Books for beginners on the Fourier Transform

Mathematics Asked by user10764803 on August 30, 2020

I am a student who has just finished high school. I can easily handle IB level differentiation, integration and complex numbers.

I am interested in learning about the Fourier Transform. I am looking for a book, maybe one from a first year university course, which explains the Fourier Transform from the very basics, expanding the concept of Fourier Series and exploring the Fourier Transform from a mathematical perspective.

I read in some other forums that this book was advised for beginners. However, I had trouble following the theory in the book. I feel like the book did not provide the solid background of the Fourier Transform I was looking for.

I would highly appreciate if anyone could advise me on a good book I could use.

2 Answers

One of the most elementary yet rigorous introduction to Fourier analysis is, in my opinion, the textbook [1] by Baggett and Fulks. Its strong points are the following ones:

  1. Requires only a working knowledge of Lebesgue integration. This is a real minimum since Fourier analysis cannot be dealt efficiently with less advanced integration theories.
  2. Deals with both Fourier series and integrals (and the latter both in the one and multi-dimensional cases)
  3. Starts from elementary topics and proceeds up to very advanced ones: just to get an idea, in the last chapter Banach Algebras and the Gel’fand transform are introduced, while distributions are introduced in the preceding one.

Having understood the theory as presented in this book opens the understanding of more advanced treatises (like the ones of Elias Stein and coauthors).


[1] Baggett, Larry; Fulks, Watson, Fourier analysis, Boulder, Colorado: API Anjou Press, Inc. pp. VIII, 183 (1979), ISBN: 0-88446-001-0, MR0554082, Zbl 0437.42001

Answered by Daniele Tampieri on August 30, 2020

I read mostly Springer books. You can try "Classical Fourier Analysis".

However, I do not think one book is ever sufficient to learn a subject thoroughly. Read also books about linear algebra as they explain concept about orthonormal basis, which is important for discreet Fourier transform. Do not hesitate to research from other sources including this website.

n.p. I always find it weird that most schools teach Fourier transform first and then its inverse (some of them do not teach the inverse at all). I learned inverse Fourier first and it made me understand better why we use Fourier transform.

Answered by Rezha Adrian Tanuharja on August 30, 2020

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