MA22S3 Michaelmas 2017

Fourier Analysis for Science

Prof. Ruth Britto [e-mail]

TA James Nelson [e-mail]

TA David Tims [e-mail]


Tutorials take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Please attend your assigned session.

Main topics

Summary sheets

Mathematical background

Fourier analysis

Differential equations

Reference books

No single text will be followed very closely. Many books and online resources cover this material well. The following are readily available in multiple copies in Hamilton Lending Library.


80% final exam, 20% continuous assessment.

Continuous assessment consists of problem sets given and completed in tutorial sessions, with collaboration among students and help from the TA.

Problem sheets with their solutions are posted here in the week following their presentation in tutorials.

Oct 4-6 Problems 1 Solutions 1

Oct 11-13 Problems 2 Solutions 2

Past years' tutorial sheets and solutions are available here.

Topics covered in lectures

Sep 26: Introduction to the module. Preview of Fourier series. Kronecker delta.

Sep 28: Review of linear algebra: vector space, linear independence, basis, dimension, inner product.

Sep 29: An inner product on functions. Orthogonality, orthogonal projection.


Oct 3: Orthogonality of Fourier modes, Euler formulas for Fourier coefficients from orthogonal projection, Dirichlet conditions for existence and convergence of Fourier series.

Oct 5: Discontinuity points and Gibbs phenomenon. Fourier series of sine wave and square wave.

Oct 6: Parity of functions. Application of parity to real Fourier series. Fourier series of the half-rectified sine wave.


Oct 10: Half-range expansions and application to triangle waves. Complex inner product spaces. Orthogonality of complex Fourier modes.

Oct 12: Review of series and Kronecker delta. Euler formulas for complex Fourier coefficients. Equivalence to real Fourier series. Example of square wave.

Oct 13: Checks of the square wave series. Odd & even functions summed over integers. Statement and proof of Parseval's theorem.


TCD School of Mathematics