Trace spaces of counterexamples to Naimark's problem

Andrea Vaccaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A counterexample to Naimark's problem is a C-algebra that is not isomorphic to the algebra of compact operators on some Hilbert space, yet still has only one irreducible representation up to unitary equivalence. It is well-known that such algebras must be nonseparable, and in 2004 Akemann and Weaver used the diamond principle (a set theoretic axiom independent from ZFC) to give the first counterexamples. For any such counterexample A, the unitary group U(A) acts transitively on the pure states, which are the extreme points of the state space S(A). It is conceivable that this implies (as happens for finite-dimensional simplexes) that the action of U(A) on S(A) has at most one fixed point, i.e. A has at most one trace. We give a strong negative answer here assuming diamond. In particular, we adapt the Akemann–Weaver construction to show that the trace space of a counterexample to Naimark's problem can be affinely homeomorphic to any metrizable Choquet simplex, and can also be nonseparable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2794-2816
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Functional Analysis
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Jensen's diamond
  • Kishimoto–Ozawa–Sakai theorem
  • Naimark's problem
  • Trace space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis


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