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NONPOSITIVELY CURVED METRIC IN THE POSITIVE CONE OF A FINITE VON NEUMANN ALGEBRA

  • E. ANDRUCHOW (a1) and G. LAROTONDA (a2)

Abstract

In this paper we study the metric geometry of the space $\Sigma$ of positive invertible elements of a von Neumann algebra ${\mathcal A}$ with a finite, normal and faithful tracial state $\tau$. The trace induces an incomplete Riemannian metric $\langle x,y\rangle_a=\tau (ya^{-1}xa^{-1})$, and, though the techniques involved are quite different, the situation here resembles in many relevant aspects that of the $n\times n$ matrices when they are regarded as a symmetric space. For instance, we prove that geodesics are the shortest paths for the metric induced, and that the geodesic distance is a convex function; we give an intrinsic (algebraic) characterization of the geodesically convex submanifolds $M$ of $\Sigma$; and under a suitable hypothesis we prove a factorization theorem for elements in the algebra that resembles the Iwasawa decomposition for matrices. This factorization is obtained via a nonlinear orthogonal projection $\Pi_M:\Sigma\to M$, a map which turns out to be contractive for the geodesic distance.

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NONPOSITIVELY CURVED METRIC IN THE POSITIVE CONE OF A FINITE VON NEUMANN ALGEBRA

  • E. ANDRUCHOW (a1) and G. LAROTONDA (a2)

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