Archive for July, 2012

Hypergeometric formulas for Ramanujan’s continued fractions 2

(continued from yesterday’s post)

III. Icosahedral group

Given the Rogers-Ramanujan identities (see also here),

\begin{aligned} G(q) &= \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{q^{n^2}}{(q;q)_n} = \prod_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{(1-q^{5n-1})(1-q^{5n-4})}\\H(q) &= \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{q^{n^2+n}}{(q;q)_n} = \prod_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{(1-q^{5n-2})(1-q^{5n-3})}\end{aligned}

I observed that,

\begin{aligned}&q^{-1/60}G(q) = j^{1/60}\,_2F_1\big(\tfrac{19}{60},\tfrac{-1}{60},\tfrac{4}{5},\tfrac{1728}{j}\big) = (j-1728)^{1/60}\,_2F_1\big(\tfrac{29}{60},\tfrac{-1}{60},\tfrac{4}{5},\tfrac{1728}{1728-j}\big)\\[2.5mm]&q^{11/60}H(q) = j^{-11/60}\,_2F_1\big(\tfrac{31}{60},\tfrac{11}{60},\tfrac{6}{5},\tfrac{1728}{j}\big) = (j-1728)^{-11/60}\,_2F_1\big(\tfrac{41}{60},\tfrac{11}{60},\tfrac{6}{5},\tfrac{1728}{1728-j}\big)\end{aligned}

where, as in the previous post, j=j(\tau) is the j-function, q = e^{2\pi i \tau} = \exp(2\pi i \tau), \tau = \sqrt{-N}, and N>1.  Since it is known that,

\begin{aligned}&r(q) = \cfrac{q^{1/5}}{1 + \cfrac{q}{1 + \cfrac{q^2}{1 + \cfrac{q^3}{1 + \ddots}}}} = \frac{q^{11/60}H(q)}{q^{-1/60}G(q)} = \frac{q^{11/60}\prod_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{(1-q^{5n-2})(1-q^{5n-3})}}{q^{-1/60}\prod_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{(1-q^{5n-1})(q^{5n-4})}}\end{aligned}

this implies that,

\begin{aligned}r(q) &=\frac{j^{-11/60}\,_2F_1\big(\frac{31}{60},\frac{11}{60},\frac{6}{5},\frac{1728}{j}\big) }{j^{1/60}\,_2F_1\big(\frac{19}{60},\frac{-1}{60},\frac{4}{5},\frac{1728}{j}\big)}\\[3mm]&=\frac{(j-1728)^{-11/60}\,_2F_1\big(\frac{41}{60},\frac{11}{60},\frac{6}{5},\frac{1728}{1728-j}\big) }{(j-1728)^{1/60}\,_2F_1\big(\frac{29}{60},\frac{-1}{60},\frac{4}{5},\frac{1728}{1728-j}\big)}\end{aligned}

Example. Let \tau = \sqrt{-4}, hence j = j(\sqrt{-4}) = 66^3. Then,

1/r(q) -r(q) = \left(\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}\right)^4+\left(\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}\right)5^{3/4} = 12.2643\dots

Furthermore, since Ramanujan established that,

G(q^{11})H(q)-q^2G(q)H(q^{11}) = 1

if we define the two functions,

\begin{aligned}U(\tau) &= \big(j(\tau)\big)^{1/60}\,_2F_1\big(\tfrac{19}{60},\tfrac{-1}{60},\tfrac{4}{5},\tfrac{1728}{j(\tau)}\big)\\V(\tau) &= \big(j(\tau)\big)^{-11/60}\,_2F_1\big(\tfrac{31}{60},\tfrac{11}{60},\tfrac{6}{5},\tfrac{1728}{j(\tau)}\big) \end{aligned}

then the counterpart hypergeometric identity is also beautifully simple and given by,


In the next post, we will use one of the hypergeometric formulas to solve the general quintic.

Hypergeometric formulas for Ramanujan’s continued fractions 1

There are five Platonic solids, two are duals to another two, while the tetrahedron is self-dual. As such, this gives rise to 3 polyhedral groups: the tetrahedral group of order 12, the octahedral group of order 24, and the icosahedral group of order 60.

Amazingly, Ramanujan found 3 continued fractions that can be associated with each group. See this article for more details.  It turns out there are also corresponding hypergeometric formulas, and the numbers 12, 24, and 60 naturally appears.

First though, define the j-function as,

j = j(\tau) = \frac{1}{q} + 744 + 196884q + 21493760q^2 + \dots


q = e^{2\pi i \tau} = \exp(2\pi i \tau)

This can be conveniently calculated in Mathematica as,

j(\tau) = 1728\text{KleinInvariantJ}(\tau)

NOTE:  In the formulas below, it will be assumed that,

\tau = \sqrt{-N},\;\; N > 1

I. Tetrahedral group


\begin{aligned}&c=c(q)=\cfrac{q^{1/3}}{1 + \cfrac{q+q^2}{1 + \cfrac{q^2+q^4}{1 + \cfrac{q^3+q^6}{1 + \ddots}}}} = q^{1/3}\prod_{n=1}^\infty \frac{(1-q^{6n-1})(1-q^{6n-5})}{(1-q^{6n-3})^2}\end{aligned}


\begin{aligned}&d = j^{1/3}\,\frac{\,_2F_1\big(\frac{1}{4},\frac{-1}{12},\frac{2}{3},\frac{1728}{j}\big)}{\,_2F_1\big(\frac{1}{4},\frac{7}{12},\frac{4}{3},\frac{1728}{j}\big)}\end{aligned}

then we have the simple relationship,

d = 4c^2+c^{-1}

Example.  Let \tau = \sqrt{-2}, hence j=j(\sqrt{-2}) = 20^3, then,

d = 3\sqrt{2(11+4\sqrt{6})} = 19.3484\dots

and c(q) can then be easily solved for as a cubic equation.

II. Octahedral group


\begin{aligned}&u = u(q) = \cfrac{\sqrt{2}\,q^{1/8}}{1 + \cfrac{q}{1+q + \cfrac{q^2}{1+q^2 + \cfrac{q^3}{1+q^3 + \ddots}}}} = \sqrt{2}\,q^{1/8}\prod_{n=1}^\infty\frac{1-q^{2n-1}}{(1-q^{4n-2})^2} \end{aligned}


\begin{aligned}&u = \frac{\sqrt{2}}{j^{1/8}}\left(\frac{\,_2F_1\big(\frac{5}{24},\frac{13}{24},\frac{5}{4},\frac{1728}{j}\big)}{\,_2F_1\big(\frac{7}{24},\frac{-1}{24},\frac{3}{4},\frac{1728}{j}\big)}\right)^{1/2}\end{aligned}

Example. Still using \tau = \sqrt{-2}, then,

u = \sqrt{1+\sqrt{2}-\sqrt{2(1+\sqrt{2})}} = 0.4656\dots

III. Icosahedral group

(To be discussed in the next post.)

Algebraic values of the Hypergeometric function

The hypergeometric function,

\begin{aligned} &\,_2F_1(a,b,c,z) = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{(a)_n(b)_n}{(c)_n} \frac{z^n}{n!}\end{aligned}

where (a)_n is a Pochhammer symbol is, for rational {a, b, c, z}, generally not a rational value.  In the link given above, equations (18) and (19) are,

\,_2F_1\big(\frac{1}{3},\frac{2}{3},\frac{5}{6},\frac{27}{32}\big) =\frac{8}{5}

\,_2F_1\big(\frac{1}{4},\frac{1}{2},\frac{3}{4},\frac{80}{81}\big) =\frac{9}{5}

There are in fact an infinite number of such equalities.  One given by M. Glasser is, let 0 < x < \frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}, then,

\,_2F_1\big(\frac{1}{3},\frac{2}{3},\frac{3}{2},\frac{27x^2(1-x^2)^2}{4}\big) =\frac{1}{1-x^2}

Another, based on eq. (42) of Vidunas’ “Transformations of algebraic Gauss hypergeometric functions” is, let 0 < y < 1, then,

\,_2F_1\big(\frac{1}{4},\frac{-1}{12},\frac{2}{3},\frac{(9-y^4)^3(-1+y^4)}{64y^{12}}\big) =\frac{1}{y}

A third which yields not a rational but an algebraic number is remarkable for its connection to the Rogers-Ramanujan continued fraction. Let 0 < z < v_1 where,

v_1 = \text{Root}[z^4+228z^3+494z^2-228z+1=0] = 0.004428\dots


\,_2F_1\big(\frac{19}{60},\frac{-1}{60},\frac{4}{5},\frac{1728z(z^2-11z-1)^5}{(z^4+228z^3+494z^2-228z+1)^3}\big) =\frac{1}{(z^4+228z^3+494z^2-228z+1)^{1/20}}

If the polynomials are familiar, it is because they are invariants of the icosahedron.  They also appear in the j-function formula,

j(\tau) = \frac{-(r^{20}-228r^{15}+494r^{10}+228r^5+1)^3}{r^5(r^{10}+11r^5-1)^5}


r = r(\tau) = \cfrac{q^{1/5}}{1+ \cfrac{q}{1 + \cfrac{q^2}{1+ \cfrac{q^3}{1 + \ddots}}}}


q = e^{2\pi i \tau}

On Riemann-like zeta functions

Given the Riemann zeta function \zeta(s), there is the nice equality,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{m=1}^\infty\big[\zeta(2m)-1] = \frac{3}{4}\end{aligned}

It can be shown that,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{m=1}^\infty\big[\zeta(pm)-1] = \sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^p-1}\end{aligned}

Consider the following evaluations,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^2-1} = \frac{3}{4} = 0.75\\    &\sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^2+1} = -1+\frac{\pi\text{coth}(\pi)}{2} = 0.5766\dots\end{aligned}

In general, given a root of unity, \omega_p = e^{2\pi i/p}, then,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^p-a} = -\frac{a^{1/p}}{ap}\sum_{j=1}^p \omega_p^j\, \psi(2-a^{1/p} \omega_p^j)\end{aligned}

for integer p > 1, any non-zero real or complex a, and where \psi(z) is the digamma function. Thus, since roots of unity are involved, the formula uses complex terms even though, as the two examples show, the sum may be real.  But it turns out for real a and even powers p, it can be expressed using only real terms.  First,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^p-a} = \frac{1-3a}{2a(1-a)} -\frac{a^{1/p}\,\pi}{ap}\sum_{j=1}^{p/2} \omega_p^j\, \cot(\pi a^{1/p} \omega_p^j)\end{aligned}

for even p and any non-zero a except a = 1,  which is given by the special case,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{k=2}^\infty\frac{1}{k^p-1} = \frac{2p-1}{2p}-\frac{\pi}{p}\sum_{j=1}^{p/2-1}\omega_p^j\,\cot(\pi\omega_p^j)\end{aligned}

But one can split the cotangent function into its real and imaginary parts as,

\begin{aligned}&\cot(\pi u\, e^{2\pi i n}) = \frac{-\sin(2\pi u\cos(2\pi n))+i \text{sinh}(2\pi u\sin(2\pi n)) }{\cos(2\pi u\cos(2\pi n))-\text{cosh}(2\pi u \sin(2\pi n))}\end{aligned}

hence cancel out the conjugate terms and leave only the real parts.  For example, we have,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^4-1} = \frac{1}{8}\big(7-2\pi\text{coth}(\pi)\big) = 0.0866\dots\\    &\sum_{k=2}^\infty \frac{1}{k^6-1} = \frac{1}{12}\big(11-2\pi\sqrt{3}\text{tanh}(\tfrac{\pi\sqrt{3}}{2})\big)= 0.0175\dots\end{aligned}

and so on. It is reminiscent of the situation with the zeta function,

\begin{aligned}&\sum_{k=1}^\infty \frac{1}{k^p} = \zeta(p)\end{aligned}

which has a closed-form solution only for even p, and is expressed by the real \pi^p  and Bernoulli numbers.  It makes me wonder if there is  a closed-form formula for \zeta(p)  involving the roots of unity.