Barrelled, bornological, ultrabornological, semi-reflexive, … how are these used?

I'm not a functional analyst (though I like to pretend that I am from time to time) but I use it and I think it's a great subject. But whenever I read about locally convex topological vector spaces, ...

**49**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### Did Gelfand's theory of commutative Banach algebras influence algebraic geometers?

Guillemin and Sternberg wrote the following in 1987 in a short article called "Some remarks on I.M. Gelfand's works" accompanying Gelfand's Collected Papers, Volume I:
The theory of commutative ...

**40**

votes

**15**answers

8k views

### Is there a nice application of category theory to functional/complex/harmonic analysis?

[Title changed, and wording of question tweaked, by YC, because the original title asked a question which seems different from the one people want to answer.]
I've read looked at the examples in ...

**38**

votes

**10**answers

2k views

### Notions of convergence not corresponding to topologies

This question concerns the ramifications of the following interesting problem that
appeared on Ed Nelson's final exam on Functional Analysis some years ago:
Exam question: Is there a metric on the ...

**37**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Can we actually find any fixed points with Brouwer's theorem?

Background
At the risk of greatly oversimplifying matters, let me state a heuristic from Granas and Dugundji's beautiful book: fixed point theorems fall into two broad categories. The first class is ...

**35**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Set-theoretic reformulation of the invariant subspace problem

The invariant subspace problem (ISP) for Hilbert spaces asks whether every bounded linear operator $A$ on $l^2$ (with complex scalars) must have a closed invariant subspace other than $\{0\}$ and ...

**34**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Moving one family of commuting self-adjoint operators to another without losing commutativity on the way

This is actually not a question of mine, so I'll be short on motivation and say nothing beyond that if this were true, a few fancy harmonic analysis techniques that a colleague of mine used in proving ...

**33**

votes

**7**answers

3k views

### Why is the Hahn-Banach thorem so important? [closed]

Every time I here it mentioned it is praised in the highest posible terms, and I remember one of my old lecturers saying that it is one of the 3 most important theorems in analysis. Yet the only ...

**31**

votes

**8**answers

4k views

### Motivation for and history of pseudo-differential operators

Suppose you start from partial differential equations and functional analysis (on $\mathbb R^n$ and on real manifolds). Which prominent example problems lead you to work with pseudo-differential ...

**31**

votes

**1**answer

770 views

### For which maps $S^1\to S^1$ is the winding number defined?

There are two classes of maps $S^1\to S^1$ for which I know how to define the winding number:
• Continuous maps:
Using the unique path lifting property of the universal covering map $\mathbb R\to ...

**31**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### Example of a compact set that isn't the spectrum of an operator

This question is somewhat ill-posed (due to the word easy) and is triggered by idle curiosity:
Is there an easy example of a (separable, infinite-dimensional) Banach space $X$ and a nonempty ...

**30**

votes

**8**answers

3k views

### Polish spaces in probability

Probabilist are very often working with Polish spaces, though this is not always very clear where this assumption is needed.
question: what can go wrong when doing probability on non-Polish spaces ?

**30**

votes

**1**answer

7k views

### What, exactly, has Louis de Branges proved about the Riemann Hypothesis?

Hi,
I know this is a dangerous topic which could attract many cranks and nutters, but:
According to Wikipedia [and probably his own website, but I have a hard time seeing exactly what he's claiming] ...

**30**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### Is there an “elegant” non-recursive formula for these coefficients? Also, how can one get proofs of these patterns?

Not sure if this is a "good" question for this forum or if it'll get panned, but here goes anyway...
Consider this problem. I've been trying to find a formula to expand the "regular iteration" of ...

**29**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### tr(ab) = tr(ba)?

It is well known that given two Hilbert-Schmidt operators $a$ and $b$ on a Hilbert space $H$, their product is trace class and $tr(ab)=tr(ba)$. A similar result holds for $a$ bounded and $b$ trace ...

**29**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### tr(ab)=tr(ba), part 2.

This is a Banach space version of Andre Henriques' question
Trace Question
for Hilbert spaces. Let $a:X\to Y$ and $b:Y\to X$ be bounded linear operators between Banach spaces s.t. $ba$ and $ab$ ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Which differential equations allow for a variational formulation?

Many ODE's and PDE's arising in nature have a variational formulation. An example of what I mean is the following. Classical motions are solutions $q(t)$ to Lagrange's equation
$$
...

**28**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Can an operator have Exp(z) as its characteristic “polynomial”?

Let $\mathcal{H}$ be a Hilbert space, and let $T: \mathcal{H} \rightarrow \mathcal{H}$ be a trace-class operator. Define
$$ f_T(z) = \sum_{i=0}^\infty \mbox{Tr}(\wedge^k T) \cdot z^k, $$
the ...

**27**

votes

**7**answers

4k views

### What's an example of a space that needs the Hahn-Banach Theorem?

The Hahn-Banach theorem is rightly seen as one of the Big Theorems in functional analysis. Indeed, it can be said to be where functional analysis really starts. But as it's one of those "there ...

**27**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Dynamical properties of injective continuous functions on $\mathbb{R}^d$

Let $\varphi:\mathbb{R}^d\to\mathbb{R}^d$ be an injective continuous function.
Denote by $\varphi_n$ the $n$-th iterate of $\varphi$, i.e.
$\varphi_n(x)=\varphi_{n-1}(\varphi(x))$ for all ...

**26**

votes

**9**answers

17k views

### Is square of Delta function defined somewhere?

Hello, every one. I am wondering whether any one knows that whether the square of Dirac Delta function is defined some where?
In the beginning, this question might look strange. But by restricting ...

**26**

votes

**6**answers

7k views

### Learning roadmap for harmonic analysis

In short, I am interested to know of the various approaches one could take to learn modern harmonic analysis in depth. However, the question deserves additional details. Currently, I am reading Loukas ...

**26**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Are there non-reflexive vector spaces isomorphic to their bi-dual?

Let $V$ be an infinite dimensional topological vector space and consider the natural application $\iota\colon V\to V^{**}$. The space $V$ is said to be reflexive if $\iota$ is an isomorphism.
Are ...

**26**

votes

**2**answers

793 views

### Origin and first uses of $\ell_p$ norms?

When exactly were $\ell_p$ norms first defined and used?
(Here is what I know, or think I know: Lebesgue and/or Riesz had something to do with them, but in some sense they go back to Minkowski, since ...

**26**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Surjectivity of operators on $\ell^\infty$

Can anyone give me an example of an bounded and linear operator $T:\ell^\infty\to \ell^\infty$ (the space of bounded sequences with the usual sup-norm), such that T has dense range, but is not ...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Subalgebras of von Neumann algebras

In the late 70s, Cuntz and Behncke had a paper
H. Behncke and J. Cuntz, Local Completeness of Operator Algebras, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. ...

**24**

votes

**7**answers

7k views

### Way to memorize relations between the Sobolev spaces?

Consider the Sobolev spaces $W^{k,p}(\Omega)$ with a bounded domain $\Omega$ in n-dimensional Euclidean space. When facing the different embedding theorems for the first time, one can certainly feel ...

**24**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### How are infinite-dimensional manifolds most commonly treated?

I originally posted this question on StackExchange, where it was suggested I post here. It was also suggested I read about Hilbert manifolds and Fréchet manifolds. Nevertheless, I am still looking for ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Does there exist a measurable function which is not a.e. “strongly” measurable?

More specifically, letting $I=[0,1]$, do there exist $f,E$ with $E$ a (necessarily nonseparable) Banach space and $f$ a bounded Lebesgue measurable function $I\to E$ such that $f$ is not equal almost ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Furstenberg's Conjecture on 2-3-invariant continuous probability measures on the circle

Hillel Furstenberg conjectured that the only $2$-$3$-invariant probability measure on the circle without atoms is the Lebesgue measure. More precisely:
Question: (Furstenberg) Let $\mu$ be a ...

**23**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Understanding/Mastering Analysis in Topology, necessary?

I have spoken to one professor so far about this, which of course was helpful, and so I am looking for additional opinions: To work with topological tools that were built via analysis, should I be a ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

550 views

### Can nuclearity be determined by tensoring with a single C*-algebra?

A C*-algebra is nuclear if the algebraic tensor product $A\odot B$ ($B$ is any other C*-algebra) admits a unique C*-norm. This definition requires testing the condition for nuclearity with `all' ...

**23**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### Can Hölder's Inequality be strengthened for smooth functions?

Is there an $\epsilon>0$ so that for every nonnegative integrable function $f$ on the reals,
$$\frac{\| f \ast f \|_\infty \| f \ast f \|_1}{\|f \ast f \|_2^2} > 1+\epsilon?$$
Of course, we ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Szőkefalvi-Nagy's unitarizability theorem in the Calkin algebra?

Here's a research problem, which I think interesting.
Suppose that $t$ is an invertible element in the Calkin algebra $\mathcal{Q} = \mathcal{B}(\ell_2)/\mathcal{K}(\ell_2)$ which satisfies $\sup_{n ...

**23**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Criteria for boundedness of power series

Consider a power series $\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} a_n x^n$ that is convergent for all real
x, thus defining a function $f: \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$.
Can one give necessary and sufficient criteria the ...

**23**

votes

**0**answers

609 views

### When are two C*-algebras isomorphic as Banach spaces?

We may consider each $C^*$-algebra as a Banach space (by forgetting the multiplication and adjoint). I wonder how drastic this step is, i.e., which properties of the $C^*$-algebra are reflected by its ...

**22**

votes

**16**answers

3k views

### functions satisfying “one-one iff onto”

Hello Everybody.
I need some more examples for the following really interesting phenomenon:
A function from the class ... is one-one iff it is onto.
Some ...

**22**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### Intuition for failure of Implicit Function theorem on Frechet Manifolds

When dealing with moduli spaces of, say connections or metrics, I am using the notions of Frechet spaces/manifolds/groups. I have become familiar with Banach manifolds (I think), but Frechet manifolds ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Elementary applications of Krein-Milman

This is a cross-post from MSE: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/139754/elementary-applications-of-krein-milman. I'm starting to suspect that the question just doesn't really have a great ...

**22**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Examples of loss of regularity by “creation of topology”

I would like to have a list as general as possible of examples of situations where the density of smooth objects into some "natural class" (the meaning of "natural" depending on the problem ...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

5k views

### Product of Borel sigma algebras

If $X$ and $Y$ are separable metric spaces, then the Borel $\sigma$-algebra $B(X \times Y)$ of the product is the the $\sigma$-algebra generated by $B(X)\times B(Y)$. I am embarrassed to admit that ...

**21**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Can $L^{2}$ be represented as a space of functions (not equivalence classes)?

Let $X$ be the vector space of all Lebesgue-measurable functions $f:\left[a,b\right]\rightarrowℝ$ such that $\int^{b}_{a}\left|f\left(x\right)\right|^{2}dx<\infty$ (Lebesgue integral). Then we can ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Can we recover a von Neumann algebra from its predual?

By definition, a von Neumann algebra is a C*‑algebra A
that admits a predual, i.e., a Banach space Z such that
Z* is isomorphic to the underlying Banach space of A.
(We require that isomorphisms in ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### The third axiom in the definition of (infinite-dimensional) vector bundles: why?

Serge Lang's Differential and Riemannian Manifolds is a no doubt the best available reference for the theory of not-necessarily-finite-dimensional differential manifolds, but unfortunately it suffers ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

999 views

### Universality of zeta- and L-functions

Voronin´s Universality Theorem (for the Riemann zeta-Function) according to Wikipedia: Let $U$ be a compact subset of the "critical half-strip" $\{s\in\mathbb{C}:\frac{1}{2}<Re(s)<1\}$ with ...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

493 views

### The maximal “nearly convex” function

The following problem is only tangently related to my present work, and I do
not have any applications. However, I am curious to know the solution -- or
even to see a lack thereof, indicating that the ...