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hypergeometric series

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Hypergeometric Series

1.1 The general hypergeometric series

Denition 1.1. A series

k=0

t

k

is called hypergeometric if t

k+1

/t

k

is a rational

function of k.

Denition 1.2. The rising factorial

k1

j=0

(a+j) = a(a+1)(a+2) (a+k1)

is denoted by the Pochhammer symbol (a)

k

.

Note that (a)

0

= 1 and k! = (1)

k

.

As we said hypergeometric series

k=0

t

k

has the property that t

k+1

/t

k

is

a rational function R(k). Without loss of generality, we may write R(k) in the

form

R(k) =

(k + a

1

)(k + a

2

) (k + a

p

)

(k + 1)(k + b

1

) (k + b

q

)

z,

and use this form to motivate the following standard hypergeometric notation:

Denition 1.3.

p

F

q

_

a

1

, a

2

, . . . , a

p

b

1

, b

2

, . . . , b

q

; z

_

:=

k=0

(a

1

)

k

(a

2

)

k

(a

p

)

k

k!(b

1

)

k

(b

q

)

k

z

k

.

We will assume that none of the b

j

is a nonpositive integer, as this would

cause there to be zeros in the denominator.

Example 1.4. 1.

e

z

=

k=0

z

k

k!

=

0

F

0

_

; z

_

.

2.

cos z =

k=0

(1)

k

z

2k

(2k)!

=

0

F

1

_

1

2

;

z

2

4

_

.

1

3.

sinz =

k=0

(1)

k

z

2k+1

(2k + 1)!

= z

0

F

1

_

3

2

;

z

2

4

_

.

4.

sin

1

z = z

2

F

1

_

1

2

,

1

2

3

2

; z

2

_

, |z| < 1

5.

1

1 z

=

1

F

0

_

1

; z

_

, |z| < 1

Notice that if at least one of the a

j

is a negative integer, say n, then for

all k > n, the term t

k

= 0, and thus the series has only nitely many nonzero

terms, so the question of convergence of the series does not arise.

On the other hand, if none of the a

j

is a negative integer and z = 0, then

the series has innitely many nonzero terms.

Theorem 1.5. The series

p

F

q

_

a1,a2,...,ap

b1,b2,...,bq

; z

_

converges absolutely for all z if p < q + 1,

diverges for all z = 0 if p > q + 1,

converges absolutely for |z| < 1 if p = q + 1,

diverges for |z| > 1 if p = q + 1.

Proof. Apply the ratio test from elementary calculus.

The ratio test, however, provides no convergence information when |z| = 1

and p = q + 1.

Let us now turn our attention to the particular case where p = q + 1 = 2.

1.2 Gaus Hypergeometric Series

The hypergeometric series

2

F

1

_

a, b

c

; z

_

(1.1)

was studied extensively by K. F. Gau, and he delivered a famous lecture on

such series in January 1812. By the results of the previous section, we know

that (1.1) converges absolutely when |z| < 1 and diverges for |z| > 1. In order

to study the case where |z| = 1, we will need some background results.

2

1.2.1 Background material

Denition 1.6 (Big O notation). Let

1

,

2

,

3

, . . . and z

1

, z

2

, . . . be a pair

of sequences where

k

/z

k

< C for all suciently large k and C is a constant

(independent of k). We then say that the sequence {

k

} is of order z

k

and write

k

= O(z

k

).

Example 1.7.

2

k

3

= O

_

1

k

2

_

because (

2

k

3

)/(

1

k

2

) =

2

k

< 1 for all k > 2.

Proposition 1.8 (The Binomial Series). For p constant and |z| < 1,

(1 + z)

p

= 1 + pz + O(z

2

)

Proof. The Maclaurin series expansion of f(z) is

f(z) =

k=0

f

(k)

(z)

k!

z

k

,

so with f(z) = (1 + z)

p

, we have f(0) = 1, f

by the ratio test. (Note that if p is a nonnegative integer, then the Maclaurin

series reduces to a nite sum, and thus is valid for all z.)

Theorem 1.9 (De Morgan). Let

k=1

u

k

be a series whose terms satisfy

lim

k

u

k+1

u

k

= 1.

The series

k=1

u

k

converges absolutely if there exists a positive real number C

such that

lim

k

k

_

u

k+1

u

k

1

_

= (1 + C).

Proof. Let v

k

= Ak

(1+c/2)

, where A is a constant. Clearly,

k=1

v

k

is a

convergent series (by the p-series test from elementary calculus). Notice that

v

k+1

v

k

=

_

k

k + 1

_

1+c/2

=

_

1 +

1

k

_

(1+c/2)

= 1

1 + c/2

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

,

where the last equality follows from Proposition 1.8 with z = 1/k and p =

(1 + c/2). Thus,

lim

k

k

_

v

k+1

v

k

1

_

=

_

1 +

c

2

_

.

A suitable choice of the constant A will ensure that for all k, |u

k

| < v

k

. Since

v

k

converges, so does

|u

k

|, and thus

u

k

is absolutely convergent.

3

Corollary 1.10 (Raabes test). If

u

k+1

u

k

= 1 +

B

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

,

(where B is a constant independent of k), then

u

k

is absolutely convergent if

B < 1.

1.2.2 The convergence of Gaus series when |z| = 1.

Consider

k=0

t

k

=

2

F

1

_

a,b

c

; z

_

where |z| = 1. The numbers a, b, and c are

complex; let us write them as a = a

1

+ia

2

, b = b

1

+ib

2

and c = c

1

+ic

2

, where

a

1

, a

2

, b

1

, b

2

, c

1

, c

2

R and i =

1. Then we have

t

k+1

t

k

(k + a)(k + b)

(k + 1)(k + c)

(1 +

a

k

)(1 +

b

k

)

(1 +

1

k

)(1 +

c

k

)

1

=

1 +

a + b

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

1

1 + c

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

1 +

a + b c 1

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

1 +

a

1

+ b

1

c

1

1 + i(a

2

+ b

2

c

2

)

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

_

1 +

a

1

+ b

1

c

1

1

k

_

2

+

_

a

2

+ b

2

c

2

k

_

2

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

2

= 1 +

a

1

+ b

1

c

1

1

k

+ O

_

1

k

2

_

.

Thus by Corollary 1.10, the series converges absolutely if (a + b c) < 0,

where z denotes the real part of the complex number z. It turns out that even

more is known than just whether or on the series converges in the z = 1 case.

Gau gave an explicit formula for the sum of the series:

Theorem 1.11 (Gaus Hypergeometric Summation Formula). If (a+

b c) < 0,

2

F

1

_

a, b

c

; 1

_

=

(c)(c a b)

(c a)(c b)

.

Sketch of proof. First, show that

2

F

1

_

a, b

c

; 1

_

=

(c a)(c b)

c(c a b)

2

F

1

_

a, b

c + 1

; 1

_

,

and more generally that

2

F

1

_

a, b

c

; 1

_

=

(c a)

n

(c b)

n

(c)

n

(c a b)

n

2

F

1

_

a, b

c + n

; 1

_

4

for n Z

+

. Then show that

lim

n

(c a)

n

(c b)

n

(c)

n

(c a b)

n

=

(c a)(c b)

(c)(c a b)

and

lim

n

2

F

1

_

a, b

c + n

; 1

_

= 1.

If a = n where n is a positive integer, then Theorem 1.11 simplies to

Corollary 1.12 (Chu-Vandermonde).

2

F

1

_

n, b

c

; 1

_

=

(c b)

n

(c)

n

.

Of course, this result follows easily as a consequence of Theorem 1.11. We

choose to present an independent proof, however.

Proof. Let

F(n, k) :=

_

(n)

k

(b)

k

(c)n

k!(c)

k

(cb)n

if k 0

0, if k < 0

,

let

R(n, k) :=

k(1 c k)

n(n + c 1)

,

let

G(n, k) := F(n, k)R(n, k),

and let

f(n) :=

k=0

F(n, k) =

(c)

n

(c b)

n

2

F

1

_

n, b

c

; 1

_

.

kc + kn kb + nb k

n(n + c 1)

=

kc + kn kb + nb k

n(n + c 1)

(c + n 1)n (n k)(c + n b 1)

n(c + n 1)

=

(b + k)(n k) + k(k 1 + c)

n(n + c 1)

1

(n k)(c + n b 1)

n(c + n 1)

=

(n k)(b + k)(k + 1)(k + c)

n(n + c 1)(k + 1)(k + c)

+

k(k 1 + c)

n(n + c 1)

1 F(n 1, k)

F(n, k)

=

F(n, k + 1)R(n, k + 1)

F(n, k)

R(n, k)

F(n, k) F(n 1, k) = F(n, k + 1)R(n, k + 1) F(n, k)R(n, k)

F(n, k) F(n 1, k) = G(n, k + 1) G(n, k)

=

k=

{F(n, k) F(n 1, k)} =

k=

{G(n, k + 1) G(n, k)}

= f(n) f(n 1) = 0

= f(n) = f(n 1) for n Z

+

.

5

Thus f(n) is constant for all n Z

+

, so all we need to do to nd f(n) for

general n is to evaluate it at some particular value of n, say n = 0.

f(n) = f(0) =

k=0

(0)

k

(b)

k

(c)

0

k!(c)

k

(c b)

0

= 1.

Thus,

(c)

n

(c b)

n

2

F

1

_

n, b

c

; 1

_

= 1,

or, equivalently,

2

F

1

_

n, b

c

; 1

_

=

(c b)

k

(c)

k

.

Remark 1.13. The novelty of the preceding proof is that it was produced auto-

matically by a computer programmed to carry out the so-called WZ algorithm

due to Wilf and Zeilberger. Zeilberger is professor here at Rutgers.

Remark 1.14. Corollary 1.12 was discovered in 1770 by the French mathe-

matician Vandermonde and was called Vandermondes sum in the literature

for many years. Recently, however, it was noticed that this identity had been

discovered more than four and a half centuries earlier and had appeared in a

book written in 1303 by the Chinese mathematician Chu Shih-Chieh, so we

now call it the Chu-Vandermonde sum. This same book from 1303 contains

an illustration of what we call Pascals triangle and refers to it as an ancient

method.

1.3 Exercises

1. Prove that

10 + 20k

k

3

= O

_

1

k

2

_

.

2. Consider the series

k=0

k!

()

k

where is a positive real constant. Find the values of for which the

series converges absolutely.

3. Find the Maclaurin series for tan

1

(z), write the series in hypergeomet-

ric

p

F

q

notation, and nd the set of z for which the series converges

absolutely.

6

4. Find conditions on the complex numbers a, b, and c which cause

2

F

1

_

a, b

c

; i

_

to be absolutely convergent.

5. Show that

d

2

dz

2

_

2

F

1

_

a, b

c

; z

__

=

a(a + 1)b(b + 1)

c(c + 1)

2

F

1

_

a + 2, b + 2

c + 2

; z

_

.

6. Prove that y =

2

F

1

_

a,b

c

; z

_

is a solution to the dierential equation

z(1 z)

d

2

y

dz

2

+

_

c (a + b + 1)z

_

dy

dz

aby = 0.

7

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