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Lecture# Compositions and adjoints of unbounded operators

Description

This lecture covers the fundamental concepts of unbounded operators, resembling the momentum operator of a particle in quantum mechanics. The algebraic manipulation of unbounded operators must be done carefully, defining the sum and product of operators. The adjoint of an operator is the next step, with no reason for it to be bounded. The lecture explores the domain of the adjoint, defining auto-adjoint and normal operators. Examples illustrate the integration by parts and the properties of symmetric and auto-adjoint operators, emphasizing the importance of closure in operator theory.

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Related concepts (62)

Operator theory

In mathematics, operator theory is the study of linear operators on function spaces, beginning with differential operators and integral operators. The operators may be presented abstractly by their characteristics, such as bounded linear operators or closed operators, and consideration may be given to nonlinear operators. The study, which depends heavily on the topology of function spaces, is a branch of functional analysis. If a collection of operators forms an algebra over a field, then it is an operator algebra.

Self-adjoint operator

In mathematics, a self-adjoint operator on an infinite-dimensional complex vector space V with inner product (equivalently, a Hermitian operator in the finite-dimensional case) is a linear map A (from V to itself) that is its own adjoint. If V is finite-dimensional with a given orthonormal basis, this is equivalent to the condition that the matrix of A is a Hermitian matrix, i.e., equal to its conjugate transpose A^∗. By the finite-dimensional spectral theorem, V has an orthonormal basis such that the matrix of A relative to this basis is a diagonal matrix with entries in the real numbers.

Creation and annihilation operators

Creation operators and annihilation operators are mathematical operators that have widespread applications in quantum mechanics, notably in the study of quantum harmonic oscillators and many-particle systems. An annihilation operator (usually denoted ) lowers the number of particles in a given state by one. A creation operator (usually denoted ) increases the number of particles in a given state by one, and it is the adjoint of the annihilation operator.

Unbounded operator

In mathematics, more specifically functional analysis and operator theory, the notion of unbounded operator provides an abstract framework for dealing with differential operators, unbounded observables in quantum mechanics, and other cases. The term "unbounded operator" can be misleading, since "unbounded" should sometimes be understood as "not necessarily bounded"; "operator" should be understood as "linear operator" (as in the case of "bounded operator"); the domain of the operator is a linear subspace, not necessarily the whole space; this linear subspace is not necessarily closed; often (but not always) it is assumed to be dense; in the special case of a bounded operator, still, the domain is usually assumed to be the whole space.

Schrödinger functional

In mathematical physics, some approaches to quantum field theory are more popular than others. For historical reasons, the Schrödinger representation is less favored than Fock space methods. In the early days of quantum field theory, maintaining symmetries such as Lorentz invariance, displaying them manifestly, and proving renormalisation were of paramount importance. The Schrödinger representation is not manifestly Lorentz invariant and its renormalisability was only shown as recently as the 1980s by Kurt Symanzik (1981).