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1 - Hilbert space refresher

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2012

Teiko Heinosaari
Affiliation:
University of Turku, Finland
Mário Ziman
Affiliation:
Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia
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Summary

Quantum theory, in its conventional formulation, is built on the theory of Hilbert spaces and operators. In this chapter we go through this basic material, which is central for the rest of the book. Our treatment is mainly intended as a refresher and a summary of useful results. It is assumed that the reader is already familiar with some of these concepts and elementary results, at least in the case of finite-dimensional inner product spaces.

We present proofs for propositions and theorems only if the proof itself is considered to be instructive and illustrative. This gives us the freedom to present the material in a topical order rather than in the strict order of mathematical implication. Good references for this chapter are the functional analysis textbooks by Conway [45], Pedersen [113] and Reed and Simon [121]. These books also contain the proofs that we skip here.

Hilbert spaces

As an introduction, before a formal definition is given, one may think of a Hilbert space as the closest possible generalization of the inner product spaces cd to infinite dimensions. Actually, there are no finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces (up to isomorphisms) other than cd spaces. The crucial requirement of completeness becomes relevant only in infinite-dimensional spaces. This defining property of Hilbert spaces guarantees that they are well-behaved mathematical objects, and many calculations can be done almost as easily as in c d.

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Chapter
Information
The Mathematical Language of Quantum Theory
From Uncertainty to Entanglement
, pp. 1 - 44
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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