The resolvent captures the spectral properties of an operator in the analytic structure of the resolvent. Given an operator A, the resolvent may be defined as
The resolvent of A can be used to directly obtain information about the spectral decomposition of A. For example, suppose λ is an isolated eigenvalue in the spectrum of A. That is, suppose there exists a simple closed curve in the complex plane that separates λ from the rest of the spectrum of A. Then the residue
The Hille-Yosida theorem relates the resolvent through a Laplace transform to an integral over the one-parameter group of transformations generated by A. Thus, for example, if A is Hermitian, then U(t) = exp(itA) is a one-parameter group of unitary operators. The resolvent can be expressed as their Laplace transform integral
The first major use of the resolvent operator as a series in A (cf. Liouville-Neumann series) was by Ivar Fredholm, in a landmark 1903 paper in Acta Mathematica that helped establish modern operator theory.
The name resolvent was given by David Hilbert.
(Note that Dunford and Schwartz, cited, define the resolvent as (zI −A)−1, instead, so that the formula above differs in sign from theirs.)
The second resolvent identity is a generalization of the first resolvent identity, above, useful for comparing the resolvents of two distinct operators. Given operators A and B, both defined on the same linear space, and z in ρ(A)∩ρ(B) the following identity holds,
When studying an unbounded operator A: H → H on a Hilbert space H, if there exists such that is a compact operator, we say that A has compact resolvent. The spectrum of such A is a discrete subset of . If furthermore A is self-adjoint, then and there exists an orthonormal basis of eigenvectors of A with eigenvalues respectively. Also, has no finite accumulation point.
- Resolvent set
- Stone's theorem on one-parameter unitary groups
- Holomorphic functional calculus
- Spectral theory
- Compact operator
- Unbounded operator
- Laplace transform
- Fredholm theory
- Liouville-Neumann series
- Decomposition of spectrum (functional analysis)
- Dunford and Schwartz, Vol I, Lemma 6, p. 568.
- Hille and Phillips, Theorem 4.82, p. 126
- Taylor, p. 515.
- Dunford, Nelson; Schwartz, Jacob T. (1988), Linear Operators, Part I General Theory, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 0471608483
- Fredholm, Erik I. (1903), "Sur une classe d'equations fonctionnelles", Acta Mathematica 27: 365–390, doi:10.1007/bf02421317
- Hille, Einar; Phillips, Ralph S. (1957), Functional Analysis and Semi-groups, Providence: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 9780821810316.
- Kato, Tosio (1980), Perturbation Theory for Linear Operators (2nd ed.), New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 0-387-07558-5.
- Taylor, Michael E. (1996), Partial Differential Equations I, New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 7-5062-4252-4