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The Backward Shift on the Hardy Space
Joseph A. Cima, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, and William T. Ross, University of Richmond, VA

Mathematical Surveys and Monographs
2000; 199 pp; hardcover
Volume: 79
ISBN-10: 0-8218-2083-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-2083-4
List Price: US$60
Member Price: US$48
Order Code: SURV/79
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Shift operators on Hilbert spaces of analytic functions play an important role in the study of bounded linear operators on Hilbert spaces since they often serve as models for various classes of linear operators. For example, "parts" of direct sums of the backward shift operator on the classical Hardy space \(H^2\) model certain types of contraction operators and potentially have connections to understanding the invariant subspaces of a general linear operator.

This book is a thorough treatment of the characterization of the backward shift invariant subspaces of the well-known Hardy spaces \(H^{p}\). The characterization of the backward shift invariant subspaces of \(H^{p}\) for \(1 < p < \infty\) was done in a 1970 paper of R. Douglas, H. S. Shapiro, and A. Shields, and the case \(0 < p \le 1\) was done in a 1979 paper of A. B. Aleksandrov which is not well known in the West. This material is pulled together in this single volume and includes all the necessary background material needed to understand (especially for the \(0 < p < 1\) case) the proofs of these results.

Several proofs of the Douglas-Shapiro-Shields result are provided so readers can get acquainted with different operator theory and theory techniques: applications of these proofs are also provided for understanding the backward shift operator on various other spaces of analytic functions. The results are thoroughly examined. Other features of the volume include a description of applications to the spectral properties of the backward shift operator and a treatment of some general real-variable techniques that are not taught in standard graduate seminars. The book includes references to works by Duren, Garnett, and Stein for proofs and a bibliography for further exploration in the areas of operator theory and functional analysis.


Advanced graduate students with a background in basic functional analysis, complex analysis and the basics of the theory of Hardy spaces; professional mathematicians interested in operator theory and functional analysis.


"The book has been carefully written and contains a wealth of information ... It will probably appeal most to those with an interest in the interplay between operator theory and modern function theory."

-- Bulletin of the LMS

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Classical boundary value results
  • The Hardy spaces of the disk
  • The Hardy spaces of the upper-half plane
  • The backward shift on \(H^p\) for \(p \in [1,\infty)\)
  • The backward shift on \(H^p\) for \(p \in (0,1)\)
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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