inner product space


inner product space

In mathematics, a vector space or function space in which an operation for combining two vectors or functions (whose result is called an inner product) is defined and has certain properties. Such spaces, an essential tool of functional analysis and vector theory, allow analysis of classes of functions rather than individual functions. In mathematical analysis, an inner product space of particular importance is a Hilbert space, a generalization of ordinary space to an infinite number of dimensions. A point in a Hilbert space can be represented as an infinite sequence of coordinates or as a vector with infinitely many components. The inner product of two such vectors is the sum of the products of corresponding coordinates. When such an inner product is zero, the vectors are said to be orthogonal (see orthogonality). Hilbert spaces are an essential tool of mathematical physics. See also David Hilbert.

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