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Category# Harmonic analysis

Summary

Harmonic analysis is a branch of mathematics concerned with investigating the connections between a function and its representation in frequency. The frequency representation is found by using the Fourier transform for functions on the real line, or by Fourier series for periodic functions. Generalizing these transforms to other domains is generally called Fourier analysis, although the term is sometimes used interchangeably with harmonic analysis. Harmonic Analysis has become a vast subject with applications in areas as diverse as number theory, representation theory, signal processing, quantum mechanics, tidal analysis and neuroscience.
The term "harmonics" originated as the Ancient Greek word harmonikos, meaning "skilled in music". In physical eigenvalue problems, it began to mean waves whose frequencies are integer multiples of one another, as are the frequencies of the harmonics of music notes, but the term has been generalized beyond its original meaning.
The classical Fourier transform on Rn is still an area of ongoing research, particularly concerning Fourier transformation on more general objects such as tempered distributions. For instance, if we impose some requirements on a distribution f, we can attempt to translate these requirements in terms of the Fourier transform of f. The Paley–Wiener theorem is an example of this. The Paley–Wiener theorem immediately implies that if f is a nonzero distribution of compact support (these include functions of compact support), then its Fourier transform is never compactly supported (i.e. if a signal is limited in one domain, it is unlimited in the other). This is a very elementary form of an uncertainty principle in a harmonic-analysis setting.
Fourier series can be conveniently studied in the context of Hilbert spaces, which provides a connection between harmonic analysis and functional analysis.

Official source

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