Spherical harmonic

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spherical harmonic

An analytic basis function on the sphere that is commonly used in a spectral model.

A spherical harmonic is defined for each total wavenumber n and zonal wavenumber m as the following function of sine of latitude μ and longitude λ:
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where Pm,n is the associated Legendre function defined as
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The spherical harmonic basis functions satisfy the orthogonal relationship
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and they satisfy the elliptic equation on the sphere:
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