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Definition of FOURIER SERIES
: an infinite series in which the terms are constants multiplied by sine or cosine functions of integer multiples of the variable and which is used in the analysis of periodic functions
Origin of FOURIER SERIES
Baron J.B.J. Fourier
First Known Use: 1877
In mathematics, an infinite series used to solve special types of differential equations. It consists of an infinite sum of sines and cosines, and because it is periodic (i.e., its values repeat over fixed intervals), it is a useful tool in analyzing periodic functions. Though investigated by Leonhard Euler, among others, the idea was named for Joseph Fourier, who fully explored its consequences, including important applications in engineering, particularly in heat conduction.