In mathematics, a Fredholm operator is an operator that arises in the Fredholm theory of integral equations. It is named in honour of Erik Ivar Fredholm.
A Fredholm operator is a bounded linear operator between two Banach spaces, with finitedimensional kernel and cokernel, and with closed range. (The last condition is actually redundant.^{[1]}) Equivalently, an operator T : X → Y is Fredholm if it is invertible modulo compact operators, i.e., if there exists a bounded linear operator

S: Y\to X
such that

\mathrm{Id}_X  ST \quad\text{and}\quad \mathrm{Id}_Y  TS
are compact operators on X and Y respectively.
The index of a Fredholm operator is

\mathrm{ind}\,T := \dim \ker T  \mathrm{codim}\,\mathrm{ran}\,T
or in other words,

\mathrm{ind}\,T := \dim \ker T  \mathrm{dim}\,\mathrm{coker}\,T;
see dimension, kernel, codimension, range, and cokernel.
Contents

Properties 1

Examples 2

Applications 3

BFredholm operators 4

Notes 5

References 6
Properties
The set of Fredholm operators from X to Y is open in the Banach space L(X, Y) of bounded linear operators, equipped with the operator norm. More precisely, when T_{0} is Fredholm from X to Y, there exists ε > 0 such that every T in L(X, Y) with T − T_{0} < ε is Fredholm, with the same index as that of T_{0}.
When T is Fredholm from X to Y and U Fredholm from Y to Z, then the composition U \circ T is Fredholm from X to Z and

\mathrm{ind} (U \circ T) = \mathrm{ind}(U) + \mathrm{ind}(T).
When T is Fredholm, the transpose (or adjoint) operator T ′ is Fredholm from Y ′ to X ′, and ind(T ′) = −ind(T). When X and Y are Hilbert spaces, the same conclusion holds for the Hermitian adjoint T^{∗}.
When T is Fredholm and K a compact operator, then T + K is Fredholm. The index of T remains unchanged under compact perturbations of T. This follows from the fact that the index i(s) of T + s K is an integer defined for every s in [0, 1], and i(s) is locally constant, hence i(1) = i(0).
Invariance by perturbation is true for larger classes than the class of compact operators. For example, when T is Fredholm and S a strictly singular operator, then T + S is Fredholm with the same index.^{[2]} A bounded linear operator S from X to Y is strictly singular when its restriction to any infinite dimensional subspace X_{0} of X fails to be an into isomorphism, that is:

\inf \{ \S x\ : x \in X_0, \, \x\ = 1 \} = 0. \,
Examples
Let H be a Hilbert space with an orthonormal basis {e_{n}} indexed by the non negative integers. The (right) shift operator S on H is defined by

S(e_n) = e_{n+1}, \quad n \ge 0. \,
This operator S is injective (actually, isometric) and has a closed range of codimension 1, hence S is Fredholm with ind(S) = −1. The powers S^{k}, k ≥ 0, are Fredholm with index −k. The adjoint S^{∗} is the left shift,

S^*(e_0) = 0, \ \ S^*(e_n) = e_{n1}, \quad n \ge 1. \,
The left shift S^{∗} is Fredholm with index 1.
If H is the classical Hardy space H^{2}(T) on the unit circle T in the complex plane, then the shift operator with respect to the orthonormal basis of complex exponentials

e_n : \mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i} t} \in \mathbf{T} \rightarrow \mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i} n t}, \quad n \ge 0, \,
is the multiplication operator M_{φ} with the function φ = e_{1}. More generally, let φ be a complex continuous function on T that does not vanish on T, and let T_{φ} denote the Toeplitz operator with symbol φ, equal to multiplication by φ followed by the orthogonal projection P from L^{2}(T) onto H^{2}(T):

T_\varphi : f \in H^2(\mathrm{T}) \rightarrow P(f \varphi) \in H^2(\mathrm{T}). \,
Then T_{φ} is a Fredholm operator on H^{2}(T), with index related to the winding number around 0 of the closed path t ∈ [0, 2 π] → φ(e^{ i t }) : the index of T_{φ}, as defined in this article, is the opposite of this winding number.
Applications
The AtiyahSinger index theorem gives a topological characterization of the index of certain operators on manifolds.
An elliptic operator can be extended to a Fredholm operator. The use of Fredholm operators in partial differential equations is an abstract form of the parametrix method.
BFredholm operators
For each integer n, define T_{n} to be the restriction of T to R(T^{n}) viewed as a map from R(T^{n}) into R(T^{n}) ( in particular T_{0} = T). If for some integer n the space R(T^{n}) is closed and T_{n} is a Fredholm operator,then T is called a BFredholm operator. The index of a BFredholm operator T is defined as the index of the Fredholm operator T_n . It is shown that the index is independent of the integer n. BFredholm operators were introduced by M. Berkani in 1999 as a generalization of Fredholm operators.^{[3]}
Notes

^ Yuri A. Abramovich and Charalambos D. Aliprantis, "An Invitation to Operator Theory", p.156

^ T. Kato, "Perturbation theory for the nullity deficiency and other quantities of linear operators", J. d'Analyse Math. 6 (1958), 273–322.

^ Berkani Mohammed: On a class of quasiFredholm operators. Integral Equations and Operator Theory, 34, 2 (1999), 244249 [1]
References

D.E. Edmunds and W.D. Evans (1987), Spectral theory and differential operators, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198535422.

A. G. Ramm, "A Simple Proof of the Fredholm Alternative and a Characterization of the Fredholm Operators", American Mathematical Monthly, 108 (2001) p. 855 (NB: In this paper the word "Fredholm operator" refers to "Fredholm operator of index 0").

Fredholm operator at PlanetMath.org.

Weisstein, Eric W., "Fredholm's Theorem", MathWorld.

B.V. Khvedelidze (2001), "Fredholm theorems", in Hazewinkel, Michiel,

Bruce K. Driver, "Compact and Fredholm Operators and the Spectral Theorem", Analysis Tools with Applications, Chapter 35, pp. 579–600.

Robert C. McOwen, "Fredholm theory of partial differential equations on complete Riemannian manifolds", Pacific J. Math. 87, no. 1 (1980), 169–185.

Tomasz Mrowka, A Brief Introduction to Linear Analysis: Fredholm Operators, Geometry of Manifolds, Fall 2004 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCouseWare)
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