For questions on continued fractions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

41
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
38
votes
1answer
713 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 ...
29
votes
1answer
561 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
669 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
536 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
315 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
597 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
908 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
806 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
182 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) + ...
14
votes
2answers
282 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?
13
votes
2answers
355 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
679 views

Arithmetic of continued fractions, does it exist?

I'm interested in the arithmmetic of continued fractions and specially in multiplication. Consider $$ ...
12
votes
1answer
458 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
182 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
340 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\\ ...
11
votes
3answers
426 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
142 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
722 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
5answers
410 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
752 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
508 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
399 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
2answers
883 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
159 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
282 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
262 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
2answers
119 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
149 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
95 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
697 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
702 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
364 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
561 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; ...
7
votes
2answers
259 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
89 views

On the Pell-like $Ax^2-By^2 = 1$

This is connected to the post, Mere coincidence? (prime factors). I was looking at NeuroFuzzy's dataset and noticed the line, {{{1, {4, 2}}, {1, 4, 2, 4, 2}, 23762}} It seems this could be ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

What causes the convergence of Iterated continued fractions from convergents?

Here is a small discovery I stumbled across a few weeks ago. I hope at least one person will find it interesting enough to help me. The iterated continued fractions from convergents (or convergents ...
7
votes
1answer
310 views

Eigenvalues of a tridiagonal trigonometric matrix

Let $A$ be the diagonal matrix w/alternating in sign diagonal entries: $$ A = \begin{pmatrix} (-1)^{n-1} \tan\left(\frac{\pi}{2n+1}\right) & 0 & 0 & \ldots & 0 \\ 0 & ...
7
votes
0answers
83 views

Properties of a continued fraction convolution operation

Usually the partial numerators of a continued fraction are all 1s. Has anyone considered the operation where you convolve 1 continued fraction with another, in other words, make a new continued ...
7
votes
0answers
442 views

What can Euler's identity teach us about (generalised) continued fractions?

We know that $$e^{i \pi} = -1 .$$ We can transform all of the components of this identity into (generalized) continued fractions. When we start of with $\pi$, we see that $$ \Big(3+ ...
6
votes
3answers
187 views

Where did the negative answer come from in $1+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{\ddots }}}$?

In this question we increased solution domain by squaring both sides of equation but what about this one ? Here the question is to evaluate ...
6
votes
2answers
108 views

Continued fractions help

I'm trying to learn how to express a square root as continued fraction, but I can't get one thing. The following example of $\sqrt{14}$ is from this page (click the image to see it at full size): ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Are all numbers that have a non-repeating, non-terminating continued fraction sequence transcendental? [duplicate]

(By continued fraction sequence, I'm specifically talking about the one kind where the numerator of every fraction is 1.) As a kid in middle school, I learned that all irrational numbers have ...
6
votes
1answer
345 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 > ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Mistake in Khinchin's “Continued Fractions”

I am reading Khinchin's Continued Fractions page 10. $\lbrack a_1;a_2,a_3\ldots\rbrack$ is a continued fraction and $q_k$ is given by $q_k=a_kq_{k-1}+q_{k-2}$. Suppose $\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}a_n$ ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

A question on continued fraction

Let $a$ be a positive irrational number. Let $p_k/q_k, p_{k+1}/q_{k+1}$ be two consecutive convergents of its simple continued fraction, where $k\ge 1$. Is it possible that both ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Is this a misuse of the word “evaluate”?

I have found the following use of the word "evaluate" in several math books: "To evaluate the continued fraction, start at the bottom and work your way up:" $\huge \underbrace{2 + ...
6
votes
3answers
543 views

Computing Infinite Continued Fractions

I am looking for "tricks" used to compute infinite continued fractions. For example, $$1+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{1+\cfrac{1}{\ddots}}}$$ is the golden ratio since if we denote it by $x$, then we have ...
6
votes
1answer
67 views

Infinite Continued Fraction Notation

I can't find anywhere via googling; is there some sort of $\sum$ like notation for infinite continued fractions? In other words, for a sum we do this: $$ 1+x+x^2+x^3+... = \sum_{n=0}^\infty x^n $$ ...