An embedding theorem for Hilbert categories

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Abstract / Description of output

We axiomatically define (pre-)Hilbert categories. The axioms resemble those for monoidal Abelian categories with the addition of an involutive functor. We then prove embedding theorems: any locally small pre-Hilbert category whose monoidal unit is a simple generator embeds (weakly) monoidally into the category of pre-Hilbert spaces and adjointable maps, preserving adjoint morphisms and all finite (co)limits. An intermediate result that is important in its own right is that the scalars in such a category necessarily form an involutive field. In case of a Hilbert category, the embedding extends to the category of Hilbert spaces and continuous linear maps. The axioms for (pre-)Hilbert categories are weaker than the axioms found in other approaches to axiomatizing 2-Hilbert spaces. Neither enrichment nor a complex base field is presupposed. A comparison to other approaches will be made in the introduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-344
Number of pages24
JournalTheory and Applications of Categories
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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