In mathematics, a **Schauder basis** or **countable basis** is similar to the usual (Hamel) basis of a vector space; the difference is that Hamel bases use linear combinations that are finite sums, while for Schauder bases they may be infinite sums. This makes Schauder bases more suitable for the analysis of infinite-dimensional topological vector spaces including Banach spaces.

Schauder bases were described by Juliusz Schauder in 1927,^{[1]}^{[2]} although such bases were discussed earlier. For example, the Haar basis was given in 1909, and Georg Faber discussed in 1910 a basis for continuous functions on an interval, sometimes called a **Faber–Schauder system**.^{[3]}

Let *V* denote a topological vector space over the field *F*. A **Schauder basis** is a sequence {*b*_{n}} of elements of *V* such that for every element *v* ∈ *V* there exists a *unique* sequence {α_{n}} of scalars in *F* so that

The convergence of the infinite sum is implicitly that of the ambient topology,

but can be reduced to only weak convergence in a normed vector space (such as a Banach space).

Note that some authors define Schauder bases to be countable (as above), while others use the term to include uncountable bases. In either case, the sums themselves always are countable. An uncountable Schauder basis is a linearly ordered set rather than a sequence, and each sum inherits the order of its terms from this linear ordering. They can and do arise in practice. As an example, a separable Hilbert space can only have a countable Schauder basis, but a non-separable Hilbert space may have an uncountable one.

Though the definition above technically does not require a normed space, a norm is necessary to say almost anything useful about Schauder bases. The results below assume the existence of a norm.

A Schauder basis {*b*_{n}}_{n ≥ 0} is said to be **normalized** when all the basis vectors have norm 1 in the Banach space *V*.

A sequence {*x*_{n}}_{n ≥ 0} in *V* is a **basic sequence** if it is a Schauder basis of its closed linear span.

Two Schauder bases, {*b*_{n}} in *V* and {*c*_{n}} in *W*, are said to be **equivalent** if there exist two constants *c* > 0 and *C* such that for every natural number *N* ≥ 0 and all sequences {α_{n}} of scalars,

A family of vectors in *V* is **total** if its linear span (the set of finite linear combinations) is dense in *V*. If *V* is a Hilbert space, an **orthogonal basis** is a *total* subset *B* of *V* such that elements in *B* are nonzero and pairwise orthogonal. Further, when each element in *B* has norm 1, then *B* is an **orthonormal basis** of *V*.

Let {*b _{n}*} be a Schauder basis of a Banach space

are uniformly bounded by some constant *C*.^{[5]} When *C* = 1, the basis is called a **monotone** basis. The maps {*P _{n}*} are the

Let {*b* _{n}*} denote the

These functionals {*b* _{n}*} are called

A Banach space with a Schauder basis is necessarily separable, but the converse is false. Since every vector *v* in a Banach space *V* with a Schauder basis is the limit of *P _{n}*(

A theorem attributed to Mazur^{[6]} asserts that every infinite-dimensional Banach space *V* contains a basic sequence, *i.e.*, there is an infinite-dimensional subspace of *V* that has a Schauder basis. The **basis problem** is the question asked by Banach, whether every separable Banach space has a Schauder basis. This was negatively answered by Per Enflo who constructed a separable Banach space failing the approximation property, thus a space without a Schauder basis.^{[7]}

The standard unit vector bases of *c*_{0}, and of ℓ^{p} for 1 ≤ *p* < ∞, are monotone Schauder bases. In this **unit vector basis** {*b _{n}*}, the vector

where δ_{n, j} is the Kronecker delta. The space ℓ^{∞} is not separable, and therefore has no Schauder basis.

Every orthonormal basis in a separable Hilbert space is a Schauder basis. Every countable orthonormal basis is equivalent to the standard unit vector basis in ℓ^{2}.

The Haar system is an example of a basis for *L*^{p}([0, 1]), when 1 ≤ *p* < ∞.^{[2]}
When 1 < *p* < ∞, another example is the trigonometric system defined below. The Banach space *C*([0, 1]) of continuous functions on the interval [0, 1], with the supremum norm, admits a Schauder basis. The Faber–Schauder system is the most commonly used Schauder basis for *C*([0, 1]).^{[3]}^{[8]}

Several bases for classical spaces were discovered before Banach's book appeared (Banach (1932)), but some other cases remained open for a long time. For example, the question of whether the disk algebra *A*(*D*) has a Schauder basis remained open for more than forty years, until Bočkarev showed in 1974 that a basis constructed from the Franklin system exists in *A*(*D*).^{[9]} One can also prove that the periodic Franklin system^{[10]} is a basis for a Banach space *A*_{r} isomorphic to *A*(*D*).^{[11]}
This space *A*_{r} consists of all complex continuous functions on the unit circle **T** whose conjugate function is also continuous. The Franklin system is another Schauder basis for *C*([0, 1]),^{[12]}
and it is a Schauder basis in *L*^{p}([0, 1]) when 1 ≤ *p* < ∞.^{[13]}
Systems derived from the Franklin system give bases in the space *C*^{1}([0, 1]^{2}) of differentiable functions on the unit square.^{[14]} The existence of a Schauder basis in *C*^{1}([0, 1]^{2}) was a question from Banach's book.^{[15]}

Let {*x*_{n}} be, in the real case, the sequence of functions

or, in the complex case,

The sequence {*x*_{n}} is called the **trigonometric system**. It is a Schauder basis for the space *L*^{p}([0, 2*π*]) for any *p* such that 1 < *p* < ∞. For *p* = 2, this is the content of the Riesz–Fischer theorem, and for *p* ≠ 2, it is a consequence of the boundedness on the space *L*^{p}([0, 2*π*]) of the Hilbert transform on the circle. It follows from this boundedness that the projections *P*_{N} defined by

are uniformly bounded on *L*^{p}([0, 2*π*]) when 1 < *p* < ∞. This family of maps {*P*_{N}} is equicontinuous and tends to the identity on the dense subset consisting of trigonometric polynomials. It follows that *P*_{N}*f* tends to *f* in *L*^{p}-norm for every *f* ∈ *L*^{p}([0, 2*π*]). In other words, {*x*_{n}} is a Schauder basis of *L*^{p}([0, 2*π*]).^{[16]}

However, the set {*x _{n}*} is not a Schauder basis for

The space *K*(ℓ^{2}) of compact operators on the Hilbert space ℓ^{2} has a Schauder basis. For every *x*, *y* in ℓ^{2}, let *x* ⊗ *y* denote the rank one operator *v* ∈ ℓ^{2} → <*v*, *x* > *y*. If {*e*_{n}}_{n ≥ 1} is the standard orthonormal basis of ℓ^{2}, a basis for *K*(ℓ^{2}) is given by the sequence^{[17]}

For every *n*, the sequence consisting of the *n*^{2} first vectors in this basis is a suitable ordering of the family {*e*_{j} ⊗ *e*_{k}}, for 1 ≤ *j*, *k* ≤ *n*.

The preceding result can be generalized: a Banach space *X* with a basis has the approximation property, so the space *K*(*X*) of compact operators on *X* is isometrically isomorphic^{[18]} to the injective tensor product

If *X* is a Banach space with a Schauder basis {*e*_{n}}_{n ≥ 1} such that the biorthogonal functionals are a basis of the dual, that is to say, a Banach space with a shrinking basis, then the space *K*(*X*) admits a basis formed by the rank one operators *e**_{j} ⊗ *e*_{k} : *v* → *e**_{j}(*v*) *e*_{k}, with the same ordering as before.^{[17]} This applies in particular to every reflexive Banach space *X* with a Schauder basis

On the other hand, the space *B*(ℓ^{2}) has no basis, since it is non-separable. Moreover, *B*(ℓ^{2}) does not have the approximation property.^{[19]}

A Schauder basis {*b*_{n}} is **unconditional** if whenever the series converges, it converges
unconditionally. For a Schauder basis {*b*_{n}}, this is equivalent to the existence of a constant *C* such that

for all natural numbers *n*, all scalar coefficients {α_{k}} and all signs ε_{k} = ±1.
Unconditionality is an important property since it allows one to forget about the order of summation. A Schauder basis is **symmetric** if it is unconditional and uniformly equivalent to all its permutations: there exists a constant *C* such that for every natural number *n*, every permutation π of the set {0, 1, ..., *n*}, all scalar coefficients {α_{k}} and all signs {ε_{k}},

The standard bases of the sequence spaces *c*_{0} and ℓ^{p} for 1 ≤ *p* < ∞, as well as every orthonormal basis in a Hilbert space, are unconditional. These bases are also symmetric.

The trigonometric system is not an unconditional basis in *L ^{p}*, except for

The Haar system is an unconditional basis in *L ^{p}* for any 1 <

A natural question is whether every infinite-dimensional Banach space has an infinite-dimensional subspace with an unconditional basis. This was solved negatively by Timothy Gowers and Bernard Maurey in 1992.^{[21]}

A basis {*e _{n}*}

are bounded in *X*, the sequence {*V _{n}*} converges in

for every *n*, but the sequence {*V _{n}*} is not convergent in

A space *X* with a boundedly complete basis {*e _{n}*}

A basis {*e _{n}*}

tends to 0 when *n* → ∞, where *F _{n}* is the linear span of the basis vectors

then φ_{n} ≥ *f*(*e*_{n}) = 1 for every *n*.

A basis [*e*_{n}]_{n ≥ 0} of *X* is shrinking if and only if the biorthogonal functionals [*e**_{n}]_{n ≥ 0} form a basis of the dual *X* ′.^{[23]}

Robert C. James characterized reflexivity in Banach spaces with basis: the space *X* with a Schauder basis is reflexive if and only if the basis is both shrinking and boundedly complete.^{[24]}
James also proved that a space with an unconditional basis is non-reflexive if and only if it contains a subspace isomorphic to *c*_{0} or ℓ^{1}.^{[25]}

A Hamel basis is a subset *B* of a vector space *V* such that every element v ∈ V can uniquely be written as

with *α*_{b} ∈ *F*, with the extra condition that the set

is finite. This property makes the Hamel basis unwieldy for infinite-dimensional Banach spaces; as a Hamel basis for an infinite-dimensional Banach space has to be uncountable. (Every finite-dimensional subspace of an infinite-dimensional Banach space *X* has empty interior, and is nowhere dense in *X*. It then follows from the Baire category theorem that a countable union of bases of these finite-dimensional subspaces cannot serve as a basis.^{[26]})