In mathematical analysis a pseudo-differential operator is an extension of the concept of differential operator. Pseudo-differential operators are used extensively in the theory of partial differential equations and quantum field theory.
The study of pseudo-differential operators began in the mid 1960s with the work of Kohn, Nirenberg, Hörmander, Unterberger and Bokobza.(Stein 1993, Chapter 6) They played an influential role in the first proof of the Atiyah–Singer index theorem. Atiyah and Singer thanked Hormander for assistance with understanding the theory of Pseudo-differential operators. (Atiyah & Singer 1968, pg. 486)
Definition of pseudo-differential operators
Here we view pseudo-differential operators as a generalization of differential operators. We extend formula (1) as follows. A pseudo-differential operator P(x,D) on Rn is an operator whose value on the function u(x) is the function of x:
where is the Fourier transform of u and the symbol P(x,ξ) in the integrand belongs to a certain symbol class. For instance, if P(x,ξ) is an infinitely differentiable function on Rn × Rn with the property
for all x,ξ ∈Rn, all multiindices α,β. some constants Cα, β and some real number m, then P belongs to the symbol class of Hörmander. The corresponding operator P(x,D) is called a pseudo-differential operator of order m and belongs to the class
Linear differential operators of order m with smooth bounded coefficients are pseudo-differential operators of order m. The composition PQ of two pseudo-differential operators P, Q is again a pseudo-differential operator and the symbol of PQ can be calculated by using the symbols of P and Q. The adjoint and transpose of a pseudo-differential operator is a pseudo-differential operator.
If a differential operator of order m is (uniformly) elliptic (of order m) and invertible, then its inverse is a pseudo-differential operator of order −m, and its symbol can be calculated. This means that one can solve linear elliptic differential equations more or less explicitly by using the theory of pseudo-differential operators.
Differential operators are local in the sense that one only needs the value of a function in a neighbourhood of a point to determine the effect of the operator. Pseudo-differential operators are pseudo-local, which means informally that when applied to a distribution they do not create a singularity at points where the distribution was already smooth.
Just as a differential operator can be expressed in terms of D = −id/dx in the form
for a polynomial p in D (which is called the symbol), a pseudo-differential operator has a symbol in a more general class of functions. Often one can reduce a problem in analysis of pseudo-differential operators to a sequence of algebraic problems involving their symbols, and this is the essence of microlocal analysis.
Kernel of pseudo-differential operator
Viewed as a mapping, a pseudo-differential operator can be represented by a kernel. The singularity of the kernel on the diagonal depends on the degree of the corresponding operator. In fact, if the symbol satisfies the above differential inequalities with m ≤ 0, it can be shown that the kernel is a singular integral kernel. The kernels can be used for characterization of boundary data for inverse boundary problems.
- Differential algebra for a definition of pseudo-differential operators in the context of differential algebras and differential rings.
- Fourier transform
- Fourier integral operator
- Oscillatory integral operator
- Sato's fundamental theorem
Here are some of the standard reference books
- Michael E. Taylor, Pseudodifferential Operators, Princeton Univ. Press 1981. ISBN 0-691-08282-0
- M. A. Shubin, Pseudodifferential Operators and Spectral Theory, Springer-Verlag 2001. ISBN 3-540-41195-X
- Francois Treves, Introduction to Pseudo Differential and Fourier Integral Operators, (University Series in Mathematics), Plenum Publ. Co. 1981. ISBN 0-306-40404-4
- F. G. Friedlander and M. Joshi, Introduction to the Theory of Distributions, Cambridge University Press 1999. ISBN 0-521-64971-4
- Hörmander, Lars (1987). The Analysis of Linear Partial Differential Operators III: Pseudo-Differential Operators. Springer. ISBN 3-540-49937-7.
- Ingerman D., Morrow J. A.; "On a characterization of the kernel of the Dirichlet-to-Neumann map for a planar region"; SIAM J. Math. Anal. 1998, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 106–115 (electronic).
- Stein, Elias (1993), Harmonic Analysis: Real-Variable Methods, Orthogonality and Oscillatory Integrals, Princeton University Press.
- Atiyah, Michael F.; Singer, Isadore M. (1968), "The Index of Elliptic Operators I", Annals of Mathematics 87 (3): 484–530, doi:10.2307/1970715, JSTOR 1970715