harmonic function

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harmonic function

mathematical function of two variables having the property that its value at any point is equal to the average of its values along any circle around that point, provided the function is defined within the circle. An infinite number of points are involved in this average, so that it must be found by means of an integral, which represents an infinite sum. In physical situations, harmonic functions describe those conditions of equilibrium such as the temperature or electrical charge distribution over a region in which the value at each point remains constant.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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