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I have long been curious about equivalent forms of the Riemann hypothesis for automorphic L-functions.

In the case of the ordinary Riemann hypothesis, one gets a very good error term for the prime number theorem, one has the formulation involving the Mobius mu function which is a result to the effect of the parity of prime factors in a square free number having a distribution related to that of flips of an unbiased coin, and one also has the reformulation in terms of Farey fractions.

I know that for L-functions attached to Dirichlet characters, one gets a very good error term for the prime number theorem for primes in arithmetic progressions. Presumably if one focuses on Dedekind zeta functions and Hecke L-series one gets a very strong effective Chebotarev density theorem or something like that.

But for L-functions attached to Hecke eigenforms for GL(2), or more abstract things like symmetric n-th power L-functions attached to automorphic forms or automorphic representations, it seems quite unclear to me what the significance of the Riemann hypothesis for these L-functions is. I think that I remember something about a zero free region to the left of the boundary of the critical strip being related to the Sato-Tate conjecture, so I have a vague impression that one might be able to get a good bound on the speed of convergence to the Sato-Tate distribution as an equivalent to the Riemann hypothesis for some of these L-functions.

What are some interesting equivalents to the Riemann hypothesis for automorphic L-functions that you know? I'm particularly interested in statements that have qualitative interpretations.

P.S. I've blurred the distinction between an equivalent of the Riemann hypothesis for a single L-function and equivalents to the Riemann hypothesis for a specified family of L-functions. I am interested in both things

P.P.S. I am more interested in equivalents than in consequences of the Riemann hypotheses for these L-functions in so far as equivalents "capture the essence" of the statement in question to a greater extent than consequences do. Still, I would would welcome references to interesting consequences of the Riemann hypothesis for automorphic L-functions, again, especially those with qualitative interpretations.

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Would GRH be a Generalized Riemann Hypotesis? You might want your question easier to read by expanding that in the title. –  Ilya Nikokoshev Oct 27 '09 at 20:36

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Well, suppose pi is a cuspidal automorphic representation of GL(n)/Q. This has the structure of a tensor product, indexed by primes p, of representations pi_p of the groups GLn(Qp). The Satake isomorphism tells us that at almost all primes, each pip is determined by a conjugacy class A(p) in GLn(C). In this language, the Riemann hypothesis for the L-function associated to pi says that the partial sums of tr(A(p)) over p < X show "as much cancellation as possible," and are of size sqrt(X). But if n>1, we are dealing with very complicated objects, and the local components of these automorphic representations vary in some incomprehensible way...

You are right, there are certainly special cases. If we knew GRH for L-functions associated to Artin representations then the Cebotarev density theorem would follow with an optimal error term. Likewise, GRH for all the symmetric powers of a fixed elliptic curve E implies (and is in fact equivalent to; see Mazur's BAMS article for a reference) the Sato-Tate conjecture for E with an optimal error term. But in general, reformulations like this simply don't exist.

There are many interesting consequences of GRH for various families of automorphic L-functions. I recommend Iwaniec and Kowalski's book (Chapter 5), the paper "Low-lying zeros of families of L-functions" by Iwaniec-Luo-Sarnak, and Sarnak's article at http://www.claymath.org/millennium/Riemann_Hypothesis/Sarnak_RH.pdf

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The book by Iwaniec and Kowalski: books.google.com/…; . As mentioned by David, in section 5.7 they state some equivalent facts for L-functions. Perhaps also usefull: aimath.org/WWN/rh/rh.pdf .Here you can find many equivalent statements to RH (but I think not to GRH). –  Spinorbundle Nov 4 '09 at 9:55

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