# Spherical harmonics

From AMS Glossary

## spherical harmonics

In analogy to harmonic functions in the plane, the solutions of the Laplace equation in spherical coordinates.

Spherical surface harmonics are special sets taken over the surface of a sphere; therefore, the harmonic components are restricted to an integral number of waves over the sphere. Spherical harmonics have been applied in the study of the large-scale oscillations of the atmosphere.