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Laplace's equation in spherical co-ords

  1. May 10, 2009 #1
    I have a simple question about the general solution to Laplace's equation in spherical co-ords.
    The general solution is:

    [tex]u(r, \theta, \phi) = \sum^{\infty}_{l=0}\sum^{l}_{m=-l}\left(a_{lm}r^{l} + \frac{b_{lm}}{r^{l+1}}\right)P_{lm}(cos\theta)e^{im\phi}[/tex]

    (where the [tex]a_{lm}, b_{lm}[/tex] coefficients can be found using the boundary conditions in question.)

    My problem lies in trying to understand the limits on the summation [tex]\sum^{l}_{m=-l}[/tex]. Can anyone offer any help on this please?

    Thanks for reading, b.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2009 #2
    Probably due to the same reason why the irreducible representation of SO(3) has dimension
    [tex]2\ell + 1[/tex] (physicist tends to use j for spin/orbital angular momentum number).
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