3
votes
1answer
80 views

Why do we refer to certain self-adjoint operators as positive/positive definite as opposed to nonnegative/positive?

A self-adjoint linear operator $\tau$ is referred to as positive if is associated quadratic form $\langle\tau v,v\rangle\geq 0$ for all $v$, and is referred to as positive definite if $\langle\tau ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Determining a norm from a quadratic form

If $B$ is a quadratic form over some space $V$, what is the norm determined by $B$? Is this the inner product $\langle Bu,Bv\rangle$? If not, and it is not possible to determine a norm from knowing ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

Etymology of the word “isotropic”

Given a quadratic form $q : V \rightarrow k$, a nonzero vector $v \in V$ is said to be isotropic if $q(v) = 0$. Any subspace of $V$ containing such a vector is also said to be isotropic, and the ...
12
votes
1answer
429 views

Polarization: etymology question

The polarization identity expresses a symmetric bilinear form on a vector space in terms of its associated quadratic form: $$ \langle v,w\rangle = \frac{1}{2}(Q(v+w) - Q(v) - Q(w)), $$ where $Q(v) ...