Even and odd functions
In mathematics, even functions and odd functions are functions which satisfy particular symmetry relations, with respect to taking additive inverses. They are important in many areas of mathematical analysis, especially the theory of power series and Fourier series. They are named for the parity of the powers of the power functions which satisfy each condition: the function f(x) = xn is an even function if n is an even integer, and it is an odd function if n is an odd integer.
- 1 Definition and examples
- 2 Additional information
- 2.1 Continuity and differentiability
- 2.2 Algebraic properties
- 2.3 Calculus properties
- 3 Harmonics
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Definition and examples
The concept of evenness or oddness is defined for functions whose domain and image both have an additive inverse. This includes additive groups, all rings, all fields, and all vector spaces. Thus, for example, a real-valued function of a real variable could be even or odd, as could a complex-valued function of a vector variable, and so on.
The examples are real-valued functions of a real variable, to illustrate the symmetry of their graphs.
Continuity and differentiability
A function's being odd or even does not imply differentiability, or even continuity. For example, the Dirichlet function is even, but is nowhere continuous. Properties involving Fourier series, Taylor series, derivatives and so on may only be used when they can be assumed to exist.
There is only one odd even function: f(x)=0 (see below).
- If a function is even and odd, it is equal to 0 everywhere it is defined.
- If a function is odd, the absolute value of that function is an even function.
Properties involving addition and subtraction
- The sum of two even functions is even, and any constant multiple of an even function is even.
- The sum of two odd functions is odd, and any constant multiple of an odd function is odd.
- The difference between two odd functions is odd.
- The difference between two even functions is even.
- The sum of an even and odd function is neither even nor odd, unless one of the functions is equal to zero over the given domain.
Properties involving multiplication and division
- The product of two even functions is an even function.
- The product of two odd functions is an even function.
- The product of an even function and an odd function is an odd function.
- The quotient of two even functions is an even function.
- The quotient of two odd functions is an even function.
- The quotient of an even function and an odd function is an odd function.
Properties involving composition
- The composition of two even functions is even.
- The composition of two odd functions is odd.
- The composition of an even function and an odd function is even.
- The composition of any function with an even function is even (but not vice versa).
Other algebraic properties
- Any linear combination of even functions is even, and the even functions form a vector space over the reals. Similarly, any linear combination of odd functions is odd, and the odd functions also form a vector space over the reals. In fact, the vector space of all real-valued functions is the direct sum of the subspaces of even and odd functions. In other words, every function f(x) can be written uniquely as the sum of an even function and an odd function:
- is even and
- is odd. For example, if f is exp, then fe is cosh and fo is sinh.
- The even functions form a commutative algebra over the reals. However, the odd functions do not form an algebra over the reals, as they are not closed under multiplication.
Basic calculus properties
- The derivative of an even function is odd.
- The derivative of an odd function is even.
- The integral of an odd function from −A to +A is zero (where A is finite, and the function has no vertical asymptotes between −A and A). For an odd function that is integrable over a symmetric interval, e.g. the result of the integral over that interval is identically zero, e.g. . 
- The integral of an even function from −A to +A is twice the integral from 0 to +A (where A is finite, and the function has no vertical asymptotes between −A and A. This also holds true when A is infinite, but only if the integral converges).
- The Maclaurin series of an even function includes only even powers.
- The Maclaurin series of an odd function includes only odd powers.
- The Fourier series of a periodic even function includes only cosine terms.
- The Fourier series of a periodic odd function includes only sine terms.
In signal processing, harmonic distortion occurs when a sine wave signal is sent through a memoryless nonlinear system, that is, a system whose output at time only depends on the input at time and does not depend on the input at any previous times. Such a system is described by a response function . The type of harmonics produced depend on the response function :
- When the response function is even, the resulting signal will consist of only even harmonics of the input sine wave;
- When it is odd, the resulting signal will consist of only odd harmonics of the input sine wave;
- When it is asymmetric, the resulting signal may contain either even or odd harmonics;
- Simple examples are a half-wave rectifier, and clipping in an asymmetrical class-A amplifier.
Note that this does not hold true for more complex waveforms. A sawtooth wave contains both even and odd harmonics, for instance. After even-symmetric full-wave rectification, it becomes a triangle wave, which, other than the DC offset, contains only odd harmonics.
- Hermitian function for a generalization in complex numbers
- Taylor series
- Fourier series
- Holstein–Herring method
- Parity (physics)
- Gelfand 2002, p. 11
- Gelfand 2002, p. 72
- W., Weisstein, Eric. "Odd Function". mathworld.wolfram.com.
- Berners, Dave (October 2005). "Ask the Doctors: Tube vs. Solid-State Harmonics". UA WebZine. Universal Audio. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
To summarize, if the function f(x) is odd, a cosine input will produce no even harmonics. If the function f(x) is even, a cosine input will produce no odd harmonics (but may contain a DC component). If the function is neither odd nor even, all harmonics may be present in the output.