Looman–Menchoff theorem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In the mathematical field of complex analysis, the Looman–Menchoff theorem states that a continuous complex-valued function defined in an open set of the complex plane is holomorphic if and only if it satisfies the Cauchy–Riemann equations. It is thus a generalization of a theorem by Édouard Goursat, which instead of assuming the continuity of f, assumes its Fréchet differentiability when regarded as a function from a subset of R2 to R2.

A complete statement of the theorem is as follows:

  • Let Ω be an open set in C and f : Ω → C a continuous function. Suppose that the partial derivatives and exist everywhere but a countable set in Ω. Then f is holomorphic if and only if it satisfies the Cauchy–Riemann equation:


Looman pointed out that the function given by f(z) = exp(−z−4) for z ≠ 0, f(0) = 0 satisfies the Cauchy–Riemann equations everywhere but is not analytic (or even continuous) at z = 0. This shows that the function f must be assumed continuous in the theorem.

The function given by f(z) = z5/|z|4 for z ≠ 0, f(0) = 0 is continuous everywhere and satisfies the Cauchy–Riemann equations at z = 0, but is not analytic at z = 0 (or anywhere else). This shows that a naive generalization of Looman–Menchoff-like theorem to a single point,

  • If f is continuous at a neighborhood of a point z, and and exist at z. Then f is holomorphic at z if and only if it satisfies the Cauchy–Riemann equation at z.

is false.


  • Gray, J. D.; Morris, S. A. (1978), "When is a Function that Satisfies the Cauchy-Riemann Equations Analytic?", The American Mathematical Monthly (published April 1978), 85 (4): 246–256, doi:10.2307/2321164, JSTOR 2321164 .
  • Looman, H. (1923), "Über die Cauchy–Riemannschen Differentialgleichungen", Göttinger Nachrichten: 97–108 .
  • Menchoff, D. (1936), Les conditions de monogénéité, Paris .
  • Montel, P. (1913), "Sur les différentielles totales et les fonctions monogènes", C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 156: 1820–1822 .
  • Narasimhan, Raghavan (2001), Complex Analysis in One Variable, Birkhäuser, ISBN 0-8176-4164-5 .