The mathematics of superoscillations

Yakir Aharonov, Fabrizio Colombo, Irene Sabadini, Daniele C. Struppa, Jeff Tollaksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past 50 years, quantum physicists have discovered, and experimentally demonstrated, a phenomenon which they termed superoscillations. Aharonov and his collaborators showed that superoscillations naturally arise when dealing with weak values, a notion that provides a fundamentally different way to regard measurements in quantum physics. From a mathematical point of view, superoscillating functions are a superposition of small Fourier components with a bounded Fourier spectrum, which result, when appropriately summed, in a shift that can be arbitrarily large, and well outside the spectrum. Purpose of this work is twofold: on one hand we provide a self-contained survey of the existing literature, in order to offer a systematic mathematical approach to superoscillations; on the other hand, we obtain some new and unexpected results, by showing that superoscillating sequences can be seen of as solutions to a large class of convolution equations and can therefore be treated within the theory of Analytically Uniform spaces. In particular, we will also discuss the persistence of the superoscillatory behavior when superoscillating sequences are taken as initial values of the Schrödinger equation and other equations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-120
Number of pages120
JournalMemoirs of the American Mathematical Society
Issue number1174
StatePublished - May 2017


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