Questions on the gamma function $\Gamma(z)$ of Euler extending the usual factorial $n!$ for arbitrary argument, and related functions.

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107
votes
7answers
6k views

Intuition for the definition of the Gamma function?

In these notes by Terence Tao is a proof of Stirling's formula. I really like most of it, but at a crucial step he uses the integral identity $$n! = \int_{0}^{\infty} t^n e^{-t} dt$$ coming from ...
83
votes
9answers
4k views

Why is Euler's Gamma function the “best” extension of the factorial function to the reals?

There are lots (an infinitude) of smooth functions that coincide with f(n)=n! on the integers. Is there a simple reason why Euler's Gamma function $\Gamma (z) = \int_0^\infty t^{z-1} e^t dt$ is ...
36
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to simplify $\frac{\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{10}\right)}{\Gamma\left(\frac{2}{15}\right)\ \Gamma\left(\frac{7}{15}\right)}$?

Is it possible to simplify this expression? $$\frac{\displaystyle\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{10}\right)}{\displaystyle\Gamma\left(\frac{2}{15}\right)\ \Gamma\left(\frac{7}{15}\right)}$$ Is there a systematic ...
33
votes
5answers
667 views

Closed form for $\prod_{n=1}^\infty\sqrt[2^n]{\frac{\Gamma(2^n+\frac{1}{2})}{\Gamma(2^n)}}$

Is there a closed form for the following infinite product? $$\prod_{n=1}^\infty\sqrt[2^n]{\frac{\Gamma(2^n+\frac{1}{2})}{\Gamma(2^n)}}$$
31
votes
1answer
654 views

What is the role of mathematical intuition and common sense in questions of irrationality or transcendence of values of special functions?

I got the number $$\frac{\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{5}\right)\Gamma\left(\frac{4}{15}\right)}{\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{3}\right)\Gamma\left(\frac{2}{15}\right)}=0.824326275998351470388591998726842...$$ in the ...
27
votes
1answer
640 views

A series problem by Knuth

I came across the following problem, known as Knuth's Series which originally was an American Mathematical Monthly problem. Prove that $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty ...
22
votes
1answer
495 views

Closed form for $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{\psi(n+\frac{5}{4})}{(1+2n)(1+4n)^2}$

This question came up in the process of finding solution to another problem. Eventually, the problem was solved avoiding calculation of this sum, but it looks quite interesting on its own. Is there a ...
21
votes
1answer
453 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]- ...
19
votes
2answers
360 views

Closed form for $\int_0^\infty\left(\int_0^1\frac1{\sqrt{1-y^2}\sqrt{1+x^2\,y^2}}\mathrm dy\right)^3\mathrm dx.$

I need to find a closed form for these nested definite integrals: $$I=\int_0^\infty\left(\int_0^1\frac1{\sqrt{1-y^2}\sqrt{1+x^2\,y^2}}\mathrm dy\right)^3\mathrm dx.$$ The inner integral can be ...
19
votes
3answers
443 views

Closed form for $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^n n^4 H_n}{2^n}$

Please help me to find a closed form for the sum $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^n n^4 H_n}{2^n},$$ where $H_n$ are harmonic numbers: $$H_n=\sum_{k=1}^n\frac{1}{k}=\frac{\Gamma'(n+1)}{n!}+\gamma.$$
18
votes
3answers
678 views

Why isn't the gamma function defined so that $\Gamma(n) = n! $?

As a physics student, I have occasionally run across the gamma function $$\Gamma(n) \equiv \int_0^{\infty}t^{n-1}e^{-t} \textrm{d}t = (n-1)!$$ when we want to generalize the concept of a factorial. ...
17
votes
2answers
9k views

How to find the factorial of a fraction?

From what I know, the factorial function is defined as follows: $$n! = n(n-1)(n-2) \cdots(3)(2)(1)$$ And $0! = 1$. However, this page seems to be saying that you can take the factorial of a ...
17
votes
1answer
417 views

Evaluating $\prod\limits_{n=2}^{\infty}\left(1-\frac{1}{n^3}\right)$

I'm having a very hard time understanding the following evaluation of $ \displaystyle\prod_{n=2}^{\infty}\left(1-\frac{1}{n^3}\right)$. The beginning and end make sense, but I can't make much sense ...
17
votes
1answer
249 views

Prove $\int_{0}^\infty \frac{1}{\Gamma(x)}\, \mathrm{d}x = e + \int_0^\infty \frac{e^{-x}}{\pi^2 + \ln^2 x}\, \mathrm{d}x$

I came across this nice identity: $$\int_{0}^\infty \frac{1}{\Gamma(x)}\, \mathrm{d}x = e + \int_0^\infty \frac{e^{-x}}{\pi^2 + \ln^2 x}\, \mathrm{d}x$$ Is there an elementary proof?
16
votes
6answers
556 views

Show that $\int_{0}^{\infty }\frac {\ln x}{x^4+1}\ dx =-\frac{\pi^2 \sqrt{2}}{16}$

I could prove it using the residues but I'm interested to have it in a different way (for example using Gamma/Beta or any other functions) to show that $$ ...
16
votes
2answers
426 views

How to prove $\int_0^\infty J_\nu(x)^3dx\stackrel?=\frac{\Gamma(1/6)\ \Gamma(1/6+\nu/2)}{2^{5/3}\ 3^{1/2}\ \pi^{3/2}\ \Gamma(5/6+\nu/2)}$?

I am interested in finding a general formula for the following integral: $$\int_0^\infty J_\nu(x)^3dx,\tag1$$ where $J_\nu(x)$ is the Bessel function of the first kind: $$J_\nu(x)=\sum ...
16
votes
1answer
216 views

Closed form for $\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^n n^a H_n}{2^n}$

Is there a closed form for the sum $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(-1)^n n^a H_n}{2^n},$$ where $H_n$ are harmonic numbers: $$H_n=\sum_{k=1}^n\frac{1}{k}=\frac{\Gamma'(n+1)}{n!}+\gamma.$$ This is a ...
16
votes
1answer
580 views

How do you prove Gautschi's inequality for the gamma function?

A few answers here on math.SE have used as an intermediate step the following inequality that is due to Walter Gautschi: $$x^{1-s} < \frac{\Gamma(x+1)}{\Gamma(x+s)} < (x+1)^{1-s},\qquad x > ...
15
votes
2answers
313 views

Continuous generalization of $\sum_{k=0}^n {n \choose k} = 2^n$?

We know that $$\sum_{k=0}^n {n \choose k} = 2^n.$$ A continuous generalization of the formula would be $$\int_0^{n+1} \frac{\Gamma(n+1)}{\Gamma(n-x+1) \Gamma(x+1)} dx = 2^n?,$$ but this is incorrect ...
15
votes
1answer
224 views

Is $K\left(\frac{\sqrt{2-\sqrt3}}2\right)\stackrel?=\frac{\Gamma\left(\frac16\right)\Gamma\left(\frac13\right)}{4\ \sqrt[4]3\ \sqrt\pi}$

Working on this conjecture, I found its corollary, which is also supported by numeric caclulations up to at least $10^5$ decimal digits: ...
15
votes
2answers
795 views

The Gamma function and the Pi function

I have been studying differential equation, in particular special functions. Euler's Gamma function, and Gauss's Pi function are essentially the same, differing only by an offset of one unit. for ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Stirling's formula: proof?

Suppose we want to show that $$ n! \sim \sqrt{2 \pi} n^{n+(1/2)}e^{-n}$$ Instead we could show that $$\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{n!}{n^{n+(1/2)}e^{-n}} = C$$ where $C$ is a constant. Maybe $C = ...
14
votes
2answers
186 views

Sum of $\Gamma(n+a) / \Gamma(n+b)$

If $a$ and $b$ are positive real numbers, such that $b > a + 1$, can we find the sum $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{\Gamma(n+a)}{\Gamma(n+b)}?$$ For example I have found that $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} ...
13
votes
7answers
651 views

Evaluating $\int_0^\infty \frac{dx}{1+x^4}$. [duplicate]

Can anyone give me a hint to evaluate this integral? $$\int_0^\infty \frac{dx}{1+x^4}$$ I know it will involve the gamma function, but how?
13
votes
1answer
167 views

A Gamma limit $\lim_{n\rightarrow+\infty}\sum_{k=1}^n \displaystyle \left( \Gamma\bigl(\frac{k}{n}\bigr)\right)^{-k}=\frac{e^\gamma}{e^\gamma-1}$

Show that $$\lim_{n\rightarrow+\infty}\sum_{k=1}^n \displaystyle \left( \Gamma\bigl(\frac{k}{n}\bigr)\right)^{-k}=\frac{e^\gamma}{e^\gamma-1}$$ where $\gamma$ is the Euler-Mascheroni Constant. ...
13
votes
2answers
441 views

Interesting Integral $\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\frac{e^{i nx}}{\Gamma(\alpha+x) \Gamma(\beta -x)}dx$

I am asking this question out of curiosity. $$\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\frac{e^{i nx}}{\Gamma(\alpha+x) \Gamma(\beta -x)}dx = \frac{ \left(2\cos \frac{n}{2} \right)^{\alpha ...
13
votes
0answers
514 views

The log gamma integral $\int_{0}^{z} \log \Gamma (x) \ \mathrm dx$

One way to evaluate $ \displaystyle\int_{0}^{z} \log \Gamma(x) \ \mathrm dx $ is in terms of the Barnes G-function. $$ \int_{0}^{z} \log \Gamma(x) \ \mathrm dx = \frac{z}{2} \log (2 \pi) + ...
12
votes
1answer
294 views

On the zeta sum $\sum_{n=1}^\infty[\zeta(5n)-1]$ and others

For p = 2, we have, $\begin{align}&\sum_{n=1}^\infty[\zeta(pn)-1] = \frac{3}{4}\end{align}$ It seems there is a general form for odd p. For example, for p = 5, define $z_5 = e^{\pi i/5}$. Then, ...
12
votes
1answer
283 views

Closed form for $\int_1^\infty\int_0^1\frac{\mathrm dy\,\mathrm dx}{\sqrt{x^2-1}\sqrt{1-y^2}\sqrt{1-y^2+4\,x^2y^2}}$

Consider the following integral: $$\mathcal{I}=\int_1^\infty\int_0^1\frac{\mathrm dy\,\mathrm dx}{\sqrt{x^2-1}\sqrt{1-y^2}\sqrt{1-y^2+4\,x^2y^2}}.$$ It can be represented as ...
11
votes
3answers
311 views

Gamma $\Gamma$ meets $\gamma$

I am looking for a proofs of the following limits: $$ \lim_{x \to \infty} \Gamma \left(1+\frac{1}{x} \right)^x = e^{-\gamma}. $$ I find this limit interesting as it relates the gamma function ...
10
votes
3answers
161 views

Scary contour integral, but is also an integral representation for $\Gamma$-function

This problem is supposed to be from an old Acta Mathematica volume I circa 1880's, and is attributed to Bourguet. By using a parabola with its focus on the origin as a contour, show that: ...
10
votes
3answers
269 views

Estimate $\displaystyle\int_0^\infty\frac{t^n}{n!}e^{-e^t}dt$ accurately.

How can I obtain good asymptotics for $$\gamma_n=\displaystyle\int_0^\infty\frac{t^n}{n!}e^{-e^t}dt\text{ ? }$$ [This has been already done] In particular, I would like to obtain asymptotics that ...
10
votes
2answers
223 views

A $\log$ integral with a parameter

Prove that: $$\int_0^\infty \frac{\ln x}{x^a+1}\;\text{d}x=-\left( \frac{\pi }{a} \right)\cot \left( \frac{\pi }{a} \right)\csc \left( \frac{\pi }{a} \right),\ \ a>1$$ For this one I consider to ...
10
votes
3answers
317 views

Integral $\int\limits_0^\infty \prod\limits_{k=0}^\infty\frac{1+\frac{x^2}{(b+1+k)^2}}{1+\frac{x^2}{(a+k)^2}} \ dx$

Does anybody know how to prove this identity? $$\int_0^\infty \prod_{k=0}^\infty\frac{1+\frac{x^2}{(b+1+k)^2}}{1+\frac{x^2}{(a+k)^2}} \ dx=\frac{\sqrt{\pi}}{2}\frac{\Gamma ...
10
votes
1answer
340 views

How to solve $x!=5^x$?

Or, more generally, $$\Gamma (x+1)=\int_0^{\infty}t^{x}e^{-t}dt=p^x$$ with $p \in \mathbb{Z}^+$ and $x \in \mathbb{C}$. Perhaps begin with $\large p^x=p^x \lim_{n \rightarrow ...
9
votes
5answers
670 views

A gamma function inequality

I would like to prove $$\frac{\Gamma(n+\frac{1}{2})}{\Gamma(n+1)} \le \frac{1}{\sqrt{n}}$$ for all natural $n \ge 1$. The inequality does seem to be true numerically, but the proof eludes me.
9
votes
2answers
255 views

The most complete reference for identities and special values for polylogarithm and polygamma functions

I am looking for a book, paper, web site, etc. (or several ones) containing the most complete list of identities and special values for the polylogarithm $\operatorname{Li}_s(z)$ and polygamma ...
9
votes
1answer
293 views

Complex Factorial Equaling One

For what complex values of $z$ is $$z! =1? $$ Are they even all known? Are there finitely many or infinitely many? (Yes, the trivial $z$ are 0 and 1. )
9
votes
2answers
842 views

Integration of powers of the $\sin x$

I have to evalute $$\int_0^{\frac{\pi}{2}}(\sin x)^z\ dx.$$ I put this integral in Wolfram Alpha, and the result is ...
9
votes
1answer
559 views

Question involving the Gamma function

I'm trying to prove that for $p,q>0$, we have $$\int_0^1t^{p-1}(1-t)^{q-1}\,dt=\frac{\Gamma(p)\Gamma(q)}{\Gamma(p+q)}.$$ The hint given suggest that we express $\Gamma(p)\Gamma(q)$ as a double ...
9
votes
1answer
214 views

Strange closed forms for hypergeometric functions

So in the process of trying to find a derivation for this answer, the following interesting equalities arose (one can check with Wolfram Alpha/Mathematica): $$\frac{8\sqrt{2}G^4}{5\pi^2} ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Quotient of gamma functions?

I'm sorry if this is a simple question, but this page on Wolfram Research states that it follows from Stirling's formula that: $$ \frac{\Gamma(x+\beta)}{\Gamma(x)} \approx x^\beta $$ for large $x$, ...
9
votes
2answers
285 views

The Laurent series of the digamma function at the negative integers

To find the Laurent series of $\psi(z)$ at $z= 0$, I would first find the Taylor series of $\psi(z+1)$ at $z=0$ and then use the functional equation of the digamma function. Specifically, ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Calculate integrals involving gamma function

What are the usual ways to follow in order to solve the integrals given below? $$\begin{align*} I&=\int_0^1 \ln\Gamma(x)\,dx\\ J&=\int_0^1 x\ln\Gamma(x)\,dx \end{align*}$$
8
votes
2answers
399 views

Is there a combinatorial way to see the link between the beta and gamma functions?

The Wikipedia page on the beta function gives a simple formula for it in terms of the gamma function. Using that and the fact that $\Gamma(n+1)=n!$, I can prove the following formula: $$ ...
8
votes
2answers
982 views

Proving and deriving a Gamma function

I'm having a hard time trying to prove this Gamma function and trying to derive the duplication formula: a.) Prove that $$\frac{\Gamma (p)\Gamma (p)}{\Gamma (2p)} = ...
8
votes
2answers
180 views

Ramanujan's 'well known' integral, $\int_\frac{-\pi}{2}^\frac{\pi}{2} (\cos x)^m e^{in x}dx$.

$$ \int_{-\pi/2}^{\pi/2}\cos^m\left(x\right){\rm e}^{{\rm i}n x}\,{\rm d}x ={\pi \over 2^{m}}\, {\Gamma\left(1 + m\right) \over \Gamma\left( 1 + \left[m + n\right]/2\right)\ \Gamma\left( 1 + ...
8
votes
3answers
568 views

Limit of Gamma integrals

The following seems to hold in numerical simulations, is it true? $$\lim_{n\to \infty} \int_0^1 dx \frac{n! 2^{-n} n}{(n x)!(n-n x)!\sqrt{x(1-x)}}=2$$ It's a combination of two known integrals ...
8
votes
1answer
228 views

Is it possible to generalize Ramanujan's lower bound for factorials that he used in his proof of Bertrand's Postulate?

I am starting to feel more confident in my understanding of Ramanujan's proof of Bertrand's postulate. I hope that I am not getting overconfident. In particular, Ramanujan's does the following ...
8
votes
1answer
954 views

Integral $\int_0^1\sqrt{1-x^4}dx$

I am asked to show $\int_0^1\sqrt{1-x^4}dx=\frac{\{\Gamma(1/4)\}^2}{6\sqrt{2\pi}}$. I know the gamma function is defined by $\Gamma(n)=\int_0^\infty x^{n-1}e^{-x}dx$. I tried to substituted ...