Tuesday, October 9, 2012

1210.1936 (Paulina Marian et al.)

On a power series involving classical orthogonal polynomials    [PDF]

Paulina Marian, Tudor A. Marian
We investigate a class of power series occurring in some problems in quantum optics. Their coefficients are either Gegenbauer or Laguerre polynomials multiplied by binomial coefficients. Although their sums have been known for a long time, we employ here a different method to recover them as higher-order derivatives of the generating function of the given orthogonal polynomials. The key point in our proof consists in exploiting a specific functional equation satisfied by the generating function in conjunction with Cauchy's integral formula for the derivatives of a holomorphic function. Special or limiting cases of Gegenbauer polynomials include the Legendre and Chebyshev polynomials. The series of Hermite polynomials is treated in a straightforward way, as well as an asymptotic case of either the Gegenbauer or the Laguerre series. Further, we have succeeded in evaluating the sum of a similar power series which is a higher-order derivative of Mehler's generating function. As a prerequisite, we have used a convenient factorization of the latter that enabled us to employ a particular Laguerre expansion. Mehler's summation formula is then applied in quantum mechanics in order to retrieve the propagator of a linear harmonic oscillator.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1936

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