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PRIME COUNTING FUNCTION π(x)

Aleksandar Ivić

arXiv:math.NT/0311498 v1 27 Nov 2003

Univ. Beograd. Publikac. Elektrotehn. Fak. Ser. Mat. 13(2002), 85 − 88

**Abstract. An asymptotic formula for the sum of reciprocals of π(n) is derived,
**

where π(x) is the number of primes not exceeding x. This result improves the previous

results of De Koninck-Ivić and L. Panaitopol.

P

Let, as usual, π(x) = p6x 1 denote the number of primes not exceeding x. The

prime number theorem (see e.g., [2, Chapter 12]) in its strongest known form states

that

(1) π(x) = li x + R(x),

with

x

dt 1 1! m! 1

Z

(2) li x := =x + 2 + ···+ m+1 +O

2 log t log x log x log x logm+2 x

for any fixed integer m > 0, and

(3) R(x) ≪ x exp(−Cδ(x)), δ(x) := (log x)3/5 (log log x)−1/5 (C > 0),

**where henceforth C, C1 , . . . will denote absolute constants. In [1, Theorem 9.1]
**

J.-M. De Koninck and the author proved that

X 1

(4) = 1

2 log2 x + O(log x).

π(n)

26n6x

**Recently L. Panaitopol [1] improved (4) to
**

X 1

(5) = 1

2 log2 x − log x − log log x + O(1).

π(n)

26n6x

**One obtains (5) from the asymptotic formula
**

1 1 k1 k2 km (1 + αm (x))

(6) = log x − 1 − − − ... − ,

li x x log x log2 x logm x

**1991 Mathematics Subject Classification. 11M26, 11M06.
**

Key words and phrases. prime number theorem, recurrence relation, Riemann hypothesis.

**Typeset by AMS-TEX
**

2 Aleksandar Ivić

**where αm (x) ≪m 1/ log x , and the constants k1 , . . . , km are defined by the recur-
**

rence relation

(7) km + 1!km−1 + . . . + (m − 1)!k1 = m · m! (m ∈ N),

**so that k1 = 1, k2 = 3, k3 = 13, etc. This was established in [3]. Using (6) we shall
**

give a further improvement of (4), contained in the following

**THEOREM. For any fixed integer m > 2 we have
**

X 1

= 1

2 log2 x − log x − log log x + C

π(n)

26n6x

(8)

k2 k3 km 1

+ + + ...+ +O ,

2

log x 2 log x (m − 1) logm−1 x logm x

where C is an absolute constant, and k2 , . . . , km are the constants defined by (7).

**Proof. From (1) we have
**

X 1 X 1 X R(n)

=1+ −

π(n) li n li n(li n + R(n))

26n6x 36n6x 36n6x

( ∞

)

X 1 X R(n) X R(n)

= + 1− +

li n n=3

li n(li n + R(n)) n>x

li n(li n + R(n))

36n6x

X X

= + C1 + ,

1 2

**say. By using the bound li x ≪ x/ log x and (3) it is seen that
**

X X R(n) X1 1

= ≪ e− 2 Cδ(n)

2

n>x

li n(li n + R(n)) n>x

n

Z ∞

1 1 − 1 Cδ(t) 1

≪ e− 3 Cδ(x) e 6 dt ≪ e− 3 Cδ(x) ,

x−1 t

**since δ(x) is increasing for x > x0 , and the substitution log t = u easily shows
**

P

that the above integral is convergent. To evaluate 1 we need the familiar Euler–

Maclaurin summation formula (see e.g., [2, eq. (A.23)]) in the form

X Z Y Z Y

(9) f (n) = f (t) dt − ψ(Y )f (Y ) + ψ(X)f (X) + ψ(t)f ′ (t) dt,

X<n6X X X

1

where ψ(x) = x − [x] − 2 and f (x) ∈ C 1 [X, Y ] . We obtain from (6), for m > 2 a

fixed integer,

X X 1

=

1 li n

36n6x

(10) X 1

k1 k2 km (1 + αm (n))

= log n − 1 − − − ... − ,

n log n log2 n logm n

36n6x

Sum involving π(x) 3

and we evaluate each sum in (10) by using (9). We obtain

X log n

log x

= 1

2 log2 x + c1 + O ,

n x

36n6x

X 1

1

= log x + c2 + O ,

n x

36n6x

X k1 1

= log log x + c3 + O ,

n log n x log x

36n6x

and for 2 6 r 6 m

x

kr dt 1

X Z

= kr r + Cr + O

n logr n 3 t log t x logr x

36n6x

Z ∞ Z ∞

dt dt 1

= kr − kr + C r + O

3 t logr t x t logr t x logr x

kr 1

= Dr − +O

(r − 1) log r−1

x x logr x

with ∞

dt

Z

Dr = Cr + kr ,

3 t logr t

Finally in view of αm (x) ≪ 1/ log x it follows that, for m > 2 fixed,

X km αm (n) X ∞

km αm (n) 1

= + O .

n logm n n=3

n logm n logm x

36n6x

**Putting together the above expressions in (10) we infer that
**

X

= 1

2 log2 x − log x − log log x + C

1

k2 k3 km 1

+ + + ...+ +O ,

log x 2 log2 x (m − 1) logm−1 x logm x

**and then (8) easily follows with
**

∞

X km αm (n)

C = C1 + c1 − c2 − c3 − D2 − . . . − Dm − .

n=3

n logm n

**The constant C in (8) does not depend on m, which can be easily seen by taking
**

two different values of m and then comparing the results.

P

Note that we can evaluate directly 1 by the Euler-Maclaurin summation for-

mula to obtain

Z x

X dt log x

(11) = + C0 + O .

1 3 li t x

4 Aleksandar Ivić

**Integration by parts gives, for x > 3,
**

x x x

dt log(li t)

Z Z Z

= log t d(log li t) = log x log(li x) − dt − log 3 log li 3,

3 li t 3 3 t

**which inserted into (11) gives another expression for our sum, namely
**

x

1 log(li t)

X Z

(12) = log x log(li x) − dt + B + O e−Dδ(x) (D > 0),

π(n) 3 t

26n6x

**from which we can again deduce (8) by using (2). The advantage of (12) is that
**

it has a sharper error term than (8), but on the other hand the expressions on the

right-hand side of (12) involve the non-elementary function li x. Note also that the

Riemann hypothesis (that all complex zeros of the Riemann zeta-function ζ(s) have

real parts equal to 12 ) is equivalent to the statement (see [2]) that, for any given

ε > 0, R(x) ≪ x1/2+ε in (3), which would correspondingly improve the error term

in (12) to O(x−1/2+ε ).

References

**[1] J.-M. De Koninck and A. Ivić, Topics in Arithmetical Functions, Notas de Matemática 43,
**

North-Holland, Amsterdam etc., 1980.

[2] A. Ivić, The Riemann zeta-function, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1985.

[3] L. Panaitopol, A formula for π(x) applied to a result of Koninck-Ivić, Nieuw Archief voor

Wiskunde 5/1(2000), 55-56.

Aleksandar Ivić

Katedra Matematike RGF-a

Universitet u Beogradu

- ušina 7, 11000 Beograd

D

Serbia and Montenegro

aivic@matf.bg.ac.yu, aivic@rgf.bg.ac.yu

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