# Finite dimensional C -algebras

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1 Finite dimensional C -algebras S. Sundar September 14, 2012 Throughout H, K stand for finite dimensional Hilbert spaces. 1 Spectral theorem for self-adjoint opertors Let A B(H) and let {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n be an orthonormal basis. Write Aξ j = n a ij ξ i. i=1 Then (a ij ) is called the matrix of A w.r.t. the orthonormal basis {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n. Note that a ij =< Aξ j, ξ i >. Exercise 1.1 Let A B(H). Prove that there exists a unique element A B(H) such that for ξ, η H, < Aξ, η >=< ξ, A η >. The unique element A is called the adjoint of A. Hint: What is the matrix of A? Exercise 1.2 Let A B(H). Let (a ij ) and (α ij ) be the matrices associated to A and A respectively w.r.t an orthonormal basis {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n. Prove that α ij = a ji. Exercise 1.3 Prove that (AB) = B A, A = A, (αa + βb) = ᾱa + βb. Exercise 1.4 Let W H be a subspace and let W := {η H :< ξ, η >= 0 for ξ W. Prove that 1. W + W = H and W W = {0. 2. Given χ H, there exists unique ξ W and η W such that χ = ξ + η. 1

2 Definition 1.1 Let A B(H). The operator A is said to be self-adjoint if A = A. Example 1.2 Let W H be a subspace and W be its orthogonal complement. For χ H, write χ = ξ + η with ξ W and η W. Define a map P W : H H by P W (χ) = ξ. Prove that 1. The map P W is linear, P W = id on W and P W = 0 on W, 2. P W is self-adjoint i.e. P W = P W, 3. P W is an idempotent i.e. P 2 W = P W, and 4. The image of P W is W. Definition 1.3 An operator P B(H) is called a projection if P 2 = P = P. Exercise 1.5 Let P B(H) be a projection. Let W = Im(P ). Prove that 1. W = Ker(1 P ) and W = Ker(P ), 2. P W = id, P W = 0, and P = P W. Proposition 1.4 The map is a bijection. { subspaces of H W P W { set of projections in B(H) Thus we think of projections and subspaces as one and the same. Exercise 1.6 Let W and V be subspaces of H and let P and Q be the corresponding projections. Prove that the following are equivalent. 1. W and V are orthogonal i.e. < W, V >= P Q = 0. Exercise 1.7 Let W 1, W 2,, W n be subspaces of H and denote the corresponding projections by P 1, P 2,, P n. Prove that the following are equivalent. 1. n i=1 W i = H i.e. W 1 + W W n = H and < W i, W j >= P i P j = 0 and n i=1 P i = 1. 2

3 Exercise 1.8 Let W H be a subspace and denote the orthogonal projection onto W by P. Consider a self-adjoint operator A B(H). Then the following are equivalent. The operator A leaves W invariant i.e. AW W. P AP = AP. A commutes with P i.e. AP = P A. Theorem 1.5 (Spectral theorem) Let A B(H) be a self-adjoint operator. Then there exists an orthonormal basis {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n and scalars {λ 1, λ 2,, λ n such that Aξ j = λ j ξ j. ( That is, the matrix of A is diagonal w.r.t. the orthonormal basis {ξ 1,, ξ n.) Proof. Let λ be an eigen value of A i.e. there exists a non-zero vector ξ such that Aξ = λξ. Then A leaves the one-dimensional subspace W := span {ξ invariant. Now apply Exercise 1.8 to conclude that A leaves W invariant. By induction, there exists an orthonormal basis {ξ 2, ξ 3,, ξ n of W and scalars λ 2, λ 3,, λ n such that Aξ j = λ j ξ j for j = 2, 3,, n. Now set ξ 1 = ξ and λ 1 = λ. Since W W = H, it follows that B := {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n is an orthonormal basis of H and the matrix of A w.r.t. B is diagonal. This completes the proof. Definition 1.6 Let A B(H). Define σ(a) := {λ C : A λ is not invertible. The set σ(a) is called the spectrum of A. Exercise 1.9 Let A B(H). Prove that the following are equivalent. 1. λ σ(a). 2. There exists ξ H such that ξ 0 and Aξ = λξ. For λ σ(a), let H λ = {ξ H : Aξ = λξ. Exercise 1.10 Let A B(H) and let λ 1, λ 2,, λ n be distinct elements of σ(a). If ξ j H λj are non-zero vectors then prove that {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n are linearly independent. Conclude that σ(a) is finite. The following exercise shows that σ(a) is non-empty. 3

4 Exercise 1.11 Let ξ H be a non-zero vector. Consider the set of vectors {ξ, Aξ, A 2 ξ,,. Since H is finite dimensional, conclude that there exists a polynomial p with complex coefficients such that p(a)ξ = 0. Now factorise p as p(x) = (x λ 1 )(x λ 2 ) (x λ n ). Use induction to show that there exists i such that λ i σ(a). Proposition 1.7 For A B(H), σ(a) is non-empty and finite. Exercise 1.12 If the matrix of A w.r.t an orthonormal basis is σ(a)? diag(λ 1, λ 2,, λ n ) what is Exercise 1.13 If A is self-adjoint, prove that σ(a) R. Hint: Diagonalise A and use the fact that the matrices for A and A are equal. Exercise 1.14 Let A be self-adjoint and λ, µ σ(a). If λ µ then H λ and H µ are orthogonal. Hint: Let ξ H λ and η H µ be given. Consider the inner product < Aξ, η >=< ξ, Aη >. Theorem 1.8 (Spectral theorem - A reformulation) Let A B(H) be self-adjoint. Then H = λ σ(a) H λ. Denote the orthogonal projection onto H λ by P λ. We have 1. If λ µ then P λ P µ = 0, 2. P λ = 1, and λ σ(a) 3. A = λp λ. λ σ(a) Also note that for λ σ(a), P λ = µ σ(a) {λ (A µ) (λ µ). Proposition 1.9 (Simultaneous diagonalisation) Let A, B B(H) be self-adjoint such that AB = BA. Then there exists an orthonormal basis B := {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n such that the matrices of A and B w.r.t. B are diagonal. Proof. Write H = λ σ(a) H λ. Since A and B commute, B leaves H λ = ker(a λ) invariant. Now diagonalise B on each H λ and complete the proof.. 4

5 Exercise 1.15 Extend Exercise 1.9 to any finite (or even infinite) number of self-adjoint operators. Definition 1.10 Let A B(H). The operator A is called normal if A A = AA. Theorem 1.11 (Spectral theorem for normal operators) Let A be a normal operator on H. Then there exists an orthonormal basis {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n and scalars {λ 1, λ 2,, λ n such that Aξ j = λ j ξ j. Proof. Let B := A+A 2 and C := A A 2i. Note that B and C are self-adjoint and A = B + ic. Also observe that BC = CB. Now apply Proposition 1.9 to complete the proof. 2 Finite dimensional -algebras Definition 2.1 An algebra A over C 1. is a vector space over C, 2. has an associative multiplicative structure m : A A A. We write m(a, b) as ab for a, b A. Associativity means (ab)c = a(bc). Also the mutliplication is compatible with the vector space structure. More precisely, we have a(b + c) = ab + ac (a + b)c = ac + bc (λa)b = λ(ab) = a(λb) We say A is unital if there exists an element e A such that ae = ea = a. (If such an element exists then it is unique. ) We call e the multiplicative identity of A and denote it by 1. Remark 2.2 An algebra A is called commutative if ab = ba for a, b A. Definition 2.3 Let A be an algebra. By a -structure on A, we mean a map : A A, (we denote a by a ), satisfying the following. 1. is an involution i.e. (a ) = a. 2. is antimultiplicative i.e. (ab) = b a. 3. is conjugate linear i.e. (a + b) = a + b and (λa) = λa. 5

6 An algebra A together with a -structure is called a -algebra. Example 2.4 Let H be a finite dimensional Hilbert space. Then B(H) is a -algebra. Example 2.5 The matrix algebra M n (C) is a -algebra. The multiplication is just the matrix multiplication. The -structure is defined as follows: If A = (a ij ) then A = (α ij ) where α ij = a ji. Exercise 2.1 Consider the set of n n matrices. For i, j = 1, 2,, n, let e ij be the matrix whose (i, j) th entry is 1 and the rest of the entries are 0. Prove the following. e ij e kl = δ jk e il e ij = e ji Also show that {e ij is a basis for M n (C). ( Here δ kl = 1 if k = l and δ kl = 0 if k l. ) Example 2.6 Let X be a non-empty set. Let C(X) := {f : X C. Then C(X) is a -algebra. The multiplication is pointwise multiplication and the -structure is the complex conjugation i.e. (f.g)(x) = f(x)g(x) f (x) = f(x) Prove that C(X) is finite dimensional if and only if X is finite. Exhibit a basis for C(X). Also note that C(X) is commutative. Example 2.7 (Group algebras) Let G be a finite group. Let C[G] := {f : G C. For f, g C[G], let f g C[G] be defined by (f g)(s) := f(t)g(t 1 s). t G The involution is defined as: For f C[G], let f (s) := f(s 1 ). Then C[G] is -algebra and is called the group algebra of G. 6

7 For g G, let δ g C[G] be given by δ g (h) := { 0 if g h 1 if g = h Prove that δg = δ g 1 and δ g δ h = δ gh. Also note that {δ g : g G forms a basis for C[G]. Thus C[G] = { g G a gδ g : a g C. The multiplication on C[G] is inherited from the group multiplication and the involution is from the group inversion. Exercise 2.2 Is C[G] unital? If so, what is the multiplicative identity? Exercise 2.3 Prove that C[G] is commutative if and only if G is abelian. 3 Representation of -algebras Definition 3.1 Let A be a -algebra. A representation of A on a Hilbert space H is a map π : A B(H) such that The map π is linear, π preserves multiplication i.e. π(ab) = π(a)π(b), and π preserves involution i.e. π(a ) = (π(a)). If A is unital then π is called unital if π(1) = 1. The representation π is called faithful if π is injective. Definition 3.2 Let (π 1, H 1 ) and (π 2, H 2 ) be representations of A. We say they are unitarily equivalent if there exists a unitary operator U : H 1 H 2 such that Uπ 1 (a)u = π 2 (a) for every a A. Regular representation of a group: Let G be a finite group and consider the group algebra C[G]. Consider the vector space l 2 (G) := {f : G C. For φ, ψ l 2 (G), let < φ, ψ >:= φ(g)ψ(g). Show that <, > is an inner product. For g G, g G let ɛ g l 2 (G) be defined by ɛ g (h) := { 0 if g h 1 if g = h 7

8 Show that {ɛ g : g G is an orthonormal basis for l 2 (G). For g G, let U g be the unitary on l 2 (G) be defined by U g (ɛ h ) = ɛ gh. Observe that U g U h = U gh Ug = U g 1 Now let π : C[G] B(l 2 (G)) be defined by π( a g δ g ) := a g U g. g G g G Show that π is a faithful, unital -representation and is called the regular representation of the group G. GNS construction: For A be a unital -algebra. For a A, let L a : A A be defined by L a (b) = ab. Then for every a A, L a is linear. Denote the set of linear maps on A by L(A). Note that the map A a L a L(A) is linear, multiplicative and unital. Assume that there exists an inner product structure on A such that the above map is a -representation. What does it mean? Let <, > be an inner product on A such that a L a is a -representation. Let τ : A C be defined by τ(a) :=< L a (1), 1 >. Note that < a, b > =< L a (1), L b (1) > =< L b L a(1), 1 > =< L b a(1), 1 > = τ(b a) Thus the inner product is completely determined by the linear functional τ. We can turn this process around. Definition 3.3 Let A be a unital -algebra and let τ : A C be a linear functional. 1. The functional τ is said to be positive if τ(a a) 0 for a A. 2. The functional τ is called unital if τ(1) = The functional τ is called faithful if τ(a a) = 0 then a = 0. A positive, unital, linear functional on A is called a state. 8

9 Let A be a unital -algebra and let τ be a faithful state on A. Define an inner product on A by < a, b >:= τ(b a). Verify that <, > is an inner product and A a L a L(A) is a unital -representation. The representation thus obtained is called the GNS representation associated to the state τ. Example 3.4 Let G be a finite group. Consider the linear functional τ : C[G] C defined by τ( a g g) := a e. g G Verify that τ is a state and is faithful. Prove that the GNS representation associated to τ is unitarily equivalent to the regular representation. Definition 3.5 (Direct sum of representations) Let (π 1, H 1 ) and (π 2, H 2 ) be two representations of A. The direct sum is the representation (π 1 π 2, H 1 H 2 ). Let A be a algebra and (π, H) be a representation. A subspace W H is called an invariant subspace if for every a A, π(a)w W. If W is invariant then (π W, W ) is again a representation. Exercise 3.1 Let (π, H) be a representation of A and W H be a subspace. orthogonal projection onto W by P. Prove that the following are equivalent. Denote the 1. The subspace W is an invariant subspace. 2. For a A, π(a)p = P π(a). Conclude that if W is invariant then W is invariant. Exercise 3.2 Let (π, H) be a representation of A and W H be an invariant subspace. Prove that (π, H) is unitarily equivalent to (π, W ) (π, W ). Definition 3.6 Let (π, H) be a representation of A. We say that π is irreducible if the only invariant subspaces are 0 and H. Example 3.7 Prove that the canonical representation of M n (C) on C n is irreducible. Proposition 3.8 Let (π, H) be a representation of A. Prove that π is unitarily equivalent to a direct sum of irreducible representations. Hint: Use Ex

10 4 Double commutant theorem Let (π 1, H 1 ) and (π 2, H 2 ) be -representations of A. Define L A (H 1, H 2 ) := {T B(H 1, H 2 ) : T π 1 (a) = π 2 (a)t for a A. Observe that if T L A (H 1, H 2 ) then T L A (H 2, H 1 ). Also observe that if T L A (H 1, H 2 ) and S L A (H 2, H 3 ) then ST L A (H 1, H 3 ). Exercise 4.1 If (π, H) is a representation of A, show that L A (H, H) := {T B(H) : T π(a) = π(a)t for a A is a unital -algebra. Definition 4.1 Let S B(H). Define its commutant, denoted S, by S := {T B(H) : T s = st for s S. Prove that S is a linear subspace of B(H), contains the identity operator 1 H and is closed under multiplication. Also show that if S is -closed then S is -closed. Thus S is a -algebra if S is -closed. Note that for a representation (π, H) of A, L A (H, H) is the commutant π(a). Exercise 4.2 Let (π i, H i ) n i=1 be representations of A. Consider the direct sum representation (π := n i=1π i, H = n i=1h i ) of A. Show that L A (H) = {(x ij ) : x ij L A (H j, H i ). Lemma 4.2 Let A be a unital -algebra and π : A B(H) be a unital -representation. Let π n := π π {{ π. Then n times 1. π n (A) = M n (π(a) ), and x 0 0 { 2. π n (A) 0 x 0 = x : x π(a) ). Theorem 4.3 (von Neumann s double commutant theorem) Let A be a unital -algebra and let π : A B(H) be a unital -representation. Then π(a) = π(a). 10

11 Proof. Clearly π(a) π(a). Let x π(a) be given. Step 1: Let ξ H and W := {π(a)ξ : a A. Denote the orthogonal projection onto W by P. Since π is unital, ξ W i.e. P ξ = ξ. Note that W is an invariant subspace for A and hence P π(a). Now P xξ = xp ξ = xξ. Thus xξ W. Thus we have shown that for every ξ H, there exists a A such that xξ = π(a)ξ. Step 2: Let {ξ 1, ξ 2,, ξ n be an orthonormal basis. Let π n = π π {{ π, n times H n = H H {{ H, n times ξ = ξ 1 ξ 2 ξ n. Apply Step 1 and Lemma 4.2 to show that there exists a π(a) such that xξ i = π(a)ξ i for i = 1, 2,, n. Thus x π(a). This completes the proof. Exercise 4.3 Let A be a -subalgebra of B(H). Show that A is the linear span of projections in A. Hint: First observe that A is the linear span of self-adjoint elements in A. Now use spectral theorem (1.8). Proposition 4.4 (Schur s lemma) Let (π, H) be an irreducible representation of A. Then π(a) = C1 H. Proof. It is enough to show that if p π(a) is a non-zero projection then p = 1. Now use Ex. 3.1 and use the fact that π is irreducible to conclude that p = 1. Proposition 4.5 (Schur s lemma) Let (π 1, H 1 ) and (π 2, H 2 ) be irreducible representations of A. If L A (H 1, H 2 ) 0 then π 1 and π 2 are unitarily equivalent. Proof. Suppose that L A (H 1, H 2 ) be non-zero and let T L A (H 1, H 2 ) be non-zero. Then T T 0 and T T π 1 (A). By Prop. 4.4, there exists λ > 0 ( Justify!) such that T T = λ. Let U = T λ. Observe that U L A (H 1, H 2 ) and U is unitary. This completes the proof. 5 Structure of finite dimensional C -algebras Definition 5.1 Let A be a unital finite dimensional -algebra. The algebra A is called a C - algebra if there exists a faithful representation π : A B(H). 11

12 Exercise 5.1 Let A be a finite dimensional C -algebra. Prove that there exists a unital faithful representation of A. Hint: Let π : A B(H) be a faithful representation and let P = π(1). Note that P is a projection and Im(P ) is invariant under π. Now complete the proof. Exercise 5.2 Prove that all the -algebras we have considered so far are in fact C -algebras. Let (A i ) n i=1 be -algebras. The direct sum n i=1a i := {(a 1, a 2,, a n ) : a i A i is a -algebra with the multiplication and -operation given by (a 1, a 2,, a n )(b 1, b 2,, b n ) = (a 1 b 1, a 2 b 2,, a n b n ), (a 1, a 2,, a n ) = (a 1, a 2,, a n). Exercise 5.3 Show that if (A i ) n i=1 are C -algebras then the direct sum n i=1 A i is a C -algebra. Now we can state our main theorem. Theorem 5.2 Let A be a finite dimensional C -algebra. Then A is isomorphic to a direct sum of matrix algebras i.e. there exists positive integers m 1, m 2,, m r such that Moreover if A = M m1 (C) M m2 (C) M mr (C). M m1 (C) M m2 (C) M mr (C) = M n1 (C) M n2 (C) M ns (C) then r = s and there exists a permutation σ of {1, 2,, r such that n i = m σ(i). Proof. Let π : A B(H) be a unital faithful representation. Split π into irreducible representations. Convince yourself that there exists inequivalent (i.e. not unitarily equivalent) irreducible representations π 1, π 2,, π r and positive integers d 1, d 2,, d r such that π = π d 1 1 πd 2 2 πdr r. Now note that the unital representation ρ := π 1 π 2 π r is faithful. Let H i be the Hilbert space on which π i acts and set m i := dim(h i ). 12

13 Now use Ex. 4.2 and Schur s lemma to conclude that λ 1 1 H1 0 0 { ρ(a) 0 λ 2 1 H2 0 = : λ i C. Now show that Use Theorem 4.3 to conclude that 0 0 λ r 1 Hr x { ρ(a) 0 x 2 0 = x r : x i B(H i ). A = ρ(a) = ρ(a) = Mm1 (C) M m2 (C) M mr (C) Do the following exercises to show uniqueness. Definition 5.3 Let A be a -algebra. The center of A denoted Z(A) is defined as Z(A) := {z A : za = az for a A. The center Z(A) is a commutative C -algebra. Definition 5.4 If p A is a projection, the cutdown of A by p is the -algebra pap defined as Exercise 5.4 Show that Z(M n (C)) = C. pap := {pap : a A Exercise 5.5 Show that Z(A 1 A 2 ) = Z(A 1 ) Z(A 2 ). Exercise 5.6 Let A = M m1 (C) M m2 (C) M mr (C). For i = 1, 2,, r, let z i = (0, 0,, {{ 1,, 0). i th place Note that z i is a projection and z i Z(A). Prove that {z i : i = 1, 2,, r forms a basis for Z(A). Also note that if i j then z i z j = 0. Prove that r = dim(z(a)) and m 2 i = dim(z iaz i ). Let {e i : i = 1, 2,, r be a set of mutually orthogonal central projections. Assume that they form a basis for Z(A). Prove that {e i : i = 1, 2,, r = {z i : i = 1, 2,, r. The central projections {z i n i=1 are called the minimal central projections of A. Exercise 5.7 Complete the proof of Theorem

14 References [Sun97] V. S. Sunder, Functional analysis, 1997, Spectral theory. 14

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