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:

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.

## CODE:

#include<stdio.h> #include<math.h> 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){ if(n==0){ return l0(x); } else if(n==1){ return l1(x); } else{ return ((2*(n-1)+1-x)*ln(x,n-1)-(n-1)*ln(x,n-2))/n; } } main(){ //We will create a data-file and store the values of first few Legendre polynomials for -1<x<5 FILE *fp=NULL; //create data-file fp=fopen("laguerre1.txt","w"); double x; //write the values of first 5 Lagurre polynomials to data-file for(x=-1;x<=5;x=x+0.1){ fprintf(fp,"%lf\t%lf\t%lf\t%lf\t%lf\t%lf\n",x,ln(x,0),ln(x,1),ln(x,2),ln(x,3),ln(x,4)); } }

## OUTPUT:

The above program will create a data-file called `laguerre1.txt `

and store the values of the first 5 Legendre polynomials for . 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)'`

### Using Series Representation

### Using Numerical Integration

### References:

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/LaguerrePolynomial.html

I’m a physicist specializing in computational material science with a PhD in Physics from Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Germany. I write efficient codes for simulating light-matter interactions at atomic scales. I like to develop Physics, DFT, and Machine Learning related apps and software from time to time. Can code in most of the popular languages. I like to share my knowledge in Physics and applications using this Blog and a YouTube channel.

Hi! Thank you for the code 🙂 Why do all of your polynomial passes from x=1? In the Wolfram page in the reference, they don’t, and I don’t know why. Also, I am using your code to find the zeroes of the function, which are different from what is tabulated on the internet (I need to write a code to integrate functions with the Gaussian-Laguerre method).