Vinogradov’s Three-Prime Theorem (with Sammy Luo and Ryan Alweiss)

This was my final paper for 18.099, seminar in discrete analysis, jointly with Sammy Luo and Ryan Alweiss.

We prove that every sufficiently large odd integer can be written as the sum of three primes, conditioned on a strong form of the prime number theorem.

1. Introduction

In this paper, we prove the following result:

Theorem 1 (Vinogradov)

Every sufficiently large odd integer {N} is the sum of three prime numbers.

In fact, the following result is also true, called the “weak Goldbach conjecture”.

Theorem 2 (Weak Goldbach conjecture)

Every odd integer {N \ge 7} is the sum of three prime numbers.

The proof of Vinogradov’s theorem becomes significantly simpler if one assumes the generalized Riemann hypothesis; this allows one to use a strong form of the prime number theorem (Theorem 9). This conditional proof was given by Hardy and Littlewood in the 1923’s. In 1997, Deshouillers, Effinger, te Riele and Zinoviev showed that the generalized Riemann hypothesis in fact also implies the weak Goldbach conjecture by improving the bound to {10^{20}} and then exhausting the remaining cases via a computer search.

As for unconditional proofs, Vinogradov was able to eliminate the dependency on the generalized Riemann hypothesis in 1937, which is why the Theorem 1 bears his name. However, Vinogradov’s bound used the ineffective Siegel-Walfisz theorem; his student K. Borozdin showed that {3^{3^{15}}} is large enough. Over the years the bound was improved, until recently in 2013 when Harald Helfgott claimed the first unconditional proof of Theorem 2, see here.

In this exposition we follow Hardy and Littlewood’s approach, i.e. we prove Theorem 1 assuming the generalized Riemann hypothesis, following the exposition of Rhee. An exposition of the unconditional proof by Vinogradov is given by Rouse.

2. Synopsis

We are going to prove that

\displaystyle  	\sum_{a+b+c = N} \Lambda(a) \Lambda(b) \Lambda(c) \asymp \frac12 N^2 \mathfrak G(N) 	 \ \ \ \ \ (1)


\displaystyle  \mathfrak G(N) 	\overset{\text{def}}{=} \prod_{p \mid N} \left( 1 - \frac{1}{(p-1)^2} \right) 	\prod_{p \nmid N} \left( 1 + \frac{1}{(p-1)^3} \right)

and {\Lambda} is the von Mangoldt function defined as usual. Then so long as {2 \nmid N}, the quantity {\mathfrak G(N)} will be bounded away from zero; thus (1) will imply that in fact there are many ways to write {N} as the sum of three distinct prime numbers.

The sum (1) is estimated using Fourier analysis. Let us define the following.

Definition 3

Let {\mathbb T = \mathbb R/\mathbb Z} denote the circle group, and let {e : \mathbb T \rightarrow \mathbb C} be the exponential function {\theta \mapsto \exp(2\pi i \theta)}. For {\alpha\in\mathbb T}, {\|\alpha\|} denotes the minimal distance from {\alpha} to an integer.

Note that {|e(\theta)-1|=\Theta(\|\theta\|)}.

Definition 4

For {\alpha \in \mathbb T} and {x > 0} we define

\displaystyle  S(x, \alpha) = \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) e(n\alpha).

Then we can rewrite (1) using {S} as a “Fourier coefficient”:

Proposition 5

We have

\displaystyle  		\sum_{a+b+c = N} \Lambda(a) \Lambda(b) \Lambda(c) 		= \int_{\alpha \in \mathbb T} S(N, \alpha)^3 e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha. 		 	\ \ \ \ \ (2)

Proof: We have

\displaystyle S(N,\alpha)^3=\sum_{a,b,c\leq N}\Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c)e((a+b+c)\alpha),


\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} \int_{\alpha \in \mathbb T} S(N, \alpha)^3 e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha &= \int_{\alpha \in \mathbb T} \sum_{a,b,c\leq N}\Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c)e((a+b+c)\alpha) e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha \\ &= \sum_{a,b,c\leq N}\Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c)\int_{\alpha \in \mathbb T}e((a+b+c-N)\alpha) \; d\alpha \\ &= \sum_{a,b,c\leq N}\Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c)I(a+b+c=N) \\ &= \sum_{a+b+c=N}\Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c), \end{aligned}

as claimed. \Box

In order to estimate the integral in Proposition 5, we divide {\mathbb T} into the so-called “major” and “minor” arcs. Roughly,

  • The “major arcs” are subintervals of {\mathbb T} centered at a rational number with small denominator.
  • The “minor arcs” are the remaining intervals.

These will be made more precise later. This general method is called the Hardy-Littlewood circle method, because of the integral over the circle group {\mathbb T}.

The rest of the paper is structured as follows. In Section 3, we define the Dirichlet character and other number-theoretic objects, and state some estimates for the partial sums of these objects conditioned on the Riemann hypothesis. These bounds are then used in Section 4 to provide corresponding estimates on {S(x, \alpha)}. In Section 5 we then define the major and minor arcs rigorously and use the previous estimates to given an upper bound for the integral over both areas. Finally, we complete the proof in Section 6.

3. Prime number theorem type bounds

In this section, we collect the necessary number-theoretic results that we will need. It is in this section only that we will require the generalized Riemann hypothesis.

As a reminder, the notation {f(x)\ll g(x)}, where {f} is a complex function and {g} a nonnegative real one, means {f(x)=O(g(x))}, a statement about the magnitude of {f}. Likewise, {f(x)=g(x)+O(h(x))} simply means that for some {C}, {|f(x)-g(x)|\leq C|h(x)|} for all sufficiently large {x}.

3.1. Dirichlet characters

In what follows, {q} denotes a positive integer.

Definition 6

A Dirichlet character modulo {q} {\chi} is a homomorphism {\chi : (\mathbb Z/q)^\times \rightarrow \mathbb C^\times}. It is said to be trivial if {\chi = 1}; we denote this character by {\chi_0}.

By slight abuse of notation, we will also consider {\chi} as a function {\mathbb Z \rightarrow \mathbb C^\ast} by setting {\chi(n) = \chi(n \pmod q)} for {\gcd(n,q) = 1} and {\chi(n) = 0} for {\gcd(n,q) > 1}.

Remark 7

The Dirichlet characters form a multiplicative group of order {\phi(q)} under multiplication, with inverse given by complex conjugation. Note that {\chi(m)} is a primitive {\phi(q)}th root of unity for any {m \in (\mathbb Z/q)^\times}, thus {\chi} takes values in the unit circle.

Moreover, the Dirichlet characters satisfy an orthogonality relation

Experts may recognize that the Dirichlet characters are just the elements of the Pontryagin dual of {(\mathbb Z/q)^\times}. In particular, they satisfy an orthogonality relationship

\displaystyle  	\frac{1}{\phi(q)} 	\sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \chi(n) \overline{\chi(a)} 	= \begin{cases} 		1 & n = a \pmod q \\ 		0 & \text{otherwise} 	\end{cases} 	 \ \ \ \ \ (3)

and thus form an orthonormal basis for functions {(\mathbb Z/q)^\times \rightarrow \mathbb C}.

3.2. Prime number theorem for arithmetic progressions

Definition 8

The generalized Chebyshev function is defined by

\displaystyle  \psi(x, \chi) = \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) \chi(n).

The Chebyshev function is studied extensively in analytic number theory, as it is the most convenient way to phrase the major results of analytic number theory. For example, the prime number theorem is equivalent to the assertion that

\displaystyle  \psi(x, \chi_0) = \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) \asymp x

where {q = 1} (thus {\chi_0} is the constant function {1}). Similarly, Dirichlet’s theorem actually asserts that any {q \ge 1},

\displaystyle  	\psi(x, \chi) 	= \begin{cases} 		x + o_q(x) & \chi = \chi_0 \text{ trivial} \\ 		o_q(x) & \chi \neq \chi_0 \text{ nontrivial}. 	\end{cases}

However, the error term in these estimates is quite poor (more than {x^{1-\varepsilon}} for every {\varepsilon}). However, by assuming the Riemann Hypothesis for a certain “{L}-function” attached to {\chi}, we can improve the error terms substantially.

Theorem 9 (Prime number theorem for arithmetic progressions)

Let {\chi} be a Dirichlet character modulo {q}, and assume the Riemann hypothesis for the {L}-function attached to {\chi}.

  1. If {\chi} is nontrivial, then

    \displaystyle  \psi(x, \chi) \ll \sqrt{x} (\log qx)^2.

  2. If {\chi = \chi_0} is trivial, then

    \displaystyle  \psi(x, \chi_0) = x + O\left( \sqrt x (\log x)^2 + \log q \log x \right).

Theorem 9 is the strong estimate that we will require when putting good estimates on {S(x, \alpha)}, and is the only place in which the generalized Riemann Hypothesis is actually required.

3.3. Gauss sums

Definition 10

For {\chi} a Dirichlet character modulo {q}, the Gauss sum {\tau(\chi)} is defined by

\displaystyle \tau(\chi)=\sum_{a=0}^{q-1}\chi(a)e(a/q).

We will need the following fact about Gauss sums.

Lemma 11

Consider Dirichlet characters modulo {q}. Then:

  1. We have {\tau(\chi_0) = \mu(q)}.
  2. For any {\chi} modulo {q}, {\left\lvert \tau(\chi) \right\rvert \le \sqrt q}.

3.4. Dirichlet approximation

We finally require Dirichlet approximation theorem in the following form.

Theorem 12 (Dirichlet approximation)

Let {\alpha \in \mathbb R} be arbitrary, and {M} a fixed integer. Then there exists integers {a} and {q = q(\alpha)}, with {1 \le q \le M} and {\gcd(a,q) = 1}, satisfying

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \alpha - \frac aq \right\rvert \le \frac{1}{qM}.

4. Bounds on {S(x, \alpha)}

In this section, we use our number-theoretic results to bound {S(x,\alpha)}.

First, we provide a bound for {S(x,\alpha)} if {\alpha} is a rational number with “small” denominator {q}.

Lemma 13

Let {\gcd(a,q) = 1}. Assuming Theorem 9, we have

\displaystyle  S(x, a/q) 		= \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} x + O\left( \sqrt{qx} (\log qx)^2 \right)

where {\mu} denotes the Möbius function.

Proof: Write the sum as

\displaystyle  S(x, a/q) = \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) e(na/q).

First we claim that the terms {\gcd(n,q) > 1} (and {\Lambda(n) \neq 0}) contribute a negligibly small {\ll \log q \log x}. To see this, note that

  • The number {q} has {\ll \log q} distinct prime factors, and
  • If {p^e \mid q}, then {\Lambda(p) + \dots + \Lambda(p^e) 			= e\log p = \log(p^e) < \log x}.

So consider only terms with {\gcd(n,q) = 1}. To bound the sum, notice that

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 		e(n \cdot a/q) &= \sum_{b \text{ mod } q} e(b/q) \cdot \mathbf 1(b \equiv an) \\ 		&= \sum_{b \text{ mod } q} e(b/q) \left( \frac{1}{\phi(q)} 			\sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \chi(b) \overline{\chi(an)} \right) 	\end{aligned}

by the orthogonality relations. Now we swap the order of summation to obtain a Gauss sum:

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 		e(n \cdot a/q) &= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \overline{\chi(an)} 			\left( \sum_{b \text{ mod } q} \chi(b) e(b/q) \right) \\ 		&= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \overline{\chi(an)} \tau(\chi). 	\end{aligned}

Thus, we swap the order of summation to obtain that

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 		S(x, \alpha) &= \sum_{\substack{n \le x \\ \gcd(n,q) = 1}} 			\Lambda(n) e(n \cdot a/q) \\ 		&= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\substack{n \le x \\ \gcd(n,q) = 1}} 			\sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \Lambda(n) \overline{\chi(an)} \tau(\chi) \\ 		&= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \tau(\chi) 			\sum_{\substack{n \le x \\ \gcd(n,q) = 1}} \Lambda(n) \overline{\chi(an)} \\ 		&= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \overline{\chi(a)} \tau(\chi) 			\sum_{\substack{n \le x \\ \gcd(n,q) = 1}} \Lambda(n)\overline{\chi(n)} \\ 		&= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \text{ mod } q} \overline{\chi(a)} 			\tau(\chi) \psi(x, \overline\chi) \\ 		&= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \left( \tau(\chi_0) \psi(x, \chi_0) 			+ \sum_{1 \neq \chi \text{ mod } q} \overline{\chi(a)} \tau(\chi) 			\psi(x, \overline\chi) \right). 	\end{aligned}

Now applying both parts of Lemma 11 in conjunction with Theorem 9 gives

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 		S(x,\alpha) 		&= \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} 			\left( x + O\left( \sqrt x (\log qx)^2 \right) \right) 			+ O\left( \sqrt x (\log x)^2 \right) \\ 		&= \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} x + O\left( \sqrt{qx} (\log qx)^2 \right) 	\end{aligned}

as desired. \Box

We then provide a bound when {\alpha} is “close to” such an {a/q}.

Lemma 14

Let {\gcd(a,q) = 1} and {\beta \in \mathbb T}. Assuming Theorem 9, we have

\displaystyle  		S(x, a/q + \beta) = 		\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} \left( \sum_{n \le x} e(\beta n) \right) 		+ O\left( (1+\|\beta\|x) \sqrt{qx} (\log qx)^2 \right).

Proof: For convenience let us assume {x \in \mathbb Z}. Let {\alpha = a/q + \beta}. Let us denote {\text{Err}(x, \alpha) 		= S(x,\alpha) - \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} x}, so by Lemma 13 we have {\text{Err}(x,\alpha) \ll \sqrt{qx}(\log x)^2}. We have

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 		S(x, \alpha) &= \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) e(na/q) e(n\beta) \\ 		&= \sum_{n \le x} e(n\beta) \left( S(n, a/q) - S(n-1, a/q) \right) \\ 		&= \sum_{n \le x} e(n\beta) \left( 			\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} 			+ \text{Err}(n, \alpha) - \text{Err}(n-1, \alpha) \right) \\ 		&= \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} \left( \sum_{n \le x} e(n\beta) \right) 			+ \sum_{1 \le m \le x-1} \left( e( (m+1)\beta) - e( m\beta ) \right) 			\text{Err}(m, \alpha) \\ 		&\qquad + e(x\beta) \text{Err}(x, \alpha) - e(0) \text{Err}(0, \alpha) \\ 		&\le \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} \left( \sum_{n \le x} e(n\beta) \right) 			+ \left( \sum_{1 \le m \le x-1} \|\beta\| \text{Err}(m, \alpha) \right) 			+ \text{Err}(0, \alpha) + \text{Err}(x, \alpha) \\ 		&\ll \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)} \left( \sum_{n \le x} e(n\beta) \right) 			+ \left( 1+x\left\| \beta \right\| \right) 			O\left( \sqrt{qx} (\log qx)^2 \right) 	\end{aligned}

as desired. \Box

Thus if {\alpha} is close to a fraction with small denominator, the value of {S(x, \alpha)} is bounded above. We can now combine this with the Dirichlet approximation theorem to obtain the following general result.

Corollary 15

Suppose {M = N^{2/3}} and suppose {\left\lvert \alpha - a/q \right\rvert \le \frac{1}{qM}} for some {\gcd(a,q) = 1} with {q \le M}. Assuming Theorem 9, we have

\displaystyle  S(x, \alpha) \ll \frac{x}{\varphi(q)} + x^{\frac56+\varepsilon}

for any {\varepsilon > 0}.

Proof: Apply Lemma 14 directly. \Box

5. Estimation of the arcs

We’ll write

\displaystyle  f(\alpha) \overset{\text{def}}{=} S(N,\alpha)=\sum_{n \le N} \Lambda(n)e(n\alpha)

for brevity in this section.

Recall that we wish to bound the right-hand side of (2) in Proposition 5. We split {[0,1]} into two sets, which we call the “major arcs” and the “minor arcs.” To do so, we use Dirichlet approximation, as hinted at earlier.

In what follows, fix

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 	M &= N^{2/3} \\ 	K &= (\log N)^{10}. \end{aligned}

5.1. Setting up the arcs

Definition 16

For {q \le K} and {\gcd(a,q) = 1}, {1 \le a \le q}, we define

\displaystyle  		\mathfrak M(a,q) = \left\{ \alpha \in \mathbb T 		\mid \left\lvert \alpha - \frac aq \right\rvert \le \frac 1M \right\}.

These will be the major arcs. The union of all major arcs is denoted by {\mathfrak M}. The complement is denoted by {\mathfrak m}.

Equivalently, for any {\alpha}, consider {q = q(\alpha) \le M} as in Theorem 12. Then {\alpha \in \mathfrak M} if {q \le K} and {\alpha \in \mathfrak m} otherwise.

Proposition 17

{\mathfrak M} is composed of finitely many disjoint intervals {\mathfrak M(a,q)} with {q \le K}. The complement {\mathfrak m} is nonempty.

Proof: Note that if {q_1, q_2 \le K} and {a/q_1 \neq b/q_2} then {\left\lvert \frac{a}{q_1} - \frac{b}{q_2} \right\rvert 	\ge \frac{1}{q_1q_2} \gg \frac{3}{qM}}. \Box

In particular both {\mathfrak M} and {\mathfrak m} are measurable. Thus we may split the integral in (2) over {\mathfrak M} and {\mathfrak m}. This integral will have large magnitude on the major arcs, and small magnitude on the minor arcs, so overall the whole interval {[0,1]} it will have large magnitude.

5.2. Estimate of the minor arcs

First, we note the well known fact {\phi(q) \gg q/\log q}. Note also that if {q=q(\alpha)} as in the last section and {\alpha} is on a minor arc, we have {q > (\log N)^{10}}, and thus {\phi(q) \gg (\log N)^{9}}.

As such Corollary 3.3 yields that {f(\alpha) \ll \frac{N}{\phi(q)}+N^{.834} \ll \frac{N}{(\log N)^9}}.


\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 	\left\lvert \int_{\mathfrak m}f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha \right\rvert 	&\le \int_{\mathfrak m}\left\lvert f(\alpha)\right\rvert ^3 \; d\alpha \\ 	&\ll \frac{N}{(\log N)^9} \int_{0}^{1}\left\lvert f(\alpha)\right\rvert ^2 \;d\alpha \\ 	&=\frac{N}{(\log N)^9}\int_{0}^{1}f(\alpha)f(-\alpha) \; d\alpha \\ 	&=\frac{N}{(\log N)^9}\sum_{n \le N} \Lambda(n)^2 \\ 	&\ll \frac{N^2}{(\log N)^8}, \end{aligned}

using the well known bound {\sum_{n \le N} \Lambda(n)^2 \ll \frac{N}{\log N}}. This bound of {\frac{N^2}{(\log N)^8}} will be negligible compared to lower bounds for the major arcs in the next section.

5.3. Estimate on the major arcs

We show that

\displaystyle  \int_{\mathfrak M}f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) d\alpha \asymp \frac{N^2}{2} \mathfrak G(N).

By Proposition 17 we can split the integral over each interval and write

\displaystyle  \int_{\mathfrak M} f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha 	= \sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}}\sum_{\substack{1 \le a \le q \\ \gcd(a,q)=1}} 	\int_{-1/qM}^{1/qM}f(a/q+\beta)^3e(-N(a/q+\beta)) \; d\beta.

Then we apply Lemma 14, which gives

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 	f(a/q+\beta)^3 	&= \left(\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)}\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) \right)^3 \\ 	&+\left(\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)}\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n)\right)^2 		O\left((1+\|\beta\|N)\sqrt{qN} \log^2 qN\right) \\ 	&+\left(\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)}\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n)\right) 		O\left((1+\|\beta\|N)\sqrt{qN} \log^2 qN\right)^2 \\ 	&+O\left((1+\|\beta\|N)\sqrt{qN} \log^2 qN\right)^3. \end{aligned}

Now, we can do casework on the side of {N^{-.9}} that {\|\beta\|} lies on.

  • If {\|\beta\| \gg N^{-.9}}, we have {\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) \ll \frac{2}{|e(\beta)-1|} 	\ll \frac{1}{\|\beta\|} \ll N^{.9}}, and {(1+\|\beta\|N)\sqrt{qN} \log^2 qN \ll N^{5/6+\varepsilon}}, because certainly we have {\|\beta\|<1/M=N^{-2/3}}.
  • If on the other hand {\|\beta\|\ll N^{-.9}}, we have {\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) \ll N} obviously, and {O(1+\|\beta\|N)\sqrt{qN} \log^2 qN) \ll N^{3/5+\varepsilon}}.

As such, we obtain

\displaystyle  f(a/q+\beta)^3 \ll \left( \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)}\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) \right)^3 	+ O\left(N^{79/30+\varepsilon}\right)

in either case. Thus, we can write

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 	&\qquad \int_{\mathfrak M} f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha \\ 	&= \sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}} \sum_{\substack{1 \le a \le q \\ \gcd(a,q)=1}} 	\int_{-1/qM}^{1/qM} f(a/q+\beta)^3e(-N(a/q+\beta)) \; d\beta \\ 	&= \sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}} \sum_{\substack{1 \le a \le q \\ \gcd(a,q)=1}} 		\int_{-1/qM}^{1/qM}\left[\left(\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)}\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n)\right)^3 		+ O\left(N^{79/30+\varepsilon}\right)\right]e(-N(a/q+\beta)) \; d\beta \\ 	&=\sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}} \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3} S_q 		\left(\sum_{\substack{1 \le a \le q \\ \gcd(a,q)=1}} e(-N(a/q))\right) 		\left( \int_{-1/qM}^{1/qM}\left(\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n)\right)^3e(-N\beta) 		\; d\beta \right ) \\ 	&\qquad +O\left(N^{59/30+\varepsilon}\right). \end{aligned}

just using {M \le N^{2/3}}. Now, we use

\displaystyle  \sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) = \frac{1-e(\beta N)}{1-e(\beta)} 	\ll \frac{1}{\|\beta\|}.

This enables us to bound the expression

\displaystyle  \int_{1/qM}^{1-1/qM}\left (\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n)\right) ^ 3 e(-N\beta)d\beta 	\ll \int_{1/qM}^{1-1/qM}\|\beta\|^{-3} d\beta = 2\int_{1/qM}^{1/2}\beta^{-3} d\beta 	\ll q^2M^2.

But the integral over the entire interval is

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 	\int_{0}^{1}\left(\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) \right)^3 e(-N\beta)d\beta 	&= \int_{0}^{1} \sum_{a,b,c \le N} e((a+b+c-N)\beta) \\ 	&\ll \sum_{a,b,c \le N} \mathbf 1(a+b+c=N) \\ 	&= \binom{N-1}{2}. \end{aligned}

Considering the difference of the two integrals gives

\displaystyle  \int_{-1/qM}^{1/qM}\left(\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n) \right)^3 	e(-N\beta) \; d\beta - \frac{N^2}{2} \ll q^2 M^2 + N 	\ll (\log N)^c N^{4/3},

for some absolute constant {c}.

For brevity, let

\displaystyle  S_q = \sum_{\substack{1 \le a \le q \\ \gcd(a,q)=1}} e(-N(a/q)).


\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} 	\int_{\mathfrak M} f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha &= \sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}} \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3}S_q 		\left( \int_{-1/qM}^{1/qM}\left(\sum_{n \le N}e(\beta n)\right)^3e(-N\beta) 		\; d\beta \right ) \\ 	&\qquad +O\left(N^{59/30+\varepsilon}\right) \\ &= \frac{N^2}{2}\sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}} 	\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3}S_q + O((\log N)^{10+c} N^{4/3}) 		+ O(N^{59/30+\varepsilon}) \\ &= \frac{N^2}{2}\sum_{q \le (\log N)^{10}} \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3} 		+ O(N^{59/30+\varepsilon}). \end{aligned}


The inner sum is bounded by {\phi(q)}. So,

\displaystyle \left\lvert \sum_{q>(\log N)^{10}} 	\frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3} S_q \right\rvert 	 \le \sum_{q>(\log N)^{10}} \frac{1}{\phi(q)^2},

which converges since {\phi(q)^2 \gg q^c} for some {c > 1}. So

\displaystyle  \int_{\mathfrak M} f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha 	= \frac{N^2}{2}\sum_{q = 1}^\infty \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3}S_q 	+ O(N^{59/30+\varepsilon}).

Now, since {\mu(q)}, {\phi(q)}, and {\sum_{\substack{1 \le a \le q \\ \gcd(a,q)=1}} e(-N(a/q))} are multiplicative functions of {q}, and {\mu(q)=0} unless {q} is squarefree,

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} \sum_{q = 1}^\infty \frac{\mu(q)}{\phi(q)^3} S_q 	&= \prod_p \left(1+\frac{\mu(p)}{\phi(p)^3}S_p \right) \\ 	&= \prod_p \left(1-\frac{1}{(p-1)^3} 		\sum_{a=1}^{p-1} e(-N(a/p))\right) \\ 	&= \prod_p \left(1-\frac{1}{(p-1)^3}\sum_{a=1}^{p-1} 		(p\cdot \mathbf 1(p|N) - 1)\right) \\ 	&= \prod_{p|N}\left(1-\frac{1}{(p-1)^2}\right) 		\prod_{p \nmid N}\left(1+\frac{1}{(p-1)^3}\right) \\ 	&= \mathfrak G(N). \end{aligned}


\displaystyle \int_{\mathfrak M} f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha = \frac{N^2}{2}\mathfrak{G}(N) + O(N^{59/30+\varepsilon}).

When {N} is odd,

\displaystyle  \mathfrak{G}(N) = \prod_{p|N}\left(1-\frac{1}{(p-1)^2}\right)\prod_{p \nmid N}\left(1+\frac{1}{(p-1)^3}\right)\geq \prod_{m\geq 3}\left(\frac{m-2}{m-1}\frac{m}{m-1}\right)=\frac{1}{2},

so that we have

\displaystyle \int_{\mathfrak M} f(\alpha)^3e(-N\alpha) \; d\alpha \asymp \frac{N^2}{2}\mathfrak{G}(N),

as desired.

6. Completing the proof

Because the integral over the minor arc is {o(N^2)}, it follows that

\displaystyle \sum_{a+b+c=N} \Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c) = \int_{0}^{1} f(\alpha)^3 e(-N\alpha) d \alpha \asymp \frac{N^2}{2}\mathfrak{G}(N) \gg N^2.

Consider the set {S_N} of integers {p^k\leq N} with {k>1}. We must have {p \le N^{\frac{1}{2}}}, and for each such {p} there are at most {O(\log N)} possible values of {k}. As such, {|S_N| \ll\pi(N^{1/2}) \log N\ll N^{1/2}}.


\displaystyle \sum_{\substack{a+b+c=N \\ a\in S_N}} \Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c) \ll (\log N)^3 |S|N \ll\log(N)^3 N^{3/2},

and similarly for {b\in S_N} and {c\in S_N}. Notice that summing over {a\in S_N} is equivalent to summing over composite {a}, so

\displaystyle  \sum_{p_1+p_2+p_3=N} \Lambda(p_1)\Lambda(p_2)\Lambda(p_3) 	=\sum_{a+b+c=N} \Lambda(a)\Lambda(b)\Lambda(c) + O(\log(N)^3 N^{3/2}) 	\gg N^2,

where the sum is over primes {p_i}. This finishes the proof.

Miller-Rabin (for MIT 18.434)

This is a transcript of a talk I gave as part of MIT’s 18.434 class, the “Seminar in Theoretical Computer Science” as part of MIT’s communication requirement. (Insert snarky comment about MIT’s CI-* requirements here.) It probably would have made a nice math circle talk for high schoolers but I felt somewhat awkward having to present it to a bunch of students who were clearly older than me.

1. Preliminaries

1.1. Modular arithmetic

In middle school you might have encountered questions such as

Exercise 1

What is {3^{2016} \pmod{10}}?

You could answer such questions by listing out {3^n} for small {n} and then finding a pattern, in this case of period {4}. However, for large moduli this “brute-force” approach can be time-consuming.

Fortunately, it turns out that one can predict the period in advance.

Theorem 2 (Euler’s little theorem)

  1. Let {\gcd(a,n) = 1}. Then {a^{\phi(n)} \equiv 1 \pmod n}.
  2. (Fermat) If {p} is a prime, then {a^p \equiv a \pmod p} for every {a}.

Proof: Part (a) is a special case of Lagrange’s Theorem: if {G} is a finite group and {g \in G}, then {g^{|G|}} is the identity element. Now select {G = (\mathbb Z/n\mathbb Z)^\times}. Part (b) is the case {n=p}. \Box

Thus, in the middle school problem we know in advance that {3^4 \equiv 1 \pmod{10}} because {\phi(10) = 4}. This bound is sharp for primes:

Theorem 3 (Primitive roots)

For every {p} prime there’s a {g \pmod p} such that {g^{p-1} \equiv 1 \pmod p} but {g^{k} \not\equiv 1 \pmod p} for any {k < p-1}. (Hence {(\mathbb Z/p\mathbb Z)^\times \cong \mathbb Z/(p-1)}.)

For a proof, see the last exercise of my orders handout.

We will define the following anyways:

Definition 4

We say an integer {n} (thought of as an exponent) annihilates the prime {p} if

  • {a^n \equiv 1 \pmod p} for every {a \not\equiv 0 \pmod p},
  • or equivalently, {p-1 \mid n}.

Theorem 5 (All/nothing)

Suppose an exponent {n} does not annihilate the prime {p}. Then more than {\frac{1}{2} p} of {x \pmod p} satisfy {x^n \not\equiv 1 \pmod p}.

Proof: Much stronger result is true: in {x^n \equiv 1 \pmod p} then {x^{\gcd(n,p-1)} \equiv 1 \pmod p}. \Box

1.2. Repeated Exponentiation

Even without the previous facts, one can still do:

Theorem 6 (Repeated exponentation)

Given {x} and {n}, one can compute {x^n \pmod N} with {O(\log n)} multiplications mod {N}.

The idea is that to compute {x^{600} \pmod N}, one just multiplies {x^{512+64+16+8}}. All the {x^{2^k}} can be computed in {k} steps, and {k \le \log_2 n}.

1.3. Chinese remainder theorem

In the middle school problem, we might have noticed that to compute {3^{2016} \pmod{10}}, it suffices to compute it modulo {5}, because we already know it is odd. More generally, to understand {\pmod n} it suffices to understand {n} modulo each of its prime powers.

The formal statement, which we include for completeness, is:

Theorem 7 (Chinese remainder theorem)

Let {p_1}, {p_2}, \dots, {p_m} be distinct primes, and {e_i \ge 1} integers. Then there is a ring isomorphism given by the natural projection

\displaystyle \mathbb Z/n \rightarrow \prod_{i=1}^m \mathbb Z/p_i^{e_i}.

In particular, a random choice of {x \pmod n} amounts to a random choice of {x} mod each prime power.

For an example, in the following table we see the natural bijection between {x \pmod{15}} and {(x \pmod 3, x \pmod 5)}.

\displaystyle \begin{array}{c|cc} x \pmod{15} & x \pmod{3} & x \pmod{5} \\ \hline 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 1 & 1 & 1 \\ 2 & 2 & 2 \\ 3 & 0 & 3 \\ 4 & 1 & 4 \\ 5 & 2 & 0 \\ 6 & 0 & 1 \\ 7 & 1 & 2 \end{array} \quad \begin{array}{c|cc} x \pmod{15} & x \pmod{3} & x \pmod{5} \\ \hline 8 & 2 & 3 \\ 9 & 0 & 4 \\ 10 & 1 & 0 \\ 11 & 2 & 1 \\ 12 & 0 & 2 \\ 13 & 1 & 3 \\ 14 & 2 & 4 \\ && \end{array}

2. The RSA algorithm

This simple number theory is enough to develop the so-called RSA algorithm. Suppose Alice wants to send Bob a message {M} over an insecure channel. They can do so as follows.

  • Bob selects integers {d}, {e} and {N} (with {N} huge) such that {N} is a semiprime and

    \displaystyle de \equiv 1 \pmod{\phi(N)}.

  • Bob publishes both the number {N} and {e} (the public key) but keeps the number {d} secret (the private key).
  • Alice sends the number {X = M^e \pmod N} across the channel.
  • Bob computes

    \displaystyle X^d \equiv M^{de} \equiv M^1 \equiv M \pmod N

    and hence obtains the message {M}.

In practice, the {N} in RSA is at least {2000} bits long.

The trick is that an adversary cannot compute {d} from {e} and {N} without knowing the prime factorization of {N}. So the security relies heavily on the difficulty of factoring.

Remark 8

It turns out that we basically don’t know how to factor large numbers {N}: the best known classical algorithms can factor an {n}-bit number in

\displaystyle O\left( \exp\left( \frac{64}{9} n \log(n)^2 \right)^{1/3} \right)

time (“general number field sieve”). On the other hand, with a quantum computer one can do this in {O\left( n^2 \log n \log \log n \right)} time.

3. Primality Testing

Main question: if we can’t factor a number {n} quickly, can we at least check it’s prime?

In what follows, we assume for simplicity that {n} is squarefree, i.e. {n = p_1 p_2 \dots p_k} for distinct primes {p_k}, This doesn’t substantially change anything, but it makes my life much easier.

3.1. Co-RP

Here is the goal: we need to show there is a random algorithm {A} which does the following.

  • If {n} is composite then
    • More than half the time {A} says “definitely composite”.
    • Occasionally, {A} says “possibly prime”.
  • If {n} is prime, {A} always says “possibly prime”.

If there is a polynomial time algorithm {A} that does this, we say that PRIMES is in Co-RP. Clearly, this is a very good thing to be true!

3.2. Fermat

One idea is to try to use the converse of Fermat’s little theorem: given an integer {n}, pick a random number {x \pmod n} and see if {x^{n-1} \equiv 1 \pmod n}. (We compute using repeated exponentiation.) If not, then we know for sure {n} is not prime, and we call {x} a Fermat witness modulo {n}.

How good is this test? For most composite {n}, pretty good:

Proposition 9

Let {n} be composite. Assume that there is a prime {p \mid n} such that {n-1} does not annihilate {p}. Then over half the numbers mod {n} are Fermat witnesses.

Proof: Apply the Chinese theorem then the “all-or-nothing” theorem. \Box
Unfortunately, if {n} doesn’t satisfy the hypothesis, then all the {\gcd(x,n) = 1} satisfy {x^{n-1} \equiv 1 \pmod n}!

Are there such {n} which aren’t prime? Such numbers are called Carmichael numbers, but unfortunately they exist, the first one is {561 = 3 \cdot 11 \cdot 17}.

Remark 10

For {X \gg 1}, there are more than {X^{1/3}} Carmichael numbers at most {X}.

Thus these numbers are very rare, but they foil the Fermat test.

Exercise 11

Show that a Carmichael number is not a semiprime.

3.3. Rabin-Miller

Fortunately, we can adapt the Fermat test to cover Carmichael numbers too. It comes from the observation that if {n} is prime, then {a^2 \equiv 1 \pmod n \implies a \equiv \pm 1 \pmod n}.

So let {n-1 = 2^s t}, where {t} is odd. For example, if {n = 561} then {560 = 2^4 \cdot 35}. Then we compute {x^t}, {x^{2t}}, \dots, {x^{n-1}}. For example in the case {n=561} and {x=245}:

\displaystyle \begin{array}{c|r|rrr} & \mod 561 & \mod 3 & \mod 11 & \mod 17 \\ \hline x & 245 & -1 & 3 & 7 \\ \hline x^{35} & 122 & -1 & \mathbf 1 & 3 \\ x^{70} & 298 & \mathbf 1 & 1 & 9 \\ x^{140} & 166 & 1 & 1 & -4 \\ x^{280} & 67 & 1 & 1 & -1 \\ x^{560} & 1 & 1 & 1 & \mathbf 1 \end{array}

And there we have our example! We have {67^2 \equiv 1 \pmod{561}}, so {561} isn’t prime.

So the Rabin-Miller test works as follows:

  • Given {n}, select a random {x} and compute powers of {x} as in the table.
  • If {x^{n-1} \not\equiv 1}, stop, {n} is composite (Fermat test).
  • If {x^{n-1} \equiv 1}, see if the entry just before the first {1} is {-1}. If it isn’t then we say {x} is a RM-witness and {n} is composite.
  • Otherwise, {n} is “possibly prime”.

How likely is probably?

Theorem 12

If {n} is Carmichael, then over half the {x \pmod n} are RM witnesses.

Proof: We sample {x \pmod n} randomly again by looking modulo each prime (Chinese theorem). By the theorem on primitive roots, show that the probability the first {-1} appears in any given row is {\le \frac{1}{2}}. This implies the conclusion. \Box

Exercise 13

Improve the {\frac{1}{2}} in the problem to {\frac34} by using the fact that Carmichael numbers aren’t semiprime.

3.4. AKS

In August 6, 2002, it was in fact shown that PRIMES is in P, using the deterministic AKS algorithm. However, in practice everyone still uses Miller-Rabin since the implied constants for AKS runtime are large.

Artin Reciprocity

I will tell you a story about the Reciprocity Law. After my thesis, I had the idea to define {L}-series for non-abelian extensions. But for them to agree with the {L}-series for abelian extensions, a certain isomorphism had to be true. I could show it implied all the standard reciprocity laws. So I called it the General Reciprocity Law and tried to prove it but couldn’t, even after many tries. Then I showed it to the other number theorists, but they all laughed at it, and I remember Hasse in particular telling me it couldn’t possibly be true.

Still, I kept at it, but nothing I tried worked. Not a week went by — for three years! — that I did not try to prove the Reciprocity Law. It was discouraging, and meanwhile I turned to other things. Then one afternoon I had nothing special to do, so I said, `Well, I try to prove the Reciprocity Law again.’ So I went out and sat down in the garden. You see, from the very beginning I had the idea to use the cyclotomic fields, but they never worked, and now I suddenly saw that all this time I had been using them in the wrong way — and in half an hour I had it.

— Emil Artin

Algebraic number theory assumed (e.g. the ANT chapters of Napkin). In this post, I’m going to state some big theorems of global class field theory and use them to deduce the Kronecker-Weber plus Hilbert class fields. For experts: this is global class field theory, without ideles.

Here’s the executive summary: let {K} be a number field. Then all abelian extensions {L/K} can be understood using solely information intrinsic to {K}: namely, the ray class groups (generalizing ideal class groups).

1. Infinite primes

Let {K} be a number field of degree {n}. We know what a prime ideal of {\mathcal O_K} is, but we now allow for the so-called infinite primes, which I’ll describe using embeddings. We know there are {n} embeddings {\sigma : K \rightarrow \mathbb C}, which consist of

  • {r} real embeddings where {\mathop{\mathrm{im}}\sigma \subseteq \mathbb R}, and
  • {s} pairs of conjugate complex embeddings.

Hence {r+2s = n}. The first class of embeddings form the real infinite primes, while the complex infinite primes are the second type. We say {K} is totally real (resp totally complex) if all its infinite primes are real (resp complex).

Example 1 (Examples of infinite primes)

  • {\mathbb Q} has a single real infinite prime. We often write it as {\infty}.
  • {\mathbb Q(\sqrt{-5})} has a single complex infinite prime, and no real infinite primes. Hence totally complex.
  • {\mathbb Q(\sqrt{5})} has two real infinite primes, and no complex infinite primes. Hence totally real.

The motivation from this actually comes from the theory of valuations. Every prime corresponds exactly to a valuation; the infinite primes correspond to the Archimedean valuations while the finite primes correspond to the non-Archimedean valuations.

2. Modular arithmetic with infinite primes

A modulus is a formal product

\displaystyle \mathfrak m = \prod_{\mathfrak p} \mathfrak p^{\nu(\mathfrak p)}

where the product runs over all primes, finite and infinite. (Here {\nu(\mathfrak p)} is a nonnegative integer, of which only finitely many are nonzero.) We also require that

  • {\nu(\mathfrak p) = 0} for any infinite prime {\mathfrak p}, and
  • {\nu(\mathfrak p) \le 1} for any real prime {\mathfrak p}.

Obviously, every {\mathfrak m} can be written as {\mathfrak m = \mathfrak m_0\mathfrak m_\infty} by separating the finite from the (real) infinite primes.

We say {a \equiv b \pmod{\mathfrak m}} if

  • If {\mathfrak p} is a finite prime, then {a \equiv b \pmod{\mathfrak p^{\nu(\mathfrak p)}}} means exactly what you think it should mean: {a-b \in \mathfrak p^{\nu(\mathfrak p)}}.
  • If {\mathfrak p} is a real infinite prime {\sigma : K \rightarrow \mathbb R}, then {a \equiv b \pmod{\mathfrak p}} means that {\sigma(a/b) > 0}.

Of course, {a \equiv b \pmod{\mathfrak m}} means {a \equiv b} modulo each prime power in {\mathfrak m}. With this, we can define a generalization of the class group:

Definition 2

Let {\mathfrak m} be a modulus of a number field {K}.

  • Let {I_K(\mathfrak m)} to be the set of all fractional ideals of {K} which are relatively prime to {\mathfrak m}, which is an abelian group.
  • Let {P_K(\mathfrak m)} be the subgroup of {I_K(\mathfrak m)} generated by

    \displaystyle \left\{ \alpha \mathcal O_K \mid \alpha \in K^\times \text{ and } \alpha \equiv 1 \pmod{\mathfrak m} \right\}.

    This is sometimes called a “ray” of principal ideals.

Finally define the ray class group of {\mathfrak m} to be {C_K(\mathfrak m) = I_K(\mathfrak m) / P_K(\mathfrak m)}.

This group is known to always be finite. Note the usual class group is {C_K(1)}.

One last definition that we’ll use right after Artin reciprocity:

Definition 3

A congruence subgroup of {\mathfrak m} is a subgroup {H} with

\displaystyle P_K(\mathfrak m) \subseteq H \subseteq I_K(\mathfrak m).

Thus {C_K(\mathfrak m)} is a group which contains a lattice of various quotients {I_K(\mathfrak m) / H}, where {H} is a congruence subgroup.

This definition takes a while to get used to, so here are examples.

Example 4 (Ray class groups in {\mathbb Q})

Consider {K = \mathbb Q} with infinite prime {\infty}. Then

  • If we take {\mathfrak m = 1} then {I_\mathbb Q(1)} is all fractional ideals, and {P_\mathbb Q(1)} is all principal fractional ideals. Their quotient is the usual class group of {\mathbb Q}, which is trivial.


  • Now take {\mathfrak m = 8}. Thus {I_\mathbb Q(8) \cong \left\{ \frac ab\mathbb Z \mid a/b \equiv 1,3,5,7 \pmod 8 \right\}}. Moreover

    \displaystyle P_\mathbb Q(8) \cong \left\{ \frac ab\mathbb Z \mid a/b \equiv 1 \pmod 8 \right\}.

    You might at first glance think that the quotient is thus {(\mathbb Z/8\mathbb Z)^\times}. But the issue is that we are dealing with ideals: specifically, we have

    \displaystyle 7\mathbb Z = -7\mathbb Z \in P_\mathbb Q(8)

    because {-7 \equiv 1 \pmod 8}. So actually, we get

    \displaystyle C_\mathbb Q(8) \cong \left\{ 1,3,5,7 \text{ mod } 8 \right\} / \left\{ 1,7 \text{ mod } 8 \right\} \cong (\mathbb Z/4\mathbb Z)^\times.


  • Now take {\mathfrak m = \infty}. As before {I_\mathbb Q(\infty) = \mathbb Q^\times}. Now, by definition we have

    \displaystyle P_\mathbb Q(\infty) = \left\{ \frac ab \mathbb Z \mid a/b > 0 \right\}.

    At first glance you might think this was {\mathbb Q_{>0}}, but the same behavior with ideals shows in fact {P_\mathbb Q(\infty) = \mathbb Q^\times}. So in this case, {P_\mathbb Q(\infty)} still has all principal fractional ideals. Therefore, {C_\mathbb Q(\infty)} is still trivial.


  • Finally, let {\mathfrak m = 8\infty}. As before {I_\mathbb Q(8\infty) \cong \left\{ \frac ab\mathbb Z \mid a/b \equiv 1,3,5,7 \pmod 8 \right\}}. Now in this case:

    \displaystyle P_\mathbb Q(8\infty) \cong \left\{ \frac ab\mathbb Z \mid a/b \equiv 1 \pmod 8 \text{ and } a/b > 0 \right\}.

    This time, we really do have {-7\mathbb Z \notin P_\mathbb Q(8\infty)}: we have {7 \not\equiv 1 \pmod 8} and also {-8 < 0}. So neither of the generators of {7\mathbb Z} are in {P_\mathbb Q(8\infty)}. Thus we finally obtain

    \displaystyle C_\mathbb Q(8\infty) \cong \left\{ 1,3,5,7 \text{ mod } 8 \right\} / \left\{ 1 \text{ mod } 8 \right\} \cong (\mathbb Z/8\mathbb Z)^\times

    with the bijection {C_\mathbb Q(8\infty) \rightarrow (\mathbb Z/8\mathbb Z)^\times} given by {a\mathbb Z \mapsto |a| \pmod 8}.

    Generalizing these examples, we see that

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} C_\mathbb Q(m) &= (\mathbb Z/m\mathbb Z)^\times / \{\pm1\} \\ C_\mathbb Q(m\infty) &= (\mathbb Z/m\mathbb Z)^\times. \end{aligned}


3. Infinite primes in extensions

I want to emphasize that everything above is intrinsic to a particular number field {K}. After this point we are going to consider extensions {L/K} but it is important to keep in mind the distinction that the concept of modulus and ray class group are objects defined solely from {K} rather than the above {L}.

Now take a Galois extension {L/K} of degree {m}. We already know prime ideals {\mathfrak p} of {K} break into a produt of prime ideals {\mathfrak P} of {K} in {L} in a nice way, so we want to do the same thing with infinite primes. This is straightforward: each of the {n} infinite primes {\sigma : K \rightarrow \mathbb C} lifts to {m} infinite primes {\tau : L \rightarrow \mathbb C}, by which I mean the diagram

ramify-inf-primecommutes. Hence like before, each infinite prime {\sigma} of {K} has {m} infinite primes {\tau} of {L} which lie above it.

For a real prime {\sigma} of {K}, any of the resulting {\tau} above it are complex, we say that the prime {\sigma} ramifies in the extension {L/K}. Otherwise it is unramified in {L/K}. An infinite prime of {K} is always unramified in {L/K}. In this way, we can talk about an unramified Galois extension {L/K}: it is one where all primes (finite or infinite) are unramified.

Example 5 (Ramification of {\infty})

Let {\infty} be the real infinite prime of {\mathbb Q}.

  • {\infty} is ramified in {\mathbb Q(\sqrt{-5})/\mathbb Q}.
  • {\infty} is unramified in {\mathbb Q(\sqrt{5})/\mathbb Q}.

Note also that if {K} is totally complex then any extension {L/K} is unramified.

4. Frobenius element and Artin symbol

Recall the following key result:

Theorem 6 (Frobenius element)

Let {L/K} be a Galois extension. If {\mathfrak p} is a prime unramified in {K}, and {\mathfrak P} a prime above it in {L}. Then there is a unique element of {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K)}, denoted {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P}, obeying

\displaystyle \mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P(\alpha) \equiv \alpha^{N\mathfrak p} \pmod{\mathfrak P} \qquad \forall \alpha \in \mathcal O_L.

Example 7 (Example of Frobenius elements)

Let {L = \mathbb Q(i)}, {K = \mathbb Q}. We have {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K) \cong \mathbb Z/2\mathbb Z}.

If {p} is an odd prime with {\mathfrak P} above it, then {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P} is the unique element such that

\displaystyle (a+bi)^p \equiv \mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P(a+bi) \pmod{\mathfrak P}

in {\mathbb Z[i]}. In particular,

\displaystyle \mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P(i) = i^p = \begin{cases} i & p \equiv 1 \pmod 4 \\ -i & p \equiv 3 \pmod 4. \end{cases}

From this we see that {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P} is the identity when {p \equiv 1 \pmod 4} and {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P} is complex conjugation when {p \equiv 3 \pmod 4}.

Example 8 (Cyclotomic Frobenius element)

Generalizing previous example, let {L = \mathbb Q(\zeta)} and {K = \mathbb Q}, with {\zeta} an {m}th root of unity. It’s well-known that {L/K} is unramified outside {\infty} and prime factors of {m}. Moreover, the Galois group {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K)} is {(\mathbb Z/m\mathbb Z)^\times}: the Galois group consists of elements of the form

\displaystyle \sigma_n : \zeta \mapsto \zeta^n

and {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K) = \left\{ \sigma_n \mid n \in (\mathbb Z/m\mathbb Z)^\times \right\}}.

Then it follows just like before that if {p \nmid n} is prime and {\mathfrak P} is above {p}

\displaystyle \mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P(x) = \sigma_p.

An important property of the Frobenius element is its order is related to the decomposition of {\mathfrak p} in the higher field {L} in the nicest way possible:

Lemma 9 (Order of the Frobenius element)

The Frobenius element {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P \in \mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K)} of an extension {L/K} has order equal to the inertial degree of {\mathfrak P}, that is,

\displaystyle \mathop{\mathrm{ord}} \mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P = f(\mathfrak P \mid \mathfrak p).

In particular, {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P = \mathrm{id}} if and only if {\mathfrak p} splits completely in {L/K}.

Proof: We want to understand the order of the map {T : x \mapsto x^{N\mathfrak p}} on the field {\mathcal O_K / \mathfrak P}. But the latter is isomorphic to the splitting field of {X^{N\mathfrak P} - X} in {\mathbb F_p}, by Galois theory of finite fields. Hence the order is {\log_{N\mathfrak p} (N\mathfrak P) = f(\mathfrak P \mid \mathfrak p)}. \Box

Exercise 10

Deduce from this that the rational primes which split completely in {\mathbb Q(\zeta)} are exactly those with {p \equiv 1 \pmod m}. Here {\zeta} is an {m}th root of unity.

The Galois group acts transitively among the set of {\mathfrak P} above a given {\mathfrak p}, so that we have

\displaystyle \mathrm{Frob}_{\sigma(\mathfrak P)} = \sigma \circ (\mathrm{Frob}_{\mathfrak p}) \circ \sigma^{-1}.

Thus {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P} is determined by its underlying {\mathfrak p} up to conjugation.

In class field theory, we are interested in abelian extensions, (which just means that {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K)} is Galois) in which case the theory becomes extra nice: the conjugacy classes have size one.

Definition 11

Assume {L/K} is an abelian extension. Then for a given unramified prime {\mathfrak p} in {K}, the element {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P} doesn’t depend on the choice of {\mathfrak P}. We denote the resulting {\mathrm{Frob}_\mathfrak P} by the Artin symbol.

\displaystyle \left( \frac{L/K}{\mathfrak p} \right).

The definition of the Artin symbol is written deliberately to look like the Legendre symbol. To see why:

Example 12 (Legendre symbol subsumed by Artin symbol)

Suppose we want to understand {(2/p) \equiv 2^{\frac{p-1}{2}}} where {p > 2} is prime. Consider the element

\displaystyle \left( \frac{\mathbb Q(\sqrt 2)/\mathbb Q}{p\mathbb Z} \right) \in \mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(\mathbb Q(\sqrt 2) / \mathbb Q).

It is uniquely determined by where it sends {a}. But in fact we have

\displaystyle \left( \frac{\mathbb Q(\sqrt 2)/\mathbb Q}{p\mathbb Z} \right) \left( \sqrt 2 \right) \equiv \left( \sqrt 2 \right)^{p} \equiv 2^{\frac{p-1}{2}} \cdot \sqrt 2 \equiv \left( \frac 2p \right) \sqrt 2 \pmod{\mathfrak P}

where {\left( \frac 2p \right)} is the usual Legendre symbol, and {\mathfrak P} is above {p} in {\mathbb Q(\sqrt 2)}. Thus the Artin symbol generalizes the quadratic Legendre symbol.

Example 13 (Cubic Legendre symbol subsumed by Artin symbol)

Similarly, it also generalizes the cubic Legendre symbol. To see this, assume {\theta} is primary in {K = \mathbb Q(\sqrt{-3}) = \mathbb Q(\omega)} (thus {\mathcal O_K = \mathbb Z[\omega]} is Eisenstein integers). Then for example

\displaystyle \left( \frac{K(\sqrt[3]{2})/K}{\theta \mathcal O_K} \right) \left( \sqrt[3]{2} \right) \equiv \left( \sqrt[3]{2} \right)^{N(\theta)} \equiv 2^{\frac{N\theta-1}{3}} \cdot \sqrt 2 \equiv \left( \frac{2}{\theta} \right)_3 \sqrt[3]{2}. \pmod{\mathfrak P}

where {\mathfrak P} is above {p} in {K(\sqrt[3]{2})}.

5. Artin reciprocity

Now, we further capitalize on the fact that {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K)} is abelian. For brevity, in what follows let {\mathop{\mathrm{Ram}}(L/K)} denote the primes of {K} (either finite or infinite) which ramify in {L}.

Definition 14

Let {L/K} be an abelian extension and let {\mathfrak m} be divisible by every prime in {\mathop{\mathrm{Ram}}(L/K)}. Then since {L/K} is abelian we can extend the Artin symbol multiplicatively to a map

\displaystyle \left( \frac{L/K}{\bullet} \right) : I_K(\mathfrak m) \twoheadrightarrow \mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K).

This is called the Artin map, and it is surjective (for example by Chebotarev Density).

Since the map above is surjective, we denote its kernel by {H_{L/K}(\mathfrak m) \subseteq I_K(\mathfrak m)}. Thus we have

\displaystyle \mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K) \cong I_K(\mathfrak m) / H(\mathfrak m).

We can now present the long-awaited Artin reciprocity theorem.

Theorem 15 (Artin reciprocity)

Let {L/K} be an abelian extension. Then there is a modulus {\mathfrak f = \mathfrak f(L/K)}, divisible by exactly the primes of {\mathop{\mathrm{Ram}}(L/K)}, with the following property: if {\mathfrak m} is divisible by all primes of {\mathop{\mathrm{Ram}}(L/K)}

\displaystyle P_K(\mathfrak m) \subseteq H_{L/K}(\mathfrak m) \subseteq I_K(\mathfrak m) \quad\text{if and only if}\quad \mathfrak f \mid \mathfrak m

We call {\mathfrak f} the conductor of {L/K}.

So the conductor {\mathfrak f} plays a similar role to the discriminant (divisible by exactly the primes which ramify), and when {\mathfrak m} is divisible by the conductor, {H(L/K, \mathfrak m)} is a congruence subgroup.

Note that for example, if we pick {L} such that {H(L/K, \mathfrak m) \cong P_K(\mathfrak m)} then Artin reciprocity means that there is an isomorphism

\displaystyle \mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K) \cong I_K(\mathfrak m) / P_K(\mathfrak m) \cong C_K(\mathfrak m).

More generally, we see that {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K)} is always a subgroup some subgroup {C_K(\mathfrak f)}.

Example 16 (Cyclotomic field)

Let {\zeta} be a primitive {m}th root of unity. We show in this example that

\displaystyle H_{\mathbb Q(\zeta) / \mathbb Q} (m\infty) = P_\mathbb Q(m\infty) = \left\{ \frac ab \mathbb Z \mid a/b \equiv 1 \pmod m \right\}.

This is the generic example of achieving the lower bound in Artin reciprocity. It also implies that {\mathfrak f(\mathbb Q(\zeta)/\mathbb Q) \mid m\infty}.

It’s well-known {\mathbb Q(\zeta)/\mathbb Q} is unramified outside finite primes dividing {m}, so that the Artin symbol is defined on {I_K(\mathfrak m)}. Now the Artin map is given by

cyclo-mapSo we see that the kernel of this map is trivial, i.e.\ it is given by the identity of the Galois group, corresponding to 1 \pmod{m} Then {H = H_{L/K}(\mathfrak m)} for a unique abelian extension {L/K}.

Finally, such subgroups reverse inclusion in the best way possible:

Lemma 17 (Inclusion-reversing congruence subgroups)

Fix a modulus {\mathfrak m}. Let {L/K} and {M/K} be abelian extensions and suppose {\mathfrak m} is divisible by the conductors of {L/K} and {M/K}. Then

\displaystyle L \subseteq M \quad\text{if and only if}\quad H_{M/K}(\mathfrak m) \subseteq H_{L/K}(\mathfrak m)

Here by {L \subseteq M} we mean that {L} is isomorphic to some subfield of {M}. Proof: Let us first prove the equivalence with {\mathfrak m} fixed. In one direction, assume {L \subseteq M}; one can check from the definitions that the diagram

inclusion-diagramcommutes, because it suffices to verify this for prime powers, which is just saying that Frobenius elements behave well with respect to restriction. Then the inclusion of kernels follows directly. The reverse direction is essentially the Takagi existence theorem. \Box
Note that we can always take {\mathfrak m} to be the product of conductors here.

6. Consequences

With all this theory we can deduce the following two results.

Corollary 18 (Kronecker-Weber theorem)

Let {L} be an abelian extension of {\mathbb Q}. Then {L} is contained in a cyclic extension {\mathbb Q(\zeta)} where {\zeta} is an {m}th root of unity (for some {m}).

Proof: Suppose {\mathfrak f(L/\mathbb Q) \mid m\infty} for some {m}. Then by the example from earlier we have the chain

\displaystyle P_{\mathbb Q}(m\infty) = H(\mathbb Q(\zeta)/\mathbb Q, m\infty) \subseteq H(L/\mathbb Q, m) \subseteq I_\mathbb Q(m\infty).

So by inclusion reversal we’re done. \Box

Corollary 19 (Hilbert class field)

Let {K} be any number field. Then there exists a unique abelian extension {E/K} which is unramified at all primes (finite or infinite) and such that

  • {E/K} is the maximal such extension by inclusion.
  • {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(E/K)} is isomorphic to the class group of {E}.
  • A prime {\mathfrak p} of {K} splits completely in {E} if and only if it is principal.

We call {E} the Hilbert class field of {K}.

Proof: Apply the Takagi existence theorem with {\mathfrak m = 1} to obtain an unramified extension {E/K} such that {H(E/K, 1) = P_K(1)}. We claim this works:

  • To see it is maximal by inclusion, note that any other extension {M/K} with this property has conductor {1} (no primes divide the conductor), and then we have {P_K(1) = H(E/K, 1) \subseteq H(M/K, 1) \subseteq I_K(1)}, so inclusion reversal gives {M \subseteq E}.
  • We have {\mathop{\mathrm{Gal}}(L/K) \cong I_K(1) / P_K(1) = C_K(1)} the class group.
  • The isomorphism in the previous part is given by the Artin symbol. So {\mathfrak p} splits completely if and only if {\left( \frac{L/K}{\mathfrak p} \right) = \mathrm{id}} if and only if {\mathfrak p} is principal (trivial in {C_K(1)}).

This completes the proof. \Box

One can also derive quadratic and cubic reciprocity from Artin reciprocity; see this link for QR and this link for CR.

Some Notes on Valuations

There are some notes on valuations from the first lecture of Math 223a at Harvard.

1. Valuations

Let {k} be a field.

Definition 1

A valuation

\displaystyle  \left\lvert - \right\rvert : k \rightarrow \mathbb R_{\ge 0}

is a function obeying the axioms

  • {\left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert = 0 \iff \alpha = 0}.
  • {\left\lvert \alpha\beta \right\rvert = \left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert \left\lvert \beta \right\rvert}.
  • Most importantly: there should exist a real constant {C}, such that {\left\lvert 1+\alpha \right\rvert < C} whenever {\left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert \le 1}.

The third property is the interesting one. Note in particular it can be rewritten as {\left\lvert a+b \right\rvert < C\max\{ \left\lvert a \right\rvert, \left\lvert b \right\rvert \}}.

Note that we can recover {\left\lvert 1 \right\rvert = \left\lvert 1 \right\rvert \left\lvert 1 \right\rvert \implies \left\lvert 1 \right\rvert = 1} immediately.

Example 2 (Examples of Valuations)

If {k = \mathbb Q}, we can take the standard absolute value. (Take {C=2}.)

Similarly, the usual {p}-adic evaluation, {\nu_p}, which sends {p^a t} to {p^{-a}}. Here {C = 1} is a valid constant.

These are the two examples one should always keep in mind: with number fields, all valuations look like one of these too. In fact, over {\mathbb Q} it turns out that every valuation “is” one of these two valuations (for a suitable definition of equality). To make this precise:

Definition 3

We say {\left\lvert - \right\rvert_1 \sim \left\lvert - \right\rvert_2} (i.e. two valuations on a field {k} are equivalent) if there exists a constant {k > 0} so that {\left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert_1 = \left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert_2^k} for every {\alpha \in k}.

In particular, for any valuation we can force {C = 2} to hold by taking an equivalent valuation to a sufficient power.

In that case, we obtain the following:

Lemma 4

In a valuation with {C = 2}, the triangle inequality holds.

Proof: First, observe that we can get

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \alpha + \beta \right\rvert \le 2 \max \left\{ \left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert, \left\lvert \beta \right\rvert \right\}.

Applying this inductively, we obtain

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \sum_{i=1}^{2^r} a_i \right\rvert \le 2^r \max_i \left\lvert a_i \right\rvert

or zero-padding,

\displaystyle  \sum_{i=1}^{n} a_i \le 2n\max_i \left\lvert a_i \right\rvert.

From this, one can obtain

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \alpha+\beta \right\rvert^n \le \left\lvert \sum_{j=0}^n \binom nj \alpha^j \beta^{n-j} \right\rvert \le 2(n+1) \sum_{j=0}^n \left\lvert \binom nj \right\rvert \left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert^j \left\lvert \beta \right\rvert^{n-j} \le 4(n+1)\left( \left\lvert \alpha \right\rvert+\left\lvert \beta \right\rvert \right)^n.

Letting {n \rightarrow \infty} completes the proof. \Box

Next, we prove that

Lemma 5

If {\omega^n=1} for some {n}, then{\left\lvert \omega \right\rvert = 1}. In particular, on any finite field the only valuation is the trivial one which sends {0} to {0} and all elements to {1}.

Proof: Immediate, since {\left\lvert \omega \right\rvert^n = 1}. \Box

2. Topological field induced by valuations

Let {k} be a field. Given a valuation on it, we can define a basis of open sets

\displaystyle  \left\{ \alpha \mid \left\lvert \alpha - a \right\rvert < d \right\}

across all {a \in K}, {d \in \mathbb R_{> 0}}. One can check that the same valuation gives rise to the same topological spaces, so it is fine to assume {C = 2} as discussed earlier; thus, in fact we can make {k} into a metric space, with the valuation as the metric.

In what follows, we’ll always assume our valuation satisfies the triangle inequality. Then:

Lemma 6

Let {k} be a field with a valuation. Viewing {k} as a metric space, it is in fact a topological field, meaning addition and multiplication are continuous.

Proof: Trivial; let’s just check that multiplication is continuous. Observe that

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} \left\lvert (a+\varepsilon_1)(b+\varepsilon_2) - ab \right\rvert & \le \left\lvert \varepsilon_1\varepsilon_2 \right\rvert + \left\lvert a\varepsilon_2 \right\rvert + \left\lvert b\varepsilon_1 \right\rvert \\ &\rightarrow 0. \end{aligned}


Now, earlier we saw that two valuations which are equivalent induce the same topology. We now prove the following converse:

Proposition 7

If two valuations {\left\lvert - \right\rvert_1} and {\left\lvert - \right\rvert_2} give the same topology, then they are in fact equivalent.

Proof: Again, we may safely assume that both satisfy the triangle inequality. Next, observe that {\left\lvert a \right\rvert < 1 \iff a^n \rightarrow 0} (according to the metric) and by taking reciprocals, {\left\lvert a \right\rvert > 1 \iff a^{-n} \rightarrow 0}.

Thus, given any {\beta}, {\gamma} and integers {m}, {n} we derive that

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \beta^n\gamma^m \right\rvert_1 < 1 \iff \left\lvert \beta^n\gamma^m \right\rvert < 1

with similar statements holding with “{<}” replaced by “{=}”, “{>}”. Taking logs, we derive that

\displaystyle  n \log\left\lvert \beta \right\rvert_1 + m \log \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_1 < 0 \iff n \log\left\lvert \beta \right\rvert_2 + m \log \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_1 < 0

and the analogous statements for “{=}”, “{>}”. Now just choose an appropriate sequence of {m}, {n} and we can deduce that

\displaystyle  \frac{\log \left\lvert \beta_1 \right\rvert}{\log \left\lvert \beta_2 \right\rvert} = \frac{\log \left\lvert \gamma_1 \right\rvert}{\log \left\lvert \gamma_2 \right\rvert}

so it equals a fixed constant {c} as desired. \Box

3. Discrete Valuations

Definition 8

We say a valuation {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} is discrete if its image around {1} is discrete, meaning that if {\left\lvert a \right\rvert \in [1-\delta,1+\delta] \implies \left\lvert a \right\rvert = 1} for some real {\delta}. This is equivalent to requiring that {\{\log\left\lvert a \right\rvert\}} is a discrete subgroup of the real numbers.

Thus, the real valuation (absolute value) isn’t discrete, while the {p}-adic one is.

4. Non-Archimedian Valuations

Most importantly:

Definition 9

A valuation {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} is non-Archimedian if we can take {C = 1} in our requirement that {\left\lvert a \right\rvert \le 1 \implies \left\lvert 1+a \right\rvert \le C}. Otherwise we say the valuation is Archimedian.

Thus the real valuation is Archimedian while the {p}-adic valuation is non-Archimedian.

Lemma 10

Given a non-Archimedian valuation {\left\lvert - \right\rvert}, we have {\left\lvert b \right\rvert < \left\lvert a \right\rvert \implies \left\lvert a+b \right\rvert = \left\lvert a \right\rvert}.

Proof: We have that

\displaystyle  \left\lvert a \right\rvert = \left\lvert (a+b)-b \right\rvert \le \max\left\{ \left\lvert a+b \right\rvert, \left\lvert b \right\rvert \right\}.

On the other hand, {\left\lvert a+b \right\rvert \le \max \{ \left\lvert a \right\rvert, \left\lvert b \right\rvert\}}. \Box

Given a field {k} and a non-Archimedian valuation on it, we can now consider the set

\displaystyle  \mathcal O = \left\{ a \in k \mid \left\lvert a \right\rvert \le 1 \right\}

and by the previous lemma, this turns out to be a ring. (This is the point we use the fact that the valuation is non-Archimedian; without that {\mathcal O} need not be closed under addition). Next, we define

\displaystyle  \mathcal P = \left\{ a \in k \mid \left\lvert a \right\rvert < 1 \right\} \subset \mathcal O

which is an ideal. In fact it is maximal, because {\mathcal O/\mathcal P} is the set of units in {\mathcal O}, and is thus necessarily a field.

Lemma 11

Two valuations are equal if they give the same ring {\mathcal O} (as sets, not just up to isomorphism).

Proof: If the valuations are equivalent it’s trivial.

For the interesting converse direction (they have the same ring), the datum of the ring {\mathcal O} lets us detect whether {\left\lvert a \right\rvert < \left\lvert b \right\rvert} by simply checking whether {\left\lvert ab^{-1} \right\rvert < 1}. Hence same topology, hence same valuation. \Box

We will really only work with valuations which are obviously discrete. On the other hand, to detect non-Archimedian valuations, we have

Lemma 12

{\left\lvert - \right\rvert} is Archimedian if {\left\lvert n \right\rvert \le 1} for every {n = 1 + \dots + 1 \in k}.

Proof: Clearly Archimedian {\implies} {\left\lvert n \right\rvert \le 1}. The converse direction is more interesting; the proof is similar to the analytic trick we used earlier. Given {\left\lvert a \right\rvert \le 1}, we wish to prove {\left\lvert 1+a \right\rvert \le 1}. To do this, first assume the triangle inequality as usual, then

\displaystyle  \left\lvert 1+a \right\rvert^n < \sum_j \left\lvert \binom nj \right\rvert\left\lvert a \right\rvert^j \le \sum_{j=0}^n \left\lvert a \right\rvert^j \le \sum_{j=0}^n 1 = n+1.

Finally, let {n \rightarrow \infty} again. \Box
In particular, any field of finite characteristic in fact has {\left\lvert n \right\rvert = 1} and thus all valuations are non-Archimedian.

5. Completions

We say that a field {k} is complete with respect to a valuation {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} if it is complete in the topological sense.

Theorem 13

Every field {k} is with a valuation {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} can be embedded into a complete field {\overline{k}} in a way which respects the valuation.

For example, the completion of {\mathbb Q} with the Euclidean valuation is {\mathbb R}. Proof: Define {\overline{k}} to be the topological completion of {k}; then extend by continuity; \Box
Given {k} and its completion {\overline{k}} we use the same notation for the valuations of both.

Proposition 14

A valuation {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} on {\overline{k}} is non-Archimedian if and only if the valuation is non-Archimedian on {k}.

Proof: We saw non-Archimedian {\iff} {\left\lvert n \right\rvert \le 1} for every {n = 1 + \dots + 1}. \Box

Proposition 15

Assume {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} is non-Archimedian on {k} and hence {\overline{k}}. Then the set of values achieved by {\left\lvert - \right\rvert} coincides for {k} and {\overline{k}}, i.e. {\{ \left\lvert k \right\rvert \} = \{ \left\lvert \overline{k} \right\rvert \}}.

Not true for Archimedian valuations; consider {\left\lvert \sqrt2 \right\rvert = \sqrt2 \notin \mathbb Q}. Proof: Assume {0 \neq b \in \overline{k}}; then there is an {a \in k} such that {\left\lvert b-a \right\rvert < \left\lvert b \right\rvert} since {k} is dense in {\overline{k}}. Then, {\left\lvert b \right\rvert \le \max \{ \left\lvert b-a \right\rvert, \left\lvert a \right\rvert \}} which implies {\left\lvert b \right\rvert = \left\lvert a \right\rvert}. \Box

6. Weak Approximation Theorem

Proposition 16 (Weak Approximation Theorem)

Let {\left\lvert-\right\rvert_i} be distinct nontrivial valuations of {k} for {i=1,\dots,n}. Let {k_i} denote the completion of {k} with respect to {\left\lvert-\right\rvert_i}. Then the image

\displaystyle  k \hookrightarrow \prod_{i=1}^n k_i

is dense.

This means that distinct valuations are as different as possible; for example, if {\left\lvert-\right\rvert _1 = \left\lvert-\right\rvert _2} then we might get, say, a diagonal in {\mathbb R \times \mathbb R} which is as far from dense as one can imagine. Another way to think of this is that this is an analogue of the Chinese Remainder Theorem.

Proof: We claim it suffices to exhibit {\theta_i \in k} such that

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \theta_i \right\rvert_j \begin{cases} > 1 & i = j \\ < 1 & \text{otherwise}. \end{cases}


\displaystyle  \frac{\theta_i^r}{1+\theta_i^r} \rightarrow \begin{cases} 1 & \text{ in } \left\lvert-\right\rvert_i \\ 0 & \text{ otherwise}. \end{cases}

Hence for any point {(a_1, \dots, a_n)} we can take the image of {\sum \frac{\theta_i^r}{1+\theta_i^r} a_i \in k}. So it would follow that the image is dense.

Now, to construct the {\theta_i} we proceed inductively. We first prove the result for {n=2}. Since the topologies are different, we exhibit {\alpha}, {\beta} such that {\left\lvert \alpha_1 \right\rvert < \left\lvert \alpha_2 \right\rvert} and {\left\lvert \beta_1 \right\rvert > \left\lvert \beta_2 \right\rvert}, and pick {\theta=\alpha\beta^{-1}}.

Now assume {n \ge 3}; it suffices to construct {\theta_1}. By induction, there is a {\gamma} such that

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_1 > 1 \quad\text{and}\quad \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_i < 1 \text{ for } i = 2, \dots, n-1.

Also, there is a {\psi} such that

\displaystyle  \left\lvert \delta \right\rvert_1 > 1 \quad\text{and}\quad \left\lvert \delta \right\rvert_n < 1.

Now we can pick

\displaystyle  \theta_1 = \begin{cases} \gamma & \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_n < 1 \\ \phi^r\gamma & \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_n = 1 \\ \frac{\gamma^r}{1+\gamma^r} & \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert_n > 1 \\ \end{cases}

for sufficiently large {r}. \Box

Linnik’s Theorem for Sato-Tate Laws on CM Elliptic Curves

\title{A Variant of Linnik for Elliptic Curves} \maketitle

Here I talk about my first project at the Emory REU. Prerequisites for this post: some familiarity with number fields.

1. Motivation: Arithemtic Progressions

Given a property {P} about primes, there’s two questions we can ask:

  1. How many primes {\le x} are there with this property?
  2. What’s the least prime with this property?

As an example, consider an arithmetic progression {a}, {a+d}, \dots, with {a < d} and {\gcd(a,d) = 1}. The strong form of Dirichlet’s Theorem tells us that basically, the number of primes {\equiv a \pmod d} is {\frac 1d} the total number of primes. Moreover, the celebrated Linnik’s Theorem tells us that the first prime is {O(d^L)} for a fixed {L}, with record {L = 5}.

As I talked about last time on my blog, the key ingredients were:

  • Introducing Dirichlet characters {\chi}, which are periodic functions modulo {q}. One uses this to get the mod {q} into the problem.
  • Introducing an {L}-function {L(s, \chi)} attached to {\chi}.
  • Using complex analysis (Cauchy’s Residue Theorem) to boil the proof down to properties of the zeros of {L(s, \chi)}.

With that said, we now move to the object of interest: elliptic curves.

2. Counting Primes

Let {E} be an elliptic curve over {\mathbb Q}, which for our purposes we can think of concretely as a curve in Weirestrass form

\displaystyle y^2 = x^3 + Ax + B

where the right-hand side has three distinct complex roots (viewed as a polynomial in {x}). If we are unlucky enough that the right-hand side has a double root, then the curve ceases to bear the name “elliptic curve” and instead becomes singular.


Here’s a natural number theoretic question: for any rational prime {p}, how many solutions does {E} have modulo {p}?

To answer this it’s helpful to be able to think over an arbitrary field {F}. While we’ve written our elliptic curve {E} as a curve over {\mathbb Q}, we could just as well regard it as a curve over {\mathbb C}, or as a curve over {\mathbb Q(\sqrt 2)}. Even better, since we’re interested in counting solutions modulo {p}, we can regard this as a curve over {\mathbb F_p}. To make this clear, we will use the notation {E/F} to signal that we are thinking of our elliptic curve over the field {F}. Also, we write {\#E(F)} to denote the number of points of the elliptic curve over {F} (usually when {F} is a finite field). Thus, the question boils down to computing {\#E(\mathbb F_p)}.

Anyways, the question above is given by the famous Hasse bound, and in fact it works over any number field!

Theorem 1 (Hasse Bound)

Let {K} be a number field, and let {E/K} be an elliptic curve. Consider any prime ideal {\mathfrak p \subseteq \mathcal O_K} which is not ramified. Then we have

\displaystyle \#E(\mathbb F_\mathfrak p) = \mathrm{N}\mathfrak p + 1 - a_\mathfrak p

where {\left\lvert a_\mathfrak p \right\rvert \le 2\sqrt{\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p}}.

Here {\mathbb F_\mathfrak p = \mathcal O_K / \mathfrak p} is the field of {\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p} elements. The extra “{+1}” comes from a point at infinity when you complete the elliptic curve in the projective plane.

Here, the ramification means what you might guess. Associated to every elliptic curve over {\mathbb Q} is a conductor {N}, and a prime {p} is ramified if it divides {N}. The finitely many ramified primes are the “bad” primes for which something breaks down when we take modulo {p} (for example, perhaps the curve becomes singular).

In other words, for the {\mathbb Q} case, except for finitely many bad primes {p}, the number of solutions is {p + 1 + O(\sqrt p)}, and we even know the implied {O}-constant to be {2}.

Now, how do we predict the error term?

3. The Sato-Tate Conjecture

For elliptic curves over {\mathbb Q}, we the Sato-Tate conjecture (which recently got upgraded to a theorem) more or less answers the question. But to state it, I have to introduce a new term: an elliptic curve {E/\mathbb Q}, when regarded over {\mathbb C}, can have complex multiplication (abbreviated CM). I’ll define this in just a moment, but for now, the two things to know are

  • CM curves are “special cases”, in the sense that a randomly selected elliptic curve won’t have CM.
  • It’s not easy in general to tell whether a given elliptic curve has CM.

Now I can state the Sato-Tate result. It is most elegantly stated in terms of the following notation: if we define {a_p = p + 1 - \#E(\mathbb F_p)} as above, then there is a unique {\theta_p \in [0,\pi]} which obeys

\displaystyle a_p = 2 \sqrt p \cos \theta_p.

Theorem 2 (Sato-Tate)

Fix an elliptic curve {E/\mathbb Q} which does not have CM (when regarded over {\mathbb C}). Then as {p} varies across unramified primes, the asymptotic probability that {\theta_p \in [\alpha, \beta]} is

\displaystyle \frac{2}{\pi} \int_{[\alpha, \beta]} \sin^2\theta_p.

In other words, {\theta_p} is distributed according to the measure {\sin^2\theta}.

Now, what about the CM case?

4. CM Elliptic Curves

Consider an elliptic curve {E/\mathbb Q} but regard it as a curve over {\mathbb C}. It’s well known that elliptic curves happen to have a group law: given two points on an elliptic curve, you can add them to get a third point. (If you’re not familiar with this, Wikipedia has a nice explanation). So elliptic curves have more structure than just their set of points: they form an abelian group; when written in Weirerstrass form, the identity is the point at infinity.


Letting {A = (A, +)} be the associated abelian group, we can look at the endomorphisms of {E} (that is, homomorphisms {A \rightarrow A}). These form a ring, which we denote {\text{End }(E)}. An example of such an endomorphism is {a \mapsto n \cdot a} for an integer {n} (meaning {a+\dots+a}, {n} times). In this way, we see that {\mathbb Z \subseteq \text{End }(E)}.

Most of the time we in fact have {\text{End }(E) \cong \mathbb Z}. But on occasion, we will find that {\text{End }(E)} is congruent to {\mathcal O_K}, the ring of integers of a number field {K}. This is called complex multiplication by {K}.

Intuitively, this CM is special (despite being rare), because it means that the group structure associated to {E} has a richer set of symmetry. For CM curves over any number field, for example, the Sato-Tate result becomes very clean, and is considerably more straightforward to prove.

Here’s an example. The elliptic curve

\displaystyle E : y^2 = x^3 - 17 x

of conductor {N = 2^6 \cdot 17^2} turns out to have

\displaystyle \text{End }(E) \cong \mathbb Z[i]

i.e. it has complex multiplication has {\mathbb Z[i]}. Throwing out the bad primes {2} and {17}, we compute the first several values of {a_p}, and something bizarre happens. For the {3} mod {4} primes we get

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} a_{3} &= 0 \\ a_{7} &= 0 \\ a_{11} &= 0 \\ a_{19} &= 0 \\ a_{23} &= 0 \\ a_{31} &= 0 \end{aligned}

and for the {1} mod {4} primes we have

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} a_5 &= 4 \\ a_{13} &= 6 \\ a_{29} &= 4 \\ a_{37} &= 12 \\ a_{41} &= -8 \end{aligned}

Astonishingly, the vanishing of {a_p} is controlled by the splitting of {p} in {\mathbb Z[i]}! In fact, this holds more generally. It’s a theorem that for elliptic curves {E/\mathbb Q} with CM, we have {\text{End }(E) \cong \mathcal O_K} where {K} is some quadratic imaginary number field which is also a PID, like {\mathbb Z[i]}. Then {\mathcal O_K} governs how the {a_p} behave:

Theorem 3 (Sato-Tate Over CM)

Let {E/\mathbb Q} be a fixed elliptic curve with CM by {\mathcal O_K}. Let {\mathfrak p} be a unramified prime of {\mathcal O_K}.

  1. If {\mathfrak p} is inert, then {a_\mathfrak p = 0} (i.e. {\theta_\mathfrak p = \frac{1}{2}\pi}).
  2. If {\mathfrak p} is split, then {\theta_\mathfrak p} is uniform across {[0, \pi]}.

I’m told this is much easier to prove than the usual Sato-Tate.

But there’s even more going on in the background. If I look again at {a_p} where {p \equiv 1 \pmod 4}, I might recall that {p} can be written as the sum of squares, and construct the following table:

\displaystyle \begin{array}{rrl} p & a_p & x^2+y^2 \\ 5 & 4 & 2^2 + 1^2 \\ 13 & 6 & 3^2 + 2^2 \\ 29 & 4 & 2^2 + 5^2 \\ 37 & 12 & 6^2 + 1^2 \\ 41 & -8 & 4^2 + 5^2 \\ 53 & 14 & 7^2 + 2^2 \\ 61 & 12 & 6^2 + 5^2 \\ 73 & -16 & 8^2 + 3^2 \\ 89 & -10 & 5^2 + 8^2 \\ \end{array}

Each {a_p} is double one of the terms! There is no mistake: the {a_p} are also tied to the decomposition of {p = x^2+y^2}. And this works for any number field.

What’s happening? The main idea is that looking at a prime ideal {\mathfrak p = (x+yi)}, {a_\mathfrak p} is related to the argument of the complex number {x+yi} in some way. Of course, there are lots of questions unanswered (how to pick the {\pm} sign, and which of {x} and {y} to choose) but there’s a nice way to package all this information, as I’ll explain momentarily.

(Aside: I think the choice of having {x} be the odd or even number depends precisely on whether {p} is a quadratic residue modulo {17}, but I’ll have to check on that.)

5. {L}-Functions

I’ll just briefly explain where all this is coming from, and omit lots of details (in part because I don’t know all of them). Let {E/\mathbb Q} be an elliptic curve with CM by {\mathcal O_K}. We can define an associated {L}-function

\displaystyle L(s, E/K) = \prod_\mathfrak p \left( 1 - \frac{a_\mathfrak p}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^{s+\frac{1}{2}}} + \frac{1}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^{2s}} \right)

(actually this isn’t quite true actually, some terms change for ramified primes {\mathfrak p}).

At the same time there’s a notion of a Hecke Grössencharakter {\xi} on a number field {K} — a higher dimensional analog of the Dirichlet charaters we used on {\mathbb Z} to filter modulo {q}. For our purposes, think of it as a multiplicative function which takes in ideals of {\mathcal O_K} and returns complex numbers of norm {1}. Like Dirichlet characters, each {\xi} gets a Hecke {L}-function

\displaystyle L(s, \xi) = \prod_\mathfrak p \left( 1 - \frac{\xi(\mathfrak p)}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^s} \right)

which again extends to a meromorphic function on the entire complex plane.

Now the great theorem is:

Theorem 4 (Deuring)

Let {E/\mathbb Q} have CM by {\mathcal O_K}. Then

\displaystyle L(s,E/K) = L(s, \xi)L(s, \overline{\xi})

for some Hecke Grössencharakter {\xi}.

Using the definitions given above and equating the Euler products at an unramified {\mathfrak p} gives

\displaystyle 1 - \frac{a_\mathfrak p}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^{s+\frac{1}{2}}} + \frac{1}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^{2s}} = \left( 1 - \frac{\xi(\mathfrak p)}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^s} \right) \left( 1 - \frac{\overline{\xi(\mathfrak p)}}{(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p)^s} \right)

Upon recalling that {a_\mathfrak p = 2 \sqrt{\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p} \cos \theta_\mathfrak p}, we derive

\displaystyle \xi(\mathfrak p) = \exp(\pm i \theta_\mathfrak p).

This is enough to determine the entire {\xi} since {\xi} is multiplicative.

So this is the result: let {E/\mathbb Q} be an elliptic curve of conductor {N}. Given our quadratic number field {K}, we define a map {\xi} from prime ideals of {\mathcal O_K} to the unit circle in {\mathbb C} by

\displaystyle \mathfrak p \mapsto \begin{cases} \exp(\pm i \theta_\mathfrak p) & \gcd(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p, N) = 1 \\ 0 & \gcd(\mathrm{N}\mathfrak p, N) > 1. \end{cases}

Thus {\xi} is a Hecke Grössencharakter for some choice of {\pm} at each {\mathfrak p}.

It turns out furthermore that {\xi} has frequency {1}, which roughly means that the argument of {\xi\left( (\pi) \right)} is related to {1} times the argument of {\pi} itself. This fact is what explains the mysterious connection between the {a_p} and the solutions above.

6. Linnik-Type Result

With this in mind, I can now frame the main question: suppose we have an interval {[\alpha, \beta] \subset [0,\pi]}. What’s the first prime {p} such that {\theta_p \in [\alpha, \beta]}? We’d love to have some analog of Linnik’s Theorem here.

This was our project and the REU, and Ashvin, Peter and I proved that

Theorem 5

If a rational {E} has CM then the least prime {p} with {\theta_p \in [\alpha,\beta]} is

\displaystyle \ll \left( \frac{N}{\beta-\alpha} \right)^A.

I might blog later about what else goes into the proof of this. . . but Deuring’s result is one key ingredient, and a proof of an analogous theorem for non-CM curves would have to be very different.

Proof of Dirichlet’s Theorem on Arithmetic Progressions

In this post I will sketch a proof Dirichlet Theorem’s in the following form:

Theorem 1 (Dirichlet’s Theorem on Arithmetic Progression)


\displaystyle \psi(x;q,a) = \sum_{\substack{n \le x \\ n \equiv a \mod q}} \Lambda(n).

Let {N} be a positive constant. Then for some constant {C(N) > 0} depending on {N}, we have for any {q} such that {q \le (\log x)^N} we have

\displaystyle \psi(x;q,a) = \frac{1}{\phi(q)} x + O\left( x\exp\left(-C(N) \sqrt{\log x}\right) \right)

uniformly in {q}.

Prerequisites: complex analysis, previous two posts, possibly also Dirichlet characters. It is probably also advisable to read the last chapter of Hildebrand first, since this contains a much more thorough version of an easier version in which the zeros of {L}-functions are less involved.

Warning: I really don’t understand what I am saying. It is at least 50% likely that this post contains a major error, and 90% likely that there will be multiple minor errors. Please kindly point out any screw-ups of mine; thanks!

Throughout this post: {s = \sigma + it} and {\rho = \beta + i \gamma}, as always. All {O}-estimates have absolute constants unless noted otherwise, and {A \ll B} means {A = O(B)}, {A \asymp B} means {A \ll B \ll A}. By abuse of notation, {\mathcal L} will be short for either {\log q \left( \left\lvert t \right\rvert + 2 \right)} or {\log q \left( \left\lvert T \right\rvert + 2 \right)}, depending on context.

1. Outline

Here are the main steps:

  1. We introduce Dirichlet character {\chi : \mathbb N \rightarrow \mathbb C} which will serves as a roots of unity filter, extracting terms {\equiv a \pmod q}. We will see that this reduces the problem to estimating the function {\psi(x,\chi) = \sum_{n \le x} \chi(n) \Lambda(n)}.
  • Introduce the {L}-function {L(s, \chi)}, the generalization of {\zeta} for arithmetic progressions. Establish a functional equation in terms of {\xi(\chi,s)}, much like with {\zeta}, and use it to extend {L(s,\chi)} to a meromorphic function in the entire complex plane.
  • We will use a variation on the Perron transformation in order to transform this sum into an integral involving an {L}-function {L(\chi,s)}. We truncate this integral to {[c-iT, c+iT]}; this introduces an error {E_{\text{truncate}}} that can be computed immediately, though in this presentation we delay its computation until later.
  • We do a contour as in the proof of the Prime Number Theorem in order to estimate the above integral in terms of the zeros of {L(\chi, s)}. The main term emerges as a residue, so we want to show that the integral {E_{\text{contour}}} along this integral goes to zero. Moreover, we get some residues {\sum_\rho \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}} related to the zeros of the {L}-function.
  • By using Hadamard’s Theorem on {\xi(\chi,s)} which is entire, we can write {\frac{L'}{L}(s,\chi)} in terms of its zeros. This has three consequences:
    1. We can use the previous to get bounds on {\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi)}.
    2. Using a 3-4-1 trick, this gives us information on the horizontal distribution of {\rho}; the dreaded Siegel zeros appear here.
    3. We can get an expression which lets us estimate the vertical distribution of the zeros in the critical strip (specifically the number of zeros with {\gamma \in [T-1, T+1]}).

    The first and third points let us compute {E_{\text{contour}}}.

  • The horizontal zero-free region gives us an estimate of {\sum_\rho \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}}, which along with {E_{\text{contour}}} and {E_{\text{truncate}}} gives us the value of {\psi(x,\chi)}.
  • We use Siegel’s Theorem to handle the potential Siegel zero that might arise.

Possibly helpful diagram:


The pink dots denote zeros; we think the nontrivial ones all lie on the half-line by the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis but they could actually be anywhere in the green strip.

2. Dirichlet Characters

2.1. Definitions

Recall that a Dirichlet character {\chi} modulo {q} is a completely multiplicative function {\chi : \mathbb N \rightarrow \mathbb C} which is also periodic modulo {q}, and vanishes for all {n} with {\gcd(n,q) > 1}. The trivial character (denoted {\chi_0}) is defined by {\chi_0(n) = 1} when {\gcd(n,q)=1} and {\chi_0(n) = 0} otherwise.

In particular, {\chi(1)=1} and thus each nonzero {\chi} value is a {\phi(q)}-th primitive root of unity; there are also exactly {\phi(q)} Dirichlet characters modulo {q}. Observe that {\chi(-1)^2 = \chi(1) = 1}, so {\chi(-1) = \pm 1}. We shall call {\chi} even if {\chi(1) = +1} and odd otherwise.

If {\tilde q \mid q}, then a character {\tilde\chi} modulo {\tilde q} induces a character {\chi} modulo {q} in a natural way: let {\chi = \tilde\chi} except at the points where {\gcd(n,q)>1} but {\gcd(n,\tilde q)=1}, letting {\chi} be zero at these points instead. (In effect, we are throwing away information about {\tilde\chi}.) A character {\chi} not induced by any smaller character is called primitive.

2.2. Orthogonality

The key fact about Dirichlet characters which will enable us to prove the theorem is the following trick:

Theorem 2 (Orthogonality of Dirichlet Characters)

We have

\displaystyle \sum_{\chi \mod q} \chi(a) \overline{\chi}(b) = \begin{cases} \phi(q) & \text{ if } a \equiv b \pmod q, \gcd(a,q) = 1 \\ 0 & \text{otherwise}. \end{cases}

(Here {\overline{\chi}} is the conjugate of {\chi}, which is essentially a multiplicative inverse.)

This is in some senses a slightly fancier form of the old roots of unity filter. Specifically, it is not too hard to show that {\sum_{\chi} \chi(n)} vanishes for {n \not\equiv 1 \pmod q} while it is equal to {\phi(q)} for {n \equiv 1 \pmod q}.

2.3. Dirichlet {L}-Functions

Now we can define the associated {L}-function by

\displaystyle L(\chi, s) = \sum_{n \ge 1} \chi(n) n^{-s} = \prod_p \left( 1-\chi(p) p^{-s} \right)^{-1}.

The properties of these {L}-functions are that

Theorem 3

Let {\chi} be a Dirichlet character modulo {q}. Then

  1. If {\chi \ne \chi_0}, {L(\chi, s)} can be extended to a holomorphic function on {\sigma > 0}.
  2. If {\chi = \chi_0}, {L(\chi, s)} can be extended to a meromorphic function on {\sigma > 0}, with a single simple pole at {s=1} of residue {\phi(q) / q}.

The proof is pretty much the same as for zeta.

Observe that if {q=1}, then {L(\chi, s) = \zeta(s)}.

2.4. The Functional Equation for Dirichlet {L}-Functions

While I won’t prove it here, one can show the following analog of the functional equation for Dirichlet {L}-functions.

Theorem 4 (The Functional Equation of Dirichlet {L}-Functions)

Assume that {\chi} is a character modulo {q}, possibly trivial or imprimitive. Let {a=0} if {\chi} is even and {a=1} if {\chi} is odd. Let

\displaystyle \xi(s,\chi) = q^{\frac{1}{2}(s+a)} \gamma(s,\chi) L(s,\chi) \left[ s(1-s) \right]^{\delta(x)}


\displaystyle \gamma(s,\chi) = \pi^{-\frac{1}{2}(s+a)} \Gamma\left( \frac{s+a}{2} \right)

and {\delta(\chi) = 1} if {\chi = \chi_0} and zero otherwise. Then

  1. {\xi} is entire.
  2. If {\chi} is primitive, then {\xi(s,\chi) = W(\chi)\xi(1-s, \overline{\chi})} for some complex number {\left\lvert W(\chi) \right\rvert = 1}.

Unlike the {\zeta} case, the {W(\chi)} is nastier to describe; computing it involves some Gauss sums that would be too involved for this post. However, I should point out that it is the Gauss sum here that requires {\chi} to be primitive. As before, {\xi} gives us an meromorphic continuation of {L(\chi, s)} in the entire complex plane. We obtain trivial zeros of {L(\chi, s)} as follows:

  • For {\chi} even, we get zeros at {-2}, {-4}, {-6} and so on.
  • For {\chi \neq \chi_0} even, we get zeros at {0}, {-2}, {-4}, {-6} and so on (since the pole of {\Gamma(\frac{1}{2} s)} at {s=0} is no longer canceled).
  • For {\chi} odd, we get zeros at {-1}, {-3}, {-5} and so on.

3. Obtaining the Contour Integral

3.1. Orthogonality

Using the trick of orthogonality, we may write

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \psi(x;q,a) &= \sum_{n \le x} \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \mod q} \chi(n)\overline{\chi}(a) \Lambda(n) \\ &= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} \sum_{\chi \mod q} \overline{\chi}(a) \left( \sum_{n \le x} \chi(n) \Lambda(n) \right). \end{aligned}

To do this we have to estimate the sum {\sum_{n \le x} \chi(n) \Lambda(n)}.

3.2. Introducing the Logarithmic Derivative of the {L}-Function

First, we realize {\chi(n) \Lambda(n)} as the coefficients of a Dirichlet series. Recall last time we saw that {-\frac{\zeta'}{\zeta}} gave {\Lambda} as coefficients. We can do the same thing with {L}-functions: put

\displaystyle \log L(s, \chi) = -\sum_p \log \left( 1 - \chi(p) p^{-s} \right).

Taking the derivative, we obtain

Theorem 5

For any {\chi} (possibly trivial or imprimitive) we have

\displaystyle -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) = \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \chi(n) n^{-s}.


\displaystyle \begin{aligned} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) &= \sum_p \frac{\log p}{1-\chi(p) p^{-s}} \\ &= \sum_p \log p \cdot \sum_{m \ge 1} \chi(p^m) (p^m)^{-s} \\ &= \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \chi(n) n^{-s} \end{aligned}

as desired. \Box

3.3. The Truncation Trick

Now, we unveil the trick at the heart of the proof of Perron’s Formula in the last post. I will give a more precise statement this time, by stating where this integral comes from:

Lemma 6 (Truncated Version of Perron Lemma)

For any {c,y,T > 0} define

\displaystyle I(y,T) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} \frac{y^s}{s} \; ds

Then {I(y,T) = \delta(y) + E(y,T)} where {\delta(y)} is the indicator function defined by

\displaystyle \delta(y) = \begin{cases} 0 & 0 < y < 1 \\ \frac{1}{2} & y=1 \\ 1 & y > 1 \end{cases}

and the error term {E(y,T)} is given by

\displaystyle \left\lvert E(y,T) \right\rvert < \begin{cases} y^c \min \left\{ 1, \frac{1}{T \left\lvert \log y \right\rvert} \right\} & y \neq 1 \\ cT^{-1} & y=1. \end{cases}

In particular, {I(y,\infty) = \delta(y)}.

In effect, the integral from {c-iT} to {c+iT} is intended to mimic an indicator function. We can use it to extract the terms of the Dirichlet series of {-\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi)} which happen to have {n \le x}, by simply appealing to {\delta(x/n)}. Unfortunately, we cannot take {T = \infty} because later on this would introduce a sum which is not absolutely convergent, meaning we will have to live with the error term introduced by picking a particular finite value of {T}.

3.4. Applying the Truncation

Let’s do so: define

\displaystyle \psi(x;\chi) = \sum_{n \ge 1} \delta\left( x/n \right) \Lambda(n) \chi(n)

which is almost the same as {\sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) \chi(n)}, except that if {x} is actually an integer then {\Lambda(x)\chi(x)} should be halved (since {\delta(\frac{1}{2}) = \frac{1}{2}}). Now, we can substitute in our integral representation, and obtain

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \psi(x;\chi) &= \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \chi(n) \cdot \left( E(x/n,T) + \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} \frac{(x/n)^s}{s} \; ds \right) \\ &= \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \chi(n) \cdot E(x/n, T) + \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} \sum_{n \ge 1} \left( \Lambda(n)\chi(n) n^{-s} \right) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \\ &= E_{\text{truncate}} + \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \end{aligned}


\displaystyle E_{\text{truncate}} = \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \chi(n) \cdot E(x/n, T).

Estimating this is quite ugly, so we defer it to later.

4. Applying the Residue Theorem

4.1. Primitive Characters

Exactly like before, we are going to use a contour to estimate the value of

\displaystyle \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds.

Let {U} be a large half-integer (so no zeros of {L(\chi,s)} with {\text{Re } s = U}). We then re-route the integration path along the contour integral

\displaystyle c-iT \rightarrow -U-iT \rightarrow -U+iT \rightarrow c+iT.

During this process we pick up residues, which are the interesting terms.

First, assume that {\chi} is primitive, so the functional equation applies and we get the information we want about zeros.

  • If {\chi = \chi_0}, then so we pick up a residue of {+x} corresponding to

    \displaystyle (-1) \cdot -x^1/1 = +x.

    This is the “main term”. Per laziness, {\delta(\chi) x} it is.


  • Depending on whether {\chi} is odd or even, we detect the trivial zeros, which we can express succinctly by

    \displaystyle \sum_{m \ge 1} \frac{x^{a-2m}}{2m-a}

    Actually, I really ought to truncate this at {U}, but since I’m going to let {U \rightarrow \infty} in a moment I really don’t want to take the time to do so; the difference is negligible.

  • We obtain a residue of {-\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi)} at {s = 0}, which we denote {b(\chi)}, for {s=0}. Observe that if {\chi} is even, this is the constant term of {-\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi)} near {s=0} (but there is a pole of the whole function at {s=0}); otherwise it equals the value of {-\frac{L'}{L}(0, \chi)} straight-out.
  • If {\chi \ne \chi_0} is even then {L(s, \chi)} itself has a zero, so we are in worse shape. We recall that

    \displaystyle \frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) = \frac 1 s + b(\chi) + \dots

    and notice that

    \displaystyle \frac{x^s}{s} = \frac 1s + \log x + \dots

    so we pick up an extra residue of {-\log x}. So, call this a bonus of {-(1-a) \log x}


  • Finally, the hard-to-understand zeros in the strip {0 < \sigma < 1}. If {\rho = \beta+i\gamma} is a zero, then it contributes a residue of {-\frac{x^\rho}{\rho}}. We only pick up the zeros with {\left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} in our rectangle, so we get a term

    \displaystyle -\sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}.

Letting {U \rightarrow \infty} we derive that

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} &\phantom= \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \\ &= \delta(\chi) x + E_{\text{contour}} + \sum_{m \ge 1} \frac{x^{a-2m}}{2m-a} - b(\chi) - (1-a) \log x - \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho} \end{aligned}

at least for primitive characters. Note that the sum over the zeros is not absolutely convergent without the restriction to {\left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} (with it, the sum becomes a finite one).

4.2. Transition to nonprimitive characters

The next step is to notice that if {\chi} modulo {q} happens to be not primitive, and is induced by {\tilde\chi} with modulus {\tilde q}, then actually {\psi(x,\chi)} and {\psi(x,\tilde\chi)} are not so different. Specifically, they differ by at most

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \left\lvert \psi(x,\chi)-\psi(x,\tilde\chi) \right\rvert &\le \sum_{\substack{\gcd(n,\tilde q)=1 \\ \gcd(n,q) > 1 \\ n \le x}} \Lambda(n) \\ &\le \sum_{\substack{\gcd(n,q) > 1 \\ n \le x}} \Lambda(n) \\ &\le \sum_{p \mid q} \sum_{\substack{p^k \le x}} \log p \\ &\le \sum_{p \mid q} \log x \\ &\le (\log q)(\log x) \end{aligned}

and so our above formula in fact holds for any character {\chi}, if we are willing to add an error term of {(\log q)(\log x)}. This works even if {\chi} is trivial, and also {\tilde q \le q}, so we will just simplify notation by omitting the tilde’s.

Anyways {(\log q)(\log x)} is piddling compared to all the other error terms in the problem, and we can swallow a lot of the boring residues into a new term, say

\displaystyle E_{\text{tiny}} \le (\log q + 1)(\log x) + 2.

Thus we have

\displaystyle \psi(x, \chi) = \delta(\chi) x + E_{\text{contour}} + E_{\text{truncate}} + E_{\text{tiny}} - b(\chi) - \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}.

Unfortunately, the constant {b(\chi)} depends on {\chi} and cannot be absorbed. We will also estimate {E_{\text{contour}}} in the error term party.

5. Distribution of Zeros

In order to estimate

\displaystyle \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}

we will need information on both the vertical and horizontal distribution of the zeros. Also, it turns out this will help us compute {E_{\text{contour}}}.

5.1. Applying Hadamard’s Theorem

Let {\chi} be primitive modulo {q}. As we saw,

\displaystyle \xi(s,\chi) = (q/\pi)^{\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a} \Gamma\left( \frac{s+a}{2} \right) L(s, \chi) \left( s(1-s) \right)^{\delta(\chi)}

is entire. It also is easily seen to have order {1}, since no term grows much more than exponentially in {s} (using Stirling to handle the {\Gamma} factor). Thus by Hadamard, we may put

\displaystyle \xi(s, \chi) = e^{A(\chi)+B(\chi)z} \prod_\rho \left( 1-\frac{z}{\rho} \right) e^{\frac{z}{\rho}}.

Taking a logarithmic derivative and cleaning up, we derive the following lemma.

Lemma 7 (Hadamard Expansion of Logarithmic Derivative)

For any primitive character {\chi} (possibly trivial) we have

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) &= \frac{1}{2} \log\frac{q}{\pi} + \frac{1}{2}\frac{\Gamma'(\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a)}{\Gamma(\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a)} \\ &- B(\chi) - \sum_{\rho} \left( \frac{1}{s-\rho} + \frac{1}{\rho} \right) + \delta(\chi) \cdot \left( \frac{1}{s-1} + \frac 1s \right). \end{aligned}

Proof: One one hand, we have

\displaystyle \log \xi(s, \chi) = A(\chi) + B(\chi) s + \sum_\rho \left( \log \left( 1-\frac{s}{\rho} \right) + \frac{s}{\rho} \right).

On the other hand

\displaystyle \log \xi(s, \chi) = \frac{s+a}{2} \cdot \log \frac{q}{\pi} + \log \Gamma\left( \frac{s+a}{2} \right) + \log L(s, \chi) + \delta\chi(\log s + \log (1-s)).

Taking the derivative of both sides and setting them equal: we have on the left side

\displaystyle B(\chi) + \sum_{\rho} \left( \frac{1}{1-\frac{s}{\rho}} \cdot \frac{1}{-\rho} + \frac{1}{\rho} \right) = B(\chi) + \sum_\rho \left( \frac{1}{s-\rho} + \frac{1}{\rho} \right)

and on the right-hand side

\displaystyle \frac{1}{2} \log\frac{q}{\pi} + \frac{1}{2}\frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma}\left( \frac{s+a}{2} \right) + \frac{L'}{L} (s, \chi) + \delta_\chi \left( \frac 1s + \frac{1}{s-1} \right).

Equating these gives the desired result. \Box

This will be useful in controlling things later. The {B(\chi)} is a constant that turns out to be surprisingly annoying; it is tied to {b(\chi)} from the contour, so we will need to deal with it.

5.2. A Bound on the Logarithmic Derivative

Frequently we will take the real part of this. Using Stirling, the short version of this is:

Lemma 8 (Logarithmic Derivative Bound)

Let {\sigma \ge 1} and {\chi} be primitive (possibly trivial). Then

\displaystyle \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma+it, \chi)}{L(\sigma+it, \chi)} \right] = \begin{cases} O(\mathcal L) - \text{Re } \sum_\rho \frac{1}{s-\rho} + \text{Re } \frac{\delta(\chi)}{s-1} & 1 \le \sigma \le 2 \\ O(\mathcal L) - \text{Re } \sum_\rho \frac{1}{s-\rho} & 1 \le \sigma \le 2, \left\lvert t \right\rvert \ge 2 \\ O(1) & \sigma \ge 2. \end{cases}

Proof: The claim is obvious for {\sigma \ge 2}, since we can then bound the quantity by {\frac{\zeta'(\sigma)}{\zeta(\sigma)} \le \frac{\zeta'(2)}{\zeta(2)}} due to the fact that the series representation is valid in that range. The second part with {\left\lvert t \right\rvert \ge 2} follows from the first line, by noting that {\text{Re } \frac{1}{s-1} < 1}. So it just suffices to show that

\displaystyle O(\mathcal L) - \text{Re } \sum_\rho \frac{1}{s-\rho} + \text{Re } \frac{\delta(\chi)}{s-1}

where {1 \le \sigma \le 2} and {\chi} is primitive.

First, we claim that {\text{Re } B(\chi) = - \text{Re } \sum \frac{1}{\rho}}. We use the following trick:

\displaystyle B(\chi) = \frac{\xi'(0,\chi)}{\xi(0,\chi)} = -\frac{\xi'(1,\overline{\chi})}{\xi(1,\overline{\chi})} = \overline{B(\chi)} - \sum_{\overline{\rho}} \left( \frac{1}{1-\overline{\rho}} + \frac{1}{\overline{\rho}} \right) + \frac{\delta(\chi)}{s-1}

where the ends come from taking the logarithmic derivative directly. By switching {1-\overline{\rho}} with {\rho}, the claim follows.

Then, the lemma follows rather directly; the {\text{Re } \sum_\rho \frac{1}{\rho}} has miraculously canceled with {\text{Re } B(\chi)}. To be explicit, we now have

\displaystyle - \text{Re } \frac{L'(s, \chi)}{L(s, \chi)} = \frac{1}{2} \log\frac{q}{\pi} + \frac{1}{2} \text{Re } \frac{\Gamma'(\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a)}{\Gamma(\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a)} - \sum_{\rho} \text{Re } \frac{1}{s-\rho} + \frac{\delta(\chi)}{s} + \frac{\delta(\chi)}{s-1}

and the first two terms contribute {\log q} and {\log t}, respectively; meanwhile the term {\frac{\delta(\chi)}{s}} is at most {1}, so it is absorbed. \Box

Short version: our functional equation lets us relate {L(s, \chi)} to {L(1-s, \chi)} for {\sigma \le 0} (in fact it’s all we have!) so this gives the following corresponding estimate:

Lemma 9 (Far-Left Estimate of Log Derivative)

If {\sigma \le -1} and {t \ge 2} we have

\displaystyle \frac{L'(s, \chi)}{L(s, \chi)} = O\left[ \log q\left\lvert s \right\rvert \right].


We have

\displaystyle L(1-s, \chi) = W(\chi) 2^{1-s} \pi^{-s} q^{s-\frac{1}{2}} \cos \frac{1}{2} \pi (s-a) \Gamma(s) L(s, \overline{\chi})

(the unsymmetric functional equation, which can be obtained from Legendre’s duplication formula). Taking a logarithmic derivative yields

\displaystyle \frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) = \log \frac{q}{2\pi} - \frac{1}{2} \pi \tan \frac{1}{2} \pi(1-s-a) + \frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma}(1-s) + \frac{L'}{L}(1-s, \overline{\chi}).

Because we assumed {\left\lvert t \right\rvert \ge 2}, the tangent function is bounded as {s} is sufficiently far from any of its poles along the real axis. Also since {\text{Re }(1-s) \ge 2} implies the {\frac{L'}{L}} term is bounded. Finally, the logarithmic derivative of {\Gamma} contributes {\log \left\lvert s \right\rvert} according to Stirling. So, total error is {O(\log q) + O(1) + O(\log \left\lvert s \right\rvert) + O(1)} and this gives the conclusion. \Box

5.3. Horizontal Distribution

I claim that:

Theorem 10 (Horizontal Distribution Bound)

Let {\chi} be a character, possibly trivial or imprimitive. There exists an absolute constant {c_1} with the following properties:

  1. If {\chi} is complex, then no zeros are in the region {\sigma \ge 1 - \frac{c_1}{\mathcal L}}.
  2. If {\chi} is real, there are no zeros in the region {\sigma \ge 1 - \frac{c_1}{\mathcal L}}, with at most one exception; this zero must be real and simple.

Such bad zeros are called Siegel zeros, and I will denote them {\beta_S}. The important part about this estimate is that it does not depend on {\chi} but rather on {q}. We need the relaxation to non-primitive characters, since we will use them in the proof of Landau’s Theorem.

Proof: First, assume {\chi} is both primitive and nontrivial.

By the 3-4-1 lemma on {\log L(\chi, s)} we derive that

\displaystyle 3 \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma, \chi_0)}{L(\sigma, \chi_0)} \right] + 4 \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma+it, \chi)}{L(\sigma+it, \chi)} \right] + \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma+2it, \chi^2)}{L(\sigma+2it, \chi^2)} \right] \ge 0.

This is cool because we already know that

\displaystyle \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma+it, \chi)}{L(\sigma+it, \chi)} \right] < O(\mathcal L) - \text{Re } \sum_\rho \frac{1}{s-\rho}

We now assume {\sigma > 1}.

In particular, we now have (since {\text{Re } \rho < 1} for any zero {\rho})

\displaystyle \text{Re } \frac{1}{s-\rho} > 0.

So we are free to throw out as many terms as we want.

If {\chi^2} is primitive, then everything is clear. Let {\rho = \beta + i \gamma} be a zero. Then

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma, \chi_0)}{L(\sigma, \chi_0)} \right] &\le \frac{1}{\sigma-1} + O(1) \\ \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma+it, \chi)}{L(\sigma+it, \chi)} \right] &\le O(\mathcal L) - \frac{1}{s-\rho} \\ \text{Re } \left[ -\frac{L'(\sigma+2it, \chi^2)}{L(\sigma+2it, \chi^2)} \right] &\le O(\mathcal L) \end{aligned}

where we have dropped all but one term for the second line, and all terms for the third line. If {\chi^2} is not primitive but at least is not {\chi_0}, then we can replace {\chi^2} with the inducing {\tilde\chi_2} for a penalty of at most

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \text{Re } \frac{L'}{L}(s, \tilde\chi) - \text{Re } \frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi^2) &< \text{Re } \sum_{p^k \mid q} \tilde\chi(p^k) \log p \cdot \text{Re } (p^k)^{-s} \\ &< \sum_{p \mid q} \log p \cdot (p^{-\sigma} + p^{-2\sigma} + \dots) \\ &< \sum_{p \mid q} \log p \cdot 1 \\ &\le \log q \end{aligned}

just like earlier: {\Lambda} is usually zero, so we just look at the differing terms! The Dirichlet series really are practically the same. (Here we have also used the fact that {\sigma > 1}, and {p \ge 2}.)

Consequently, we derive using {3-4-1} that

\displaystyle \frac{3}{\sigma-1} - \frac{4}{s-\rho} + O(\mathcal L) \ge 0.

Selecting {s = \sigma + i \gamma} so that {s - \rho = \sigma-\beta}, we thus obtain

\displaystyle \frac{4}{\sigma-\beta} \le \frac{3}{\sigma-1} + O(\mathcal L).

If we select {\sigma = 1 + \frac{\varepsilon}{\mathcal L}}, we get

\displaystyle \frac{4}{1 + \frac{\varepsilon}{\mathcal L} - \beta} \le O(\mathcal L)


\displaystyle \beta < 1 - \frac{c_2}{\mathcal L}

for some constant {c_2}, initially only for primitive {\chi}.

But because the Euler product of the {L}-function of an imprimitive character versus its primitive inducing character differ by a finite number of zeros on the line {\sigma=0} it follows that this holds for all nontrivial complex characters.

Unfortunately, if we are unlucky enough that {\tilde\chi_2} is trivial, then replacing {\chi^2} causes all hell to break loose. (In particular, {\chi} is real in this case!) The problem comes in that our new penalty has an extra {\frac{1}{s-1}}, so

\displaystyle \left\lvert \text{Re } \frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi^2) - \text{Re } \frac{\zeta'}{\zeta}(s) \right\rvert < \frac{1}{s-1} + \log q

Applied with {s = \sigma + 2it}, we get the weaker

\displaystyle \frac{3}{\sigma-1} - \frac{4}{s-\rho} + O(\mathcal L) + \frac{1}{\sigma - 1 + 2it} \ge 0.

If {\left\lvert t \right\rvert > \frac{\delta}{\log q}} for some {\delta} then the {\frac{1}{\sigma-1+2it}} term will be at most {\frac{\log q}{\delta} = O(\mathcal L)} and we live to see another day. In other words, we have unconditionally established a zero-free region of the form

\displaystyle \sigma > 1 - \frac{c(\delta)}{\mathcal L} \quad\text{and}\quad \left\lvert t \right\rvert > \frac{\delta}{\log q}

for any {\delta > 0}.

Now let’s examine {\left\lvert t \right\rvert < \frac{\delta}{\log q}}. We don’t have the facilities to prove that there are no bad zeros, but let’s at least prove that the zero must be simple and real. By Hadamard at {t=0}, we have

\displaystyle -\frac{L'(\sigma, \chi)}{L(\sigma, \chi)} < O(\mathcal L) - \sum_\rho \frac{1}{\sigma-\rho}

where we no longer need the real parts since {\chi} is real, and in particular the roots of {L(s,\chi)} come in conjugate pairs. The left-hand side can be stupidly bounded below by

\displaystyle -\frac{L'(\sigma, \chi)}{L(\sigma, \chi)} \ge - \sum_{n \ge 1} (-1) \cdot \log n \cdot n^{-\sigma} = \frac{\zeta'(\sigma)}{\zeta(\sigma)} > -\frac{1}{\sigma-1} - O(1).


\displaystyle -\frac{1}{\sigma-1} < O(\mathcal L) - \sum_\rho \frac{1}{\sigma-\rho}.

In other words,

\displaystyle \sum_\rho \text{Re } \frac{\sigma-\rho}{\left\lvert \sigma-\rho \right\rvert^2} < \frac{1}{\sigma-1} + O(\mathcal L).

Then, let {\sigma = 1 + \frac{2\delta}{\log q}}, so

\displaystyle \sum_\rho \text{Re } \frac{\sigma-\rho}{\left\lvert \sigma-\rho \right\rvert^2} < \frac{\log q}{2\delta} + O(\mathcal L).

The rest is arithmetic; basically one finds that there can be at most one Siegel zero. In particular, since complex zeros come in conjugate pairs, that zero must be real.

It remains to handle the case that {\chi = \chi_0} is the constant function giving {1}. For this, we observe that the {L}-function in question is just {\zeta}. Thus, we can decrease the constant {c_2} to some {c_1} in such a way that the result holds true for {\zeta}, which completes the proof. \Box

5.4. Vertical Distribution

We have the following lemma:

Lemma 11 (Sum of Zeros Lemma)

For all real {t} and primitive characters {\chi} (possibly trivial), we have

\displaystyle \sum_\rho \frac{1}{4+(t-\gamma)^2} = O(\mathcal L).

Proof: We already have that

\displaystyle \text{Re } -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) = O(\mathcal L) - \sum_\rho \text{Re } \frac{1}{s-\rho}

and we take {s = 2 + it}, noting that the left-hand side is bounded by a constant {\frac{\zeta'}{\zeta}(2) = -0.569961}. On the other hand, { \text{Re } \frac{1}{2+it-\rho} = \frac{\text{Re }(2+it-\rho)}{\left\lvert (2-\beta) + (t-\gamma)i \right\rvert^2} = \frac{2-\beta}{(2-\beta)^2+(t-\gamma)^2}} and

\displaystyle \frac{1}{4+(t-\gamma)^2} \le \frac{2-\beta}{(2-\beta)^2+(t-\gamma)^2} \le \frac{2}{1+(t-\gamma)^2}

as needed. \Box
From this we may deduce that

Lemma 12 (Number of Zeros Nearby {T})

For all real {t} and primitive characters {\chi} (possibly trivial), the number of zeros {\rho} with {\gamma \in [t-1, t+1]} is {O(\mathcal L)}.

In particular, we may perturb any given {T} by {\le 2} so that the distance between it and the nearest zero is at least {c_0 \mathcal L^{-1}}, for some absolute constant {c_0}.

From this, using an argument principle we can actually also obtain the following: For a real number {T > 0}, we have { N(T, \chi) = \frac{T}{\pi} \log \frac{qT}{2\pi e} + O(\mathcal L)} is the number of zeros of {L(s, \chi)} with imaginary part {\gamma \in [-T, T]}. However, we will not need this fact.

6. Error Term Party

Up to now, {c} has been arbitrary. Assume now {x \ge 6}; thus we can now follow the tradition

\displaystyle c = 1 + \frac{1}{\log x} < 2

so {c} is just to the right of the critical line. This causes {x^c = ex}. We assume also for convenience that {T \ge 2}.

6.1. Estimating the Truncation Error

Recall that

\displaystyle \left\lvert E(y,T) \right\rvert < \begin{cases} y^c \min \left\{ 1, \frac{1}{T \left\lvert \log y \right\rvert} \right\} & y \neq 1 \\ cT^{-1} & y=1. \end{cases}

We need to bound the right-hand side of

\displaystyle \left\lvert E_{\text{truncate}} \right\rvert \le \sum_{n \ge 1} \left\lvert \Lambda(n) \chi(n) \cdot E(x/n, T) \right\rvert = \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \left\lvert E(x/n, T) \right\rvert.

If {\frac34 x \le n \le \frac 54x}, the log part is small, and this is bad. We have to split into three cases: {\frac34 x \le n < x}, {n = x}, and {x < n \le \frac 54x}. This is necessary because in the event that {\Lambda(x) \neq 0} ({x} is a prime power), then {E(x/n,T) = E(1,T)} needs to be handled differently.

We let {x_{\text{left}}} and {x_{\text{right}}} be the nearest prime powers to {x} other than {x} itself. Thus this breaks our region to conquer into

\displaystyle \frac 34 x \le x_{\text{left}} < x < x_{\text{right}} \le \frac 54 x.

So we have possibly a center term (if {x} is a prime power, we have a term {n=x}), plus the far left interval and the far right interval. Let {d = \min\left\{ x-x_{\text{left}}, x_{\text{right}}-x \right\}} for convenience.

  • In the easy case, if {n = x} we have a contribution of {E(1,T) \log x < \frac{c}{T}\log x}, which is piddling (less than {\log x}).
  • Suppose {\frac 34x \le n \le x_{\text{left}} - 1}. If {n = x_{\text{left}} - a} for some integer {1 \le a \le \frac 14x}, then

    \displaystyle \log \frac xn \ge \log \frac{x_{\text{left}}}{x_{\text{left}}-a} = -\log\left( 1 - \frac{a}{x_{\text{left}}} \right) \ge \frac{a}{x_{\text{left}}}

    by using the silly inequality {-\log(1-t) \ge t} for {t < 1}. So the contribution in total is at most

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \sum_{1 \le a \le \frac 14 x} \Lambda(n) \cdot (x/n)^c \cdot \frac{1}{T \cdot \frac{a}{x_{\text{left}}}} &\le \frac{x_{\text{left}}}{T} \sum_{1 \le a \le \frac 14 x} \Lambda(n) \cdot \left( \frac 43 \right)^2 \frac 1a \\ &\le \frac{16}{9} \frac{x_{\text{left}}}{T} \log x \sum_{1 \le a \le \frac 14 x} \frac 1a \\ &\le \frac{16}{9} \frac{(x-1) (\log x)(\log \frac 14 x + 2)}{T} \\ &\le \frac{1.9x (\log x)^2}{T} \end{aligned}

    provided {x \ge 7391}.


  • If {n = x_{\text{left}}}, we have

    \displaystyle \log \frac xn = -\log\left( 1 - \frac{x-x_{\text{left}}}{x} \right) > \frac{d}{x}

    Hence in this case, we get an error at most

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \Lambda(x_{\text{left}}) \left( \frac{x}{x_{\text{left}}} \right)^c \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{Td} \right\} &< \Lambda(x_{\text{left}}) \left( \frac 43 \right)^2 \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{Td} \right\} \\ &\le \frac{16}{9} \log x \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{Td} \right\}. \end{aligned}


  • The cases {n = x_{\text{right}}} and {x_{\text{right}} + 1 \le n < \frac 54x} give the same bounds as above, in the same way.

Finally, if for {x} outside the interval mentioned above, we in fact have {\left\lvert \log x/n \right\rvert > \frac{1}{5}}, say, and so all terms contribute at most

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \sum_n \Lambda(n) \cdot (x/n)^c \cdot \frac{1}{T \log \left\lvert x/n \right\rvert} &\le \frac{5x^c}{T} \sum_n \Lambda(n) \cdot n^{-c} \\ &= \frac{5ex}{T} \cdot \left\lvert -\frac{\zeta'}{\zeta} (c) \right\rvert \\ &< \frac{5ex}{T} \cdot \left( \frac{1}{c-1} + 0.5773 \right) \\ &\le \frac{14x \log x}{T}. \end{aligned}

(Recall {\zeta'/\zeta} had a simple pole at {s=1}, so near {s=1} it behaves like {\frac{1}{s-1}}.)

The sum of everything is {\le \frac{3.8x(\log x)^2+14x\log x}{T} + \frac{32}{9} \log x \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{Td} \right\}}. Hence, the grand total across all these terms is the horrible

\displaystyle \boxed{ E_{\text{truncate}} \le \frac{5x(\log x)^2}{T} + 3.6\log x \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{Td} \right\}}

provided {x \ge 1.2 \cdot 10^5}.

6.2. Estimating the Contour Error

We now need to measure the error along the contour, taken from {U \rightarrow \infty}. Throughout assume {U \ge 3}. Naturally, to estimate the integral, we seek good estimates on

\displaystyle \left\lvert \frac{L'}{L}(\sigma) \right\rvert.

For this we appeal to the Hadamard expansion. We break into a couple cases.

  • First, let’s look at the integral when {-1 \le \sigma \le 2}, so {s = \sigma \pm iT} with {T} large. We bound the horizontal integral along these regions; by symmetry let’s consider just the top

    \displaystyle \int_{-1+iT}^{c+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds.

    Thus we want an estimate of {-\frac{L'}{L}}.

    Lemma 13

    Let {s} be such that {-1 \le \sigma \le 2}, {\left\lvert t \right\rvert \ge 2}. Assume {\chi} is primitive (possibly trivial), and that {t} is not within {c_0\mathcal L^{-1}} of any zeros of {L(s, \chi)}. Then

    \displaystyle \frac{L'(s, \chi)}{L(s, \chi)} = O(\mathcal L^2)

    Proof: Since we assumed that {T \ge 2} we need not worry about {\frac{\delta(\chi)}{s-1}} and so we obtain

    \displaystyle \frac{L'(s, \chi)}{L(s, \chi)} = -\frac{1}{2} \log\frac{q}{\pi} - \frac{1}{2}\frac{\Gamma'(\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a)}{\Gamma(\frac{1}{2} s + \frac{1}{2} a)} + B(\chi) + \sum_{\rho} \left( \frac{1}{s-\rho} + \frac{1}{\rho} \right).

    and we eliminate {B(\chi)} by computing

    \displaystyle \frac{L'(\sigma+it, \chi)}{L(\sigma+it, \chi)} - \frac{L'(2+it, \chi)}{L(2+it, \chi)} = E_{\text{gamma}} + \sum_{\rho} \left( \frac{1}{\sigma+it-\rho} - \frac{1}{2+it-\rho} \right).


    \displaystyle E_{\text{gamma}} = \frac{1}{2}\frac{\Gamma'(\frac{1}{2} (2+it) + \frac{1}{2} a)}{\Gamma(\frac{1}{2} (2+it) + \frac{1}{2} a)} - \frac{1}{2}\frac{\Gamma'(\frac{1}{2} (\sigma+it) + \frac{1}{2} a)}{\Gamma(\frac{1}{2} (\sigma+it) + \frac{1}{2} a)} \ll \log T

    by Stirling (here we use the fact that {-1 \le \sigma \le 2}). For the terms where {\gamma \notin [t-1, t+1]} we see that

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \left\lvert \frac{1}{\sigma+it-\rho} - \frac{1}{2+it-\rho} \right\rvert &= \frac{2-\sigma}{\left\lvert \sigma+it-\rho \right\rvert \left\lvert 2+it-\rho \right\rvert} \\ &\le \frac{2-\sigma}{\left\lvert \gamma-t \right\rvert^2} \le \frac{3}{\left\lvert \gamma-t \right\rvert^2} \\ &\le \frac{6}{\left\lvert \gamma-t \right\rvert^2+1}. \end{aligned}

    So the contribution of the sum for {\left\lvert \gamma-t \right\rvert \ge 1} can be bounded by {O(\mathcal L)}, via the vertical sum lemma.

    As for the zeros with smaller imaginary part, we at least have {\left\lvert 2+it-\rho \right\rvert = \left\lvert 2-\beta \right\rvert > 1} and thus we can reduce the sum to just

    \displaystyle \frac{L'(\sigma+it, \chi)}{L(\sigma+it, \chi)} - \frac{L'(2+it, \chi)}{L(2+it, \chi)} = \sum_{\gamma\in[t-1,t+1]} \frac{1}{\sigma+it-\rho} + O(\mathcal L).

    Now by the assumption that {\left\lvert \gamma-t \right\rvert \ge c\mathcal L^{-1}}; so the terms of the sum are all at most {O(\mathcal L)}. Also, there are {O(\mathcal L)} zeros with imaginary part in that range. Finally, we recall that {\frac{L'(2+it, \chi)}{L(2+it, \chi)}} is bounded; we can write it using its (convergent) Dirichlet series and then note it is at most {\frac{\zeta'(2+it)}{\zeta(2+it)} \le \frac{\zeta'(2)}{\zeta(2)}}. \Box
    At this point, we perturb {T} as described in vertical distribution so that the lemma applies, and use can then compute

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \left\lvert \int_{-1+iT}^{c+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \right\rvert &< O(\mathcal L^2) \cdot \int_{-1+iT}^{c+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s}{s} \right\rvert \; ds \\ &< O(\mathcal L^2) \int_{-1}^c \frac{x^\sigma}{2T} \; d\sigma \\ &< O(\mathcal L^2) \cdot \frac{x^{c+1}-1}{T \log x} \\ &< O\left(\frac{\mathcal L^2 x}{T \log x}\right). \end{aligned}


  • Next, for the integral {-U \le \sigma \le 1}, we use the “far-left” estimate to obtain

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \left\lvert \int_{-U+iT}^{-1+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \right\rvert &\ll \int_{-\infty+iT}^{-1+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s}{s} \right\rvert \cdot \log q \left\lvert s \right\rvert \; ds \\ &\ll \int_{-\infty+iT}^{-1+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s}{s} \right\rvert \cdot \log q \left\lvert s \right\rvert \; ds \\ &\ll \log q \int_{-\infty+iT}^{-1+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s}{s} \right\rvert \; ds + \int_{-\infty+iT}^{-1+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s \log \left\lvert s \right\rvert}{s} \right\rvert \; ds \\ &< \log q \int_{-\infty+iT}^{-1+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s}{T} \right\rvert \; ds + \int_{-\infty}^{-1} \left\lvert \frac{x^s \log T}{T} \right\rvert \; ds \\ &\ll \frac{\log q}{T} \int_{-\infty}^{-1} x^\sigma \; d\sigma + \frac{\log T}{T} \int_{-\infty}^{-1} x^\sigma \; d\sigma \\ &< \frac{\mathcal L}{T} \left( \frac{x^{-1}}{\log x} \right) = \frac{\mathcal L}{T x \log x}. \end{aligned}

    So the contribution in this case is {O\left( \frac{\mathcal L}{T x \log x} \right)}.


  • Along the horizontal integral, we can use the same bound

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \left\lvert \int_{-U-iT}^{-U+iT} -\frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \right\rvert &\ll \int_{-U-iT}^{-U+iT} \left\lvert \frac{x^s}{s} \right\rvert \cdot \log q \left\lvert s \right\rvert \; ds \\ &= x^{-U} \cdot \int_{-U-iT}^{-U+iT} \frac{\log q \left\lvert s \right\rvert}{\left\lvert s \right\rvert} \; ds \\ &= x^{-U} \cdot \int_{-U-iT}^{-U+iT} \frac{\log q + \log U}{U} \; ds \\ &= \frac{2T(\log q + \log U)}{Ux^U} \end{aligned}

    which vanishes as {U \rightarrow \infty}.

So we only have two error terms, {O\left( \frac{\mathcal L^2 x}{T \log x} \right)} and {O\left( \frac{\mathcal L}{Tx\log x} \right)}. The first is clearly larger, so we end with

\displaystyle \boxed{E_{\text{contour}} \ll \frac{\mathcal L^2x}{T \log x}}.

6.3. The term {b(\chi)}

We can estimate {b(\chi)} as follows:

Lemma 14

For primitive {\chi}. we have

\displaystyle b(\chi) = O(\log q) - \sum_{\left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < 1} \frac{1}{\rho}

Proof: The idea is to look at {\frac{L'}{L}(s,\chi)-\frac{L'}{L}(2,\chi)}. By subtraction, we obtain

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} \frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) -\frac{L'}{L}(2, \chi) &= - \frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma} \left( \frac{s+a}{2} \right) + \frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma} \left( \frac{2+a}{2} \right) \\ &- \frac rs - \frac r{s-1} + \frac r2 + \frac r1 \\ &+ \sum_\rho \left( \frac{1}{s-\rho} - \frac{1}{2-\rho} \right) \end{aligned}

Then at {s=0} (eliminating the poles), we have

\displaystyle \frac{L'}{L}(s, \chi) = O(1) - \sum_{\rho} \left( \frac{1}{\rho}+\frac{1}{2-\rho} \right)

where the {O(1)} is {\frac{L'}{L}(2,\chi) + \frac r2 + \gamma + \frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma}(1)} if {a=0} and {\frac{L'}{L}(2,\chi) + \frac r2 - \frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma}(\frac{1}{2}) + \frac{\Gamma'}{\Gamma}(\frac32)} for {a=1}. Furthermore,

\displaystyle \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert > 1} \left( \frac{1}{\rho}+\frac{1}{2-\rho} \right) \le \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert > 1} \frac{2}{\left\lvert \rho(2-\rho) \right\rvert} < 2 \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert > 1} \frac{1}{\left\lvert 2-\rho \right\rvert^2}

which is {O(\log q)} by our vertical distribution results, and similarly

\displaystyle \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < 1} \frac{1}{2-\rho} = O(\log q).

This completes the proof. \Box

Let {\beta_1} be a Siegel zero, if any; for all the other zeros, we have that {\left\lvert \frac{1}{\rho} \right\rvert = \frac{1}{\beta^2+\gamma^2}}. We now have two cases.

  • {\overline{\chi} \neq \chi}. Then {\overline{\chi}} is complex and thus has no exceptional zeros; hence each of its zeros has {\beta < 1 - \frac{c}{\log q}}; since {\overline{\rho}} is a zero of {\overline{\chi}} if and only if {1-\rho} is a zero of {\chi}, it follows that all zeros of {\chi} are have {\left\lvert \frac{1}{\rho} \right\rvert < O(\log q)}. Moreover, in the range {\gamma \in [-1,1]} there are {O(\log q)} zeros (putting {T=0} in our earlier lemma on vertical distribution).

Thus, total contribution of the sum is {O\left( (\log q)^2 \right)}.


  • If {\overline{\chi} = \chi}, then {\chi} is real. The above argument goes through, except that we may have an extra Siegel zero at {\beta_S}; hence there will also be a special zero at {1 - \beta_S}. We pull these terms out separately.Consequently,

    \displaystyle \boxed{b(\chi) = O\left( (\log q)^2 \right) - \frac{1}{\beta_S} - \frac{1}{1-\beta_S}}.

    By adjusting the constant, we may assume {\beta_S > \frac{2014}{2015}} if it exists.

    7. Computing {\psi(x,\chi)} and {\psi(x;q,a)}

    7.1. Summing the Error Terms

    We now have, for any {T \ge 2}, {x \ge 6}, and {\chi} modulo {q} possibly primitive or trivial, the equality

    \displaystyle \psi(x, \chi) = \delta(\chi) x + E_{\text{contour}} + E_{\text{truncate}} + E_{\text{tiny}} - b(\chi) - \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}.


    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} E_{\text{contour}} &\ll \frac{x(\log x)^2}{T} + \log x \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{Td} \right\} \\ E_{\text{truncate}} &\ll \frac{\mathcal L^2 x}{T \log x} \\ E_{\text{tiny}} &\ll \log x \log q \\ b(\chi) &= O\left( (\log q)^2 \right) - \frac{1}{\beta_S} - \frac{1}{1-\beta_S}. \end{aligned}

    Assume now that {T \le x}, and {x} is an integer (hence {d \ge 1}). Then aggregating all the errors gives

    \displaystyle \psi(x, \chi) = \delta(\chi) x - \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho} - \frac{x^{\beta_S}-1}{\beta_S} - \frac{x^{1-\beta_S}-1}{1-\beta_S} + O\left( \frac{x (\log qx)^2}{T} \right).

    where the sum over {\rho} now excludes the Siegel zero. We can omit the terms {\beta_S^{-1} < \frac{2015}{2014} = O(1)}, and also

    \displaystyle \frac{x^{1-\beta_S}-1}{1-\beta_S} < x^{\frac{1}{2015}} \log x.

    Absorbing things into the error term,

    \displaystyle \psi(x, \chi) = \delta(\chi) x - \frac{x^{\beta_S}}{\beta_S} - \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho} + O\left( \frac{x (\log qx)^2}{T} + x^{\frac{1}{2015}} \log x \right).

    7.2. Estimating the Sum Over Zeros

    Now we want to estimate

    \displaystyle \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \left\lvert \frac{x^\rho}{\rho} \right\rvert.

    We do this is the dumbest way possible: putting a bound on {x^\rho} and pulling it out.

    For any non-Siegel zero, we have a zero-free region {\beta < 1 - \frac{c_1}{\mathcal L}}, whence

    \displaystyle \left\lvert x^\rho \right\rvert < x^{\beta} = x \cdot x^{\beta-1} = x \exp\left( \frac{-c_1 \log x}{\mathcal L} \right).

    Pulling this out, we can then estimate the reciprocals by using our differential:

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \left\lvert \frac{1}{\rho} \right\rvert < \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{1}{\gamma} < \sum_{t=1}^T \frac{\log q(t+2)}{t} \ll (\log qT)^2 \le (\log qx)^2. \end{aligned}


    \displaystyle \psi(x, \chi) = \delta(\chi) x - \frac{x^{\beta_S}}{\beta_S} + O\left( \frac{x (\log qx)^2}{T} + x^{\frac{1}{2015}} \log x + (\log qx)^2 \cdot x \exp\left( \frac{-c_1 \log x}{\mathcal L} \right) \right).

    We select

    \displaystyle T = \exp\left(c_3 \sqrt{\log x}\right)

    for some constant {c_3}, and moreover assume {q \le T}, then we obtain

    \displaystyle \psi(x, \chi) = \delta(\chi) x - \frac{x^{\beta_S}}{\beta_S} + O\left( x \exp\left( -c_4 \sqrt{\log x} \right) \right).

    7.3. Summing Up

    We would like to sum over all characters {\chi}. However, we’re worried that there might be lots of Siegel zeros across characters. A result of Landau tells us this is not the case:

    Theorem 15 (Landau)

    If {\chi_1} and {\chi_2} are real nontrivial primitive characters modulo {q_1} and {q_2}, then for any zeros {\beta_1} and {\beta_2} we have

    \displaystyle \min \left\{ \beta_1, \beta_2 \right\} < 1 - \frac{c_5}{\log q_1q_2}

    for some fixed absolute {c_5}. In particular, for any fixed {q}, there is at most one {\chi \mod q} with a Siegel zero.

    Proof: The character {\chi_1\chi_2} is not trivial, so we can put

    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} -\frac{\zeta'}{\zeta}(\sigma) &= \frac{1}{\sigma-1} + O(1) \\ -\frac{L'}{L}(\sigma, \chi_1\chi_2) &= O(\log q_1q_2) \\ -\frac{L'}{L}(\sigma, \chi_1) &= O(\log q_1) - \frac{1}{\sigma-\beta_i} \\ -\frac{L'}{L}(\sigma, \chi_2) &= O(\log q_2) - \frac{2}{\sigma-\beta_i}. \end{aligned}

    Now we use a silly trick:

    \displaystyle 0 \le -\frac{\zeta'}{\zeta}(\sigma) -\frac{L'}{L}(\sigma, \chi_1) -\frac{L'}{L}(\sigma, \chi_2) -\frac{L'}{L}(\sigma, \chi_1\chi_2)

    by “Simon’s Favorite Factoring Trick” (we use the deep fact that {(1+\chi_1)(1+\chi_2) \ge 0}, the analog of {3-4-1}). The upper bounds give now

    \displaystyle \frac{1}{\sigma-\beta_1} + \frac{1}{\sigma-\beta_2} < \frac{1}{\sigma-1} + O(\log q_1 \log q_2).

    and one may deduce the conclusion from here. \Box

    We now sum over all characters {\chi} as before to obtain

    \displaystyle \psi(x; q, a) = \frac{1}{\phi(q)} x - \frac{\chi_S(a)}{\phi(q)} \frac{x^{\beta_S}}{\beta_S} + O \left( x \exp\left(-c_6 \sqrt{\log x}\right) \right)

    where {\chi_S = \overline{\chi}_S} is the character with a Siegel zero, if it exists.

    8. Siegel’s Theorem, and Finishing Off

    The term with {x^{\beta_S} / \beta_S} is bad, and we need some way to get rid of it. We now appeal to Siegel’s Theorem:

    Theorem 16 (Siegel’s Theorem)

    For any {\varepsilon > 0} there is a {C_1(\varepsilon) > 0} such that any Siegel zero {\beta_S} satisfies

    \displaystyle \beta_S < 1-C_1(\varepsilon) q^{-\varepsilon}.

    Thus for a positive constant {N}, assuming {q \le (\log x)^N}, letting {\varepsilon = (2N)^{-1}} means {q^{-\varepsilon} > \frac{1}{\sqrt{\log x}}}, so we obtain

    \displaystyle x^{\beta_S} < x \exp\left( -C_1(\varepsilon) \log x q^{-\varepsilon} \right) < x \exp\left( -C_1(\varepsilon) \sqrt{\log x} \right).


    \displaystyle \begin{aligned} \psi(x; q, a) &= \frac{1}{\phi(q)} x - \frac{\chi_S(a)}{\phi(q)} \frac{x^{\beta_S}}{\beta_S} + O \left( x \exp\left(-c_6 \sqrt{\log x}\right) \right) \\ &\le \frac{1}{\phi(q)} x + O\left( x \exp\left( -C_1(\varepsilon) \sqrt{\log x} \right) \right) + O \left( x \exp\left(-c_6 \sqrt{\log x}\right) \right) \\ &\le \frac{1}{\phi(q)} x + O\left( x \exp\left( -C(N) \sqrt{\log x} \right) \right) \end{aligned}

    where {C(N) = \min \left\{ C_1(\varepsilon), c_6 \right\}}. This completes the proof of Dirichlet’s Theorem.


Zeros and Primes

Prerequisites for this post: previous post, and complex analysis. For this entire post, {s} is a complex variable with {s = \sigma + it}.

1. The {\Gamma} function

So there’s this thing called the Gamma function. Denoted {\Gamma(s)}, it is defined by

\displaystyle  \Gamma(s) = \int_0^{\infty} x^{s-1} e^{-x} \; dx

as long as {\sigma > 0}. Here are its values at the first few integers:

\displaystyle  \begin{aligned} \Gamma(1) &= 1 \\ \Gamma(2) &= 1 \\ \Gamma(3) &= 2 \\ \Gamma(4) &= 6 \\ \Gamma(5) &= 24. \end{aligned}

Yep: the {\Gamma} function is contrived so that the identity

\displaystyle  \Gamma(s+1) = s\Gamma(s)

always holds. (Proof: integration by parts.) Thus {\Gamma} interpolates the factorial function a nice way. Moreover, this identity lets us extend {\Gamma} to a meromorphic function on the entire complex plane.

We like the {\Gamma} function because, unlike {\zeta}, we know what it’s doing. For example we actually know how to compute {\Gamma(n)} for any positive integer {n}. (Contrast this with, say, {\zeta(3)}; we don’t even know if it’s an algebraic number, and it took until 1978 to prove that it was irrational). More to the point, we also know where all its zeros and poles are:

Proposition 1

Let {\Gamma} be defined as above, extended to a meromorphic function on all of {\mathbb C}.

  • The function {\Gamma} has no zeros.
  • It has a simple pole at {s= 0, -1, -2, \dots}, and these are the only poles.

The pole at {s=0} should not be surprising: plug in {s=0} to {\Gamma(s+1)=s\Gamma(s)}.

In any case, moral of story: {\Gamma} is very friendly!

2. Functional Equation for Zeta

We will now do something really magical, due to Riemann. Pick an integer {n}; we set {t = \pi n^2x} to derive the artificial equation

\displaystyle  \Gamma(s) = (n^2\pi)^{s} \int_0^{\infty} x^{s-1} e^{-n^2\pi x} \; dx.

Replacing {s} with {\frac{1}{2} s} and rearranging gives

\displaystyle  \pi^{-s/2} \cdot \Gamma(s/2) n^{-s} = \int_0^\infty x^{s/2 - 1} e^{-n^2\pi x} \; dx \qquad \sigma > 0.

Then, due to absolute convergence we can sum over {n \ge 1}; this brings the Riemann zeta function into the right-hand side, to get

\displaystyle  \pi^{-s/2} \cdot \Gamma(s/2) \zeta(s) = \int_0^\infty x^{s/2 - 1} \frac{\theta(x)-1}{2} \; dx \qquad \sigma > 1


\displaystyle  \theta(x) = \sum_{n=-\infty}^{\infty} e^{-n^2\pi x};

so that {\frac{\theta(x)-1}{2}} gives just the sum for {n \ge 1}. It turns out that this {\theta} is special: a Jacobi theta function, which happens to satisfy

\displaystyle  \theta(x^{-1}) = \sqrt{x} \cdot \theta(x) \quad \forall x > 0.

Also, {\omega(x) = O(e^{-\pi x})} for {x > 0}.

Using this and with some purely algebraic manipulations (namely, splitting the integral into two parts, {0 \le x \le 1} and {x \ge 1}, and then using the property of the theta function), one can derive that

\displaystyle  \pi^{-s/2}\Gamma(s/2)\zeta(s) = \frac1{s-1} - \frac 1s + \int_1^\infty \frac{\theta(x)-1}{2} \cdot \left( x^{s/2-1} + x^{(1-s)/2-1} \right) \; dx.

The right-hand side has two very useful properties:

  • It is even around {\frac{1}{2}}, meaning it remains the same when {s} is replaced by {1-s}.
  • The integral is actually an entire function on all of {\mathbb C} (the integral converges for all {s} because {\theta(x) = O(e^{-\pi x})}).

So if we multiply both sides by {\frac{1}{2} s(s-1)}, we get a symmetric entire function, called the {\xi} function:

Theorem 2

The function

\displaystyle  \xi(s) = \frac{1}{2} s(s-1) \pi^{-s/2} \Gamma(s/2) \zeta(s)


\displaystyle  \xi(s) = \xi(1-s)

and is an entire function on all of {\mathbb C}.

In particular we can use this to extend {\zeta} to a meromorphic function on the entire complex plane. We have

\displaystyle  \pi^{-\frac{1}{2} s} \Gamma\left( \frac s2 \right) \zeta(s) = \pi^{-\frac{1}{2} (1-s)} \Gamma\left( \frac{1-s}{2} \right) \zeta(1-s).

We can count zeros and poles from this. The {\pi}‘s don’t do anything. The {\Gamma}‘s have no zeros and just poles at non-positive integers.

Since {\zeta} has no zeros and no poles other than {s = 1} for {\sigma > 0}, the only zeros it will have are for {\sigma \le 0} are at {s = -2, -4, -6, \dots} in order to cancel out the poles of {\Gamma(s/2)}. And so these are the so-called trivial zeros.

On the other hand in the strip {0 < \sigma < 1} we get very confused. More on that later.

3. Explicit Formula for Chebyshev Function

Recall that last post we had

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \int_{c-i\infty}^{c+i\infty} -\frac{\zeta'(s)}{\zeta(s)} \cdot \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds

according to Perron’s Formula. Write this as

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \lim_{T \rightarrow \infty} \left( \int_{c-iT}^{c+iT} \frac{\zeta'(s)}{\zeta(s)} \cdot -\frac{x^s}{s} \; ds \right)

Recall that if {f} is a meromorphic function then so is

\displaystyle  \frac{1}{2\pi i} \cdot \frac{f'}{f}

which has a simple pole for each zero/pole of {f}; the residue is {+1} for each simple zero (more generally {+m} for a zero of multiplicity {m}) and {-1} for each simple pole (more generally {-m} for a pole of order {m}). (See the argument principle).

Now we are going to do use the bestest theorem from complex analysis: Cauchy’s Residue Theorem. We replace the path {c-iT \rightarrow c+iT} with {c-iT \rightarrow -U-iT \rightarrow U + iT \rightarrow c+iT}. Doing so picks up the following residues:

  • Since {\zeta} has a pole at {s=1}, {\zeta'/\zeta} has a simple pole there of residue {-1}, so we pick up a residue of {+x} corresponding to

    \displaystyle  (-1) \cdot -x^1/1 = +x.

    This is the “main term”.

  • {\zeta} has simple zeros at {s=-2,-4,-6,\dots}. So we pick up residues of {-\frac{x^2}{2}}, {-\frac{x^4}{4}}, and so on, or

    \displaystyle  - \sum_{n \ge 1} \frac{x^{2n}}{2n} = -\frac{1}{2} \log(1-x^{-2}).

  • {x^s/s} itself has a pole at {s=0}, which gives us an additional term

    \displaystyle  -\frac{\zeta'(0)}{\zeta(0)}.

    It turns out that this equals {\log(2\pi)}, because why not.

  • Finally, the hard-to-understand zeros in the strip {0 < \sigma < 1}. If {\rho = \beta+i\gamma} is a zero, then it contributes a residue of {-\frac{x^\rho}{\rho}}. We only pick up the zeros with {\left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} in our rectangle, so we get a term

    \displaystyle  \sum_{\substack{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T}} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho}

In what follows, {\rho} always denotes a zero in the critical strip, written {\rho = \beta + i \gamma}.

Putting this all together, we obtain that

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \lim_{U \rightarrow \infty} \lim_{T \rightarrow \infty} \left( x - \frac{1}{2} \log(1-x^{-2}) - \log(2\pi) - \sum_{\substack{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T}} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho} + I(x,U,T) \right)

where {I(x,U,T)} is the integral along the three sides of the rectangle. With some effort, you can show that in fact {I(x,U,T) \rightarrow 0}; but the speed of convergence depends on {x}. To avoid this, we can take {U \rightarrow \infty} but leave {T} intact, which gives the explicit formula:

Theorem 3 (Explicit Formula for the Chebyshev Function)

For {x \ge 2}

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = x - \sum_{\rho, \left\lvert \gamma \right\rvert < T} \frac{x^\rho}{\rho} - \log(2\pi) - \frac{1}{2}\log(1-x^{-2}) + R(x,T)

where {R(x,T)} is some error term, with the property that {R(x,T) \rightarrow 0} as {T \rightarrow \infty} for any fixed {x}.

(It’s necessary to use a truncated sum since the series {\sum_{\rho} \frac{1}{\left\lvert \rho \right\rvert}} actually converges only conditionally, and not absolutely.)

The error term is ugly enough that I haven’t included it in the formula, but if you want to know I’ll at least write it down: it is

\displaystyle  R(x,T) = O\left( \frac{x \log(xT)^2}{T} + \log x \min \left\{ 1, \frac{x}{T\left<x\right>} \right\} \right)

where {\left<x\right>} is the distance from {x} to the nearest prime power ({\ne x}). Clearly, for any fixed {x}, {R(x,T) \rightarrow 0} as {T \rightarrow \infty}. What I will say is that it’s not our main concern:

4. The Prime Number Theorem

Here’s the deal: we know {\psi(x) \approx x}, and want something as close as possible. We get the {x} right off the bat, so we want everything else to be small.

The term {-\frac{1}{2}\log(1-x^{-2})} is tiny, as is the constant. The {R(x,T)} can be handled as long as {T} is big enough: the price we pay is that we introduce more zeros into the sum over {\rho}. The sum of the zeros: well, what about the sum?

We know that for any zero {\rho = \beta + i \gamma}, we have {\beta < 1}. But if {\beta = 1 - \varepsilon}, we’d be very upset, because now our sum has a term of size {\left\lvert x^\rho \right\rvert = x^\beta = x^{1-\varepsilon}} in it, which is bad since the thing we’re shooting for is {\psi(x) \approx x}. So what we’d like is to be able to force {\beta} to be less than something, like {0.9}. Then we’d have an error term around {x^{0.9}}, which is not spectacular but better than {x^{1-\varepsilon}}.

In fact, we believe that {\beta = \frac12}, always — the Riemann Hypothesis. With some messing around with the value of {T}, we would then get an error term of

\displaystyle  O\left( x^{\frac12 + \varepsilon} \right)

which is pretty good, and actually near best possible (one can show that {O(\sqrt x)} is not achievable).

Unfortunately, we can not even show {\beta < 0.999}. The most we know is that {\beta < 1 - \frac{c}{\log \gamma}}, which gives some pretty crummy bounds compared to what we think is true: using this bound, the best we can do is

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = x + O\left( x \exp\left( -c\sqrt{\log x} \right) \right)

which is worse than {O(x^{0.999})}. That’s the current state of affairs.

That {\zeta} function is pretty mysterious.


References: Kedlaya’s 18.785 notes and Hildebrand’s ANT notes.

von Mangoldt and Zeta

Prerequisites for this post: definition of Dirichlet convolution, and big {O}-notation.

Normally I don’t like to blog about something until I’m pretty confident that I have a reasonably good understanding of what’s happening, but I desperately need to sort out my thoughts, so here I go\dots

1. Primes

One day, an alien explorer lands on Earth in a 3rd grade classroom. He hears the teacher talk about these things called primes. So he goes up to the teacher and asks “how many primes are there less than {x}?”.

Answer: “uh. . .”.

Maybe that’s too hard, so the alien instead asks “about how many primes are there less than {x}?”.

This is again greeted with silence. Confused, the alien asks a bunch of the teachers, who all respond similarly, but then someone mentions that in the last couple hundred years, someone was able to show with a lot of effort that the answer was pretty close to

\displaystyle  \approx \frac{x}{\log x}.

The alien, now more satisfied, then says “okay, great! How good is this estimate?”

More silence.

2. The von Mangoldt function

The prime counting function isn’t very nice, but there is a related function that’s a lot more well-behaved. We define the von Mangoldt function {\Lambda} by

\displaystyle  \Lambda(x) = \begin{cases} \log p & x = p^k \text{ for some prime } p \\ 0 & \text{otherwise}. \end{cases}

It’s worth remarking that in terms of (Dirichlet) convolution, we have

\displaystyle  \mathbf 1 \ast \Lambda = \log

(here {\mathbf 1} is the constant function that gives {\mathbf 1(n) = 1}). (Do you see why?) Then, we define the second Chebyshev function as

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n).

In words, {\psi(x)} adds up logs of prime powers; in still other words, it is the partial sums of {\Lambda}.

It turns out that knowing {\psi(x)} well gives us information about the number of primes less than {x}, and vice versa. (This is actually not hard to show; try it yourself if you like.) But we like the function {\psi} because it is more well-behaved. In particular, it turns out the answer to the alien’s question “there are about {\frac{x}{\log x}} primes less than {x}” is equivalent to “{\psi(x) \approx x}”.

So to satisfy the alien, we have to establish {\psi(x) \approx x} and tell him how good this estimate is.

Actually, what we believe to be true is:

Theorem 1 (Riemann Hypothesis)

We conjecture that

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = x + O\left( x^{\frac{1}{2}+\varepsilon} \right)

for any {\varepsilon > 0}.

Unfortunately, what we actually know is far from this:

Theorem 2 (Prime Number Theorem, Classical Form)

We have proved that

\displaystyle  \psi(x) = x + O\left( x e^{-c\sqrt{\log x}} \right)

for some constant {c} (actually we have done slightly better, but not much).

You will notice that this error term is greater than {O(x^{0.999})}, and this is true even of the more modern estimates. In other words, we have a long way to go.

3. Dirichlet Series and Perron’s Formula

Note: I’m ignoring issues of convergence in this section, and will continue to do so for this post.

First, some vocabulary. An arithmetic function is just a function {\mathbb N \rightarrow \mathbb C}.

Example 3

Functions {\Lambda}, {\mathbf 1}, or {\log} are arithmetic functions.

The partial sums of an arithmetic function are sums like {f(1) + f(2) + \dots + f(n)}, or better yet {\sum_{n \le x} f(n)}.

Example 4

The Chebyshev function {\psi} gives the partial sums of {\Lambda}, by definition.

Example 5

The floor function {\left\lfloor x \right\rfloor} gives the partial sums of {\mathbf 1}:

\displaystyle  \left\lfloor x \right\rfloor = \sum_{n \le x} 1 = \sum_{n \le x} \mathbf 1(n).

Back to the main point. We are scared of the word “prime”, so in estimating {\psi(x)} we want to avoid doing so by any means possible. In light of this we introduce the Dirichlet series for an arithmetic function {f}, which is defined as

\displaystyle  F(s) = \sum_{n \ge 1} f(n) n^{-s}

for complex numbers {s}. This is like a generating function, except rather than {x^n}‘s we have {n^{-s}}‘s.

Why Dirichlet series over generating functions? There are two reasons why this turns out to be a really good move. The first is that in number theory, we often have convolutions, which play well with Dirichlet series:

Theorem 6 (Convolution of Dirichlet Series)

Let {f, g, h : \mathbb N \rightarrow \mathbb C} be arithmetic functions and let {F}, {G}, {H} be the corresponding Dirichlet series. Then

\displaystyle  f = g \ast h \implies F = G \cdot H.

(Here {\ast} is the Dirichlet convolution.)

This is actually immediate if you just multiply it out!

We want to use this to get a handle on the Dirichlet series for {\Lambda}. As remarked earlier, we have

\displaystyle  \log = \mathbf 1 \ast \Lambda.

The Dirichlet series of {\mathbf 1} has a name; it is the infamous Riemann zeta function, given by

\displaystyle  \zeta(s) = \sum_{n \ge 1} n^{-s}.

What about {\log}? Answer: it’s just {-\zeta'(s)}! This follows by term-wise differentiation of the sum {\zeta}, since the derivative of {n^{-s}} is {-\log s \cdot n^{-s}}.

Thus we have deduced

Theorem 7 (Dirichlet Series of von Mangoldt)

We have

\displaystyle  -\frac{\zeta'(s)}{\zeta(s)} = \sum_{n \ge 1} \Lambda(n) \cdot n^{-s}.

That was fun. Why do we care, though?

I promised a second reason, and here it is: Surprisingly, complex analysis gives us a way to link the Dirichlet series of a function with its partial sums (in this case, {\psi}). It is the so-called \beginPerron’s Formula}, which links partial sums to Dirichlet series:

Theorem 8 (Perron’s Formula)

Let {f : \mathbb N \rightarrow \mathbb C} be a function, {F} its Dirichlet series. Then for any {x} not an integer,

\displaystyle  \sum_{n \le x} f(n) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \int_{c-i\infty}^{c+i\infty} F(s) \cdot \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds

for any large enough {c} (large enough to avoid convergence issues).

Applied here this tells us that if {x} is not an integer we have

\displaystyle  \psi(x) \overset{\text{def}}{=} \sum_{n \le x} \Lambda(n) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \int_{c-i\infty}^{c+i\infty} -\frac{\zeta'(s)}{\zeta(s)} \cdot \frac{x^s}{s} \; ds.

for any {c > 1}.

This is fantastic, because we’ve managed to get rid of the sigma sign and the word “prime” from the entire problem: all we have to do is study the integral on the right-hand side. Right?

Ha, if it were that easy. That {\zeta} function is a strange beast.

4. The Riemann Zeta Function

Here’s the initial definition:

\displaystyle  \zeta(s) = \sum_{n \ge 1} n^{-s}

is the Dirichlet series of the constant function {\mathbf 1}. Unfortunately, this sum only converges when the real part of {s} is greater than {1}. (For {s=1}, it is the standard harmonic series, which explodes.)

However, we can use something called \beginAbel summation}, which transforms a Dirichlet series into an integral of its partial sums.

Theorem 9 (Abel Summation for Dirichlet Series)

If {f} is an arithmetic function and {F} is its Dirichlet series then

\displaystyle  F(s) = s \int_1^{\infty} \frac{\sum_{n \le x} f(n)}{x^{s+1}} \; dx.

It’s the opposite of Perron’s Formula earlier, which we used to transform partial sums into integrals in terms of the Dirichlet series. Unlike {\Lambda}, whose partial sums became the very beast {\psi} we were trying to tame, the partial sums of {\mathbf 1} are very easy to understand:

\displaystyle  \sum_{n \le x} \mathbf 1(n) = \sum_{n \le x} 1 = \left\lfloor x \right\rfloor.

It’s about as nice as can be!

Applying this to the Riemann zeta function and doing some calculation, we find that

\displaystyle  \zeta(s) = \frac{s}{s-1} - s \int_1^\infty \frac{ \left\{ x \right\} }{x^{s+1}} \; ds

where {\left\{ x \right\}} is the fractional part. It turns out that other than the explosion at {s=1}, this function will converge for any {s} whose real part is {> 0}. So this extends the Riemann zeta function to a function on half of the complex plane, minus a point (i.e. is a meromorphic function with a single pole at {s=1}).

5. Zeros of the Zeta Function

Right now I’ve only told you how to define {\zeta(s)} for {\mathrm{Re}\; s > 0}. In the next post I’ll outline how to push this even further to get the rest of the zeta function.

You might already be aware that the behavior of {\zeta} for {0 < \mathrm{Re}\; s < 1} has a large prize attached to it. For now, I’ll mention that

Theorem 10

If {\mathrm{Re}\; s \ge 1}, then {\zeta(s) \neq 0}.

Proof: Let {s = \sigma + it} be the real/imaginary parts (these letters are due to tradition). For {\sigma > 1}, we use the fact that we have an infinite product

\displaystyle  \zeta(s) = \prod_{p \text{ prime}} \left( 1+p^s+(p^2)^s + \dots \right) = \prod_{p \text{ prime}} \frac{1}{1-p^{-s}}.

Using the fact that {\sum_p \left\lvert p^{-s} \right\rvert < \sum_p p^{-\sigma} < \sum_{n \ge 1} n^{-\sigma} < \infty}, {\prod_p (1-p^{-s})}, converges to some finite value, say {L}. By standard facts on infinite products (for example, Appendix A.2 here) that means {\zeta(s)} is {1/L \neq 0}.

The situation for {\sigma = 1} is trickier. We use the following trick:

\displaystyle  3 + 4\cos\theta + \cos2\theta = 2(\cos\theta+1)^2 \ge 0 \quad \forall \theta.


\displaystyle  \log\zeta(s) = \sum_p -\log(1-p^{-s}) = \sum_p \sum_{n \ge 1} \frac{p^{-sn}}{n}

for all {\sigma > 1}. By looking term-by-term at the real parts and using the 3-4-1 inequality we obtain

\displaystyle  3\,\mathrm{Re}\, \log\zeta(\sigma) + 4\,\mathrm{Re}\, \log\zeta(\sigma+it) + \mathrm{Re}\, \log\zeta(\sigma+2it) \ge 0 \qquad \sigma > 1.


\displaystyle  \left\lvert \zeta(\sigma)^3\zeta(\sigma+it)^4\zeta(\sigma+2it) \right\rvert \ge 1.

Now suppose {1+it} was a zero ({t \neq 0}); let {\sigma \rightarrow 1^+}. Then we get a simple pole at {\zeta(1)}, repeated three times. However, we get a zero at {\zeta(1+it)}, repeated four times. There is no pole at {\zeta(1+2it)}, so the left-hand side is going to drop to zero, impossible. (The key point is the deep inequality {4 > 3}.) \Box

Next up: prime number theorem. References: Kedlaya’s 18.785 notes and Hildebrand’s ANT notes.