Wilson polynomials/functions and intertwining operators for the generic quantum superintegrable system on the 2-sphere

Willard Miller, Q. Li

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The Wilson and Racah polynomials can be characterized as basis functions for irreducible representations of the quadratic symmetry algebra of the quantum superintegrable system on the 2-sphere, HΨ = EΨ, with generic 3-parameter potential. Clearly, the polynomials are expansion coefficients for one eigenbasis of a symmetry operator L2 of H in terms of an eigenbasis of another symmetry operator L1, but the exact relationship appears not to have been made explicit. We work out the details of the expansion to show, explicitly, how the polynomials arise and how the principal properties of these functions: the measure, 3-term recurrence relation, 2nd order difference equation, duality of these relations, permutation symmetry, intertwining operators and an alternate derivation of Wilson functions - follow from the symmetry of this quantum system. This paper is an exercise to show that quantum mechancal concepts and recurrence relations for Gausian hypergeometrc functions alone suffice to explain these properties; we make no assumptions about the structure of Wilson polynomial/functions, but derive them from quantum principles. There is active interest in the relation between multivariable Wilson polynomials and the quantum superintegrable system on the n-sphere with generic potential, and these results should aid in the generalization. Contracting function space realizations of irreducible representations of this quadratic algebra to the other superintegrable systems one can obtain the full Askey scheme of orthogonal hypergeometric polynomials. All of these contractions of superintegrable systems with potential are uniquely induced by Wigner Lie algebra contractions of so(3, C) and e(2,C). All of the polynomials produced are interpretable as quantum expansion coefficients. It is important to extend this process to higher dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012059
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 13 2015
Event30th International Colloquium on Group Theoretical Methods in Physics (Group30), ICGTMP 2014 - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: Jul 14 2014Jul 18 2014

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