The geometry emerging from the symmetries of a quantum system
We investigate the relation between the symmetries of a quantum system and its topological quantum numbers, in a general C*-algebraic framework. We prove that, under suitable assumptions on the symmetry algebra, there exists a generalization of the Bloch-Floquet transform which induces a direct-integral decomposition of the algebra of observables. Such generalized transform selects uniquely the set of "continuous sections" in the direct integral, thus yielding a Hilbert bundle. The emerging geometric structure provides some topological invariants of the quantum system. Two running examples provide an Ariadne's thread through the paper. For the sake of completeness, we review two related theorems by von Neumann and Maurin and compare them with our result.