Hermitian adjoint

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Adjoint operator)

In mathematics, specifically in functional analysis, one associates to every linear operator on a Hilbert space its adjoint operator. Adjoints of operators generalize conjugate transposes of square matrices to (possibly) infinite-dimensional situations. If one thinks of operators on a Hilbert space as "generalized complex numbers", then the adjoint of an operator plays the role of the complex conjugate of a complex number.

The adjoint of an operator A is is also sometimes called the Hermitian adjoint of A and is denoted by A* or <math> A^\dagger <math> (the latter especially when used in conjunction with the bra-ket notation).

Contents

Definition for bounded operators

Suppose H is a Hilbert space, with inner product <.,.>. Consider a continuous linear operator A : HH (this is the same as a bounded operator).

Using the Riesz representation theorem, one can show that there exists a unique continuous linear operator A* : HH with the following property:

<math> \lang Ax , y \rang = \lang x , A^* y \rang \quad \mbox{for all } x,y\in H<math>

This operator A* is the adjoint of A.

Properties

Immediate properties:

  1. A** = A
  2. (A + B )* = A* + B*
  3. A)* = λ* A*, where λ* denotes the complex conjugate of the complex number λ
  4. (AB)* = B* A*

If we define the operator norm of A by

<math> \| A \| _{op} := \sup \{ \|Ax \| : \| x \| \le 1 \} <math>

then

<math> \| A^* \| _{op} = \| A \| _{op} <math>.

Moreover,

<math> \| A^* A \| _{op} = \| A \| _{op}^2 <math>

The set of bounded linear operators on a Hilbert space H together with the adjoint operation and the operator norm form the prototype of a C-star algebra.

Hermitian operators

A bounded operator A : HH is called Hermitian or self-adjoint if

A = A*

which is equivalent to

<math> \lang Ax , y \rang = \lang x , A y \rang \mbox{ for all } x,y\in H. <math>

In some sense, these operators play the role of the real numbers (being equal to their own "complex conjugate"). They serve as the model of real-valued observables in quantum mechanics. See the article on self-adjoint operators for a full treatment.

Adjoints of unbounded operators

Many operators of importance are not continuous and are only defined on a subspace of a Hilbert space. In this situation, one may still define an adjoint, as is explained in the article on self-adjoint operators.

Other adjoints

The equation

<math> \lang Ax , y \rang = \lang x , A^* y \rang <math>

is formally similar to the defining properties of pairs of adjoint functors in category theory, and this is where adjoint functors got their name.

See also

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools