# quasiconformal mapping

Quasiconformal mappings are mappings of the complex plane to itself that are “almost” conformal. That is, they do not distort angles arbitrarily and this “distortion” is uniformly bounded throughout their domain of definition. Alternatively one can think of quasiconformal mappings as mappings which take infinitesimal  circles to infinitesimal ellipses. For example invertible linear maps  are quasiconformal.

###### Definition.

Define the dilatation of the mapping $f$ at the point $z$ as

 $D_{f}(z):=\frac{\lvert f_{z}\rvert+\lvert f_{\bar{z}}\rvert}{\lvert f_{z}% \rvert-\lvert f_{\bar{z}}\rvert}\geq 1,$

and define the maximal dilatation of the mapping as

 $K_{f}:=\sup_{z}D_{f}(z).$

Now we are ready to define what it means for $f$ to be quasiconformal.

###### Definition.

For $f$ as above, we will call $f$ quasiconformal if the maximal dilatation of $f$ is finite. We will say that $f$ is $K$-quasiconformal mapping if the maximal dilatation of this mapping is $K$.

Note that sometimes the $K$-quasiconformal is used to that the dilatation is $K$ or lower.

It is easy to see that a conformal sense-preserving mapping has a dilatation of $1$ since $\lvert f_{\bar{z}}\rvert=0$. We can further define several other related quantities

###### Definition.

For $f$ as above, define the small dilatation as

 $d_{f}(z):=\frac{\lvert f_{\bar{z}}\rvert}{\lvert f_{z}\rvert}.$

Again for sense-preserving maps this quantity is less then 1 and it is equal to 0 if the mapping is conformal. Some authors call a map $k$-quasiconformal if the small dilatation is bounded by $k$. It is however not ambiguous as the large dilatation is always greater then or equal to 1. Furthermore this is related to the large dilatation by

 $d_{f}:=\frac{D_{f}-1}{D_{f}+1}.$
###### Definition.

For $f$ as above, define the complex dilatation as

 $\mu_{f}(z):=\frac{f_{\bar{z}}}{f_{z}}.$

The complex dilatation now appears in the Beltrami differential equation

 $f_{\bar{z}}(z)=\mu_{f}(z)f_{z}(z).$

This means that a quasiconformal mapping is a solution to the Beltrami equation where a non-negative measurable $\mu_{f}$ is uniformly bounded by some $k<1$.

The above results are stated for $f\colon{\mathbb{C}}\to{\mathbb{C}}$, but the statements are exactly the same if you take $f\colon G\subset{\mathbb{C}}\to{\mathbb{C}}$ for an open set $G$.

The theory generalizes to other dimensions  as well. For example in one real dimension, the analogous mappings are called quasisymmetric. It is a well-known theorem of Beurling and Ahlfors (http://planetmath.org/BeurlingAhlforsQuasiconformalExtension) that an of a mapping of the real line to itself is quasiconformal if and only if the mapping is quasisymmetric.

## References

• 1 L. V. Ahlfors. . Van Nostrand-Reinhold, Princeton, New Jersey, 1966
• 2 J. Lebl. . . Also available at http://www.jirka.org/thesis.pdfhttp://www.jirka.org/thesis.pdf
 Title quasiconformal mapping Canonical name QuasiconformalMapping Date of creation 2013-03-22 14:06:43 Last modified on 2013-03-22 14:06:43 Owner jirka (4157) Last modified by jirka (4157) Numerical id 13 Author jirka (4157) Entry type Definition Classification msc 30C65 Classification msc 30C62 Synonym K-quasiconformal mapping Related topic QuasisymmetricMapping Related topic BeurlingAhlforsQuasiconformalExtension Related topic ConformalMapping Related topic BeltramiDifferentialEquation Defines dilatation Defines small dilatation Defines maximal dilatation Defines complex dilatation Defines $K$-quasiconformal Defines K-quasiconformal Defines quasiconformal