Categorical algebra

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In mathematics — specifically, in operator theory — a densely defined operator or partially defined operator is a type of partially defined function; in a topological sense, it is a linear operator that is defined "almost everywhere". Densely defined operators often arise in functional analysis as operations that one would like to apply to a larger class of objects than those for which they a priori "make sense".


A linear operator T from one topological vector space, X, to another one, Y, is said to be densely defined if the domain of T is a dense subset of X.


is a densely defined operator from C0([0, 1]; R) to itself, defined on the dense subspace C1([0, 1]; R). Note also that the operator D is an example of an unbounded linear operator, since
This unboundedness causes problems if one wishes to somehow continuously extend the differentiation operator D to the whole of C0([0, 1]; R).
  • The Paley–Wiener integral, on the other hand, is an example of a continuous extension of a densely defined operator. In any abstract Wiener space i : H → E with adjoint j = i : E → H, there is a natural continuous linear operator (in fact it is the inclusion, and is an isometry) from j(E) to L2(EγR), under which j(f) ∈ j(E) ⊆ H goes to the equivalence class [f] of f in L2(EγR). It is not hard to show that j(E) is dense in H. Since the above inclusion is continuous, there is a unique continuous linear extension I : H → L2(EγR) of the inclusion j(E) → L2(EγR) to the whole of H. This extension is the Paley–Wiener map.


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