Compatibility and companions for Leonard pairs

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Kazumasa Nomura
Paul Terwilliger


In this paper, we introduce the concepts of compatibility and companion for Leonard pairs. These concepts are roughly described as follows. Let $\mathbb{F}$ denote a field, and let $V$ denote a vector space over $\mathbb{F}$ with finite positive dimension.
A Leonard pair on $V$ is an ordered pair of diagonalizable $\mathbb{F}$-linear maps $A : V \to V$ and $A^* : V \to V$ that each act in an irreducible tridiagonal fashion on an eigenbasis for the other one. Leonard pairs $A,A^*$ and $B,B^*$ on $V$ are said to be compatible whenever $A^* = B^*$ and $[A,A^*] = [B,B^*]$, where $[r,s] = r s - s r$. For a Leonard pair $A,A^*$ on $V$, by a companion of $A,A^*$ we mean an $\mathbb{F}$-linear map $K: V \to V$ such that $K$ is a polynomial in $A^*$ and $A-K, A^*$ is a Leonard pair on $V$. The concepts of compatibility and companion are related as follows. For compatible Leonard pairs $A,A^*$ and $B,B^*$ on $V$, define $K = A-B$. Then $K$ is a companion of $A,A^*$. For a Leonard pair $A,A^*$ on $V$ and a companion $K$ of $A,A^*$,
define $B = A-K$ and $B^* = A^*$. Then $B,B^*$ is a Leonard pair on $V$ that is compatible with $A,A^*$. Let $A,A^*$ denote a Leonard pair on $V$. We find all the Leonard pairs $B, B^*$ on $V$ that are compatible with $A,A^*$.
For each solution $B, B^*$, we describe the corresponding companion $K = A-B$.

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