In mathematics, Weierstrass's elliptic functions are elliptic functions that take a particularly simple form; they are named for Karl Weierstrass. This class of functions are also referred to as pfunctions and generally written using the symbol ℘ (a calligraphic lowercase p). The ℘ functions constitute branched double coverings of the Riemann sphere by the torus, ramified at four points. They can be used to parametrize elliptic curves over the complex numbers, thus establishing an equivalence to complex tori. Genus one solutions of differential equations can be written in terms of Weierstrass elliptic functions. Notably, the simplest periodic solutions of the Korteweg–de Vries equation are often written in terms of Weierstrass pfunctions.
Definitions
The Weierstrass elliptic function can be defined in three closely related ways, each of which possesses certain advantages.
 One is as a function of a complex variable z and a lattice Λ in the complex plane.

Another is in terms of z and two complex numbers ω_{1} and ω_{2} defining a pair of generators, or periods, for the lattice.
 In terms of the two periods, Weierstrass's elliptic function is an elliptic function with periods ω_{1} and ω_{2} defined as
 Then are the points of the period lattice, so that
 for any pair of generators of the lattice defines the Weierstrass function as a function of a complex variable and a lattice.

The third is in terms of z and a modulus τ in the upper halfplane. This is related to the previous definition by τ = ω_{2}/ω_{1}, which by the conventional choice on the pair of periods is in the upper halfplane. Using this approach, for fixed z the Weierstrass functions become modular functions of τ.
 If is a complex number in the upper halfplane, then
 The above sum is homogeneous of degree minus two, from which we may define the Weierstrass ℘ function for any pair of periods, as
 We may compute ℘ very rapidly in terms of theta functions; because these converge so quickly, this is a more expeditious way of computing ℘ than the series we used to define it. The formula here is
 There is a secondorder pole at each point of the period lattice (including the origin). With these definitions, is an even function and its derivative with respect to z, ℘′, is an odd function.
Further development of the theory of elliptic functions shows that Weierstrass's function is determined up to addition of a constant and multiplication by a nonzero constant by the position and type of the poles alone, amongst all meromorphic functions with the given period lattice.
Invariants
In a punctured neighborhood of the origin, the Laurent series expansion of is
where
The numbers g_{2} and g_{3} are known as the invariants.
The summations after the coefficients 60 and 140 are the first two Eisenstein series, which are modular forms when considered as functions G_{4}(τ) and G_{6}(τ), respectively, of τ = ω_{2}/ω_{1} with Im(τ) > 0.
Note that g_{2} and g_{3} are homogeneous functions of degree −4 and −6; that is,
Thus, by convention, one frequently writes and in terms of the period ratio and take to lie in the upper halfplane. Thus, and .
The Fourier series for and can be written in terms of the square of the nome as
where is the divisor function. This formula may be rewritten in terms of Lambert series.
The invariants may be expressed in terms of Jacobi's theta functions. This method is very convenient for numerical calculation: the theta functions converge very quickly. In the notation of Abramowitz and Stegun, but denoting the primitive periods by , the invariants satisfy
where
and is the period ratio, is the nome, and and are alternative notations.
Special cases
If the invariants are g_{2} = 0, g_{3} = 1, then this is known as the equianharmonic case;
g_{2} = 1, g_{3} = 0 is the lemniscatic case.
Differential equation
With this notation, the ℘ function satisfies the following differential equation:
where dependence on and is suppressed.
This relation can be quickly verified by comparing the poles of both sides, for example, the pole at z = 0 of lhs is
while the pole at z = 0 of
Comparing these two yields the relation above.
Integral equation
The Weierstrass elliptic function can be given as the inverse of an elliptic integral.
Let
Here, g_{2} and g_{3} are taken as constants.
Then one has
The above follows directly by integrating the differential equation.
Modular discriminant
The modular discriminant Δ is defined as the quotient by 16 of the discriminant of the righthand side of the above differential equation:
This is studied in its own right, as a cusp form, in modular form theory (that is, as a function of the period lattice).
Note that where is the Dedekind eta function.
The presence of 24 can be understood by connection with other occurrences, as in the eta function and the Leech lattice.
The discriminant is a modular form of weight 12. That is, under the action of the modular group, it transforms as
with τ being the halfperiod ratio, and a,b,c and d being integers, with ad − bc = 1.
For the Fourier coefficients of , see Ramanujan tau function.
The constants e_{1}, e_{2} and e_{3}
Consider the cubic polynomial equation 4t^{3} − g_{2}t − g_{3} = 0 with roots e_{1}, e_{2}, and e_{3}. Its discriminant is 16 times the modular discriminant Δ = g_{2}^{3} − 27g_{3}^{2}. If it is not zero, no two of these roots are equal. Since the quadratic term of this cubic polynomial is zero, the roots are related by the equation
The linear and constant coefficients (g_{2} and g_{3}, respectively) are related to the roots by the equations (see Elementary symmetric polynomial).^{[1]}
The roots e_{1}, e_{2}, and e_{3} of the equation depend on τ and can be expressed in terms of theta functions. As before, let,
then
Since and , then these can also be expressed as theta functions. In simplified form,
Where is the Dedekind eta function. In the case of real invariants, the sign of Δ = g_{2}^{3} − 27g_{3}^{2} determines the nature of the roots. If , all three are real and it is conventional to name them so that . If , it is conventional to write (where , ), whence , and is real and nonnegative.
The halfperiods ω_{1}/2 and ω_{2}/2 of Weierstrass' elliptic function are related to the roots
where . Since the square of the derivative of Weierstrass' elliptic function equals the above cubic polynomial of the function's value, for . Conversely, if the function's value equals a root of the polynomial, the derivative is zero.
If g_{2} and g_{3} are real and Δ > 0, the e_{i} are all real, and is real on the perimeter of the rectangle with corners 0, ω_{3}, ω_{1} + ω_{3}, and ω_{1}. If the roots are ordered as above (e_{1} > e_{2} > e_{3}), then the first halfperiod is completely real
whereas the third halfperiod is completely imaginary
Addition theorems
The Weierstrass elliptic functions have several properties that may be proved:
A symmetrical version of the same identity is
Also
and the duplication formula
unless 2z is a period.
The case with 1 a basic halfperiod
If , much of the above theory becomes simpler; it is then conventional to write for .
 For a fixed τ in the upper halfplane, so that the imaginary part of τ is positive, we define the Weierstrass ℘ function by
 The sum extends over the lattice {n + mτ  n, m ∈ Z} with the origin omitted.
 Here we regard τ as fixed and ℘ as a function of z; fixing z and letting τ vary leads into the area of elliptic modular functions.
General theory
℘ is a meromorphic function in the complex plane with a double pole at each lattice point. It is doubly periodic with periods 1 and τ; this means that ℘ satisfies
The above sum is homogeneous of degree minus two, and if c is any nonzero complex number,
from which we may define the Weierstrass ℘ function for any pair of periods. We also may take the derivative (of course, with respect to z) and obtain a function algebraically related to ℘ by
where and depend only on τ, being modular forms. The equation
defines an elliptic curve, and we see that is a parametrization of that curve. The totality of meromorphic doubly periodic functions with given periods defines an algebraic function field associated to that curve. It can be shown that this field is
so that all such functions are rational functions in the Weierstrass function and its derivative.
One can wrap a single period parallelogram into a torus, or donutshaped Riemann surface, and regard the elliptic functions associated to a given pair of periods to be functions defined on that Riemann surface.
℘ can also be expressed in terms of theta functions; because these converge very rapidly, this is a more expeditious way of computing ℘ than the series used to define it.
The function ℘ has two zeros (modulo periods) and the function ℘′ has three. The zeros of ℘′ are easy to find: since ℘′ is an odd function they must be at the halfperiod points. On the other hand, it is very difficult to express the zeros of ℘ by closed formula, except for special values of the modulus (e.g. when the period lattice is the Gaussian integers). An expression was found, by Zagier and Eichler.^{[2]}
The Weierstrass theory also includes the Weierstrass zeta function, which is an indefinite integral of ℘ and not doubly periodic, and a theta function called the Weierstrass sigma function, of which his zetafunction is the logderivative. The sigmafunction has zeros at all the period points (only), and can be expressed in terms of Jacobi's functions. This gives one way to convert between Weierstrass and Jacobi notations.
The Weierstrass sigmafunction is an entire function; it played the role of 'typical' function in a theory of random entire functions of J. E. Littlewood.
Relation to Jacobi's elliptic functions
For numerical work, it is often convenient to calculate the Weierstrass elliptic function in terms of Jacobi's elliptic functions.
The basic relations are^{[3]}
where e_{1–3} are the three roots described above and where the modulus k of the Jacobi functions equals
and their argument w equals
Typography
The Weierstrass's elliptic function is usually written with a rather special, lower case script letter ℘.^{[footnote 1]}
In computing, the letter ℘ is available as \wp
in TeX. In Unicode the code point is U+2118 ℘ SCRIPT CAPITAL P (HTML ℘
· ℘, ℘
), with the more correct alias weierstrass elliptic function.^{[footnote 2]} In HTML, it can be escaped as ℘
.
Preview  ℘  

Unicode name  SCRIPT CAPITAL P / WEIERSTRASS ELLIPTIC FUNCTION  
Encodings  decimal  hex 
Unicode  8472  U+2118 
UTF8  226 132 152  E2 84 98 
Numeric character reference  ℘ 
℘ 
Named character reference  ℘, ℘ 
Footnotes
 ^ This symbol was used already at least in 1890. The first edition of A Course of Modern Analysis by E. T. Whittaker in 1902 also used it.^{[4]}
 ^ The Unicode Consortium has acknowledged two problems with the letter's name: the letter is in fact lowercase, and it is not a "script" class letter, like U+1D4C5 𝓅 MATHEMATICAL SCRIPT SMALL P, but the letter for Weierstrass's elliptic function. Unicode added the alias as a correction.^{[5]}^{[6]}
References
 ^ Abramowitz and Stegun, p. 629
 ^ Eichler, M.; Zagier, D. (1982). "On the zeros of the Weierstrass ℘Function". Mathematische Annalen. 258 (4): 399–407. doi:10.1007/BF01453974.
 ^ Korn GA, Korn TM (1961). Mathematical Handbook for Scientists and Engineers. New York: McGraw–Hill. p. 721. LCCN 59014456.
 ^ teika kazura (20170817), The letter ℘ Name & origin?, MathOverflow, retrieved 20180830
 ^ "Known Anomalies in Unicode Character Names". Unicode Technical Note #27. version 4. Unicode, Inc. 20170410. Retrieved 20170720.
 ^ "NameAliases10.0.0.txt". Unicode, Inc. 20170506. Retrieved 20170720.
 Abramowitz, Milton; Stegun, Irene Ann, eds. (1983) [June 1964]. "Chapter 18". Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables. Applied Mathematics Series. 55 (Ninth reprint with additional corrections of tenth original printing with corrections (December 1972); first ed.). Washington D.C.; New York: United States Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards; Dover Publications. p. 627. ISBN 9780486612720. LCCN 6460036. MR 0167642. LCCN 6512253.
 N. I. Akhiezer, Elements of the Theory of Elliptic Functions, (1970) Moscow, translated into English as AMS Translations of Mathematical Monographs Volume 79 (1990) AMS, Rhode Island ISBN 0821845322
 Tom M. Apostol, Modular Functions and Dirichlet Series in Number Theory, Second Edition (1990), Springer, New York ISBN 0387971270 (See chapter 1.)
 K. Chandrasekharan, Elliptic functions (1980), SpringerVerlag ISBN 0387152954
 Konrad Knopp, Funktionentheorie II (1947), Dover Publications; Republished in English translation as Theory of Functions (1996), Dover Publications ISBN 0486692191
 Serge Lang, Elliptic Functions (1973), AddisonWesley, ISBN 0201041626
 E. T. Whittaker and G. N. Watson, A course of modern analysis, Cambridge University Press, 1952, chapters 20 and 21
External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Weierstrass's elliptic functions. 
 "Weierstrass elliptic functions", Encyclopedia of Mathematics, EMS Press, 2001 [1994]
 Weierstrass's elliptic functions on Mathworld.
 Chapter 23, Weierstrass Elliptic and Modular Functions in DLMF (Digital Library of Mathematical Functions) by W. P. Reinhardt and P. L. Walker.