# Bessel functions and helical structure diffraction patterns

## 1 The Bessel functions and Helical Structure Diffraction represented by Bessel functions.

 $\displaystyle x^{2}\frac{d^{2}y}{dx^{2}}+x\frac{dy}{dx}+(x^{2}-p^{2})y=0,$ (1.1)

in which $p$ is a constant (non-negative if it is real), is called the Bessel’s equation.  We derive its general solution by trying the series form

 $\displaystyle y=x^{r}\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}a_{k}x^{k}=\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}a_{k}x^{% r+k},$ (1.2)

due to Frobenius.  Since the parameter  $r$ is indefinite, we may regard $a_{0}$ as distinct from 0.

We substitute (2) and the derivatives of the series in (1):

 $x^{2}\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}(r+k)(r+k-1)a_{k}x^{r+k-2}+x\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}(r+k)a_% {k}x^{r+k-1}+(x^{2}-p^{2})\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}a_{k}x^{r+k}=0.$

Thus the coefficients of the powers $x^{r}$, $x^{r+1}$, $x^{r+2}$ and so on must vanish, and we get the system of equations

 $\displaystyle\begin{cases}{[}r^{2}-p^{2}{]}a_{0}=0,\\ {[}(r+1)^{2}-p^{2}{]}a_{1}=0,\\ {[}(r+2)^{2}-p^{2}{]}a_{2}+a_{0}=0,\\ \qquad\qquad\ldots\\ {[}(r+k)^{2}-p^{2}{]}a_{k}+a_{k-2}=0.\end{cases}$ (1.3)

The last of those can be written

 $(r+k-p)(r+k+p)a_{k}+a_{k-2}=0.$

Because  $a_{0}\neq 0$,  the first of those (the indicial equation  ) gives  $r^{2}-p^{2}=0$,  i.e. we have the roots

 $r_{1}=p,\,\,r_{2}=-p.$

Let’s first look the the solution of (1) with  $r=p$;  then  $k(2p+k)a_{k}+a_{k-2}=0$,  and thus

 $a_{k}=-\frac{a_{k-2}}{k(2p+k).}$

From the system (3) we can solve one by one each of the coefficients $a_{1}$, $a_{2}$, $\ldots$  and express them with $a_{0}$ which remains arbitrary.  Setting for $k$ the integer values we get

 $\displaystyle\begin{cases}a_{1}=0,\,\,a_{3}=0,\,\ldots,\,a_{2m-1}=0;\\ a_{2}=-\frac{a_{0}}{2(2p+2)},\,\,a_{4}=\frac{a_{0}}{2\cdot 4(2p+2)(2p+4)},\,% \ldots,\,\,a_{2m}=\frac{(-1)^{m}a_{0}}{2\cdot 4\cdot 6\cdots(2m)(2p+2)(2p+4)% \ldots(2p+2m)}\end{cases}$ (1.4)

(where  $m=1,\,2,\,\ldots$). Putting the obtained coefficients to (2) we get the particular solution

 $\displaystyle y_{1}:=a_{0}x^{p}\left[1\!-\!\frac{x^{2}}{2(2p\!+\!2)}\!+\!\frac% {x^{4}}{2\!\cdot\!4(2p\!+\!2)(2p\!+\!4)}\!-\!\frac{x^{6}}{2\!\cdot\!4\!\cdot\!% 6(2p\!+\!2)(2p\!+\!4)(2p\!+\!6)}\!+-\ldots\right]$ (1.5)

In order to get the coefficients $a_{k}$ for the second root  $r_{2}=-p$  we have to look after that

 $(r_{2}+k)^{2}-p^{2}\neq 0,$

or  $r_{2}+k\neq p=r_{1}$.  Therefore

 $r_{1}-r_{2}=2p\neq k$

where $k$ is a positive integer.  Thus, when $p$ is not an integer and not an integer added by $\frac{1}{2}$, we get the second particular solution, gotten of (5) by replacing $p$ by $-p$:

 $\displaystyle y_{2}:=a_{0}x^{-p}\!\left[1\!-\!\frac{x^{2}}{2(-2p\!+\!2)}\!+\!% \frac{x^{4}}{2\!\cdot\!4(-2p\!+\!2)(-2p\!+\!4)}\!-\!\frac{x^{6}}{2\!\cdot\!4\!% \cdot\!6(-2p\!+\!2)(-2p\!+\!4)(-2p\!+\!6)}\!+-\ldots\right]$ (1.6)

The power series  of (5) and (6) converge for all values of $x$ and are linearly independent  (the ratio $y_{1}/y_{2}$ tends to 0 as  $x\to\infty$).  With the appointed value

 $a_{0}=\frac{1}{2^{p}\,\Gamma(p+1)},$

the solution $y_{1}$ is called the and denoted by $J_{p}$.  The similar   definition is set for the first kind Bessel function of an arbitrary order  $p\in\mathbb{R}$ (and $\mathbb{C}$). For  $p\notin\mathbb{Z}$  the general solution of the Bessel’s differential equation is thus

 $y:=C_{1}J_{p}(x)+C_{2}J_{-p}(x),$

where  $J_{-p}(x)=y_{2}$  with  $a_{0}=\frac{1}{2^{-p}\Gamma(-p+1)}$.

The explicit expressions for $J_{\pm p}$ are

 $\displaystyle J_{\pm p}(x)=\sum_{m=0}^{\infty}\frac{(-1)^{m}}{m!\,\Gamma(m\pm p% +1)}\left(\frac{x}{2}\right)^{2m\pm p},$ (1.7)

E.g. when  $p=\frac{1}{2}$  the series in (5) gets the form

 $y_{1}=\frac{x^{\frac{1}{2}}}{\sqrt{2}\,\Gamma(\frac{3}{2})}\left[1\!-\!\frac{x% ^{2}}{2\!\cdot\!3}\!+\!\frac{x^{4}}{2\!\cdot\!4\!\cdot\!3\!\cdot\!5}\!-\!\frac% {x^{6}}{2\!\cdot\!4\cdot\!6\!\cdot\!3\!\cdot\!5\!\cdot\!7}\!+-\ldots\right]=% \sqrt{\frac{2}{\pi x}}\left(x\!-\!\frac{x^{3}}{3!}\!+\!\frac{x^{5}}{5!}\!-+% \ldots\right).$

Thus we get

 $J_{\frac{1}{2}}(x)=\sqrt{\frac{2}{\pi x}}\sin{x};$

analogically (6) yields

 $J_{-\frac{1}{2}}(x)=\sqrt{\frac{2}{\pi x}}\cos{x},$

and the general solution of the equation (1) for  $p=\frac{1}{2}$  is

 $y:=C_{1}J_{\frac{1}{2}}(x)+C_{2}J_{-\frac{1}{2}}(x).$

In the case that $p$ is a non-negative integer $n$, the “+” case of (7) gives the solution

 $J_{n}(x)=\sum_{m=0}^{\infty}\frac{(-1)^{m}}{m!\,(m+n)!}\left(\frac{x}{2}\right% )^{2m+n},$

but for  $p=-n$  the expression of $J_{-n}(x)$ is $(-1)^{n}J_{n}(x)$, i.e. linearly dependent of $J_{n}(x)$.  It can be shown that the other solution of (1) ought to be searched in the form  $y=K_{n}(x)=J_{n}(x)\ln{x}+x^{-n}\sum_{k=0}^{\infty}b_{k}x^{k}$.  Then the general solution is  $y:=C_{1}J_{n}(x)+C_{2}K_{n}(x)$.

Other formulae

The first kind Bessel functions of integer order have the generating function $F$:

 $\displaystyle F(z,\,t)=e^{\frac{z}{2}(t-\frac{1}{t})}=\sum_{n=-\infty}^{\infty% }J_{n}(z)t^{n}$ (1.8)

This function  has an essential singularity at  $t=0$  but is analytic elsewhere in $\mathbb{C}$; thus $F$ has the Laurent expansion in that point.  Let us prove (8) by using the general expression

 $c_{n}=\frac{1}{2\pi i}\oint_{\gamma}\frac{f(t)}{(t-a)^{n+1}}\,dt$

of the coefficients of Laurent series.  Setting to this  $a:=0$,  $f(t):=e^{\frac{z}{2}(t-\frac{1}{t})}$,  $\zeta:=\frac{zt}{2}$  gives

 $c_{n}=\frac{1}{2\pi i}\oint_{\gamma}\frac{e^{\frac{zt}{2}}e^{-\frac{z}{2t}}}{t% ^{n+1}}\,dt=\frac{1}{2\pi i}\left(\frac{z}{2}\right)^{n}\!\oint_{\delta}\frac{% e^{\zeta}e^{-\frac{z^{2}}{4\zeta}}}{\zeta^{n+1}}\,d\zeta=\sum_{m=0}^{\infty}% \frac{(-1)^{m}}{m!}\left(\frac{z}{2}\right)^{2m+n}\!\frac{1}{2\pi i}\oint_{% \delta}\zeta^{-m-n-1}e^{\zeta}\,d\zeta.$

The paths $\gamma$ and $\delta$ go once round the origin anticlockwise in the $t$-plane and $\zeta$-plane, respectively.  Since the residue   of $\zeta^{-m-n-1}e^{\zeta}$ in the origin is  $\frac{1}{(m+n)!}=\frac{1}{\Gamma(m+n+1)}$,  the residue theorem  (http://planetmath.org/CauchyResidueTheorem) gives

 $c_{n}=\sum_{m=0}^{\infty}\frac{(-1)^{m}}{m!\Gamma(m+n+1)}\left(\frac{z}{2}% \right)^{2m+n}=J_{n}(z).$

This that $F$ has the Laurent expansion (8).

By using the generating function, one can easily derive other formulae, e.g. the of the Bessel functions of integer order:

 $J_{n}(z)=\frac{1}{\pi}\int_{0}^{\pi}\cos(n\varphi-z\sin{\varphi})\,d\varphi$
 $J_{n}(x+y)=\sum_{\nu=-\infty}^{\infty}J_{\nu}(x)J_{n-\nu}(y)$

and the series of cosine and sine:

 $\cos{z}=J_{0}(z)-2J_{2}(z)+2J_{4}(z)-+\ldots$
 $\sin{z}=2J_{1}(z)-2J_{3}(z)+2J_{5}(z)-+\ldots$

## 2 Applications of Bessel functions in Physics and Engineering

One notes also that Bessel’s equation arises in the derivation of separable solutions to Laplace’s equation, and also for the Helmholtz equation in either cylindrical or spherical coordinates  . The Bessel functions are therefore very important in many physical problems involving wave propagation, wave diffraction phenomena–including X-ray diffraction by certain molecular crystals, and also static potentials. The solutions to most problems in cylindrical coordinate systems are found in terms of Bessel functions of integer order ($\alpha=n$), whereas in spherical coordinates, such solutions involve Bessel functions of half-integer orders ($\alpha=n+1/2$). Several examples of Bessel function solutions are:

1. 1.
2. 2.

electromagnetic waves in a cylindrical waveguide

3. 3.

diffusion problems on a lattice.

4. 4.

vibration modes of a thin circular, tubular or annular membrane (such as a drum, other membranophone, the vocal cords, etc.)

5. 5.

heat conduction in a cylindrical object

In engineering Bessel functions also have useful properties for signal processing and filtering noise as for example by using Bessel filters, or in FM synthesis and windowing signals.

### 2.1 Applications of Bessel functions in Physical Crystallography

The first example listed above was shown to be especially important in molecular biology for the structures of helical secondary structures in certain proteins (e.g. $\alpha-helix$) or in molecular genetics for finding the double-helix structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) molecular crystals with extremely important consequences for genetics, biology, mutagenesis, molecular evolution, contemporary life sciences and medicine. This finding is further detailed in a related entry.

## References

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• 2 Franklin, R.E. and Gosling, R.G. received. 6th March 1953. Acta Cryst. (1953). 6, 673 The Structure of Sodium Thymonucleate Fibres I. The Influence of Water Content Acta Cryst. (1953). 6,678 : The Structure of Sodium Thymonucleate Fibres II. The Cylindrically Symmetrical Patterson Function.
• 3 Arfken, George B. and Hans J. Weber, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 6th edition, Harcourt: San Diego, 2005. ISBN 0-12-059876-0.
• 4 Bowman, Frank. Introduction to Bessel Functions.. Dover: New York, 1958). ISBN 0-486-60462-4.
• 5 Cochran, W., Crick, F.H.C. and Vand V. 1952. The Structure of Synthetic Polypeptides. 1. The Transform of atoms on a helic. Acta Cryst. 5(5):581-586.
• 6 Crick, F.H.C. 1953a. The Fourier Transform of a Coiled-Coil., Acta Crystallographica 6(8-9):685-689.
• 7 Crick, F.H.C. 1953. The packing of $\alpha$-helices- Simple coiled-coils. Acta Crystallographica, 6(8-9):689-697.
• 8 Watson, J.D; Crick F.H.C. 1953a. Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids - A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid., Nature 171(4356):737-738.
• 9 N. Piskunov: Diferentsiaal- ja integraalarvutus kõrgematele tehnilistele õppeasutustele.  Kirjastus Valgus, Tallinn (1966).
• 10 K. Kurki-Suonio: Matemaattiset apuneuvot.  Limes r.y., Helsinki (1966).
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• 13 Spain,B., and M. G. Smith, Functions of mathematical physics., Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, London, 1970. Chapter 9: Bessel functions.
• 14 Abramowitz, M. and Stegun, I. A. (Eds.). Bessel Functions , Ch.9.1 in Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables, 9th printing. New York: Dover, pp. 358-364, 1972.
• 15 Arfken, G. Bessel Functions of the First Kind, and “Orthogonality.” Chs.11.1 and 11.2 in Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 3rd ed. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, pp. 573-591 and 591-596, 1985.
• 16 Hansen, P. A. 1843. Ermittelung der absoluten Strungen in Ellipsen von beliebiger Excentricitat und Neigung, I. Schriften der Sternwarte Seeberg. Gotha, 1843.
• 17 Lehmer, D. H. Arithmetical Periodicities of Bessel Functions. Ann. Math. 33, 143-150, 1932.
• 18 Le Lionnais, F. Les nombres remarquables (En: Remarcable numbers). Paris: Hermann, 1983.
• 19 Morse, P. M. and Feshbach, H. Methods of Theoretical Physics, Part I. New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 619-622, 1953.
• 20 Schlömilch, O. X. 1857. Ueber die Bessel’schen Function. Z. für Math. u. Phys. 2: 137-165.
• 21 Spanier, J. and Oldham, K. B. ”The Bessel Coefficients and ” and ”The Bessel Function .” Chs. 52-53 in An Atlas of Functions. Washington, DC: Hemisphere, pp. 509-520 and 521-532, 1987.
• 22
• 23 Weisstein, Eric W. ”Bessel Functions of the First Kind.” http://mathworld.wolfram.com/BesselFunctionoftheFirstKind.htmlFrom MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource. and http://mathworld.wolfram.com/BesselFunctionoftheSecondKind.htmlGraphs of Bessel Functions of the Second Kind
• 24 Watson, G. N. A Treatise on the Theory of Bessel Functions, 2nd ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1966.
• 25 Watson, G. N. A Treatise on the Theory of Bessel Functions., (1995) Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-48391-3.

 Title Bessel functions and helical structure diffraction patterns Canonical name BesselFunctionsAndHelicalStructureDiffractionPatterns Date of creation 2013-03-22 19:23:04 Last modified on 2013-03-22 19:23:04 Owner bci1 (20947) Last modified by bci1 (20947) Numerical id 6 Author bci1 (20947) Entry type Topic Classification msc 33C10 Classification msc 78A45 Classification msc 00A79 Related topic BesselFunction Related topic BesselsEquation Defines helical structure diffraction patterns Defines cylinder functions  Defines Bessel functions