A is an expression obtained through an iterative process of representing a number as the sum of its integer part and the reciprocal of another number.

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54
votes
6answers
4k views

Continued fraction fallacy: $1=2$

It's easy to check that for any natural $n$ $$\frac{n+1}{n}=\cfrac{1}{2-\cfrac{n+2}{n+1}}.$$ Now, ...
50
votes
3answers
580 views

Closed form solution for $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{1}{1+\frac{n^2}{1+\frac{1}{\stackrel{\ddots}{1+\frac{1}{1+n^2}}}}}$.

Using a symbolic computation software (Mathematica), I got the following interesting results: $$ \begin{align} \sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{1}{1+\frac{n^2}{1+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{1+n^2}}}} &= ...
40
votes
1answer
821 views

A new continued fraction for Apéry's constant, $\zeta(3)$?

As a background, Ramanujan also gave a continued fraction for $\zeta(3)$ as $\zeta(3) = 1+\cfrac{1}{u_1+\cfrac{1^3}{1+\cfrac{1^3}{u_2+\cfrac{2^3}{1+\cfrac{2^3}{u_3 + \ddots}}}}}\tag{1}$ where the ...
30
votes
1answer
621 views

How do I calculate the 2nd term of continued fraction for the power tower ${^5}e=e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}$

I need to find the 2nd term of continued fraction for the power tower ${^5}e=e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}$ ( i.e. $\lfloor\{e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}\}^{-1}\rfloor$), or even higher towers. The number is too big to ...
29
votes
10answers
1k views

What are the applications of continued fractions?

What is the most motivating way to introduce continued fractions? Are there any real life applications of continued fractions?
22
votes
1answer
797 views

A continued fraction involving prime numbers

What is the limit of the continued fraction $$\cfrac{1}{2+\cfrac{1}{3+\cfrac{1}{5+\cfrac{1}{7+\cfrac{1}{11+\cfrac{1}{13+\cdots}}}}}}\ ?$$ Is the limit algebraic, or expressible in terms of e or ...
21
votes
1answer
557 views

Direct proof that for a prime $p$ if $p\equiv 1 \bmod 4$ then $l(\sqrt{p})$ is odd.

Definition: Assume $p$ is a prime. $l(\sqrt{p})=$ length of period in simple continued fraction expansion of $\sqrt{p}$. The standard proof of this uses the following: $p$ is a prime implies $p ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What was Ramanujan's solution?

The wikipedia entry on Ramanujan contains the following passage: One of his remarkable capabilities was the rapid solution for problems. He was sharing a room with P. C. Mahalanobis who had a ...
19
votes
2answers
463 views

Evaluation of a continued fraction

Puzzle question... I know how to solve it, and will post my solution if needed; but those who wish may participate in the spirit of coming up with elegant solutions rather than trying to teach me how ...
19
votes
2answers
641 views

Riemann's zeta as a continued fraction over prime numbers.

Riemann's zeta function is a function with many faces, I mean representations. I recently derived this one, bellow, as a continued fraction over prime numbers. $$ \zeta(s)=1 ...
16
votes
3answers
991 views

Motivation behind this eccentric Ramanujan Identity

I just visited the MathJaX page due to the Math.SE website showing some problems while loading the page. I saw some demo math equations samples at this page, when this identity actually caught my ...
16
votes
1answer
343 views

An infinite series plus a continued fraction by Ramanujan

Here is a famous problem posed by Ramanujan Show that $$\left(1 + \frac{1}{1\cdot 3} + \frac{1}{1\cdot 3\cdot 5} + \cdots\right) + ...
15
votes
2answers
883 views

Continued fraction for $\frac{1}{e-2}$

A couple of years ago I found the following continued fraction for $\frac1{e-2}$: $$\frac{1}{e-2} = 1+\cfrac1{2 + \cfrac2{3 + \cfrac3{4 + \cfrac4{5 + \cfrac5{6 + \cfrac6{7 + \cfrac7{\cdots}}}}}}}$$ ...
15
votes
1answer
252 views

Closed-form of infinite continued fraction involving factorials

Is there a closed form of this: $$ 1!+\dfrac{1}{2!+\dfrac{1}{3!+\dfrac{1}{4!+\ldots}}} $$
14
votes
2answers
314 views

Solving for $x$: $1=\frac{1}{x}+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{x}}+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{1+\frac{1}{x}}}+\cdots$

How can I solve for $x$: $$1=\cfrac{1}{x}+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{x}}+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{x}}}+\cdots$$ Any clues?
14
votes
1answer
844 views

Arithmetic of continued fractions, does it exist?

I'm interested in the arithmmetic of continued fractions and specially in multiplication. Consider $$ ...
13
votes
2answers
516 views

How to do a very long division: continued fraction for tan

I want to compute $$\tan(r) = \cfrac{r}{1 - \cfrac{r^2}{3 - \cfrac{r^2}{5 - \cfrac{r^2}{7 - {}\ddots}}}}$$ by dividing the power series for sin and cos as it is said can be done in ...
12
votes
1answer
208 views

Request for a proof of the following continued-fraction identity

I have been poring over many texts about continued fractions, but none of them seem to be helping me to prove the following beautiful continued-fraction identity (I am nowhere close): $$ ...
12
votes
1answer
373 views

How to prove this determinant is $\pi$?

prove or disprove $$\pi=\begin{vmatrix} 3&1&0&0&0&\cdots\\ -1&6&1&0&0&\cdots\\ 0&-1&\dfrac{6}{3^2}&1&0&\cdots\\ ...
12
votes
1answer
169 views

Evaluation of a slow continued fraction

Puzzle question... I know how to solve it, and will post my solution if needed; but those who wish may participate in the spirit of coming up with elegant solutions rather than trying to teach me how ...
11
votes
5answers
444 views

What's the value of $n+\cfrac{n}{n+\cfrac{n}{n+\cfrac{n}{\vdots}}}$ for $n\in\mathbb{C}$?

Write $$\phi_n\stackrel{(1)}{=}n+\cfrac{n}{n+\cfrac{n}{\vdots}}$$ so that $\phi_n=n+\frac{n}{\phi_n},$ which gives $\phi_n=\frac{n\pm\sqrt{n^2+4n}}{2}.$ We know $\phi_1=\phi$, the Golden Ratio, so ...
11
votes
3answers
523 views

Closed form for a pair of continued fractions

What is $1+\cfrac{1}{2+\cfrac{1}{3+\cfrac{1}{4+\cdots}}}$ ? What is $1+\cfrac{2}{1+\cfrac{3}{1+\cdots}}$ ? It does bear some resemblance to the continued fraction for $e$, which is ...
11
votes
1answer
526 views

Deriving a trivial continued fraction for the exponential

Lately, I learned about the following continued fraction for the exponential function: $$\exp(x)=1+\cfrac{x}{1-\cfrac{x/2}{1+x/2-\cfrac{x/3}{1+x/3-\cfrac{x/4}{1+x/4-\dots}}}}$$ I thought it was ...
11
votes
1answer
562 views

A strange “pattern” in the continued fraction convergents of pi?

From the simple continued fraction of $\pi$, one gets the convergents, $$p_n = \frac{3}{1}, \frac{22}{7}, \frac{333}{106}, \frac{355}{113}, \frac{103993}{33102}, \frac{104348}{33215}, ...
10
votes
4answers
768 views

Solve $\dfrac{1}{1+\frac{1}{1+\ddots}}$

I'm currently a high school junior enrolling in AP Calculus, I found this website that's full of "math geeks" and I hope you can give me some clues on how to solve this problem. I'm pretty desperate ...
10
votes
3answers
329 views

Value of $f'(0)$ if $f(x)=\frac{x}{1+\frac{x}{1+\frac{x}{1+\ddots}}}$

Consider the function $$f(x)=\cfrac{x}{1+\cfrac{x}{1+\cfrac{x}{1+\ddots}}} $$ Determine the value of $f'(0)$. I tried to differentiate $f(x)$ but it is not subject to chain rule, and now I'm stuck. ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Proving the continued fraction representation of $\sqrt{2}$

There's a question in Spivak's Calculus (I don't happen to have the question number in front of me in the 2nd Edition, it's Chapter 21, Problem 7) that develops the concept of continued fraction, ...
10
votes
1answer
602 views

Continued Fraction expansion of $tan(1)$

Prove that continued fraction of $\tan(1)=[1;1,1,3,1,5,1,7,1,9,1,11,...]$. I tried using the same sort of trick used for finding continued fractions of quadratic irrationals and trying to find a ...
10
votes
1answer
78 views

Continued fraction estimation of error in Leibniz series for $\pi$.

The following arctan formula for $\pi$ is quite well known $$\frac{\pi}{4} = 1 - \frac{1}{3} + \frac{1}{5} - \frac{1}{7} + \cdots\tag{1}$$ and bears the name of Madhava-Gregory-Leibniz series after ...
10
votes
1answer
913 views

How do I prove the partial denominators formula of the Bauer-Muir transformation of a generalized continued fraction?

Notation: $b_{0}+\underset{n=1}{\overset{\infty }{\mathbb{K}}}\left( a_{n}/b_{n}\right) $ is the Gauss Notation for generalized continued fractions. Description of the Bauer-Muir transformation ...
10
votes
0answers
181 views

Continued fraction with prime reciprocal entries

We know that the reciprocals of the primes form a divergent series. We also know that a necessary and sufficient condition for a continued fraction to converge is that its entries diverge as a series. ...
9
votes
3answers
173 views

Generalizations of $\sum_{m=3n+2}^{\infty}\phi^m=\phi^{3n}$ and $\sum_{m=13n+1}^{\infty}(\sqrt2-1)^m=\dfrac{(\sqrt2-1)^{13n}}{\sqrt2}$

I noticed that the following identies hold with the help of wolfram alpha and oeis. I'm sure they're well-known, but I'd like to know how they generalize. ...
9
votes
1answer
200 views

Minimum of $|az_x-bz_y|$

I am trying to minimize the following function: \begin{align} &f(z_x,z_y)=|az_x-bz_y| \\ &\text{ s.t. } z_x,z_y \in \mathbb{Z},1 \le z_x \le N_x \text{ and } 1 \le z_y \le N_y \text{ and } ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Continued fraction of a square root

If I want to find the continued fraction of $\sqrt{n}$ how do I know which number to use for $a_0$? Is there a way to do it without using a calculator or anything like that? What's the general ...
8
votes
3answers
290 views

Continued fractions for $\sqrt{x} $ and beyond, valid formula?

For $x > 0$, is this trick valid? I use $$ ( \sqrt{x}-1)(\sqrt{x}+1)=x-1 $$ then $$ \sqrt{x}+1 = \frac{x-1}{\sqrt{x}+1-2} $$ so I can use iterations to get the rational approximant $$ \sqrt{x} ...
8
votes
3answers
734 views

Why are some mathematical constants irrational by their continued fraction while others aren't?

Catalan's Constant and quite a few other mathematical constants are known to have an infinite continued fraction (see the bottom of that webpage). On wikipedia (I'm sorry, I can't post anymore ...
8
votes
5answers
518 views

How are continued fractions useful?

On Wolfram Alpha, I see continued fractions being listed in the results. Although I understand continued fractions, and how they can be used for approximations, what is a better approximation than a ...
8
votes
4answers
730 views

How to detect when continued fractions period terminates

I'm doing continued fractions arithmetic. Is there a method to detect when a continued fractions period terminates? Let me give you an example: $\sqrt{2} = [1; \overline{2}]$, $\sqrt{7} = [2; ...
8
votes
3answers
109 views

Minimal $ab$ for Rational Number $a/b$ in an Interval

Given rational numbers $L$ and $U$, $0<L<U<1$, find rational number $M=a/b$ such that $L \le M<U$ and $(a\times b)$ is as small as possible---$a$ and $b$ are integers. For example, If ...
8
votes
2answers
335 views

How to find value of $x+y+z+u+v+w$

let $x,y,z,u,v,w$ be positive integer numbers,and such $$1949(xyzuvw+xyzu+xyzw+xyvw+xuvw+zuvw+xy+xu+xw+zu+zw+vw+1)=2004(yzvw+yzu+yzw+uvw+y+u+w)$$ Find this value of $$x+y+z+u+v+w=?$$ My try: maybe ...
8
votes
2answers
134 views

Reference for relation between class number of $\Bbb Q[\sqrt{-p}]$ and partial quotients of $\sqrt p$

So in Ireland and Rosen's, "Classical Introduction to Modern Number Theory", they mention the following incredible fact at the end of Chapter 13, section 1. Suppose $p \neq 3$ and $p \equiv 3 \pmod 4$ ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

optimality of 2 in a continued fraction theorem

I'm giving some lectures on continued fractions to high school and college students, and I discussed the standard theorem that, for a real number $\alpha$ and integers $p$ and $q$ with $q \not= 0$, if ...
8
votes
1answer
69 views

Multiply all terms in continued fraction by a constant

I noticed that continued the fraction for $\sqrt{12}$ is $3;2,6,2,6,2,\ldots$ and the continued fraction for $\sqrt{7\times12}$ is $9;6,18,6,18,6,\ldots$ all the terms in the continued fraction are ...
8
votes
0answers
105 views

Divergent continued fractions?

The solutions to $$ x^2-6x+10=0 \tag 1 $$ are $$ 3\pm i\tag2. $$ Rearranging $(1)$ just a bit, we get $$ x = 6 -\frac{10}x \tag3 $$ and then substituting the right side of $(3)$ for $x$ within the ...
8
votes
1answer
101 views

Do best lower approximations of a quadratic irrational always form a linear recurrence sequence?

Let $\theta$ be an irrational number and let $$ {\cal L}= \bigg\lbrace (a,b) \in {\mathbb Z} \times {\mathbb N}^{*} \bigg| \frac{a}{b} \leq \theta \bigg\rbrace $$ and $$ {\cal B}= \bigg\lbrace ...
7
votes
5answers
748 views

Is π unusually close to 7920/2521?

EDIT: One can look at a particular type of approximation to $\pi$ based on comparing radians to degrees. If you try to approximate $\pi$ by fractions of the form $180n/(360k+1)$, you can find that ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How to find continued fraction of pi

I have always been amazed by the continued fractions for $\pi$. For example some continued fractions for pi are: $\pi=[3:7,15,1,292,.....]$ and many others given here. Similarly some nice continued ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

Are the unit partial quotients of $\pi, \log(2), \zeta(3) $ and other constants $all$ governed by $H=0.415\dots$?

Khinchin showed that given the simple continued fraction of a real number, $$r = a_0+\cfrac{1}{a_1+\cfrac{1}{a_2+\cfrac{1} {\ddots}}}$$ then it is almost always true that the partial quotients $a_i$ ...
7
votes
2answers
310 views

Continued fractions

I'd really love with concluding that for given integers $a_0,a_1,...a_N$ with $a_i>0$ for $i>0$, representing the continued fraction $[a_0; a_1,....,a_N]$, with the following recursion: ...
7
votes
1answer
421 views

What is the length of a continued fraction expansion of a rational number?

I was reviewing quantum factorization and am slightly unclear on a classical detail of order-finding. Given a (suitably nice) periodic function $f$ with unknown period $r$ and a power of two $N > ...