You are on page 1of 3

# Gamma function

The Gamma function along
part of the real axis .
In mathematics, the Gamma (We have basically differentiated the top and bottom n times.)
function (represented by the
capital Greek letter Γ) is an
extension of the factorial
function to real and complex
numbers. For a complex where γ is the Euler–Mascheroni constant. So the first term, , evaluates to zero, which leaves
number z with positive real
part the Gamma function is It is straightforward to show that the Euler definition satisfies the functional equation (1)
defined by above, as follows. Provided z is not equal to 0, -1, -2, ...

The right hand side of this equation is exactly nΓ(n). We have obtained a recurrence
relation:
Γ(n + 1) = nΓ(n).
Using this formula we derive a pattern:
This definition can be extended by analytic continuation to the rest of the complex plane,
except the non-positive integers.
If n is a positive integer, then
Γ(n) = (n − 1)!
In a different way it can be shown that...
showing the connection to the factorial function. Thus, the Gamma function extends the
factorial function to the real and complex values of n.
The Gamma function is a component in various probability-distribution functions, and as
such it is applicable in the fields of probability and statistics, as well as combinatorics.
Main definition
A somewhat curious parametrization of the Gamma function is given in terms of Laguerre The last line is really enough, as we have then proved the result by mathematical
The notation Γ(z) is due to Legendre. If the real part of the complex number z is positive polynomials, induction (The base step of the argument is easy to see, given the fact that Γ(1) = 1).
(Re[z] > 0), then the integral
Properties
General

, which converges for Other important functional equations for the Gamma function are Euler's reflection formula

converges absolutely. Using integration by parts, one can show that

and the duplication formula
This functional equation is similar to the property n ! = n · (n − 1) ! of the factorial function.
But also, evaluating Γ(1) we get:

Absolute value Real part Imaginary part The duplication formula is a special case of the multiplication theorem

Combining these two results it follows by induction that the factorial function is a Derivation of relationship with factorials using integration by parts
translation of a special case of the Gamma function:
Finding Γ(1) is easy:
A basic but useful property, which can be seen from the limit definition, is:

for all natural numbers n.
The identity (1) can also be used to extend Γ(z), by analytic continuation, to a Next, we derive an expression for Γ(n + 1) as a function of Γ(n):
meromorphic function defined for all complex numbers z except 0 and the negative Perhaps the best-known value of the Gamma function at a non-integer argument is
integers (it can be calculated that z = −n is a simple pole with residue (−1) n/n !). It is this
extended version that is commonly referred to as the Gamma function.
Alternative definitions
The following infinite product definitions for the Gamma function, due to Euler and We use integration by parts to solve this integral
Weierstrass respectively, are valid for all complex numbers z, except 0 and the negative which can be found by setting z = 1/2 in the reflection or duplication formulas, by using the
integers: relation to the Beta function given below with x = y = 1/2, or simply by making the

substitution in the integral definition of the Gamma function, resulting in a
Gaussian integral. In general, for integer values of n we have:

We can see that .
At infinity, we have, by L'Hôpital's rule,
Using the Pi function the reflection formula takes on the form

where n!! denotes the double factorial.
The derivatives of the Gamma function are described in terms of the polygamma function. where sinc is the normalized sinc function, while the multiplication theorem takes on the
For example: form

For positive integer m the derivative of Gamma function can be calculated as follows (here
γ is the Euler–Mascheroni constant): Arithmetic Progression, Product
We also sometimes find The product of the members of a finite arithmetic progression with an initial element a1,
common difference d, and n elements in total, is determined in a closed expression by

The n-th derivative of the Gamma function is: which is an entire function, defined for every complex number. That π(z) is entire entails it
has no poles, so Γ(z) has no zeros.
Relation to other functions where denotes the rising factorial and Γ denotes the Gamma function. (Note however
that the formula is not valid when a1 / d is a negative integer or zero).
• In the first integral above, which defines the Gamma function, the limits of
This is a generalization from the fact that the product of the progression
This can be derived by differentiating the integral form of the Gamma function with respect integration are fixed. The upper and lower incomplete Gamma functions are
to x, and using the technique of differentiation under the integral sign. the functions obtained by allowing the lower or upper (respectively) limit of
integration to vary. is given by the factorial n! and that the product
The Gamma function has a pole of order 1 at z = −n for every natural number and zero n
(z = 0, −1, −2, −3, ...); the residue there is given by • The Gamma function is related to the Beta function by the formula

The Bohr–Mollerup theorem states that among all functions extending the factorial for positive integers m and n is given by
functions to the positive real numbers, only the Gamma function is log-convex, that is, its
natural logarithm is convex. • The derivative of the logarithm of the Gamma function is called the digamma
Pochhammer symbol
function; higher derivatives are the polygamma functions.

• The analog of the Gamma function over a finite field or a finite ring is the
In mathematics, the Pochhammer symbol
because: Gaussian sums, a type of exponential sum.
introduced by Leo August Pochhammer, represents either the rising or the falling factorial.
• The reciprocal Gamma function is an entire function and has been studied Unfortunately there is no standard convention about which sort of factorial it represents.
as a specific topic.
The Pochhammer symbol (x)n is used in the theory of special functions (in particular the
• The Gamma function also shows up in an important relation with the
hypergeometric function) for the rising sequential product, sometimes called the "rising
factorial" or "upper factorial".
Riemann zeta function, ζ(z).

And with integration by parts:

And also in the following elegant formula: but it is used in combinatorics (Olver 1999, p. 101) to represent the falling sequential
product (or "falling factorial" or "lower factorial")

Which is only valid for Re(z) > 1.
The logarithm of the Gamma function satisfies the following formula due to Lerch:
logΓ(x) = ζH'(0,x) − ζ'(0) To distinguish the two, the notations x(n) and (x)n are sometimes used in combinatorics to
denote the rising and falling sequential products, respectively. They are related by a
, where ζH is the Hurwitz zeta function, ζ is the Riemann zeta function and the prime (') difference in sign:
denotes differentiation in the first variable.

Pi function • The Gamma function is intimately related to the stretched exponential
function. For instance, the moments of that function are
An alternative notation which was originally introduced by Gauss and which is sometimes
where the left-hand side is a rising sequential product and the right-hand side is a falling
used is the Pi function, which in terms of the Gamma function is
sequential product. This notation will be used below.
The two are related to the genuine factorial function by the formula:

so that Particular values
Main article: Particular values of the Gamma function
The Pochhammer symbol has a generalized version called the generalized Pochhammer
symbol, used in multivariate analysis. There is also a q-analogue, the q-Pochhammer
symbol.
Properties
The empty products x(0) and (x)0 are both defined to be 1.
The rising and falling sequential products (sometimes improperly called "factorials") can
be used to express a binomial coefficient:

Thus a large number of identities on the binomial coefficients carry over to the
Pochhammer symbols.
It follows from these expressions that the product of n consecutive integers is divisible by
n!. Furthermore, the product of four consecutive integers is a perfect square minus one.
The rising sequential product can be extended to real values of n using the Gamma
function provided x and x + n are not negative integers:

as can the falling sequential product:

Rising and falling sequential products obey an equation similar to the binomial theorem:

where the coefficients are the same as the ones in the binomial expansion.
A rising sequential product can be expressed as a falling sequential product that starts
from the other end: a(n) = (a + n − 1)n.
Alternate notations
Another notation was introduced by Ronald L. Graham, Donald E. Knuth and Oren
Patashnik in their book Concrete Mathematics. They define[1], for the rising sequential
product:

and for the falling sequential product:

they also propose to pronounce these expressions as "x to the m rising" and "x to the m
falling", respectively.
Other notations for the falling sequential product include P(x, n), xPn, Px,n, or xPn. (See
permutation and combination). An alternate notation for the rising sequential product x(n) is
the less common (x)+n. When the notation (x)+n is used for the rising product, the notation
(x)–n is typically used for the ordinary falling product to avoid confusion.
Another notation of the falling sequential product using a function is:

where −h is the decrement and k is the number of terms. The rising sequential product is
written: