Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 127 (1999), no. 8, pp. 1171-1181.
An operator is essentially subnormal if its image in the Calkin algebra is subnormal. We characterize the essentially subnormal operators as those operators with an essentially normal extension. In fact, it is shown that an essentially subnormal operator has an extension of the form ``Normal plus Compact''.
The essential normal spectrum is defined and is used to characterize the essential isometries. It is shown that every essentially subnormal operator may be decomposed as the direct sum of a subnormal operator and some irreducible essentially subnormal operators. An essential version of Putnam's Inequality is proven for these operators. Also, it is shown that essential normality is a similarity invariant within the class of essentially subnormal operators. The class of essentially hyponormal operators is also briefly discussed and several examples of essentially subnormal operators are given.