In one variable, a holomorphic function , locally holomorphic around , can be represented as where , is holomorphic and is a nonnegative integer; therefore the solution set is discrete. In many variables, these zero sets are more complicated but far from arbitrary; in fact the analytic sets are often pretty close to algebraic varieties: for example, analytic subsets of the projective space are algebraic.
The Weierstrass preparation theorem and related facts (Weierstrass division theorem and Weierstrass formula) provide the most basic relations between polynomials and holomorphic functions.
Let ; then we separate the first complex coordinates and the -th coordinate which will be denoted by . We consider an analytic function vanishing at origin , and such that it is not identically zero on the -axis. Let be the local ring of germs of holomorphic functions at and .
The Weierstrass polynomial of is a polynomial of the form
The integer is called the degree of the Weierstrass polynomial.
Let be a function which is holomorphic in some neighborhood of origin and not identically equal to zero on the -axis. Then there is a neighborhood of origin such that is uniquely representable in the form
where is a Weierstrass polynomial of degree of and .
Let be a Weierstrass polynomial of degree of . Then every holomorphic function can be represented as
where is a polynomial of degree .
As a corollary, if another function vanishes on the zero set of , then divides in .
Weierstrass used analytic methods to prove the theorem; in fact the residue theorem? and Cauchy integral formula are used. However, much later a fully algebraic proof has been found, and it allows generalizations to much wider setups, not only over complex numbers.