F is for Fourier Transform - the Oxford Mathematics Alphabet (part six)

The Fourier transform is that rarest of things: a mathematical method from over 200 years ago which not only remains an active area of research in its own right, but is also an invaluable tool in nearly every branch of mathematics. Though originally developed by Fourier in 1807 to help solve certain partial differential equations, the transform is a living example of a remarkable feature of mathematics, that a tool created in one sub-discipline can break through these artificial classifications and become vital in another. Find out more about a method that has attracted the attention of mathematicians from Hardy and Littlewood to John Nash.

The Fourier Trasform is the latest in our Oxford Mathematics Alphabet, a sequence of 26 letters explaining key concepts and our latest research.