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

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26
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( ...
18
votes
1answer
964 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 > ...
89
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
26
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 ...
13
votes
7answers
774 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?
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 $\Gamma^{-1} (z)$ ...
30
votes
1answer
421 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 $\alpha\in(-1,0)$ ...
35
votes
9answers
12k 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 $$ ...
5
votes
3answers
3k 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.
18
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. ...
10
votes
2answers
550 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?
7
votes
2answers
730 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
14
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
3answers
639 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
138 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 + ...
16
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 ...
31
votes
1answer
705 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
472 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 ...
39
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
572 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 know any ...
29
votes
2answers
2k views

Proving an “amazing” claim 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
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
666 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
3answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
622 views

Higher Order Trigonometric Function

Once in a time, I had to work with functions that have the following Taylor series expansion: $$ t_m(x)=1-\frac{x^m}{m!}+\frac{x^{2m}}{(2m)!}+\cdots =\sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^k x^{km}}{(km)!}. $$ ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
197 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
183 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
349 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
3answers
551 views

What does | mean?

I found this symbol on Wolfram|Alpha. Does it mean "or"? $\displaystyle \large \cos^{-1}(-1)=\mathrm{cd}^{-1}(-1\mid 0)$
3
votes
2answers
132 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
385 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} ...
33
votes
1answer
595 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
936 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
517 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 ...
21
votes
0answers
189 views

Geometric & Intuitive Meaning of $SL(2,R)$, $SU(2)$, etc… & Representation Theory of Special Functions

Many special functions of mathematical physics can be understood from the point of view of the representation theory of lie groups. An example of the power of this viewpoint is given in my question ...
24
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
510 views

Different methods to prove $\zeta(s)=2^s\pi^{s-1}\sin\left(\frac{s\pi}{2}\right) \Gamma (1-s) \zeta (1-s)$.

I've recently encountered this strangely attractive equation (Riemann's functional equation), along with Riemann's original proof. $$\displaystyle\zeta(s)=2^s\pi^{s-1}\sin\left(\frac{s\pi}{2}\right) ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to evaluate Riemann Zeta function

How do I evaluate this function for given $s$? $$\zeta(s) = \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac1{n^s} = \frac{1}{1^s} + \frac{1}{2^s} + \frac{1}{3^s} + \cdots$$
12
votes
1answer
2k 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 $x$, ...
10
votes
2answers
345 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, ...
31
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
695 views

Recursive solutions to linear ODE.

When finding the solutions to the simple ODE $$ y'- mxy= x^n \text{ ; } y(0) = 0$$ I found the following: Let $P_n$ be the particular solution for each integer exponent $n$. Then if we define ...
14
votes
0answers
389 views

Divergence of the Derivative of the Prime Counting Function

On the one hand, the Prime Counting Function $\pi_0(x)$ maybe be written $$ \pi_0(x) = \operatorname{R}(x^1) - \sum_{\rho}\operatorname{R}(x^{\rho}) \tag{1} $$ with $ \operatorname{R}(z) = ...
9
votes
1answer
309 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 $$\operatorname{Li}^2_2(x) =\left(\int^x_0 \frac{\log(1-t)}{t}\,dt \right)^2$$ ...
9
votes
2answers
887 views

Minimum of the Gamma Function $\Gamma (x)$ for $x>0$. How to find $x_{\min}$?

The $\Gamma (x)$ function has just one minimum for $x>0$ . This result uses some properties of the gamma function: $\Gamma ^{\prime \prime }(x)>0$ and $\Gamma (x)>0$ for all $x>0$ $\Gamma (1)=\Gamma ...
8
votes
1answer
337 views

Prove $f(x)=\int\frac{e^x}{x}\mathrm dx$ is not an elementary function

How do I prove that the exponential integral $$f(x)=\int \frac{e^x}{x}\mathrm dx$$ is not an elementary function? Also, what are the general methods and tricks to prove that an integral or solution ...