Reality structure

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In mathematics, a reality structure on a complex vector space V is a decomposition of V into two real subspaces, called the real and imaginary parts of V:

Here VR is a real subspace of V, i.e. a subspace of V considered as a vector space over the real numbers. If V has complex dimension n (real dimension 2n), then VR must have real dimension n.

The standard reality structure on the vector space is the decomposition

In the presence of a reality structure, every vector in V has a real part and an imaginary part, each of which is a vector in VR:

In this case, the complex conjugate of a vector v is defined as follows:

This map is an antilinear involution, i.e.

Conversely, given an antilinear involution on a complex vector space V, it is possible to define a reality structure on V as follows. Let

and define


This is actually the decomposition of V as the eigenspaces of the real linear operator c. The eigenvalues of c are +1 and −1, with eigenspaces VR and  VR, respectively. Typically, the operator c itself, rather than the eigenspace decomposition it entails, is referred to as the reality structure on V.

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