In mathematics, the Riesz potential is a potential named after its discoverer, the Hungarian mathematician Marcel Riesz. In a sense, the Riesz potential defines an inverse for a power of the Laplace operator on Euclidean space. They generalize to several variables the Riemann–Liouville integrals of one variable.
If 0 < α < n, then the Riesz potential Iαf of a locally integrable function f on Rn is the function defined by
where the constant is given by
This singular integral is well-defined provided f decays sufficiently rapidly at infinity, specifically if f ∈ Lp(Rn) with 1 ≤ p < n/α. If p > 1, then the rate of decay of f and that of Iαf are related in the form of an inequality (the Hardy–Littlewood–Sobolev inequality)
More generally, the operators Iα are well-defined for complex α such that 0 < Re α < n.
where Kα is the locally integrable function:
The Riesz potential can therefore be defined whenever f is a compactly supported distribution. In this connection, the Riesz potential of a positive Borel measure μ with compact support is chiefly of interest in potential theory because Iαμ is then a (continuous) subharmonic function off the support of μ, and is lower semicontinuous on all of Rn.
and so, by the convolution theorem,
Furthermore, if 2 < Re α <n, then
One also has, for this class of functions,
- Landkof, N. S. (1972), Foundations of modern potential theory, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, MR 0350027
- Riesz, Marcel (1949), "L'intégrale de Riemann-Liouville et le problème de Cauchy", Acta Mathematica 81: 1–223, doi:10.1007/BF02395016, ISSN 0001-5962, MR 0030102.
- Solomentsev, E.D. (2001), "Riesz potential", in Hazewinkel, Michiel, Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Springer, ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4
- Stein, Elias (1970), Singular integrals and differentiability properties of functions, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-08079-8