The Spherical Harmonics Gallery Page

is offered to you by the

Quantum Chemistry Group

Departamento de Química Física y Analítica
Universidad de Oviedo, 33006-Oviedo, Spain

Real combinations of spherical harmonics. Click on each image to see a large rendering of the same plot. Colors indicate the sign of the function. You can also try a different coloring scheme.
-3 -2 -1 ml=0 1 2 3

The spherical harmonics

A spherical harmonic , , is a single-valued, continuous, bounded, complex function of the angular coordinates and . They play an important role in quantum mechanics as the eigenfunctions of the angular momentum operators and . Alternatively, the spherical harmonics are a complete basis for the irreducible representations of the infinite rotations group .

Depicting the complex functions would require four dimensions. We can represent, however, the real combinations of spherical harmonics defined as:

The creation of the images

The images have been created using tessel , a program that reads in the analytical expressions that define a parametric surface and produces a quadrilateral or triangular mesh of it. The rendering of the surfaces has been done with POV-Ray 2.2.

This document:
Page dates: March 27, 1996 (creation), Sep 21, 2003 (last update). Admin.:
Copyright © 1996-2003 Víctor Luaña.