where the "cut" integral is the Dixmier trace ie the functional that assigns to an infinitesimal of order one the coefficient of the logarithmic divergency in the series that gives the sum of its eigenvalues.
I will not try to justify the heuristic definition of the line element any further. It is more interesting to put it to the test, to question it, and I will discuss an example of an issue which left me perplex for quite sometime but has a pretty resolution.
in terms of the inverse matrix:
which plays a role similar to the g\mu\nu of Riemannian geometry, and of the operators
where the notation with z stresses the fact that we do not even assume self-adjointness of the various D_\mu.
It sounds totally hopeless since one needs a formula for the inverse of a sum of noncommuting operators. Fortunately it turns out that there is a beautiful simple formula that does the job in full generality. It is reminiscent of the definition of distances as an infimum. It is given by:
Note that this formula suffices to determine the operator ds^2 completely, since it gives the value of the corresponding positive quadratic form on any vector in Hilbert space. The proof of the formula is not difficult and can be done by applying the technique of Lagrange multipliers to take care of the above constraint on the free vectors \xi^\mu.