Almost Hadamard matrices with complex entries

Document Type: Article dedicated to Uffe Haagerup


1 Cergy-Pontoise University

2 Dept. of Math. TU Munich


We discuss an extension of the almost Hadamard matrix formalism, to the case of complex matrices. Quite surprisingly, the situation here is very different from the one in the real case, and our conjectural conclusion is that there should be no such matrices, besides the usual Hadamard ones. We verify this conjecture in a number of situations, and notably for most of the known examples of real almost Hadamard matrices, and for some of their complex extensions. We discuss as well some potential applications of our conjecture, to the general study of complex Hadamard matrices.