Open Access
2017 Chapter IV. Topics in Functional Analysis
Anthony W. Knapp
Books by Independent Authors, 2017: 105-178 (2017) DOI: 10.3792/euclid/9781429799911-4


This chapter pursues three lines of investigation in the subject of functional analysis—one involving smooth functions and distributions, one involving fixed-point theorems, and one involving spectral theory.

Section 1 introduces topological vector spaces. These are real or complex vector spaces with a Hausdorff topology in which addition and scalar multiplication are continuous. Examples include normed linear spaces, spaces given by a separating family of countably many seminorms, and weak and weak-star topologies in the context of Banach spaces. Various general properties of topological vector spaces are proved, and it is proved that the quotient of a topological vector space by a closed vector subspace is Hausdorff and is therefore a topological vector space.

Section 2 introduces a topology on the space $C^{\infty}(U)$ of smooth functions on an open subset of $\mathbb{R}^{N}$. The support of a continuous linear functional on $C^{\infty}(U)$ is defined and shown to be a compact subset of $U$. Accordingly, the continuous linear functionals are called distributions of compact support.

Section 3 studies weak and weak-star topologies in more detail. The main result is Alaoglu’s Theorem, which says that the closed unit ball in the weak-star topology on the dual of a normed linear space is compact. In an earlier chapter a preliminary form of this theorem was used to construct elements in a dual space as limits of weak-star convergent subsequences.

Section 4 follows Alaoglu’s Theorem along a particular path, giving what amounts to a first example of the Gelfand theory of Banach algebras. The relevant theorem, known as the Stone Representation Theorem, says that conjugate-closed uniformly closed subalgebras containing the constants in $B(S)$ are isomorphic via a norm-preserving algebra isomorphism to the space of all continuous functions on some compact Hausdorff space. The compact space in question is the space of multiplicative linear functionals on the subalgebra, and the proof of compactness uses Alaoglu’s Theorem.

Sections 5–6 return to the lines of study toward distributions and fixed-point theorems. Section 5 studies the relationship between convexity and the existence of separating linear functionals. The main theorem makes use of the Hahn–Banach Theorem. Section 6 introduces locally convex topological vector spaces. Application of the basic separation theorem from the previous section shows the existence of many continuous linear functionals on such a space.

Section 7 specializes to the line of study via smooth functions and distributions. The topic is the introduction of a certain locally convex topology on the space $C^{\infty}_{\mathrm{com}}(U)$ of smooth functions of compact support on $U$. This is best characterized by a universal mapping property introduced in the section.

Sections 8–9 pursue locally convex spaces along the other line of study that split off in Section 5. Section 8 gives the Krein–Milman Theorem, which asserts the existence of a supply of extreme points for any nonempty compact convex set in a locally convex topological vector space. Section 9 relates compact convex sets to the subject of fixed-point theorems.

Section 10 takes up the abstract theory of Banach algebras, with particular attention to commutative $C^{*}$ algebras with identity. Three examples are the algebras characterized by the Stone Representation Theorem, any $L^{\infty}$ space, and any adjoint-closed commutative Banach algebra consisting of bounded linear operators on a Hilbert space and containing the identity.

Section 11 continues the investigation of the last of the examples in the previous section and derives the Spectral Theorem for bounded self-adjoint operators and certain related families of operators. Powerful applications follow from a functional calculus implied by the Spectral Theorem. The section concludes with remarks about the Spectral Theorem for unbounded self-adjoint operators.


Published: 1 January 2017
First available in Project Euclid: 21 May 2018

Digital Object Identifier: 10.3792/euclid/9781429799911-4

Rights: Copyright © 2017, Anthony W. Knapp

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