If you have a function f(x), you can decompose it as an infinite sum of sine waves of the form sin(nx) and cos(nx) for increasing n. If you have a function g(theta,phi), you can decompose it into spherical harmonics; for each order l you have 2l+1 spherical harmonics. Is there anything special about this fact, that for nth order behavior of f(x) you only need 2 functions for each step (sin and cos), but for lth order behavior of g(theta,phi) you need 2l+1 functions?//<![CDATA[ aax_getad_mpb({ "slot_uuid":"f485bc30-20f5-4c34-b261-5f2d6f6142cb" }); //]]>

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Spherical harmonic decomposition

Have something to add?

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**