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Concept# Hermite polynomials

Summary

In mathematics, the Hermite polynomials are a classical orthogonal polynomial sequence.
The polynomials arise in:
signal processing as Hermitian wavelets for wavelet transform analysis
probability, such as the Edgeworth series, as well as in connection with Brownian motion;
combinatorics, as an example of an Appell sequence, obeying the umbral calculus;
numerical analysis as Gaussian quadrature;
physics, where they give rise to the eigenstates of the quantum harmonic oscillator; and they also occur in some cases of the heat equation (when the term is present);
systems theory in connection with nonlinear operations on Gaussian noise.
random matrix theory in Gaussian ensembles.
Hermite polynomials were defined by Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1810, though in scarcely recognizable form, and studied in detail by Pafnuty Chebyshev in 1859. Chebyshev's work was overlooked, and they were named later after Charles Hermite, who wrote on the polynomials in 1864, describing them as new. They were consequently not new, although Hermite was the first to define the multidimensional polynomials in his later 1865 publications.
Like the other classical orthogonal polynomials, the Hermite polynomials can be defined from several different starting points. Noting from the outset that there are two different standardizations in common use, one convenient method is as follows:
The "probabilist's Hermite polynomials" are given by
while the "physicist's Hermite polynomials" are given by
These equations have the form of a Rodrigues' formula and can also be written as,
The two definitions are not exactly identical; each is a rescaling of the other:
These are Hermite polynomial sequences of different variances; see the material on variances below.
The notation He and H is that used in the standard references.
The polynomials Hen are sometimes denoted by Hn, especially in probability theory, because
is the probability density function for the normal distribution with expected value 0 and standard deviation 1.

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Legendre polynomials

In mathematics, Legendre polynomials, named after Adrien-Marie Legendre (1782), are a system of complete and orthogonal polynomials with a vast number of mathematical properties and numerous applications. They can be defined in many ways, and the various definitions highlight different aspects as well as suggest generalizations and connections to different mathematical structures and physical and numerical applications. Closely related to the Legendre polynomials are associated Legendre polynomials, Legendre functions, Legendre functions of the second kind, and associated Legendre functions.

Laguerre polynomials

In mathematics, the Laguerre polynomials, named after Edmond Laguerre (1834–1886), are solutions of Laguerre's differential equation: which is a second-order linear differential equation. This equation has nonsingular solutions only if n is a non-negative integer. Sometimes the name Laguerre polynomials is used for solutions of where n is still a non-negative integer. Then they are also named generalized Laguerre polynomials, as will be done here (alternatively associated Laguerre polynomials or, rarely, Sonine polynomials, after their inventor Nikolay Yakovlevich Sonin).

Gaussian quadrature

In numerical analysis, a quadrature rule is an approximation of the definite integral of a function, usually stated as a weighted sum of function values at specified points within the domain of integration. (See numerical integration for more on quadrature rules.) An n-point Gaussian quadrature rule, named after Carl Friedrich Gauss, is a quadrature rule constructed to yield an exact result for polynomials of degree 2n − 1 or less by a suitable choice of the nodes x_i and weights w_i for i = 1, ..., n.

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