In noncommutative geometry and related branches of mathematics and mathematical physics, a spectral triple is a set of data which encodes a geometric phenomenon in an analytic way. The definition typically involves a Hilbert space, an algebra of operators on it and an unbounded self-adjoint operator, endowed with supplemental structures. It was conceived by Alain Connes who was motivated by the Atiyah-Singer index theorem and sought its extension to 'noncommutative' spaces. Some authors refer to this notion as unbounded K-cycles or as unbounded Fredholm modules.
A motivating example of spectral triple is given by the algebra of smooth functions on a compact spin manifold, acting on the Hilbert space of L2-spinors, accompanied by the Dirac operator associated to the spin structure. From the knowledge of these objects one is able to recover the original manifold as a metric space: the manifold as a topological space is recovered as the spectrum of the algebra,