Math 571 Analytic Number Theory I, Fall 2004
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Our objective, starting only from the most elementary considerations,
is to study a range of important number theoretic questions by the use of
analytic techniques. For example, Hermann Weyl's seminal paper of 1917
on uniform distribution is
Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl,
dependent on very simple ideas from harmonic analysis, which
we will develop from scratch in the course. This paper is one of the
highlights of 20th century mathematics and has been very influential.
Following the famous work of Hardy and Ramanujan on the partition function,
and using ideas from Weyl's paper, in the 1920s Hardy and Littewood introduced
G. H. Hardy, 1877-1947,
J. E. Littlewood, 1885-1977, S. Ramanujan, 1887-1920
general method for dealing with additive problems.
An example is Waring's problem
Edward Waring, 1736-1798
which is concerned with the value of the
smallest s such that for every n the equation
x_1^k + x_2^k +
...+ x_s^k = n
has a solution in non-negative integers x_i.
Another is to show that every large odd number is the sum of three prime
numbers (the ternary Goldbach (1690-1764) problem). This was established
Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov,
in 1937 by an adaptation of the Hardy-Littlewood method.
A related open question is whether every even
number is prime or the sum of two primes (the binary Goldbach problem), and
an associated question is whether there are infinitely many primes p such
that p + 2 is also prime (the twin prime problem). Some of the
most interesting attacks on these problems have been via sieve theory. The
original sieve is that of Erathosthenes
Eratosthenes of Cyrene, 276BC-194BC
which was designed to create a list of primes,
but which can be adapted to study other questions involving prime numbers.
Modern forms of the sieve are due to Brun (1885-1978) and Selberg.
Atle Selberg, 1917-
Fundamental to many of the analytic methods in number theory are questions
as to how closely a given real number can be approximated by a rational number
with denominator not exceeding a given quantity, and generalisations of this
are related to Minkowski's theorem in the geometry of numbers.
Hermann Minkowski, 1864-1909
- The approximation of real numbers by rationals, diophantine approximation,
criteria for irrationality, examples of transcendental numbers.
- Basic harmonic analysis, with particular reference to questions
in number theory. The Poisson summation formula.
- The uniform distribution of sequences. The Weyl criterion.
Examples, such as the sequence xn^2 when x is irrational.
- Waring's problem and the simplest form of the Hardy-Littlewood
- The Goldbach ternary problem.
- Elementary sieve theory.
- The large sieve, Selberg's lambda-squared sieve and Gallagher's
- The Hardy-Littlewood Method (Cambridge
Tracts in Mathematics, No 125) by R. C. Vaughan, Cambridge University Press,
- Uniform distribution of sequences by L. Kuipers
and H. Niederreiter, Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 0471510459.
- Applications of Sieve Methods to the Theory of Numbers
(Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics, No 70) by C. Hooley, Cambridge University
Press, ISBN 0521209153. See also Sieves
in Number Theory (Ergebnisse Der Mathematik Und Ihrer Grenzgebiete, 3. Folge,
Bd. 43.) by G. R. H. Greaves, ISBN 3540416471.
- An Introduction to the Geometry of Numbers (Classics in Mathematics)
by J. W. S. Cassels, ISBN 3540617884.
- Professor: Robert C. Vaughan
- Telephone: 865-3583
- Email: email@example.com
- Office Hours: MTW 1:30-2:15 and otherwise by arrangement.
- Class: TR 2:30-3:45, 203 Willard.
- Schedule Number: 384589.