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Distribution Theory

# Distribution Theory

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03/11/2014

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DISTRIBUTION THEORY
GENERALIZED FUNCTIONS
NOTES
Ivan F Wilde

Contents
1. Introduction....................................................... 12. The spaces
and
............................................. 53. The spaces
and
.............................................. 194. The Fourier transform............................................. 275. Convolution ....................................................... 356. Fourier-Laplace Transform......................................... 477. Structure Theorem for Distributions............................... 558. Partial Dierential Equations...................................... 59

Chapter 1Introduction
The so-called Dirac delta function (on
R
) obeys
δ
(
x
) = 0 for all
x
= 0 butis supposed to satisfy

−∞
δ
(
x
)
dx
= 1. (The
δ
function on
R
d
is similarlydescribed.) Consequently,

−∞
(
x
)
δ
(
x
)
dx
=

−∞
(
(
x
)
(0))
δ
(
x
)
dx
+
(0)

−∞
δ
(
x
)
dx
=
(0)because (
(
x
)
(0))
δ
(
x
)
0 on
R
. Moreover, if
(
x
) denotes the Heavisidestep-function
(
x
) =
0
, x <
01
, x
0
,
then we see that
=
δ
, in the following sense. If
vanishes at inﬁnity,then integration by parts gives

−∞
(
x
)
(
x
)
dx
=
(
x
)
(
x
)
−∞

−∞
(
x
)
(
x
)
dx
=

−∞
(
x
)
(
x
)
dx
=

0
(
x
)
dx
=
(
x
)
0
=
(0)=

−∞
(
x
)
δ
(
x
)
dx.
Of course, there is no such function
δ
with these properties and we cannotinterpret

−∞
(
x
)
δ
(
x
)
dx
as an integral in the usual sense. The
δ
functionis thought of as a
generalized function
.However, what does make sense is the assignment
(0) =
δ,
, say.Clearly
δ,αf
+
βg
=
α
δ,
+
β
δ,g
for functions
,
g
and constants
α
and
β
. In other words, the Dirac delta-function can be deﬁned not as afunction but as a functional on a suitable linear space of functions. Thedevelopment of this is the theory of distributions of Laurent Schwartz.1