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 $f_n(x)$ ...
250
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23answers
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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 ...
151
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4answers
10k 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 ...
103
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5answers
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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 ...
94
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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?
85
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5answers
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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?
75
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17answers
16k 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 ...
67
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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 ...
63
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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 ...
52
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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 ...
50
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1answer
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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 ...
49
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23answers
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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 ...
49
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
44
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1answer
990 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, ...
43
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8answers
7k 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?
42
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8answers
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 ...
41
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10answers
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Why does being holomorphic imply so much about a function?

I haven't yet started my complex analysis course (soon!), but recently (inspired by you guys) I've been looking into holomorphic functions. And wow, they're cool! There's so much stuff that's true ...
40
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5answers
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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 ...
36
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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 ...
36
votes
10answers
15k 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.
36
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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 ...
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 ...
36
votes
3answers
751 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.
35
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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 ...
35
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2answers
882 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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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 ...
33
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2answers
1k 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 ...
31
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
31
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?
29
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
29
votes
3answers
733 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 ...
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
votes
4answers
884 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 ...
28
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2answers
782 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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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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1answer
494 views

Distribution of roots of complex polynomials

I generated random quadratic and cubic polynomials with coefficients in $\mathbb{C}$ uniformly distributed in the unit disk $|z| \le 1$. The distribution of the roots of 10000 of these polynomials are ...
26
votes
1answer
606 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 ...
25
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2answers
5k views

Demonstration that 0 = 1 [duplicate]

I have been proposed this enigma, but can't solve it. So here it is: $$\begin{align} e^{2 \pi i n} &= 1 \quad \forall n \in \mathbb{N} && (\times e) \tag{0} \\ e^{2 \pi i n + 1} &= e ...
25
votes
1answer
968 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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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 $n \times n$ ...
25
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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
1answer
732 views

Which sets are removable for holomorphic functions?

Let $\Omega$ be a domain in $\mathbb C$, and let $\mathscr X$ be some class of functions from $\Omega$ to $\mathbb C$. A set $E\subset \Omega$ is called removable for holomorphic functions of class ...
25
votes
2answers
541 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]- ...
25
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2answers
925 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
834 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
votes
3answers
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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 ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
23
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4answers
944 views

Integral $\int_0^\infty \log(1+x^2)\frac{\cosh{\frac{\pi x}{2}}}{\sinh^2{\frac{\pi x}{2}}}\mathrm dx=2-\frac{4}{\pi}$

Hi I am trying to show$$ I:=\int_0^\infty \log(1+x^2)\frac{\cosh{\frac{\pi x}{2}}}{\sinh^2{\frac{\pi x}{2}}}\mathrm dx=2-\frac{4}{\pi}. $$ Thank you. What a desirable thing to want to prove! It is a ...
23
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
23
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1answer
690 views

When can't a real definite integral be evaluated using contour integration?

Some older complex analysis textbooks state that $ \displaystyle \int_{0}^{\infty}e^{-x^{2}} \ dx$ can't be evaluated using contour integration. But that's now known not to be true, which makes me ...