The method of ascent and cos(√A2+B2)

Yakar Kannai

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3 Scopus citations


The well-known Hadamard method of descent consists of deriving solutions of wave equations in n variables from (known) solutions in more than n variables. Here we show how to build the propagator cos(A2+B2) out of cos(At) and cos(Bt) . The formulas obtained for the case of commuting A and B may be illustrated by deriving solutions of the Cauchy problem for the n dimensional wave equation (and for the Klein-Gordon equation) from the very simple one-dimensional case. In the non-commutative case the formula involves differentiating a very high-dimensional integral to a high order. The result yields expressions for the harmonic oscillator and for certain simple hypoelliptic sum of squares operators, such as the Heisenberg Laplacian.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-597
Number of pages25
JournalBulletin des Sciences Mathematiques
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* This research was partially supported by a Minerva foundation grant.


  • Non-commuting self-adjoint operators
  • Propagator
  • Wave equation


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