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Mathematical Physics

Title: The correct formulation of Gleason's theorem in quaternionic Hilbert spaces

Authors: Valter Moretti, Marco Oppio (Trento U. and TIFPA-INFN)
Abstract: From the viewpoint of the theory of orthomodular lattices of elementary propositions, Quantum Theories can be formulated in real, complex or quaternionic Hilbert spaces as established in Sol\'er's theorem. The said lattice eventually coincides with the lattice of all orthogonal projectors on a separable Hilbert space over R, C, or over the algebra of quaternions H. Quantum states are $\sigma$-additive probability measures on that non-Boolean lattice. Gleason's theorem proves that, if the Hilbert space is separable with dimension >2 and the Hilbert space is either real or complex, then states are one-to-one with standard density matrices (self-adjoint, positive, unit-trace, trace-class operators). The extension of this result to quaternionic Hilbert spaces was obtained by Varadarajan in 1968. Unfortunately, even if the hard part of the proof is correct, the formulation of this extension is mathematically incorrect. This is due to some peculiarities of the notion of trace in quaternionic Hilbert spaces, e.g., basis dependence, making the theory of trace-class operators in quaternionic Hilbert spaces different from the standard theory in real and complex Hilbert spaces. A minor issue also affects Varadarajan's statement for real Hilbert space formulation. This paper is mainly devoted to present Gleason-Varadarajan's theorem into a technically correct form valid for the three types of Hilbert spaces. After having develped part of the general mathematical technology of trace-class operators in (generally non-separable) quaternionic Hilbert spaces, we prove that only the {\em real part} of the trace enters the formalism of quantum theories (also dealing with unbounded observables and symmetries) and it can be safely used to formulate and prove a common statement of Gleason's theorem.
Comments: 33 pages, no figures
Subjects: Mathematical Physics (math-ph); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th); Operator Algebras (math.OA); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:1803.06882 [math-ph]
  (or arXiv:1803.06882v1 [math-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Valter Moretti [view email]
[v1] Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:03:54 GMT (30kb)