Beyond the Spectral Theorem: Spectrally Decomposing Arbitrary Functions of Nondiagonalizable Operators
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Beyond the Spectral Theorem: Spectrally Decomposing Arbitrary Functions of Nondiagonalizable Operators

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Nonlinearities in finite dimensions can be linearized by projecting them into infinite dimensions. Unfortunately, often the linear operator techniques that one would then use simply fail since the operators cannot be diagonalized. This curse is well known. It also occurs for finite-dimensional linear operators. We circumvent it by developing a meromorphic functional calculus that can decompose arbitrary functions of nondiagonalizable linear operators in terms of their eigenvalues and projection operators. It extends the spectral theorem of normal operators to a much wider class, including circumstances in which poles and zeros of the function coincide with the operator spectrum. By allowing the direct manipulation of individual eigenspaces of nonnormal and nondiagonalizable operators, the new theory avoids spurious divergences. As such, it yields novel insights and closed-form expressions across several areas of physics in which nondiagonalizable dynamics are relevant, including memoryful stochastic processes, open non unitary quantum systems, and far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics. The technical contributions include the first full treatment of arbitrary powers of an operator. In particular, we show that the Drazin inverse, previously only defined axiomatically, can be derived as the negative-one power of singular operators within the meromorphic functional calculus and we give a general method to construct it. We provide new formulae for constructing projection operators and delineate the relations between projection operators, eigenvectors, and generalized eigenvectors. By way of illustrating its application, we explore several, rather distinct examples.

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