MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Given a number field $K$, I am interested in the distribution of the $L^\infty$ norm of minimal polynomials (over $\mathbb{Z}$) of numbers in $K$. Also, it is interesting to restrict to numbers $\alpha$ with $K=\mathbb{Q} (\alpha)$.

All such polynomials' discriminants are a square factor away from the discriminant of $K$. So that must say something. And it makes it very interesting - the discriminant is a high-degree multivariate polynomial, so the fact that any discriminant can be achieved many times (even if we allow the distance of square factors) amazes me.

To be precise, so no one is annoyed, the question is exactly: what is the asymptotic behavior and error term for $A(x) = |\{ \alpha \in K | \parallel m(\alpha)\parallel_\infty < x\}|$, and $B(x) = |\{ \alpha \in K | K=\mathbb{Q} (\alpha), \parallel m(\alpha)\parallel_\infty < x\}|$, as $x \rightarrow \infty$?

share|cite|improve this question
Have you tried a (possibly) simple case, like $K={\bf Q}(i)$? – Gerry Myerson Apr 8 '10 at 23:39
@Gerry: Both $A(x)$ and $B(x)$ are $\sim c_i x^2$ for some constants, and this will be true for any quadratic field, where constant will depend on discriminant, class number, and regulator. But, for a non-quadratic number field, the coefficients of the minimal polynomial of the generic number given in a $\mathbb{Q}$-basis, will be of high degree, and I can't see why the same asymptotic behavior should remain - even though it probably will. – Dror Speiser Apr 9 '10 at 11:26

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.