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I'm struggling to understand this concept. I think the term probably comes from functional analysis and I don't know any of the terms in that field so I'm having trouble understanding the meaning of what a compact linear operator is.

I posted this in linear algebra because I'm reading about a matrix which acts as a "compact linear operator" on a vector space. Can anyone explain what this is using simple terms, and without referring to Banach spaces? Deciphering this concept from wikipedia is like going down a rabbit hole, first to learn what "relatively compact" means, then what "close is compact" means...

Thanks for any help

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# Compact linear operator in simple terms?

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