'In a certain sense, subnormal operators were introduced too soon because the theory of function algebras and rational approximation was also in its infancy and could not be properly used to examine this class of operators. The progress in the theory of subnormal operators that has come about during the last several years grew out of applying the results of rational approximation' - from the Preface.This book is the successor to the author's 1981 book on the same subject. In addition to reflecting the great strides in the development of subnormal operator theory since the first book, the present work is oriented toward rational functions rather than polynomials. Although the book is a research monograph, it has many of the traits of a textbook, including exercises. The book requires background in function theory and functional analysis, but is otherwise fairly self-contained. The first few chapters cover the basics about subnormal operator theory and present a study of analytic functions on the unit disk. Other topics included are: some results on hyponormal operators, an exposition of rational approximation interspersed with applications to operator theory, a study of weak-star rational approximation, a set of results that can be termed structure theorems for subnormal operators, and a proof that analytic bounded point evaluations exist.
Preliminaries Subnormal operators: The elementary theory Function theory on the unit circle Hyponormal operators Uniform rational approximation Weak-star rational approximation Some structure theory for subnormal operators Bounded point evaluations.