Spherical harmonics

This simulator shows spherical harmonics plotted on a sphere. For each point of spherical coordinates (q,j), the corresponding value of the spherical harmonic Y(L,M) is plotted. In real mode, the real quantity Y(L,M)+Y(L,-M) is plotted, in red or blue depending on its sign. Note the analogy with a sine wave rolled round the sphere. A spherical harmonic is the spherical equivalent of a Fourier series.

In complex mode, Y(L,M) is directly shown, the phase being color coded.

The orientation of the sphere can be set using the mouse.