# Stokes phenomenon

The property that a function $f( z)$ may have different asymptotic expressions when $| z | \rightarrow \infty$ in different domains of the complex $z$- plane. G. Stokes demonstrated  that the solution $w _ {0} ( z)$ of the so-called Airy equation

$$w ^ {\prime\prime} - zw = 0$$

which decreases for real $z = x \rightarrow + \infty$, has the following asymptotic expansion when $| z | \rightarrow \infty$:

$$w _ {0} ( z) \sim Cz ^ {-} 1/4 \mathop{\rm exp} \left ( - \frac{2}{3} z ^ {3/2} \right ) ,$$

$$| \mathop{\rm arg} z | \leq \pi - \epsilon < \pi ;$$

$$w _ {0} ( z) \sim Ce ^ {i \pi /4 } z ^ {-} 1/4 \ \cos \left ( \frac{2}{3} z ^ {3/2} - \frac \pi {4} \right ) ,$$

$$| \mathop{\rm arg} z - \pi | \leq \epsilon < \pi ,$$

where $C \neq 0$ is a constant. The function $w _ {0} ( z)$ is an entire function, while its asymptotic expansion is a discontinuous function.

The Stokes phenomenon also occurs for Laplace integrals, solutions of ordinary differential equations, etc. (see , ).

How to Cite This Entry:
Stokes phenomenon. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Stokes_phenomenon&oldid=48865
This article was adapted from an original article by M.V. Fedoryuk (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article