A distribution is a continuous linear functional on the space $\mathcal{C}^{\infty}_c$ of smooth (indefinitely differentiable) functions with compact support. Though they appeared in formal computations in the physics and engineering literature in the late $19^{th}$ century, their formal setting ...

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What examples of distributions should I keep in mind?

I'm learning a bit about the theory of distributions. What examples of distributions will help me develop good intuition? Definitions: Let $U$ be an open subset of $\mathbb{R}^n$. Write ...
12
votes
18answers
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Good books on theory of distributions

Hi all. I'm looking for english books with a good coverage of distribution theory. I'm a fan of Folland's Real analysis, but it only gives elementary notions on distributions. Thanks in advance.
9
votes
2answers
405 views

Pull-back of generalized functions

Let $f\colon X\to Y$ be a smooth map between smooth manifolds. Then the pull-back operation $f^*\colon C^\infty(Y)\to C^\infty(X)$ is a linear continuous operator when $C^\infty$ is equipped with the ...
8
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4answers
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Topology on the space of Schwartz Distributions

If we equip the Schwartz space $\mathcal{S}$ with its usual Fréchet space topology, then the space of continuous linear functionals $\mathcal{S}^\ast$ is known as the space of Schwartz distributions ...
8
votes
2answers
343 views

Notion of generalized function/distribution for functional derivatives?

Is there any work on defining something analogous to a generalized function for functions whose domain is a Hilbert or Banach space? Is there an extension of the notion of Frechet/Hadamard/Gateaux ...
7
votes
3answers
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Rationale for Hadamard's finite part of a divergent integral

(Note: I asked this question a few days ago on math.stackexchange but didn't get any responses. I've therefore decided to post it here instead.) I have a problem justifying throwing away the ...
7
votes
1answer
312 views

Is the space of rapidly decreasing (non-smooth) functions nuclear?

We denote by $\mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R})$ the space of smooth and rapidly decreasing functions. We define on $\mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R})$ the family of semi-norms $$\lVert \varphi \lVert_{n,m} = \lVert ...
6
votes
1answer
610 views

Distributions on product spaces

I hope this is suitable to MO. Question. Let $X$ and $Y$ be two open sets in $\mathbb R^n$ and $\mathbb R^m$, respectively. In what sense can we consider $\mathcal{D}^{\prime} \left(X\times Y\right)$ ...
6
votes
0answers
122 views

Norms and distributions

Question 1. Is there a nice or explicit way to describe the class of all distributions (generalized functions) $\mu$ on the $n$-sphere $S^n \subset \mathbb{R}^{n+1}$ for which the function $$ F(v) := ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Distributions more complicated than the Dirac δ and derivatives

The responses to another question clarifies that the best known examples of distributions that are not measures, are the derivatives of the delta and such. What I want to know is: Is that the only way ...
5
votes
1answer
579 views

Solve $f(x)=\int_{x-1}^{x+1} f(t) \mathrm{d}t$

Solve $f(x)=\int_{x-1}^{x+1} f(t) \mathrm{d}t$. When $f$ is a function, it looks like the only solution is $f(x)=0$. But what if we allow distributions, such as the Dirac delta?
5
votes
3answers
729 views

Explicit isomorphism between distributions and universal enveloping algebra

The universal enveloping algebra of a Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ is isomorphic to the algebra of distributions on the Lie group $G$ with support at the identity. The proof I have of this fact uses the ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Are functions of moderate growth a bornological space?

I was thinking a bit about distribution theory the last weeks and stumbled across the following question: There are two natural locally convex topologies on the space of smooth functions of moderate ...
5
votes
3answers
739 views

Can distribution theory be developed Riemann-free?

I imagine most people who frequent MO have been indoctrinated into the point of view that the Riemann integral can be safely discarded once one has taken the time to develop the Lebesgue integral. ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

$\mathcal S(\mathbb R^n) \hat \otimes_\pi \mathcal S(\mathbb R^m) \simeq \mathcal S(\mathbb R^{n+m})$?

If $S(\mathbb R^n)$ is the Scwartz space of smooth rapidly decaying functions equipped with the topology generated by the family of semi-norms $$\mathcal N_p (\varphi)= \sum_{|\alpha|, |\beta| \leq p} ...
5
votes
3answers
193 views

Method to compute fundamental solutions which are distributions

The Malgrange-Ehrenpreis theorem tells us that there is a fundamental solution for any linear differential operator of constants coefficients. The original proof was not constructive (it was based on ...
5
votes
2answers
275 views

Integration under functional sign

Let $f(x,y)$ be some bounded with its derivatives continuous function on $\Omega \times \overline{\Omega}$, where $\Omega$ is a domain in $\mathbb{R}^n$. Let $f(\,\,\cdot\,,\,y) \in ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

Eigenstates of Fourier transformation

Let $\gamma$ be defined on $\mathbb R^n$ by $\gamma (x)=e^{-π x^2}$. With $\mathcal F$ standing for the Fourier transformation defined on the Schwartz space by $$ (\mathcal F u)(\xi)=\int e^{-2iπ ...
5
votes
0answers
81 views

Support of a Measure with Characteristic Functional Continuous in $L_p$, $1\leq p <2$?

Let $\mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R})$ be the space of smooth and rapidly decaying functions and $\mathcal{S}'(\mathbb{R})$ its dual, the space of tempered distributions. Let $\mu$ be a probability measure ...
4
votes
4answers
373 views

Reference for integral of functions taking values in a topological vector space.

(Note that I am interested in the Gelfand-Pettis integral specifically, as opposed to, for example, the Bochner integral.) I have tried Googling things like "integral topological vector space", ...
4
votes
2answers
490 views

Wightman fields vs local functionals vs operators

In QFT literature one wants to look at $n-$point correlation functions of "operators" inserted at $x$ say, $\cal{O}(x)$ and if $\phi_i$ are the fields then the quantity one has in mind is written as, ...
4
votes
2answers
427 views

Decomposition of distributions

Can we write every (tempered) distribution $\psi$, say on $\mathbb{R}$, as the sum of two distributions $\psi = \psi_1 + \psi_2$ such that $\psi_1$ and the Fourier transform of $\psi_2$ are ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Practical way to check whether a distribution is conormal

Let $X$ be a $C^\infty$-manifold, $Y$ be its $C^\infty$-submanifold. Hörmander defines the set $I^m(X,Y)$ of conormal distributions as the set of all $u \in \mathscr D'(X)$ such that $$ L_1 ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

Calculus of variation

This is probably simple but I'm stuck somewhere. I am trying to solve the calculus of variation problem that arise in an applied field: $$\min_{f \in C^1} \int^1_0 \int^1_0 (x-y)^2f(x,y)dxdy$$ ...
4
votes
1answer
552 views

What functions can be obtained as a convolution of a Schwartz function and a tempered distribution?

Let $\mathcal S (\mathbb R)$ denote the space of Schwartz functions on $\mathbb R$ and $\mathcal S^* (\mathbb R)$ denote the dual space of Schwartz (a.k.a tempered) distributions. We consider ...
4
votes
0answers
147 views

Squaring random Schwartz distributions

Let $\mu$ denote the centered Gaussian measure on $S'(\mathbb{R}^d)$ with covariance $$ \mathbb{E} [\phi(f)\phi(g)]=\int_{\mathbb{R}^d} \frac{\overline{\widehat{f}(\xi)} ...
4
votes
0answers
118 views

Define the space of distributions with algebraic decay?

A tempered distribution $u\in \mathcal{S}'(\mathbb{R})$ is said to be rapidly decreasing if for every $f \in \mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R})$, $u*f \in \mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R})$. One rough way to motivate ...
4
votes
0answers
122 views

Convergence of Schwartz Kernels

I read this question, and I would like to ask the opposite: Assume that I have a sequence of smoothing operators $(P_n)$ with (hence smooth) kernels $(p_n)$ converging strongly to some smoothing ...
4
votes
0answers
261 views

distributions on Lie groups and representations

Let $G$ be a Lie group and $\pi$ a continuous action on $V$, a Fréchet space. This action induces a representation of the space of compactly supported functions, $C_c(G)$, with convolution as product ...
3
votes
2answers
914 views

Distributions and measures

Hello, After reading the previous post, I still have some doubts. Let's consider everything on $R$ to avoid complications. Can we say that any distribution $\mu\in\mathcal{D}'(R)$ of zero order ...
3
votes
3answers
265 views

When sequentially continuous linear functional is continuous?

Let $C^\infty(X)$ denote the space of infinitely smooth functions on a compact manifold $X$ (at the beginning one may assume that $X$ is a circle, though I need a more general case). Let ...
3
votes
1answer
618 views

Fourier transform of a bounded function

This should really be well-known, but I was not able to find a definite answer to this question: Is the Fourier transform of a bounded function always a borel measure (i.e. an order 0 distribution)? ...
3
votes
2answers
435 views

Schwartz kernel theorem for topological spaces

Is there some regularizing version of Schwartz kernel theorem for topological spaces, i.e., in the form of Every continuous linear map $A\colon C\prime(X_2) \to C(X_1)$ is given by a kernel $k \in ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

A good reference for the wave front set

Hello, I am wondering whether anyone know some good references for the theory of wave front set, microlocal analysis? I have some basic knowledge of distribution theory at the level of the Rudin's ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

Fourier transform of tempered distribution

I'm wondering whether anyone knows a reference or proof for finding the Fourier transform of $f(t):=(t+1)^{1/2}t_+^{1/2}$? (Here $t_+=\max (t,0)$.)
3
votes
1answer
233 views

Can I approximate Schwartz functions which integrate to zero by $C_0^\infty$ functions which integrate to zero?

Let $X$ be the closed subspace of Schwartz space $\mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R}^N)$ defined by \begin{equation*} X=\left\{f\in\mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R}^N):\quad \int f\; dx=0\right\}. \end{equation*} My ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Linear operators on distributions with different topologies

Denote by $\mathscr{D}^\prime$ and $\mathscr{D}^\prime_b$ the space of distributions on $\mathbb{R}^n$ equipped with the weak and the strong topology, respectively. Because the topology of ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

How to define a generalized differential form through its values on submanifolds

Suppose we're in $\mathbb R^n$, and we have a function on line segments ,$\omega(I)$, with values in $\mathbb R$. Give sufficient conditions for $\omega$ to be given by a generalized 1-form (that is, ...
3
votes
2answers
424 views

One-sided Cauchy principal value

What is the notion of a principal value of an integral when the singularity appears at one endpoint? Namely, $ PV \int_a^b f(t) dt = ? $, where the integral is convergent in the upper limit, but ...
3
votes
1answer
440 views

Ergodicity of Convoluted White Noise

I have a question regarding ergodicity in infinite dimensional spaces. Let $\mathcal{D}$ be the space of distributions on a Schwartz space, and let $\mu$ be the white noise process which exists by ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Zero currents localized along a submanifold

Let $\mathcal{D}(\mathbb{R})$ be the continuous dual of $C^\infty_c(\mathbb{R})$, the space of compactly-supported smooth functions. There is a nice characterization of distributions ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

Understanding Bruhat's notion of Schwartz function

I am trying to understand Bruhat's generalized Schwartz functions over (Hausforff) locally compact Abelian groups [1], following this paper [2] by Osborne. There, the Schwartz-Bruhat space ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Extension of pseudodifferential operators

I'm very sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question, but I've asked it on StackExchange and received no answers. ( ...
3
votes
1answer
591 views

An elementary introduction of Colombeau's generalized function theory

Hello, I am wondering whether anyone know an elementary reference for Colombeau's theory on the multiplication of distributions? I encountered the problem of the square of Delta function. I need a ...
3
votes
1answer
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Existence of weak limits

Background: Three months ago, I asked this question, which is a bit related to the following (if the answer to it was Yes, then answer to this one would be Yes too, but since that was a No, it still ...
3
votes
0answers
153 views

smoothing a current

Let $M$ be a smooth oriented manifold of dimension $n$ and $T$ a current of dimension $k$ on $M$. Let $\phi:P\times M \to M$ be a proper smooth family of diffeomorphisms of $M$ (i.e. $P$ is a smooth ...
3
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0answers
144 views

Fourier transform and support of a distribution

Let $T \in \mathscr D'(\mathbb R^n)$ be a distribution, such that its Fourier transform $\widehat T$ is a real analytic function on $\mathbb R^n$ but it can't be continued to an entire function on ...
3
votes
0answers
211 views

Why distributions as functionals? [closed]

Why do we generalize functions by functionals on Schwartz Spaces, beyond the fact that it simply works? There should be a deeper reason why Schwartz considered functionals. Excited for answers, Alex.
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Is there an analogue of distributions in characteristic p?

Some motivation: When working over $\mathbb{C}$, distributions (in the sense of generalized functions) act as natural generators for $D$-modules (in the sense that any regular holonomic $D$-module is ...
2
votes
5answers
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fourier transform of (real) exponential

Is it possible to make sense, in distributional sense, of the Fourier transform of the exponential function (defined over the whole real line)?