Chapter: Mathematics (maths) - Fourier Series

Periodic Functions

A function f (x) is called periodic if it is defined for all real „x‟ some positive number „p‟ such that f (x + p ) = f (x) for all x.



A function f (x) is called periodic if it is defined for all real „x‟ some positive number „p‟ such that


f (x + p ) = f (x) for all x.

This         number   „p‟   is   called   a   period   of   f(x


If a periodic function f (x) has a smallest period p (>0), this is often called the fundamental period of f(x). For example, the functions cosx and sinx have fundamental period 2p.




Any function f(x), defined in the interval c ££c + 2p, can be developed as a Fourier series of the form

provided the following conditions are satisfied.


f (x) is periodic, single–valued and finite in [ c, c + 2 p]. 

f (x) has a finite number of discontinuities in [ c, c + 2p].


f (x) has at the most a finite number of maxima and minima in [ c,c+ 2p].


These conditions are known as Dirichlet conditions. When these conditions are satisfied, the Fourier series converges to f(x) at every point of continuity. At a point of discontinuity x = c, the sum of the series is given by


f(x) = (1/2) [ f (c-0) + f (c+0)] ,

where f (c-0) is the limit on the left and f (c+0) is the limit on the right.



The Fourier series for the function f(x) in the interval c < x < c + 2pis given by

These values of a0, an, bn are   known   as   Euler‟s 0 , formula en,b The coefficients a0, an, bn  are  are also termed as Fourier coefficients.


Example 1

Expand f(x) = x as Fourier Series (Fs)  in the interval [ -π,   π]


Example 2

Expand   f(x) = xin the interval ( -£p) and hence deduce that

Example 3

Obtain the Fourier Series of periodicity   2πin [for-π, π]


Example 4


Example 5

Find the Fourier series for f (x) = (x + x2) in (-p< x < p) of percodicity 2and hence deduce that

Here x = -pand x = pare the end points of the range. \ The value of FS at x = pis the average of the values of f(x) at x = pand x = -p.



Determine the Fourier expressions of the following functions in the given interval


1.f(x) = (p- x)2, 0 < x < 2p 

2.f(x) = 0 in -p< x < 0


pin 0 < x < p 

3.f(x) = x –x2 in [-p,p

4.f(x) = x(2p-x) in (0,2p

5.f(x) = sinh ax in [-pp

6.f(x) = cosh ax in [-pp

7.f(x) = 1 in 0 < x < p


= 2 in p< x < 2p 

8.f(x) = -p/4 when -p< x < 0


=  p/4 when 0 < x < p


9.f(x) = cosax, in -p< x < p,   wherea‟is„ not   an   integer


10.Obtain a fourier series to represent e-ax from x = -pto x = p. Hence derive the series for p/ sinhp



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