Laguerre Polynomial – C PROGRAM

In this post I’m gonna show you how to calculate Laguerre polynomials using three different techniques: using recurrence relations, series representations, and numerical integration.
The programs will calculate and plot the first few Laguerre polynomials.

Using Recurrence Relation

We will be using the following recurrence relation:
(n+1)L_{n+1}(x)=(2n+1-x) L_n (x) - nL_{n-1}(x)
We would need two more relations, that is the relations for 0th and 1st order Laguerre polynomials:
We will create a program that calculates the values of the Laguerre polynomial at various x values and for different l and store these values in a txt file. Then just plot it using Gnuplot.
We will create two functions called ‘l0’ and ‘l1’, that contain the definition of respectively.
Then we will create a function ‘ln’ that will use the first two functions and recursion to find the value of Legendre polynomial for different x,n.
NOTE: I am using a slightly modified form of the recurrence relation. To get the form I am using, just replace n by n-1.



double l0(double x){
	return 1;

double l1(double x){
	return -x+1;
//The following is a general functoin that returns the value of the Laguerre Polynomial for any given x and n=0,1,2,3,...
double ln(double x, int n){
		return l0(x);
	else if(n==1){
		return l1(x);
		return ((2*(n-1)+1-x)*ln(x,n-1)-(n-1)*ln(x,n-2))/n;
	//We will create a data-file and store the values of first few Legendre polynomials for -1<x<5
	//create data-file
	double x;
	//write the values of first 5 Lagurre  polynomials to data-file


The above program will create a data-file called laguerre1.txt and store the values of the first 5 Legendre polynomials for -1\leq x \leq 5 . Now, you can just open the file and select the data and plot it using Excel, GnuPlot, Origin, etc.
For GnuPlot, the command is:
plot './laguerre1.txt' u 1:2 w l t 'L0(x)','' u 1:3 w l t 'L1(x)', '' u 1:4 w l t 'L2(x)', '' u 1:5 w l t 'L3(x)', '' u 1:6 w l t 'L4(x)'

First few Laguerre polynomials using recurrence relation

Using Series Representation

Using Numerical Integration


PhD researcher at Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Germany. I'm a physicist specializing in theoretical, computational and experimental condensed matter physics. I like to develop Physics related apps and softwares from time to time. Can code in most of the popular languages. Like to share my knowledge in Physics and applications using this Blog and a YouTube channel.
[wpedon id="7041" align="center"]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *