# Fourier series

In mathematics, a

**Fourier series**, named in honor of Joseph Fourier (1768-1830), is a representation of a periodic function as a sum of periodic functions of the form

*e*

^{i x}; Fourier was the first to study such series systematically. He applied these series to the solution of the heat equation, publishing his initial results in 1807 and 1811. This area of inquiry is sometimes called harmonic analysis.

Many other Fourier-related transforms have since been defined.

## Definition of Fourier series

Suppose *f*(*x*) is a complex-valued function of a real number, is periodic with period 2π, and is square-integrable over the interval from 0 to 2π. Let

*f*(

*x*) is given by

*f*(

*x*), one often uses the identity

*f*(

*x*) as a infinite linear combination of functions of the form cos(

*nx*) and sin(

*nx*), i.e.

## Convergence of Fourier series

The simplest answer is that if *f* is square-integrable then

*L*

^{2}).

There are also many known tests that ensure that the series converges at a given point *x*. For example, if the function is differentiable at *x*. Even a jump discontinuity does not pose a problem: if the function has left and right derivatives at *x*, then the Fourier series will converge to the average of the left and right limits (but see Gibbs phenomenon). It is also known that for any function of any Hölder class and any function of bounded variation the Fourier series converges everywhere.

However, a fact that many find surprising, is that the Fourier series of a continuous function need not converge pointwise. The easiest proof is already nontrivial since it appeals to the Banach-Steinhaus uniform boundedness principle and is nonconstructive (that is, it shows that a continuous function whose Fourier series does not converge at 0 does exist without actually saying what that function might look like). The same argument also allow to give a constructive proof, though the function is presented as an infinite sum, and not in a simple formula. There are various related proofs showing stronger results (for instance, that there is an ample supply of such continuous functions, or that there are continuous functions such that the Fourier series fails to converge pointwise on any given set of measure zero).

The problem whether the Fourier series of any continuous function converges almost everywhere was posed by Nikolai Lusin in the 1920s and remained open until finily resolved positively in 1966 by Lennart Carleson. Indeed, Carleson showed that the Fourier expansion of any function in *L*^{2} cnverges almost everywhere. Later on Hunt generalized this to *L ^{p}* for any

*p*>1. Despite a number of attempts at simplifying the proof, it is still one of the most difficult results in analysis. Contrariwise, Kolmogorov, in his very first paper published when he was 21, constructed an example of a function in

*L*

^{1}whose Fourier series diverges almost everywhere (later improved to divergence everywhere).

Additional research on these problems contains

- Convergence in
*L*norm.^{p} - Cesŕro summability and other summation methods.
- Absolutely converging Fourier series (this is the important Wiener algebra).
- Effects of transformations on the function and on the coefficients on properties of convergance.

## Some positive consequences of the homomorphism properties of exp

Because "basis functions" *e*^{ikx} are homomorphisms of the real line (more precisely, of the "circle group") we have some useful identities:

- If

then (if *G* is the transform of *g*)

- If is the transform of , then

that is, the Fourier transform of a convolution is the product of the Fourier transforms. Vice versa, if then the Fourier transform *H* of *h* is the convolution of the Fourier transforms of *f* and *g*

## Parseval's theorem

Another important property of the Fourier series is Parseval's theorem, a special case of the Plancherel theorem and a form of unitarity:

*f*(

*x*) case above,

## General formulation

The useful properties of Fourier series are largely derived from the orthogonality and homomorphism property of the functions *e*^{i n x}.
Other sequences of orthogonal functions have similar properties, although some useful identities concerning e.g. convolutions are no longer true once we lose the homomorphism property.
Examples include sequences of Bessel functions and orthogonal polynomials
Such sequences are commonly the solutions of a differential equation; a large class of useful sequences are solutions of the so-called Sturm-Liouville problems.

## See also

## References

### Textbooks

- Nina K. Bary,
*A treatise on trigonometric series*, Vols. I, II. Authorized translation by Margaret F. Mullins. A Pergamon Press Book. The Macmillan Co., New York 1964. - Antoni Zygmund,
*Trigonometric series*, Vol. I, II. Third edition. With a foreword by Robert A. Fefferman. Cambridge Mathematical Library. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002. - Yitzhak Katznelson,
*An introduction to harmonic analysis*, Second corrected edition. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1976.

### Articles referred to in the text

This is the first proof that the Fourier series of a continuous function might diverge. In German- Andrey Kolmogorov,
*Une série de Fourier-Lebesgue divergente presque partout*, Fundamenta math.**4**(1923), 324-328. - Andrey Kolmogorov,
*Une série de Fourier-Lebesgue divergente partout*, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris**183**(1926), 1327-1328

- Lennart Carleson,
*On convergence and growth of partial sumas of Fourier series*, Acta Math.**116**(1966) 135-157. - Charles Louis Fefferman,
*Pointwise convergence of Fourier series*, Ann. of Math.**98**(1973), 551-571. - Michael Lacey and Christoph Thiele,
*A proof of boundedness of the Carleson operator*, Math. Res. Lett.**7:4**(2000), 361-370.

- Jean-Pierre Kahane and Yitzhak Katznelson,
*Sur les ensembles de divergence des séries trigonométriques*, Studia Math.**26**(1966), 305-306

- Sergei Vladimirovich Konyagin,
*On divergence of trigonometrique Fourier series everywhere*, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris**329**(1999), 693-697.