Selberg trace formula




The Selberg trace formua (Selberg 56) is an expression for certain sums of eigenvalues of the Laplace operator on a compact hyperbolic Riemann surface (recalled e.g. as Bump, theorem 19).

It was introduced as a nonabelian generalization of the Poisson summation formula (e.g.Voros-Balasz 86, p. 169), thought of as a relation between the eigenvalues of the Laplacian and the lengths of closed geodesics.

It motivates (e.g. Bump, p.18) the definition of the Selberg zeta function of a Riemann surface.


  • Atle Selberg, Harmonic analysis and discontinuous groups in weakly symmetric Riemannian spaces with applications to Dirichlet series, Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society 20 (1956) 47-87.

  • Joshua Friedman, The Selberg trace formula and Selberg zeta-function for cofinite Kleinian groups with finite-dimensional unitary representations (arXiv:math/0410067)

  • Wikipedia, Selberg trace formula

  • Bump, theorem 19 in Spectral theory of Γ\SL(2,)\Gamma \backslash SL(2,\mathbb{R}) (pdf)

  • A. Voros and N.L. Balasz, Chaos on the pseudosphere, Physics Reports 143 no. 3 (1986)

For Dirac operators:

  • Jens Bolte, Hans-Michael Stiepan, The Selberg trace formula for Dirac operators (arXiv:math-ph/0607010)

Last revised on May 22, 2019 at 11:33:51. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.