Constructing amenable operator algebras

27 October 2015
Yemon Choi
 An old result of Dixmier, Day and others states that every continuous bounded representation of an amenable group on Hilbert space is similar to a unitary representation. In similar vein, one can ask if amenable subalgebras of $B(H)$ are always similar to self-adjoint subalgebras. This problem was open for many years, but it was recently shown by Farah and Ozawa that in general the answer is negative; their approach goes via showing that the Dixmier--Day result is false when $B(H)$ is replaced by the Calkin algebra.

In this talk, I will give some of the background, and then outline a simplified and more explicit version of their construction; this is taken from joint work with Farah and Ozawa (2014) . It turns out that the key mechanism behind these negative results is the large supply of projections in $\ell_\infty / c_0$, rather than the complicated structure of $B(H)$.
  • Functional Analysis Seminar