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Prueba de de Z(2)=Pi al cuadrado sobre 6.

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Source: The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 120, No. 7 (AugustSeptember 2013),

pp. 642-645

Published by: Mathematical Association of America

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.4169/amer.math.monthly.120.07.642

Accessed: 19-04-2017 03:02 UTC

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NOTES

Edited by Sergei Tabachnikov

2

Daniele Ritelli

dx dy

Z Z

,

0 0 (1 + y)(1 + x 2 y)

we give another solution to the Basel Problem

X 1 2

(2) = = .

n=1

n2 6

X 1 2

= , (1)

n=1

n2 6

has been proved in many different ways. In this note, we focus on the derivation of

(1), taking advantage of the nice interplay between a double integral and a geometric

series, as has appeared in several articles on this subject [1, 5, 3]. As Sir Michael

Atiyah declared in an interview [8]:

Any good theorem should have several proofs, the more the better. For two rea-

sons: usually, different proofs have different strengths and weaknesses, and they

generalize in different directions: they are not just repetitions of each other. . . .

We find that there is always something worthy of attention in a new proof of a known

result. Here, we provide a proof that uses a rational function with the lowest degree

among the functions used in different proofs of the same kind.

The author who inaugurated this approach was Apostol [1], inspired by Beukers

paper [2], where the double integral

1 1

dx dy

Z Z

(2)

0 0 1 xy

was used to prove the irrationality of (2). Apostol, instead, evaluated (2) in two ways:

first, by expanding 1/(1 x y) into a geometric series, and then with a change of

variables corresponding to the rotation of the coordinate axes through the angle /4

http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/amer.math.monthly.120.07.642

MSC: Primary 40A25

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radians. By equating the expression so obtained, the value of (2) is found. It is worth

noting that for the second evaluation, we have to compute the elaborate integrals

1/ 2

1 u

Z

I1 = arctan du

0 2 u2 2 u2

and

2

!

1 2u

Z

I2 = arctan du,

1/ 2 2 u2 2 u2

and Kolk is similar [3]. They expand 1/(1 x 2 y 2 ) into a geometric series to obtain

the (2) series, after which they introduce the two-dimensional trigonometric changes

of variables

sin u sin v

x= , y= ,

cos v cos u

to evaluate the double integral. The proof of Hirschhon [6] stems from the double

inequality

2

a a 4n+2

< 2 (arctan a)2 , for 0 < a < 1, (3)

X

2 arctan <

1 + 1 a2 n=0

(2n + 1)2

inequality with regard again to the function f (x, y) = 1/(1 x 2 y 2 ). To obtain (3),

two integrals of f (x, y) over two different regions of the plane are computed. All

these approaches have in common the need to remove a singularity at the point (1, 1)

of the integrand. Our proof is inspired by [5], where another definite integral

1

+

x

Z Z

dx dy (4)

0 0 (1 + x 2 )(1 + x 2 y2)

is computed, first by integrating with respect to x and then with respect to y, and vice

versa. The same integral is considered in the probabilistic proof given in [7], where

integral (4) comes from the product of two positive Cauchy random variables. The

proof of [5], as well our proof, uses functions with no singularity in the domain of

integration, so we can consider that in same sense these proofs are simpler. Moreover,

our proof uses a lower-degree rational function than the one used in [5].

Our starting point, as with most of the papers on this subject, is that (1) is equiva-

lent to

X 1 2

= . (5)

n=0

(2n + 1)2 8

In our proof we will show (5) starting from the double integral

dx dy

Z Z

. (6)

0 0 (1 + y)(1 + x 2 y)

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If we integrate (6) first with respect to x and then to y, we find that

1

dx

1 arctan( y x) x=

Z Z Z

dy = dy

0 1+y 0 1 + x2y 0 1+y y x=0

dy

Z

=

2 0 y(1 + y)

2u 2

Z

= du = , (7)

2 0 u(1 + u 2 ) 2

where we used the change of variable y = u 2 in the last step. Reversing the order of

integration yields

Z

dy 1 1 x2

Z Z Z

dx = dy dx

0 0 (1 + y)(1 + x 2 y) 0 1x

2

0 1+y 1 + x2y

1 1 ln x

Z Z

= ln dx = 2 dx. (8)

0 1 x 2 x 2

0 x 2 1

ln x 2

Z

dx = . (9)

0 x2 1 4

Now split the integration domain in (9) between [0, 1] and [1, ) and change the

variable x = 1/u in the second integral, so that

1

ln x ln x

ln x

Z Z Z

dx = dx + dx

0 x2 1 0 x2 1 1 x2 1

1 1

ln x ln u

Z Z

= dx + du. (10)

0 x 1

2

0 u2 1

1

ln x 2

Z

dx = . (11)

0 x2 1 8

Equation (5) now follows, expanding, as in [5], the denominator of the integrand on

the left-hand side of (11) into a geometric series and using the Monotone Convergence

Theorem (see [4, pp. 9596]). Thus, we have:

1 1 + 1

ln x ln x

Z Z Z

(x 2n ln x) dx.

X

dx = dx = (12)

0 x2 1 0 1 x2 n=0 0

1 1 Z 1

x 2n+1 x 2n 1

Z

2n

(x ln x) dx = ln x + dx = , (13)

0 2n + 1 0 0 2n + 1 (2n + 1)2

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so that considering (13), we can write (12) as

1 +

ln x 1

Z X

dx = , (14)

0 x 1

2

n=0

(2n + 1)2

REFERENCES

1. T. Apostol, A proof that Euler missed: Evaluating (2) the easy way, Math. Intelligencer 5 (1983) 5960,

available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03026576.

2. F. Beukers, A note on the irrationality of (2) and (3), Bull. London Math. Soc. 11 (1979) 268272,

available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1112/blms/11.3.268.

3. F. Beukers, E. Calabi, J.A.C. Kolk, Sums of generalized harmonic series and volumes, Nieuw Arch. Wisk.

11 (1993) 217224.

4. M. Capinski, E. Kopp, Measure, Integral and Probability, second edition, Springer, New York, 2004.

2

5. J.D. Harper, Another simple proof of 1 + 212 + 312 + = 6 , Amer. Math. Monthly 110 (2003) 540541,

available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3647912.

2

6. M.D. Hirschhon, A simple proof that (2) = 6 , Math. Intelligencer 22 (2011) 8182, available at http:

//dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00283-011-9217-4.

2

7. L. Pace, Probabilistically proving that (2) = 6 , Amer. Math. Monthly 118 (2011) 641643, available at

http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/amer.math.monthly.118.07.641.

8. M. Raussen, C. Skau, Interview with Michael Atiyah and Isadore Singer, Notices Amer. Math. Soc. 52

(2005) 225233.

daniele.ritelli@unibo.it

for the Birthday Problem

Matthias Arnold and Werner Gla

Abstract. We approximate the probability for at least k = 2 or 3 of n persons having the same

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Numerous authors generalize the birthday problem to, for example, more than two

http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/amer.math.monthly.120.07.645

MSC: Primary 62E17, Secondary 41A10

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