Odd Function


A univariate function f(x) is said to be odd provided that f(-x)=-f(x). Geometrically, such functions are symmetric about the origin. Examples of odd functions include x, x^3, the sine sinx, hyperbolic sine sinhx, tangent tanx, hyperbolic tangent tanhx, error function erf erf(x), inverse erf erf^(-1)(x), and the Fresnel integrals C(x), and S(x).

An even function times an odd function is odd, and the product of two odd functions is even while the sum or difference of two nonzero functions is odd if and only if each summand function is odd. The product and quotient of two odd functions is an even function.

If an even function is differentiable, then its derivative is an odd function; what's more, if an odd function is integrable, then its integral over a symmetric interval I=[-a,a], a in R union {infty}, is identically zero. Similarly, if an even function is differentiable, then its derivative is an odd function while the integral of such a function over a symmetric interval I is twice the value of its integral over the interval [0,a].

Ostensibly, one can define a similar notion for multivariate functions f(x_1,x_2,...,x_n) by saying that such a function is odd if and only if


Even so, such functions are unpredictable and very well may lose many of the desirable geometric properties possessed by univariate functions. Differentiability and integrability properties are similarly unclear.

Since an odd function is zero at the origin, it follows that the Maclaurin series of an odd function contains only odd powers.

See also

Even Function

This entry contributed by Christopher Stover

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Cite this as:

Stover, Christopher. "Odd Function." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource, created by Eric W. Weisstein.

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