# dual space

Let $V$ be a vector space over a field $k$. The dual of $V$, denoted by $V^{\ast}$, is the vector space of linear forms  on $V$, i.e. linear mappings $V\to k$. The operations  in $V^{\ast}$ are defined pointwise:

 $(\varphi+\psi)(v)=\varphi(v)+\psi(v)$
 $(\lambda\varphi)(v)=\lambda\varphi(v)$

for $\lambda\in K$, $v\in V$ and $\varphi,\psi\in V^{\ast}$.

$V$ is isomorphic to $V^{\ast}$ if and only if the dimension    of $V$ is finite. If not, then $V^{\ast}$ has a larger (infinite  ) dimension than $V$; in other words, the cardinal of any basis of $V^{\ast}$ is strictly greater than the cardinal of any basis of $V$.

Even when $V$ is finite-dimensional, there is no canonical or natural isomorphism $V\to V^{\ast}$. But on the other hand, a basis $\mathcal{B}$ of $V$ does define a basis $\mathcal{B}^{\ast}$ of $V^{\ast}$, and moreover a bijection $\mathcal{B}\to\mathcal{B}^{\ast}$. For suppose $\mathcal{B}=\{b_{1},\dots,b_{n}\}$. For each $i$ from $1$ to $n$, define a mapping

 $\beta_{i}:V\to k$

by

 $\beta_{i}(\sum_{k}x_{k}b_{k})=x_{i}\;.$

It is easy to see that the $\beta_{i}$ are nonzero elements of $V^{\ast}$ and are independent. Thus $\{\beta_{1},\dots,\beta_{n}\}$ is a basis of $V^{\ast}$, called the dual basis  of $\mathcal{B}$.

The dual of $V^{\ast}$ is called the second dual or bidual of $V$. There is a very simple canonical injection $V\to V^{\ast\ast}$, and it is an isomorphism     if the dimension of $V$ is finite. To see it, let $x$ be any element of $V$ and define a mapping $x^{\prime}:V^{\ast}\to k$ simply by

 $x^{\prime}(\phi)=\phi(x)\;.$

$x^{\prime}$ is linear by definition, and it is readily verified that the mapping $x\mapsto x^{\prime}$ from $V$ to $V^{\ast\ast}$ is linear and injective  .

If $V$ is a topological vector space, the continuous dual $V^{\prime}$ of $V$ is the subspace  of $V^{\ast}$ consisting of the continuous  linear forms.

Remarks

Another way in which a linear mapping $V\to V^{\ast}$ can arise is via a bilinear form  $V\times V\to k\;.$

The notions of duality extend, in part, from vector spaces to modules, especially free modules   over commutative rings. A related notion is the duality in projective spaces.

 Title dual space   Canonical name DualSpace Date of creation 2013-03-22 12:16:52 Last modified on 2013-03-22 12:16:52 Owner Daume (40) Last modified by Daume (40) Numerical id 15 Author Daume (40) Entry type Definition Classification msc 15A99 Synonym algebraic dual Synonym continuous dual Synonym dual basis Synonym reflexive Synonym natural embedding Synonym topological dual Related topic DualHomomorphism Related topic DoubleDualEmbedding Related topic BanachSpace Related topic Unimodular Related topic LinearFunctional Related topic BoundedLinearFunctionalsOnLpmu