# Questions tagged [operator-theory]

Spectrum, resolvent, numerical range, functional calculus, operator semigroups. Special classes of operators: compact, Fredholm, dissipative, differential, integral, pseudodifferential, etc.

1,096
questions

**69**

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### Can you hear the shape of a drum by choosing where to drum it?

I find the problem of hearing the shape of a drum fascinating. Specifically, given two connected subsets of $\mathbb R^2$ with piecewise-smooth boundaries (or a suitable generalization to a riemannian ...

**47**

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**0**answers

2k 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 $l^2$...

**34**

votes

**1**answer

3k 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 $ab$ ...

**30**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Why are there so many fractional derivatives?

I have been interested in fractional calculus for some time now, and I have seen "lots" of definitions of the $\frac {d^\alpha} {dx^\alpha}$ operator.
I started with the book The Fractional Calculus ...

**29**

votes

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7k views

### Is the Invariant Subspace Problem interesting?

There's an amusing comment in Peter Lax's Functional Analysis book. After a brief description of the Invariant Subspace Problem, he says (paraphrasing) "...this question is still open. It is also an ...

**29**

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4k views

### When is an integral transform trace class?

Given a measure space $(X, \mu)$ and a measurable integral kernel $k : X \times X \rightarrow \mathbb{C}$, the operator
$$ K f(\xi) =\int_{X} f(x) k(x,\xi) d \mu(x),$$
the operator $K$ is Hilbert ...

**29**

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2k views

### Do there exist infinite-dimensional Banach spaces in which every bounded linear operator attains its norm?

Let $X$ be a Banach space, $L(X)$ the space of all bounded linear operators on $X$. We say that $A ∈ L(X)$ attains its norm if there exists $x ∈ X$ such that $||x|| = 1$ and $||Ax|| = ||A||$. The ...

**27**

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1k views

### Unital $C^{*}$ algebras whose all elements have path connected spectrum

A unital $C^{*}$ algebra is called a "Path connected algebra" if the spectrum of all its elements is a path connected subset of $\mathbb{C}$.
What is an example of a non commutative ...

**20**

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**3**answers

6k views

### Why do inner products require conjugation?

For Hermitian matrices and operators, the most "natural" inner product is $f^H \cdot g$ or $\int f^* g\; dx$. A similar situation holds interpreting Fourier transforms as the inner product of ...

**20**

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183 views

### Existence of orthonormal basis for $L^2(G)$ in $C_c(G)$

Remark: I cross-posted this question on MSE and added a bounty to it.
Suppose that $G$ is a locally compact (Hausdorff) group endowed with the Haar measure. It is well-known that the compactly ...

**18**

votes

**1**answer

519 views

### Is the space of Hankel operators complemented in B(H)?

Let $H$ be $\ell^2({\mathbb N})$ and let $S:H\to H$ be the unilateral forward shift, so that $S^*S=I\neq SS^*$. Then a bounded operator $T:H\to H$ is Hankel if and only if it satisfies $TS=S^*T$.
Let ...

**17**

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**2**answers

2k views

### The letters of the word "ART"

Edit: According to the Gelfand duality between topological spaces and commutative $C^{*}$algebras, I add some new tags. So the question is that what is the structure of $ Ext (A,A)$ where $A$ is $...

**17**

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**1**answer

2k views

### Are "most" operators on an infinite-dimensional complex Banach space "diagonalizable"?

This is true for finite-dimensional spaces: the diagonal operators on a finite dimensional complex vector space form contain a dense open set and the nondiagonalizable operators have measure 0.
To be ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Who first used the multiplication operator version of spectral theory

This is another history question.
Hilbert phrased the spectral theorem in terms of resolutions of the identity.
While this remained the form of Stone and von Neumann, they did also have the ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

836 views

### Convexity of spectral radius of Markov operators, Random walks on non-amenable groups

Let $P_1,P_2$ denote stochastic transition matrices on a countable set $I$.
Consider $P_1,P_2$ as operators on $\ell^2(I)$ given by multiplication.
Question
Under which conditions can we show that ...

**17**

votes

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310 views

### Tauberian Theorem for 1-parameter groups of operators

The Wiener Tauberian Theorem gives condition on an $f\in L^1(\mathbb{R})$ such that the "induced 1-parameter family" $\{T_b(f)\}_{b\in \mathbb{R}}$ has a dense span in $L^1(\mathbb{R})$; ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

941 views

### Version of Banach-Steinhaus theorem

I am wondering about the following version of the Banach-Steinhaus theorem.
Let $A$ be a closed convex subset contained in the unit ball of a Banach space $X$ and consider bounded operators $T_n \in \...

**15**

votes

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690 views

### An orbit of symmetric polynomials

Consider the ring of polynomials $R:=\mathbb{Z}[x_1,x_2,x_3]$. Define the operators $E, I:R\rightarrow R$ by $Ef(x_1,x_2,x_3)=f(x_1-1,x_2,x_3)$ and the identity $If=f$.
Let $\mathcal{L}:R\rightarrow R$...

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votes

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522 views

### Multiple of identity plus compact

Is there an example of a bounded operator $T\in\mathcal{B}(H)$, where $H$ is a separable complex Hilbert space, such that no restriction to an infinite dimensional closed subspace is multiple of ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

443 views

### Approximate eigenvectors for a set of non-commuting self-adjoint operators

This problem is motivated by finding the right mathematical setting for expressing the compatibility of classical physics with quantum mechanics.
Let $\mathcal H$ be a Hilbert space and $S$ a ...

**15**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### PT Symmetry and the Riemann Hypothesis

Recently there have been articles in Quanta, in Science Alert, and at phys.org among others, on possible recent progress toward the Hilbert-Polya conjecture, which implies the Riemann Hypothesis. The ...

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2k views

### Intuitive explanation why "shadow operator" $\frac D{e^D-1}$ connects logarithms with trigonometric functions?

Consider the operator $\frac D{e^D-1}$ which we will call "shadow":
$$\frac {D}{e^D-1}f(x)=\frac1{2 \pi }\int_{-\infty }^{+\infty } e^{-iwx}\frac{-iw}{e^{-i w}-1}\int_{-\infty }^{+\infty } e^...

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votes

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### How far is a set of vectors from being orthogonal?

Given some vectors, how many dimensions do you need to add (to their span) before you can find some mutually orthogonal vectors that project down to the original ones?
Or, more formally...
Suppose $...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

520 views

### Criterion for a Banach algebra to be finite dimensional

Let $A$ be a Banach algebra (say, complex and unital) and suppose that every (closed) commutative subalgebra of $A$ is finite dimensional.
Question. Does it follow that $A$ is finite dimensional?
...

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1k views

### Homotopy groups of Fredholm operators

If $X$ is separable complex Hilbert space and $\mathcal{F}$ the topological space of Fredholm operators on $X$, then it is well-known, that
$$ \pi_0(\mathcal{F}) = \mathbb{Z}\, , $$
i.e. the connected ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### If two projections are close, then they are unitarily equivalent

Given two projections $p,q\in B(H)$, it is well-known that if $\|p-q\|<1$, then there exists a unitary $u\in B(H)$ with $q=upu^*$.
The proof that immediately occurs to me uses comparison of ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

669 views

### Why should I look at the resolvent formalism and think it is a useful tool for spectral theory?

Wikipedia calls resolvent formalism a useful tool for relating complex analysis to studying the spectra of a linear operator on a Banach space. Sure, I believe you because I've seen results that use ...

**13**

votes

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851 views

### Does $X$ embed in $Y$, and $Y$ embed in $X$, always imply that $X$ isomorphic onto $Y$?

Let $X$ and $Y$ be Banach spaces. The notion of the embedded spaces was introduced by D.S. Djordjevic. Say that $X$ embed in $Y$, and write $X \preceq Y$, if there exists a left invertible operator $...

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3k views

### How much does the absolute value of an operator behave like an absolute value?

Recall that the absolute value of a bounded operator $T$ on a Hilbert space $H$ is the unique positive operator $|T|$ such that $$\||T|x\|=\|Tx\|$$ for all $x\in H$. It can be defined using the ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

419 views

### One question about the $\eta$ invariant

This question is from the paper, The Analysis of Elliptic Families
II. Dirac Operators, Eta Invariants, and the Holonomy Theorem, Commun. Math. Phys. 107, 103-163 (1986) --- Proposition 2.8.
Suppose ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

925 views

### Is there an algebra for divergent series summation operators?

Let $D$ denote a divergent series and let $C$ denote a convergent series.
Furthermore, let $s : $ { Series } $\to$ $\mathbb{C}$ be a regular, linear divergent series operator, which is either one ...

**12**

votes

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6k views

### Is there an analog of determinant for linear operators in infinite dimensions as that of finite dimensions?

I am trying to find out the essence of what a determinant is. Besides, in finite dimensions, determinant is the kind of numerical invariant that determines the invertibility of a linear operator, but ...

**12**

votes

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803 views

### Bibliographic request concerning an article by Bernstein and Robinson

Concerning the article "Bernstein, Allen R.; Robinson, Abraham.
Solution of an invariant subspace problem of K. T. Smith and
P. R. Halmos. Pacific J. Math. 16 1966 421-431" I am interested in
finding ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

629 views

### Is the set of separable quantum states closed?

Let $\mathcal H,\mathcal H'$ be Hilbert spaces (not necessarily separable).
A "separable state" is a trace-class operator of the form $\sum_i \rho_i\otimes\rho_i'$ where $\rho_i,\rho_i'$ are positive ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

764 views

### Is there a proof that the $C^{*}$-algebras don't see the invariant subspace problem?

This post is an appendix of this one.
Let $H$ be an infinite dimensional separable Hilbert space and $B(H)$ the algebra of bounded operators.
Invariant subspace problem: Let $T \in B(H)$. Is ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Decomposition of positive definite matrices.

It is known that a $n^2 \times n^2$ positive semidefinite matrix $A$ cannot always be written as a finite sum
$$
A=\sum_{j} B_j \otimes C_j
$$
with $B_j$ and $C_j$ positive semidefinite matrices (of ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

992 views

### Hodge de Rham operator and orientability

Let $(M,g)$ be a Riemannian manifold. One can consider the exterior algebra bundle $\Lambda(T^*M)$. The sections of this bundle are differential forms, to be noted by $\Omega^k(M)$. One can consider ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

548 views

### Which nice/deep elaborations on the (operators <-> sheaves) / (endomorphisms <-> objects) theme are there?

A linear operator $T:V\to V$ on a (say) vector space over a field $k$ is just a $k[T]$-module, and may be viewed as the sheaf $\mathscr F_T$ over $\mathbb A^1_k$, with fibre over $\lambda\in k$ equal ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

174 views

### Spectra on different spaces

This is a method request: I am looking for techniques that allow me to investigate problems like this:
Let $T_1: \ell^1 \rightarrow \ell^1$ be a bounded operator with $\Re(\sigma(T_1)) \subset (-\...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Operator that commutes with projections

We investigate the Hilbert space $\ell^2(\mathbb{N}_0)$ with standard orthonormal basis vectors $e_n:=(0,...,0,1,0,...).$
Consider the family of self-adjoint rank $1$ projections $P_n\bullet:= \...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Dual space of $L^2(\mathbb{R},L^1(0,1))$?

I was wondering what the dual space of $L^2(\mathbb{R},L^1(0,1))$ is? (equipped with Lebesgue measures)
Formally, one would suspect that it is just $L^2(\mathbb{R},L^{\infty}(0,1))$. But this may be a ...

**11**

votes

**3**answers

403 views

### Does the generator of a 1-parameter group of Banach space isometries know which elements are entire?

Let $X$ be a complex Banach space. Let $(\sigma_t)_{t \in \mathbb{R}}$ be a 1-parameter group of linear isometries of $X$ which is strongly continuous i.e. $t \mapsto \sigma_t(x)$ is continuous for ...

**11**

votes

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349 views

### Existence of closed operators with arbitrary dense domain of a given Banach space

Consider any Banach space $X$, and let $Y$ be any dense subspace, then does it necessarily exist a closed linear operator $T$ defined on $X$, such that the domain of $T$ is exactly $Y$, i.e., $D(T)=Y$?...

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313 views

### Exponential decay of voltage potential difference

Consider the following adjacency matrix of a complete graph:
$$A=(e^{-|i-j|})_{1\leq i\neq j\leq n}$$
with 0 on the diagonal. Let $D=diag\{d_1,...,d_n\}$ be the degree matrix where $d_i=\sum_{j\neq i}...

**11**

votes

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522 views

### Is $\mathcal{B}^{\mathbb{Z}}(l^\infty(\mathbb{Z}))$ a commutative algebra?

Consider $l^\infty(\mathbb{Z})$ the Banach space of bounded complex valued functions on the abelian group $\mathbb{Z}$ with the supremum norm. It has a natural action by $\mathbb{Z}$ given by $(zf)(g):...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

979 views

### Quasi-nilpotent trace class operators as limits of nilpotents

In as yet unwritten work with T. Figiel and A. Szankowski we make an observation in a Banach space context that for Hilbert spaces reduces to:
If $T$ is a quasi-nilpotent (i.e., has only $0$ in its ...

**11**

votes

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651 views

### A neat evaluation of an infinite matrix?

Let $M_n$ be an $n\times n$ matrix defined as
$$M_n
=\left[\frac{2i+1}{2(i+j+1)}\binom{i-1/2}i\binom{j-1/2}jx^{i+j+1}\right]_{i,j=0}^n.$$
With $I_n$ the identity matrix, consider $A_n:=I_n-M_n^2$. ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

461 views

### Contraction semigroup on Hilbert space

I'd like to know whether a certain unbounded operator on a Hilbert space is the generator of a strongly continuous contraction semigroup.
(Such operators are known as maximally dissipative operators.)
...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### Projections in Banach spaces

Dear All,
I am absolutely lost in the following problem:
Let $P_s, \: s \in [0,1],$ be a uniformly bounded family of projections (idempotents) in a Banach space $X$ such that $P_s P_t = P_{{\rm min}...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

773 views

### Continuity of the product map

Let $A$ be a $C^*$-algebra.
Is it possible to characterize $A$ for which the product map defined by
$$\sum\limits_{i=1}^n a_i\otimes b_i \mapsto \sum\limits_{i=1}^n a_i b_i$$
is continuous with ...