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Unitary transformation

## Summary

In mathematics, a unitary transformation is a transformation that preserves the inner product: the inner product of two vectors before the transformation is equal to their inner product after the transformation.

## Formal definition

More precisely, a unitary transformation is an isomorphism between two Hilbert spaces. In other words, a unitary transformation is a bijective function

${\displaystyle U:H_{1}\to H_{2}\,}$

where ${\displaystyle H_{1}}$  and ${\displaystyle H_{2}}$  are Hilbert spaces, such that

${\displaystyle \langle Ux,Uy\rangle _{H_{2}}=\langle x,y\rangle _{H_{1}}}$

for all ${\displaystyle x}$  and ${\displaystyle y}$  in ${\displaystyle H_{1}}$ .

## Properties

A unitary transformation is an isometry, as one can see by setting ${\displaystyle x=y}$  in this formula.

## Unitary operator

In the case when ${\displaystyle H_{1}}$  and ${\displaystyle H_{2}}$  are the same space, a unitary transformation is an automorphism of that Hilbert space, and then it is also called a unitary operator.

## Antiunitary transformation

A closely related notion is that of antiunitary transformation, which is a bijective function

${\displaystyle U:H_{1}\to H_{2}\,}$

between two complex Hilbert spaces such that

${\displaystyle \langle Ux,Uy\rangle ={\overline {\langle x,y\rangle }}=\langle y,x\rangle }$

for all ${\displaystyle x}$  and ${\displaystyle y}$  in ${\displaystyle H_{1}}$ , where the horizontal bar represents the complex conjugate.