When you are working with Spherical harmonics, then the Legendre Differential Equation does not appear in its natural form i.e
Instead, it appears in this form:
It seems daunting but the above is the same as the LDE. We can arrive at it by taking and proceeding as follows:
Now, applying chain rule, we obtain that
Now simplifying the above expression, we obtain that:
Plugging in the values of and into the Legendre Differential Equation,
Now if we do some algebra and simplify the trigonometric identities, we will arrive at the following expression for the Legendre Differential Equation:
If we take the solution for the LDE as , then the solution to the LDE in the above form is merely .
Now there is something about the Legendre differential equation that drove me crazy. What is up with the l(l+1) !!!
To understand why let’s take this form of the LDE and arrive at the above:
If we do a power series expansion and following the same steps as the previous post, we end up with the following recursion relation.
Here’s the deal: We want a convergent solution for our differential solution. This means that as .
Hence we obtain that
In this series of posts about Legendre differential equation, I would like to de-construct the differential equation down to the very bones. The motivation for this series is to put all that I know about the LDE in one place and also maybe help someone as a result.
The Legendre differential equation is the following:
We will find solutions for this differential equation using the power series expansion i.e
We will plug in these expressions for the derivatives into the differential equation.
** Note: Begin
Let’s take .
As n -> . , -> .
As n -> , -> .
Again performing a change of variables from to n.
** Note: End
(iii) can now be written as follows.
x = 0 is a trivial solution and therefore we get the indicial equation:
We get the following recursion relation on the coefficients of the power series expansion.
Next post: What do these coefficients mean ?