Borel functional calculus
Let $B(H)$ be the algebra (http://planetmath.org/Algebra) of bounded operators^{} over a complex Hilbert space^{} $H$ and $T\in B(H)$ a normal operator.
The Borel functional calculus is a functional calculus^{} which enables the expression
$f(T)$ 
to make sense as a bounded operator in $H$, for a bounded^{} (http://planetmath.org/Bounded) Borel function $f$.
In particular, it allows the definition of operators^{} ${\chi}_{S}(T)$ for any characteristic function^{} ${\chi}_{S}$, which are of significant importance on the of the of $T$.
The Borel functional calculus will be constructed by extending the continuous functional calculus for arbitrary bounded Borel functions.
1 Preliminary Facts
Let us set some notation first:

•
$\sigma (T)$ will denote the spectrum (http://planetmath.org/Spectrum) of $T$.

•
$C(\sigma (T))$ will denote the ${C}^{*}$algebra (http://planetmath.org/CAlgebra) of continuous functions^{} $\sigma (T)\to \u2102$.

•
$B(\sigma (T))$ will denote the ${C}^{*}$algebra of bounded Borel functions $\sigma (T)\to \u2102$, endowed with the sup norm.
The continuous functional calculus for $T$ allows the expression $f(T)$ to make sense for continuous functions $f\in C(\sigma (T))$, by the assignment of a unital *homomorphism^{}
$\pi :C(\sigma (T))\u27f6B(H)$  
$f\u27fcf(T):=\pi (f)$ 
that sends the identity function to $T$. This unital *homomorphism is in fact uniquely determined by this property (see the entry on the continuous functional calculus (http://planetmath.org/ContinuousFunctionalCalculus2) for more details).
The objective is to extend $\pi $ to a unital *homomorphism $\stackrel{~}{\pi}:B(\sigma (T))\u27f6B(H)$.
Since $B(\sigma (T))$ is a much larger ${C}^{*}$algebra than $C(\sigma (T))$, there is no reson to presume that there is only one extension^{} of $\pi $. Which extension would be the most natural then? It turns out that there is a unique extension that satisfies a good continuity property.
It is known that *homomorphisms between ${C}^{*}$algebras are continuous (see this entry (http://planetmath.org/HomomorphismsOfCAlgebrasAreContinuous)), so that whenever a net ${f}_{i}\in B(\sigma (T))$ converges^{} in the sup norm to a function $f\in B(\sigma (T))$ we will have that ${f}_{i}(T)\to f(T)$ in the operator norm. All extensions of $\pi $ will automaticaly satisfy this continuity property, but this can be improved in a satisfactory manner.
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Notation  Let $X$ be a compact^{} Hausdorff space, $M\mathit{}\mathrm{(}X\mathrm{)}$ the space of all finite regular^{} (http://planetmath.org/OuterRegular) Borel measures in $X$ and $B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}X\mathrm{)}$ the ${C}^{\mathrm{*}}$algebra of all bounded Borel functions in $X$. The weakest topology^{} in $B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}X\mathrm{)}$ for which integration against any measure^{} $\nu $ is continuous will be reffered to as the $\mu $topology. This means that ${f}_{i}\mathrm{\to}f$ in the $\mu $topology if and only if $\mathrm{\int}{f}_{i}\mathit{}\mathit{d}\nu \mathrm{\to}\mathrm{\int}f\mathit{}\mathit{d}\nu $ for all $\nu \mathrm{\in}M\mathit{}\mathrm{(}X\mathrm{)}$.
$$
Notice that we can identify each function $f\in B(X)$ with a bounded linear functional^{} (http://planetmath.org/Functional^{}) ${\omega}_{f}$ in $M(X)$, given by
${\omega}_{f}(\nu ):={\displaystyle {\int}_{X}}f\mathit{d}\nu ,\nu \in M(X)$ 
and the $\mu $topology corresponds exactly to the weak* topology under this identification.
We will see in the next that there is an unique extension of $\pi $ that is continuous from the $\mu $topology to the weak operator topology.
Just like the StoneWeierstrass theorem (http://planetmath.org/StoneWeierstrassTheoremComplexVersion) allowed the passage from the polynomial functional calculus to the continuous functional calculus, the Riesz representation theorem^{} (http://planetmath.org/RieszRepresentationTheoremOfLinearFunctionalsOnFunctionSpaces) will allow the passage from the latter to the Borel functional calculus.
2 Definition
The following result is the key for the definition of the Borel functional calculus.
$$
Theorem^{} 1  Let $T$ be a normal operator in $B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}H\mathrm{)}$ and $\pi \mathrm{:}C\mathit{}\mathrm{(}\sigma \mathit{}\mathrm{(}T\mathrm{)}\mathrm{)}\mathrm{\u27f6}B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}H\mathrm{)}$ the unital *homomorphism corresponding to the continuous functional calculus for $T$. Then, $\pi $ extends uniquely to a *homomorphism $\stackrel{\mathrm{~}}{\pi}\mathrm{:}B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}\sigma \mathit{}\mathrm{(}T\mathrm{)}\mathrm{)}\mathrm{\u27f6}B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}H\mathrm{)}$ that is continuous from the $\mu $topology to the weak operator topology. Moreover, each operator $\pi \mathit{}\mathrm{(}f\mathrm{)}$ lies in strong operator (http://planetmath.org/OperatorTopologies) closure^{} (http://planetmath.org/Closure) of the unital *algebra generated by $T$.
$$
: See this attached entry (http://planetmath.org/ProofOfBorelFunctionalCalculus)
$$
We are now able to define the Borel functional calculus:
Definition  Let $T$ be a normal operator in $B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}H\mathrm{)}$. Let $\stackrel{\mathrm{~}}{\pi}\mathrm{:}B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}\sigma \mathit{}\mathrm{(}T\mathrm{)}\mathrm{)}\mathrm{\u27f6}B\mathit{}\mathrm{(}H\mathrm{)}$ be the unique *homomorphism defined in Theorem 1. This *homomorphism is denoted by
$f\u27fcf(T),f\in B(\sigma (T))$ 
and it is called the Borel functional calculus for $T$.
$$
Since this functional calculus extends the polynomial functional calculus, we have that for any polynomial^{} $p(z):=\sum {c}_{n,m}{z}^{n}{\overline{z}}^{m}$,
$p(T)={\displaystyle \sum {c}_{n,m}{T}^{n}{({T}^{*})}^{m}}$ 
Moreover, since $f(T)$ lies in the strong operator closure of the unital *algebra generated by $T$, for any function $f\in B(\sigma (T))$, we see that $f(T)$ is the strong operator limit of polynomials $\sum {c}_{n,m}{T}^{n}{({T}^{*})}^{m}$.
3 Borel Calculus in von Neumann Algebras
The Borel functional calculus is in fact applicable for any normal operator $T$ in any von Neumann algebra^{} $\mathcal{M}$.
That is due to the fact, expressed in Theorem 1, that for every $f\in B(\sigma (T))$ the operator $f(T)$ belongs to the strong operator closure of the unital *algebra generated by $T$. Being a von Neumann algebra, $\mathcal{M}$ is closed (http://planetmath.org/ClosedSet) in the strong operator topology, and therefore all operators $f(T)$ belong to $\mathcal{M}$.
Thus, by restriction^{}, we have in fact a *homomorphism
$\stackrel{~}{\pi}:B(\sigma (T))\u27f6\mathcal{M}$  
$f\u27fcf(T)$ 
satisfying the properties of Theorem 1, i.e. we have a Borel functional calculus for normal operators of a von Neumann algebra.
References
 1 W. Arveson, A Short Course on Spectral Theory, Graduate Texts in Mathematics, 209, Springer, New York, 2002
 2 N. Weaver, Mathematical Quantization, Studies in Advanced Mathematics, Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL, 2001
Title  Borel functional calculus 
Canonical name  BorelFunctionalCalculus 
Date of creation  20130322 18:48:44 
Last modified on  20130322 18:48:44 
Owner  asteroid (17536) 
Last modified by  asteroid (17536) 
Numerical id  10 
Author  asteroid (17536) 
Entry type  Feature 
Classification  msc 47A60 
Classification  msc 46L10 
Classification  msc 46H30 
Related topic  FunctionalCalculus 
Related topic  PolynomialFunctionalCalculus 
Related topic  ContinuousFunctionalCalculus2 
Defines  Borel functions of a normal operator 