The theory of functions of one complex variable with an emphasis on the theory of complex analytic (or holomorphic) functions of one complex variable. Typical topics include: Cauchy's integral formula, singularities, poles, meromorphic functions, Laurent and Taylor series, maximum modulus principle, ...

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“The Egg:” Bizarre behavior of the roots of a family of polynomials.

In this MO post, I ran into the following family of polynomials: $$f_n(x)=\sum_{m=0}^{n}\prod_{k=0}^{m-1}\frac{x^n-x^k}{x^m-x^k}.$$ In the context of the post, $x$ was a prime number, and $f_n(x)$ ...
224
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21answers
19k views

Different methods to compute $\sum\limits_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}$

As I have heard people did not trust Euler when he first discovered the formula $$\zeta(2)=\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2}=\frac{\pi^2}{6}.$$ However, Euler was Euler and he gave other proofs. I ...
141
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4answers
9k views

The Integral that Stumped Feynman?

In "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!," Nobel-prize winning Physicist Richard Feynman said that he challenged his colleagues to give him an integral that they could evaluate with only complex methods ...
101
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5answers
7k views

What do modern-day analysts actually do?

In an abstract algebra class, one learns about groups, rings, and fields, and (perhaps naively) conceives of a modern-day algebraist as someone who studies these sorts of structures. One learns about ...
85
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8answers
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Why does $1+2+3+\dots = -\frac{1}{12}$?

$\displaystyle\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^s}$ only converges to $\zeta(s)$ if $\text{Re}(s) > 1$. Why should analytically continuing to $\zeta(-1)$ give the right answer?
79
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5answers
6k views

What is the Riemann-Zeta function?

In laymen's terms, as much as possible: What is the Riemann-Zeta function, and why does it come up so often with relation to prime numbers?
67
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17answers
14k views

Solving the integral $\int_{0}^{\infty} \frac{\sin{x}}{x} \ dx = \frac{\pi}{2}$?

A famous exercise which one encounters while doing Complex Analysis (Residue theory) is to prove that the given integral: $$\int_{0}^{\infty} \frac{\sin x}{x} \ dx = \frac{\pi}{2}$$ Well, can anyone ...
66
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1answer
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Can one deduce Liouville's theorem (in complex analysis) from the non-emptiness of spectra in complex Banach algebras?

As you probably know, the classical proof of the non-emptiness of the spectrum for an element $x$ in a general Banach algebra over $\mathbb{C}$ can be proven quite easily using Liouville's theorem in ...
59
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4answers
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$\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} e^{-x^2} dx$ with complex analysis

Inspired by this recently closed question, I'm curious whether there's a way to do the Gaussian integral using techniques in complex analysis such as contour integrals. I am aware of the calculation ...
50
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1answer
3k views

Trigonometric sums related to the Verlinde formula

Original question (see also the revised, possibly simpler, version below): Let $g > 1, r > 1$ be integers. Playing around with the Verlinde formula (see below), I came across the expression ...
48
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12answers
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Intuitive explanation of Cauchy's Integral Formula in Complex Analysis

There is a theorem that states that if $f$ is analytic in a domain $D$, and the closed disc {$ z:|z-\alpha|\leq r$} contained in $D$, and $C$ denotes the disc's boundary followed in the positive ...
48
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3answers
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Why is $i! = 0.498015668 - 0.154949828i$?

While moving my laptop the other day, I ended up mashing the keyboard a little, and by pure chance managed to do a google search for i!. Curiously, Google's ...
43
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23answers
15k views

What is a good complex analysis textbook?

I'm out of college, and trying to learn complex analysis on my own. I took out Ahlfors' text from the library, but I'm finding it difficult. Any textbook recommendations? I'm probably at an ...
42
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1answer
932 views

Fractal behavior along the boundary of convergence?

The complex power series $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{z^{n^2}}{n^2}$$ has radius $1$ (Ratio Test) and is absolutely convergent along $|z|=1$. Recalling something that my calculus professor (Ray Mayer, ...
40
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7answers
2k views

Why is one “$\infty$” number enough for complex numbers?

Can anyone give me a rigorous explanation, why one needs only one number "$\infty$", when dealing with complex numbers, instead of 2 numbers $+\infty, \ -\infty$ like in the case, when dealing with ...
38
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5answers
1k views

Why do we negate the imaginary part when conjugating?

For $z=x+iy \in \mathbb C$ we all know the definition for the "conjugate" of $z$, $\bar{z}=x-iy$. Geometrically this is the reflection of $z$ across the $y$ axis. My question is: couldn't we have ...
37
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7answers
6k views

Can someone please explain the Riemann Hypothesis to me… in English?

I've read so much about it but none of it makes a lot of sense. Also, what's so unsolvable about it?
36
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3answers
2k views

How is $\mathbb{C}$ different than $\mathbb{R}^2$?

I'm taking a course in Complex Analysis, and the teacher mentioned that if we do not restrict our attention to analytic functions, we would just be looking at functions from $\mathbb{R}^2$ to ...
34
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19answers
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Interesting results easily achieved using complex numbers

I was just looking at a calculus textbook preparing my class for next week on complex numbers. I found it interesting to see as an exercise a way to calculate the usual freshman calculus integrals ...
34
votes
6answers
3k views

Why are differentiable complex functions infinitely differentiable?

When I studied complex analysis, I could never understand how once-differentiable complex functions could be possibly be infinitely differentiable. After all, this doesn't hold for functions from R2 ...
34
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4answers
683 views

How to prove that $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{(H_n)^2}{n^3}=\frac{7}{2}\zeta(5)-\zeta(2)\zeta(3)$

Prove that $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{(H_n)^2}{n^3}=\frac{7}{2}\zeta(5)-\zeta(2)\zeta(3)$$ $H_n$ denotes the harmonic numbers.
34
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2answers
758 views

Topology and analytic functions

Is there a topology T on the set of complex numbers such that the class of T-continuous functions and the class of analytic functions coincide.
33
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10answers
12k views

How to prove Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$?

Could you provide a proof of Euler's formula: $e^{it}=\cos t +i\sin t$ ? thanks.
33
votes
2answers
984 views

Is there any connection between Green's Theorem and the Cauchy-Riemann equations?

Green's Theorem has the form: $$\oint P(x,y)dx = - \iint \frac{\partial P}{\partial x}dxdy , \oint Q(x,y)dy = \iint \frac{\partial Q}{\partial y}dxdy $$ The Cauchy-Riemann equations have the ...
32
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10answers
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What's the difference between $\mathbb{R}^2$ and the complex plane?

I haven't taken any complex analysis course yet, but now I have this question that relates to it. Let's have a look at a very simple example. Suppose $x,y$ and $z$ are the Cartesian coordinates and ...
29
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7answers
8k views

What function can be differentiated twice, but not 3 times?

In complex analysis class professor said that in complex analysis if a function is differentiable once, it can be differentiated infinite number of times. In real analysis there are cases where a ...
29
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2answers
1k views

Explicitly reconstructing a function from its moments

Let $f$ be an integrable real valued function defined on $[0,\infty)$. Let $$m_n=\int_0^\infty f(x)x^n \mathrm dx$$ be the $n^{th}$ moment, and suppose that all of these integrals converge ...
28
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6answers
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Is Complex Analysis equivalent Real Analysis with $f:\mathbb R^2 \to \mathbb R^2$?

Am I correct in noticing that Complex Analysis seems to be a synonym for analysis of functions $\mathbb R^2 \to \mathbb R^2$? If this is the case, surely all the results from complex analysis carry ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Would a proof to the Riemann Hypothesis affect security?

If a solution was found to the Riemann Hypothesis, would it have any effect on the security of things such as RSA protection? Would it make cracking large numbers easier?
28
votes
2answers
661 views

Why does this distribution of polynomial roots resemble a collection of affine IFS fractals?

Consider the following spectacular image, created by Sam Derbyshire and described in John Baez's article "The Beauty of Roots": In this image are plotted all the complex roots of all polynomials of ...
26
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4answers
808 views

Conjecture: Every analytic function on the closed disk is conformally a polynomial.

Here is my conjecture, any proof, counter-example, or intuitions? If $f$ is analytic on $\text{cl}(\mathbb{D})$ (that is, analytic on some open set containing $\text{cl}(\mathbb{D})$), then there is ...
26
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8answers
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Complex analysis is more “real” than real analysis

In physics, in the past, complex numbers were used only to remember or simplify formulas and computations. But after the birth of quantum physics, they found that a thing as real as "matter" itself ...
26
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3answers
646 views

Why does the graph of $e^{1/z}$ look like a dipole?

I was looking at the color wheel graph of $e^{1/z}$, and my girlfriend commented that it looked just like a dipole. Does anyone have an explanation for that, why the geometry would be so similar? I ...
25
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1answer
891 views

What is wrong with this fake proof $e^i = 1$?

$$e^{i} = e^{i2\pi/2\pi} = (e^{2\pi i})^{1/(2\pi)} = 1^{1/(2\pi )} = 1$$ Obviously, one of my algebraic manipulations is not valid.
25
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6answers
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Bag of tricks in Advanced Calculus/ Real Analysis/Complex Analysis

I am studying for an exam and I have been studying my butt off during the winter break for it. During the course of my study I have written down quite a number of tricks, which in my opinion were ...
25
votes
2answers
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Tricky contour integral resulting from the integration of $\sin ax / (x^2+b^2)$ over the positive halfline

I am trying to evaluate the definite integral $$\int_0^\infty \frac{\sin ax\ dx}{x^2+b^2}$$ where $a,b>0$. This is a problem on an assignment for a class in complex variables. I understand the ...
25
votes
2answers
919 views

Number of local maxima of a function

Let $z_j$ ($j=1,\dots, k$) be $k$ points on the complex plane none of which lies on the real line. Is it always true that the function $$ F(x)=\sum_{j=1}^k \frac{1}{|x-z_j|^2} $$ has at most $k$ ...
25
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3answers
815 views

If there are entire $G_k$s such that $f=\exp\circ\exp\circ\cdots \circ\exp\circ G_k$ ($k$ times), must $f$ be constant?

I am a French guest and I hope that my English isn't too bad... So here is my issue: I consider an entire function $f$ which satisfies the following property for each complex number $z\in ...
24
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1answer
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Cauchy's Integral Formula for Cayley-Hamilton Theorem

I'm just working through Conway's book on complex analysis and I stumbled across this lovely exercise: Use Cauchy's Integral Formula to prove the Cayley-Hamilton Theorem: If $A$ is an $n \times n$ ...
24
votes
1answer
564 views

Proving $\sum_{n=-\infty}^\infty e^{-\pi n^2} = \frac{\sqrt[4] \pi}{\Gamma\left(\frac 3 4\right)}$

Wikipedia informs me that $$S = \vartheta(0;i)=\sum_{n=-\infty}^\infty e^{-\pi n^2} = \frac{\sqrt[4] \pi}{\Gamma\left(\frac 3 4\right)}$$ I tried considering $f(x,n) = e^{-x n^2}$ so that its ...
23
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2answers
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What is the image near the essential singularity of z sin(1/z)?

This was part of a homework problem from J.B. Conway's complex analysis text which I was assigned long ago but didn't get. A few years later I was a TA for a course where the problem was assigned. I ...
22
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4answers
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Proving a known zero of the Riemann Zeta has real part exactly 1/2

Much effort has been expended on a famous unsolved problem about the Riemann Zeta function $\zeta(s)$. Not surprisingly, it's called the Riemann hypothesis, which asserts: $$ \zeta(s) = 0 ...
22
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1answer
625 views

Which sets are removable for holomorphic functions?

[Note: I received a version of this question via email and decided to answer it on MSE, where it might be useful to others.] Let $\Omega$ be a domain in $\mathbb C$, and let $\mathscr X$ be some ...
21
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3answers
848 views

Application of Liouville's Theorem

Let $f(z)$ be an entire function such that $$|f(z)|<\frac{1}{|\text{Im}(z)|},\qquad z\in\Bbb C-\Bbb R.$$ The question asked me to prove that $f(z)=0$. At least looking at it, it really seems to ...
21
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1answer
276 views

Are there always singularities at the edge of a disk of convergence?

Take a function that is analytic at 0 and consider its Maclaurin Series. Here are some examples I'll refer to: $$\frac{1}{1-x} =\sum_{n=0}^\infty x^n$$ $$\frac{1}{1+x^2} ...
21
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1answer
491 views

How do solve this integral $\int_{-1}^1\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}\arctan\frac{11-6\,x}{4\,\sqrt{21}}\mathrm dx$?

I need to solve the to following integral: $$\int_{-1}^1\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}\arctan\frac{11-6\,x}{4\,\sqrt{21}}\mathrm dx.$$ I tried this integral in Mathematica, but it was not able to solve it. ...
21
votes
2answers
617 views

Summation using residues

In reference to this question about showing that the following interesting series takes on the value $$\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{1}{(2n+1)\operatorname{sinh}((2n+1)\pi)}=\frac{\log(2)}{8}$$ I tried ...
21
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1answer
454 views

Evaluating $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{3} \binom{2n}{n}} $

Wolfram MathWorld states that $$ \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^{3} \binom{2n}{n}} = \frac{ \pi \sqrt{3}}{18} \Big[ \psi_{1} \left(\frac{1}{3} \right) - \psi_{1} \left(\frac{2}{3} \right) \Big]- ...
21
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1answer
746 views

Expository articles on Analysis and Probability theory

When I come across a notion from algebra or number theory which I don't know I usually check Keith Conrad's page to see if he has written something about it. Key features of his articles are a very ...
20
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7answers
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Characterizing nonconstant entire functions with modulus 1 on the unit circle

Is there a characterization of the nonconstant entire functions $f$ that satisfy $|f(z)|=1$ for all $|z|=1$? Clearly, $f(z)=z^n$ works for all $n$. Also, it's not difficult to show that if $f$ is ...