Questions tagged [von-neumann-algebras]

A von Neumann algebra is a unital *-subalgebra of the algebra of bounded operators on a Hilbert space, closed in the weak operator topology. Also called a $W^*$-algebra, and may be regarded as a non-commutative generalization of $L^\infty$ space. These algebras are extensively used in knot theory, non-commutative geometry, and quantum field theory.

A von Neumann algebra is a unital *-subalgebra of the algebra of bounded operators on a Hilbert space, closed in the weak operator topology. Also called a $W^*$-algebra, and may be regarded as a non-commutative generalization of $L^\infty$ space. These algebras are extensively used in knot theory, non-commutative geometry, and quantum field theory.

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Was von Neumann's 1954 ICM address "Unsolved Problems in Mathematics" outdated?

I recently tried to "explain" the generalized probability theory aspect of quantum theory (as one common part of both quantum field theory and quantum mechanics), in the sense of motivations for the different parts of Qiaochu Yuan's post on…
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What is the motivation for Murray-von Neumann equivalence

Definition: If $p,q$ are projections in a $C^*$-algebra $A$, we say that they are Murray-von Neumann equivalent, and we write $p\sim q$, if there exist $u\in A$ such that $p=u^*u$ and $q=uu^*$. I wonder what is the motivation of this definition.…
No One
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$\ell_\infty$ is a Grothendieck space

The problem I am considering stated formally is this: Show that if a sequence in $\ell_\infty^*$ is weak*-convergent, then it is also weakly convergent. We may reduce this to the case where the sequence is weak$^*$-null, and show that it is weakly…
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Renorming $\mathcal{B}(\mathcal{H})$?

Consider the Banach space of all bounded operators $\mathcal{B}(\mathcal{H})$ on a (separable if you wish) Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ with the operator norm. Can we renorm this space to a strictly convex one? Recall that a Banach space is strictly…
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Some examples in C* algebras and Banach * algebras

I would like an example of the following things. A Banach * algebra that is not a C* algebra for which there exists a positive linear functional (it takes $x^*x$ to numbers $ \geq 0$) that is not norm continuous. (Apparently if a Banach * algebra…
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Introduction to von Neumann algebras

I'm learning the basics of von Neumann algebras. Every reference on the subject I can find turns to the study of projections, introduces factors and the type classification immediately after having only barely introduced what a von Neumann algebra…
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Do we have Maximal Abelian Algebras (MAAs)?

Let $\mathcal{H}$ be a Hilbert space and $B(\mathcal{H})$ the algebra of bounded linear operators on $\mathcal{H}$. A MASA $\mathcal{M}$ is a subalgebra of $B(\mathcal{H})$ that is abelian and self-adjoint, and is maximal with respect to these…
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Abstract Von Neumann Algebras

I have just read this question Is a von Neumann algebra just a C*-algebra which is generated by its projections? and am wondering about Robert Israel's answer when he says that a subalgebra of $C(X)$ is not a Von Neumann algebra. Some abstract…
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Why can we classify the W*algebra?

Many operator algebra books discuss the classifiation of W*algebra(von Neumann algebra),but not the C*algebra,why? I think a direct reason is that we have the projection comparison theorem in the W*algebra,so we can compare projections in the the…
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Nonamenable subgroups of the unitary group of the hyperfinite II_1 factor

The hyperfinite $II_1$ factor arises as the group von Neumann algebra of any infinite amenable group such that every conjugacy class but that of the identity has infinite cardinality. The unitary group of this von Neumann algebra contains every…
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A theorem about conditional expectation in C*-algebra

Definition 1. Let $B\subset A$ be C*-algebra. A projection from A onto B is a linear map $E: A \rightarrow B$ such that $E(b)=b$ for every $b\in B$. A conditional expectation from A onto B is a contractive completely positive projection $E$ from $A$…
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Is there a noncommutative version of von Neumann's ergodic theorem.

The two most celebrated ergodic theorems are Birkhoff's ergodic theorem and von Neumann's ergodic theorem. E. C. Lance in his remarkable work (Ergodic Theorems for Convex Sets and Operator Algebras) formulated that can be considered to be the…
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Applications of Operator Algebras to modern physics

I think that recently I've started to lean in my interest more towards operator algebras and away from differential geometry, the latter having many applications to physics. But while taking physics courses, it was also brought to my attention that…
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Weak-* continuity of the adjoint map on a $W^*$-algebra

Let $\mathcal{M}$ be a $W^*$-algebra, i.e. a $C^*$-algebra with a Banach space predual $\mathcal{M}_*$. I'm trying to show that the adjoint map $x \mapsto x^*$ on $\mathcal{M}$ is weak-* (aka $\sigma$-weakly) continuous. Chapter 1.7 of Sakai's …
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Full (or universal) group C*-algebra of discrete group $\Gamma$

There is a quotation below (C*-Algebras and Finite-Dimensional Approximations): $ \qquad$We denote the $group~ring$ of $\Gamma$ by $\mathbb{C}[\Gamma]$. By definition, it is the set of formal sums $$\sum_{s\in \Gamma}a_{s}s,$$ where only finitely…
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