Posts Tagged ‘math.CA’

Something Certain About Uncertainty

February 26, 2008

I was motivated by a comment on Jim Pivarski’s recent post to speak about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Someone asked,

If uncertainty in quantum mechanics comes from (or is inseparable from) quantization, then where does it come from in its mathematical formulation i.e in terms of a space and its Fourier transform?

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a curious fact: it requires no physical intuition whatsoever and yet has profound physical ramifications. It is also interesting because it is among a small group of facts which are both physically and mathematically interesting. It is an important (to harmonic analysis) and commonly known fact that a function and its Fourier transform cannot both be compactly supported. There are stronger statements than that, though, of the following flavor: if a function is a narrow spike near a point, then its Fourier transform will be more spread out. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a quantitative statement about this kind of fact.

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Singular Integral Operators and Convergence of Fourier Series

February 12, 2008

I’m Peter “Viking” Luthy, a journeyman graduate student at Cornell. I’m an analyst, and my current research goals are in harmonic analysis with applications to and from ergodic theory. To avoid being called a hypocrite, Greg asked me to post on occasion and spread my analytic gospel — this isn’t the Everything-but-Analysis Seminar, after all.

My goal in this post is to go through the initial setup of a deep theorem of Carleson dealing with the convergence of Fourier series on L^p. This theorem is almost universally interesting in and of itself. Additionally, it will give ample reason as to why people — myself included — care about objects called singular integral operators. This will also provide some impetus for some future posts as well, particularly one which will outline a famous construction of Fefferman and give some reasons why harmonic analysis in higher dimensions is distinctly harder than in dimension 1.

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