Multiplier theory

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Given a Fourier series on , say, and a (doubly infinite) sequence , one may form a new Fourier series, . The sequence is called a Fourier multiplier. The principal problem about Fourier multipliers is to determine conditions on which guarantee that, when the old Fourier series corresponds to an element of some space of functions or generalized functions (cf. Generalized function) on , then the new series corresponds to an element of some other given space of functions or generalized functions on . Typically, and are Lebesgue spaces, Sobolev spaces or similar function spaces (cf. Lebesgue space; Sobolev space). Particular cases of the problem were first solved by W.H. Young (1913), H. Steinhaus (1915) and S. Sidon (1921), the most significant of these solutions being that is a multiplier from the space of integrable functions to itself or from the space of continuous functions to itself if and only if is a Fourier–Stieltjes series. Equivalently, one can seek to characterize generalized functions on with the property that, if , then the convolution product ; the corresponding Fourier multiplier is the sequence of Fourier coefficients of .

The analogous problem, of characterizing operators which map one space to another and which correspond to a pointwise multiplication of the Fourier transform by a fixed object, can be posed in the context of Fourier integrals rather than series, and in one or several variables. (Indeed, the theory can even be developed in the general context of locally compact groups.)

The most important results on Fourier multipliers are connected with the theories of singular integral operators and pseudo-differential operators (cf. Pseudo-differential operator). The general style of these is exemplified by the theorem that a bounded function on whose total variation (cf. Variation of a function) on each dyadic interval is bounded is a Fourier -multiplier (i.e. the associated operator maps into itself) if . Perhaps the other most important result in the field is C. Fefferman's theorem that in , where , the characteristic function of the unit ball is a Fourier -multiplier only if .


[a1] L. Hörmander, "Estimates for translation-invariant operators in spaces" Acta Math. , 104 (1960) pp. 93–139
[a2] C. Fefferman, "The multiplier problem for the ball" Ann. of Math. , 94 (1971) pp. 330–336
[a3] A. Zygmund, "Trigonometric series" , 2 , Cambridge Univ. Press (1988)
How to Cite This Entry:
Multiplier theory. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by M.G. CowlingJ.F. Price (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article