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,

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

where,

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

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

Given,

\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}

and,

\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

Let,

\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}

then,

\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.)