The wave trace and Birkhoff billiards

  • Amir Vig

    University of California Irvine, USA
The wave trace and Birkhoff billiards cover
Download PDF

This article is published open access under our Subscribe to Open model.


The purpose of this article is to develop a Hadamard–Riesz-type parametrix for the wave propagator in bounded planar domains with smooth, strictly convex boundary. This parametrix then allows us to rederive an oscillatory integral representation for the wave trace appearing in the work by Marvizi and Melrose (1982) and compute its principal symbol explicitly in terms of geometric data associated to the billiard map. This results in new formulas for the wave invariants. The order of the principal symbol, which appears to be inconsistent in the works by Marvizi and Melrose (1982) and Popov (1994), is also corrected. In those papers, the principal symbol was never actually computed and to our knowledge, this paper contains the first explicit formulas for the principal symbol of the wave trace. The wave trace formulas we provide are localized near both simple lengths corresponding to nondegenerate periodic orbits and degenerate lengths associated to one parameter families of periodic orbits tangent to a single rational caustic. Existence of a Hadamard–Riesz-type parametrix with explicit symbol and phase calculations in the interior appears to be new in the literature, with the exception of the author’s previous work [J. Geom. Anal. 31 (2021), 2238–2295] in the special case of elliptical domains. This allows us to circumvent the symbol calculus used by Duistermaat and Guillemin (1975) and Hezari and Zelditch (2012) when computing trace formulas, which are instead derived from integrating our explicit parametrix over the diagonal.

Cite this article

Amir Vig, The wave trace and Birkhoff billiards. J. Spectr. Theory 12 (2022), no. 3, pp. 877–938

DOI 10.4171/JST/440