compact operator

**algebraic quantum field theory** (perturbative, on curved spacetimes, homotopical)

For a linear operator between Banach spaces, compactness is a natural strengthening of continuity (boundedness). A linear operator is **compact** if it sends the bounded subsets to relatively compact subsets.

The quotient of the bounded operators by the compact operators is called the *Calkin algebra*.

Since every relatively compact subspace (in a Banach space, or indeed in any metric space) is bounded, every compact operator is bounded. Instead of checking compactness on all bounded subsets it is sufficient to check it for a ball of one fixed radius: an operator is compact iff it sends the ball of unit radius to a relatively compact set.

See also compact self-adjoint operator.

In the setup of Hilbert spaces, instead of a compact operator, one sometimes says a completely continuous operator. However, in the full generality of Banach spaces, by a **completely continuous operator** one means slightly less: an operator that maps every weakly convergent? sequence to a norm convergent? sequence. For Hilbert spaces and, more generally, for reflexive Banach spaces, the two notions are equivalent.

- Wikipedia (English): Compact operator

category: analysis

Revised on October 17, 2016 09:13:36
by Urs Schreiber
(89.204.139.28)