Questions on special functions, useful functions that frequently appear in pure and applied mathematics (usually not including "elementary" functions).

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28
votes
2answers
2k views

Possibility to simplify $\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{\pi }{{\sin \pi a}}} $

Is there any way to show that $$\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{1}{a} + \sum\limits_{k = 1}^\infty {{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}\left( ...
23
votes
1answer
1k 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 > ...
106
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

Prove: $\binom{n}{k}^{-1}=(n+1)\int_{0}^{1}x^{k}(1-x)^{n-k}dx$ for $0 \leq k \leq n$

I would like your help with proving that for every $0 \leq k \leq n$, $$\binom{n}{k}^{-1}=(n+1)\int_{0}^{1}x^{k}(1-x)^{n-k}dx . $$ I tried to integration by parts and to get a pattern or to ...
43
votes
9answers
18k views

Why is $\Gamma\left(\frac{1}{2}\right)=\sqrt{\pi}$ ?

It seems as if no one has asked this here before, unless I don't know how to search. The Gamma function is $$ \Gamma(\alpha)=\int_0^\infty x^{\alpha-1} e^{-x}\,dx. $$ Why is $$ ...
14
votes
7answers
901 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?
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there an Inverse Gamma $\Gamma^{-1} (z) $ function?

Since $\Gamma$ is not one to one over the complex domain, Is it possible to define some principal values ( analogues to Principal Roots for the Root function ) so we can have a $\Gamma^{-1} (z)$ ...
31
votes
1answer
502 views

Are elementary and generalized hypergeometric functions sufficient to express all algebraic numbers?

Are (integers) plus (elementary functions) plus (generalized hypergeometric functions) sufficient to represent any algebraic number? For example, the real algebraic number $\alpha\in(-1,0)$ ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Inverse of $y=xe^x$

I feel like finding the inverse of $y=xe^x$ should have an easy answer but can't find it.
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Series of logarithms $\sum\limits_{k=1}^\infty \ln(k)$ (Ramanujan summation?)

I had this question earlier, so to say as a "standalone" problem, but now it pops up in context of an analysis with the lngamma-function. As well as we can convert the question of sums of like powers ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

Algorithm to compute Gamma function

The question is simple. I would like to implement the Gamma function in my calculator written in C; however, I have not been able to find an easy way to programmatically compute an approximation to ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Interesting integral related to the Omega Constant/Lambert W Function

I ran across an interesting integral and I am wondering if anyone knows where I may find its derivation or proof. I looked through the site. If it is here and I overlooked it, I am sorry. ...
18
votes
3answers
6k views

Analytic continuation- Easy explanation?

Today, as I was flipping through my copy of Higher Algebra by Barnard and Child, I came across a theorem which said, The series $$ 1+\frac{1}{2^p} +\frac{1}{3^p}+...$$ diverges for $p\leq 1$ and ...
10
votes
2answers
612 views

How to find $\zeta(0)=\frac{-1}{2}$ by definition?

I would like to know how we can find the following result: $$\zeta(0)=-\frac12$$ Is there a way, using the definition, $$\zeta(s)=\sum_{i=1}^{\infty}i^{-s}$$ to find this?
9
votes
2answers
642 views

Roots of the incomplete gamma function

Is there any way that one can describe all the roots of the incomplete gamma function $\Gamma(n,z)$, for $n\in \mathbb{N}$, analytically?
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How to accurately calculate the error function erf(x) with a computer?

I am looking for an accurate algorithm to calculate the error function I have tried using [this formula] (http://stackoverflow.com/a/457805) (Handbook of Mathematical Functions, formula ...
4
votes
3answers
540 views

Short calculation of the dilogarithm?

Is there a nice way to implement the dilogarithm function for real values, without actually performing the integration? A series solution would have been nice, but the series around $0$ has a ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Re-Expressing the Digamma

I was reading some articles on the digamma function, and I was wondering if anyone knows how to express the digamma function $\psi^{(0)}(n)$ in terms of a trigonometric function or a logarithmic ...
2
votes
3answers
682 views

What does | mean?

I found this symbol on Wolfram|Alpha. Does it mean "or"? $\displaystyle \large \cos^{-1}(-1)=\mathrm{cd}^{-1}(-1\mid 0)$
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Integrating a product of exponentials and error functions

I have the following integral $$ \int\limits_0^\infty x^2\exp(-\delta x^2)\operatorname{erf}(\gamma x)\,dx. $$ Ideally, I would like a closed-form in terms of common functions, but a series answer ...
40
votes
1answer
1k views

A Challenging Logarithmic Integral $\int_0^1 \frac{\log(x)\log(1-x)\log^2(1+x)}{x}dx$

How can we prove that: $$\int_0^1 \frac{\log(x)\log(1-x)\log^2(1+x)}{x}dx=\frac{7\pi^2}{48}\zeta(3)-\frac{25}{16}\zeta(5)$$ where $\zeta(z)$ is the Riemann Zeta Function. The best I could do was ...
11
votes
1answer
701 views

What would qualify as a valid reason to believe there is a closed form?

I noticed that almost every non-homework-level integral posted on this site prompts somebody to ask "Do you have any reason to believe there is a closed form?" (some recent examples here and here) I ...
28
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
927 views

Limit of Zeta function

I'm looking for a reference for (or an elementary proof of) $$ \lim_{s \rightarrow 1} \left( \zeta(s) - \frac{1}{s-1} \right) = \gamma$$ Thanks for your help.
8
votes
1answer
799 views

Higher Order Trigonometric Function

Once in a time, I had to work with functions that have the following Taylor series expansion: $$ t_m(x)=1-\frac{x^m}{m!}+\frac{x^{2m}}{(2m)!}+\cdots =\sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^k x^{km}}{(km)!}. $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

How to solve the Brioschi quintic in terms of elliptic functions?

Given the Brioschi quintic $$w^{5}-10cw^{3}+45c^{2}w-c^2=0$$ I'm interested in seeing different ways of solving it in terms of elliptic functions or theta functions.
10
votes
3answers
741 views

How does Lambert's W behave near ∞?

How does $W$ behave near $+\infty$ compared to $\log$? In particular, I'm interested in the asymptotic expansion of $$\frac{W(x)}{\ln(x)}$$ near $\infty$ (but along the positive real line, if that ...
5
votes
2answers
240 views

The ratio of jacobi theta functions

Let $q=e^{2\pi i\tau}$. If $\theta_2$ and $\theta_3$ are jacobi theta functions , is it true that the ratio of the two functions can be expressed as a continued fraction of the form $$ ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Understanding the Gamma Function

Is this valid? If $x_1 > x_2 > x_3 > 0$ and $\Delta{t_1} = \Delta{t_2} + \Delta{t_3}$, Does it follow that: $$\frac{\Gamma(x_1 + \Delta{t_1})}{\Gamma(x_1)} \ge \frac{\Gamma(x_2 + ...
1
vote
1answer
259 views

How does one calculate the amount of time required for computation?

For example, to compute the zeroes of the Riemann zeta function using the Euler-Maclaurin summation method one has to do O(T) work. The Euler-Maclaurin summation method for zeta is given by $ ...
1
vote
1answer
271 views

About the Legendre differential equation

Consider the Legendre differential equation $$ (1-x^2) y'' - 2xy' + n(n+1)y = 0 $$ Then its solution is given by $$ y = c_1 P_n (x) + \text{an infinite series} $$ In fact $y = c_1 P_n (x) + c_2 Q_n ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Beta function derivation

How do I derive the Beta function using the definition of the beta function as the normalizing constant of the Beta distribution and only common sense random experiments? I'm pretty sure this is ...
46
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
747 views

Polygamma function series: $\displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{\infty }\left(\Psi^{(1)}(k)\right)^2$

Applying the Copson's inequality, I found: $$S=\displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{\infty }\left(\Psi^{(1)}(k)\right)^2\lt\dfrac{2}{3}\pi^2$$ where $\Psi^{(1)}(k)$ is the polygamma function. Is it known any ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Evaluate $\int_0^\infty \frac{\log(1+x^3)}{(1+x^2)^2}dx$ and $\int_0^\infty \frac{\log(1+x^4)}{(1+x^2)^2}dx$

Background: Evaluation of $\int_0^\infty \frac{\log(1+x^2)}{(1+x^2)^2}dx$ We can prove using the Beta-Function identity that $$\int_0^\infty \frac{1}{(1+x^2)^\lambda}dx=\sqrt{\pi}\frac{\Gamma ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Proof that $\sum\limits_{k=1}^\infty\frac{a_1a_2\cdots a_{k-1}}{(x+a_1)\cdots(x+a_k)}=\frac{1}{x}$ regarding $\zeta(3)$ and Apéry's proof

I recently printed a paper that asks to prove the "amazing" claim that for all $a_1,a_2,\dots$ $$\sum_{k=1}^\infty\frac{a_1a_2\cdots a_{k-1}}{(x+a_1)\cdots(x+a_k)}=\frac{1}{x}$$ and thus (probably) ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

When is an elliptic integral expressible in terms of elementary functions?

After seeing this recent question asking how to calculate the following integral $$ \int \frac{1 + x^2}{(1 - x^2) \sqrt{1 + x^4}} \, dx $$ and some of the comments that suggested that it was an ...
35
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is the error function defined as it is?

$\newcommand{\erf}{\operatorname{erf}}$ This may be a very naïve question, but here goes. The error function $\erf$ is defined by $$\erf(x) = \frac{2}{\sqrt{\pi}} \int_0^x e^{-t^2}dt.$$ Of ...
11
votes
1answer
419 views

Definite Dilogarithm integral $\int^1_0 \frac{\operatorname{Li}_2^2(x)}{x}\, dx $

Prove the following $$\int^1_0 \frac{\operatorname{Li}_2^2(x)}{x}\, dx = -3\zeta(5)+\pi^2 \frac{\zeta(3)}{3}$$ where $$\operatorname{Li}^2_2(x) =\left(\int^x_0 \frac{\log(1-t)}{t}\,dt \right)^2$$ ...
8
votes
4answers
603 views

Integral $\int_0^1 \log \left(\Gamma\left(x+\alpha\right)\right)\,{\rm d}x=\frac{\log\left( 2 \pi\right)}{2}+\alpha \log\left(\alpha\right) -\alpha$

Hi I am trying to prove$$ I:=\int_0^1 \log\left(\,\Gamma\left(x+\alpha\right)\,\right)\,{\rm d}x =\frac{\log\left(2\pi\right)}{2}+\alpha \log\left(\alpha\right) -\alpha\,,\qquad \alpha \geq 0. $$ I am ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

How do you integrate a Bessel function? I don't want to memorize answers or use a computer, is this possible?

I am attempting to integrate a Bessel function of the first kind multiplied by a linear term: $\int xJ_n(x)\mathrm dx$ The textbooks I have open in front of me are not useful (Boas, Arfken, various ...
15
votes
0answers
467 views

a conjectured continued fraction for $\displaystyle\tan\left(\frac{z\pi}{4z+2n}\right)$

Given a complex number $\begin{aligned}\frac{z}{n}=x+iy\end{aligned}$ and a gamma function $\Gamma(z)$ with $x\gt0$, it is conjectured that the following continued fraction for ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

The trigonometric solution to the solvable DeMoivre quintic?

Using the relations for the Rogers-Ramanujan cfrac described in this post, $$\frac{1}{r}-r = x$$ $$\frac{1}{r^5}-r^5 = y$$ and eliminating $r$ yields, $$x^5+5x^3+5x = y$$ This is the case $a=1$ ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Proof that $x \Phi(x) + \Phi'(x) \geq 0$ $\forall x$, where $\Phi$ is the normal CDF

As title. Can anyone supply a simple proof that $$x \Phi(x) + \Phi'(x) \geq 0 \quad \forall x\in\mathbb{R}$$ where $\Phi$ is the standard normal CDF, i.e. $$\Phi(x) = \int_{-\infty}^x ...
10
votes
0answers
476 views

An Expression for $\log\zeta(ns)$ derived from the Limit of the truncated Prime $\zeta$ Function

I think, here, I found $$ P_\color{red}x(\color{blue}s)=\sum_{p<\color{red}x} \frac{1}{p^{\color{blue}s}} =\sum_{\color{green}n=1}^{\infty}\frac{ \mu (\color{green}n)}{\color{green}n} ...
6
votes
1answer
242 views

Proof involving the logarithmic integral

Another exercise from Apostol's book, this time we're supposed to prove $$\mathrm{Li}(x)=\frac{x}{\log x}+\int_2^x \frac{dt}{\log^2t}-\frac{2}{\log 2}.$$ which is easy to do via integration by ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Help with special function differential equation

this is my first time to use this site. Please let me know if the equations are unreadable, latex isn't my first language. We've been covering Legendre, Bessel, and Confluent Hypergeometric ...
1
vote
2answers
569 views

Area of Validity of Writing an Exponential Integral as Sum of IntegralSinus and -Cosinus

I'm confused by the two online references shown below. To me, they give different areas of validity of writing an exponential integral as sum of integralsinus and -cosinus. On this Wiki page, I find ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Solve $-B \ln y -A y \ln y + A y- A =0$ for $y$

I would like to know if there is a (preferably closed-form) solution for $-B \ln y -A y \ln y + A y- A =0$ for $y$ Where $A, B \in \mathbb{R}^{+}$. I have reasons to think there isn't a closed form ...
93
votes
0answers
2k views

Generalizing $\int_{0}^{1} \frac{\arctan\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}}{\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}} \, \frac{\operatorname dx}{x^{2}+1} = \frac{5\pi^{2}}{96}$

The following integral \begin{align*} \int_{0}^{1} \frac{\arctan\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}}{\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}} \, \frac{dx}{x^{2}+1} = \frac{5\pi^{2}}{96} \tag{1} \end{align*} is called the Ahmed's integral ...