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In a similar sense, one can define an adjoint operator for linear (and possibly unbounded) operators between Banach spaces.
The adjoint of an operator A may also be called the Hermitian conjugate, Hermitian or Hermitian transpose (after Charles Hermite) of A and is denoted by A* or A+ (the latter especially when used in conjunction with the bra-ket notation). Confusingly, A* may also be used to represent the conjugate of A.
Consider a linear operator between Hilbert spaces. Without taking care of any details, the adjoint operator is the (in most cases uniquely defined) linear operator fulfilling
where is the inner product in the Hilbert space , which is linear in the first coordinate and antilinear in the second coordinate. Note the special case where both Hilbert spaces are identical and is an operator on that Hilbert space.
When one trades the dual pairing for the inner product, one can define the adjoint, also called the transpose, of an operator , where are Banach spaces with corresponding norms. Here (again not considering any technicalities), its adjoint operator is defined as with
I.e., for .
Note that the above definition in the Hilbert space setting is really just an application of the Banach space case when one identifies a Hilbert space with its dual. Then it is only natural that we can also obtain the adjoint of an operator , where is a Hilbert space and is a Banach space. The dual is then defined as with such that
Definition for unbounded operators between normed spaces
Let be Banach spaces. Suppose and , and suppose that is a (possibly unbounded) linear operator which is densely defined (i.e., is dense in ). Then its adjoint operator is defined as follows. The domain is
Now for arbitrary but fixed we set with . By choice of and definition of , f is (uniformly) continuous on as . Then by Hahn-Banach theorem or alternatively through extension by continuity this yields an extension of , called defined on all of . Note that this technicality is necessary to later obtain as an operator instead of Remark also that this does not mean that can be extended on all of but the extension only worked for specific elements .
Now we can define the adjoint of as
The fundamental defining identity is thus
Definition for bounded operators between Hilbert spaces
One says that a norm that satisfies this condition behaves like a "largest value", extrapolating from the case of self-adjoint operators.
The set of bounded linear operators on a complex Hilbert space H together with the adjoint operation and the operator norm form the prototype of a C*-algebra.
Adjoint of densely defined unbounded operators between Hilbert spaces
A densely defined operatorA from a complex Hilbert space H to itself is a linear operator whose domain D(A) is a dense linear subspace of H and whose values lie in H. By definition, the domain D(A*) of its adjoint A* is the set of all y ? H for which there is a z ? H satisfying
Properties 1.-5. hold with appropriate clauses about domains and codomains.[clarification needed] For instance, the last property now states that (AB)* is an extension of B*A* if A, B and AB are densely defined operators.
The relationship between the image of A and the kernel of its adjoint is given by:
These statements are equivalent. See orthogonal complement for the proof of this and for the definition of .
The second equation follows from the first by taking the orthogonal complement on both sides. Note that in general, the image need not be closed, but the kernel of a continuous operator always is.[clarification needed]
For an antilinear operator the definition of adjoint needs to be adjusted in order to compensate for the complex conjugation. An adjoint operator of the antilinear operator A on a complex Hilbert space H is an antilinear operator A* : H -> H with the property: