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92
votes
5answers
7k views

Source and context of $\frac{22}{7} - \pi = \int_0^1 (x-x^2)^4 dx/(1+x^2)$?

Possibly the most striking proof of Archimedes's inequality $\pi < 22/7$ is an integral formula for the difference: $$ \frac{22}{7} - \pi = \int_0^1 (x-x^2)^4 \frac{dx}{1+x^2}, $$ where the ...
91
votes
4answers
6k views

If $2^x $and $3^x$ are integers, must $x$ be as well?

I'm fascinated by this open problem (if it is indeed still that) and every few years I try to check up on its status. Some background: Let $x$ be a positive real number. If $n^x$ is an integer for ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Massive cancellations

Let $A=\{a_1,\ldots,a_k\}$ be a fixed, finite set of reals. Let $S_A(n)$ be the set of all reals that are expressible as the sum of at most $2^n$ terms, where each term is a product of at most $n$ ...
26
votes
1answer
1k views

An inequality for cosine of n

Can anyone provide a proof of the following inequality? If $n$ is a positive integer, $n\geq2$, then $$\cos(n) \leq 1 - 2^{-n}.$$ This is satisfied if $n$ is not within about $2^{-n/2}$ of a multiple ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

How often are irrational numbers well-approximated by rationals?

Suppose $x\in \mathbb{R}$ is irrational, with irrationality measure $\mu=\mu(x)$; this means that the inequality $|x-\frac{p}{q}|< q^{-\lambda}$ has infinitely many solutions in integers $p,q$ if ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Small quotients of smooth numbers

Assume that $N=2^k$, and let $\{n_1, \dots, n_N\}$ denote the set of square-free positive integers which are generated by the first $k$ primes, sorted in increasing order. Question: what is a good ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

When is $n/\ln(n)$ close to an integer?

As usual I expect to be critisised for "duplicating" this question. But I do not! As Gjergji immediately notified, that question was from numerology. The one I ask you here (after putting it in my ...
18
votes
1answer
973 views

Irrationality measure of log(2)/log(6)

As part of my Phd thesis on aperiodic Wang tilings, I've discovered I need a bound on the irrationality measure of $\gamma = \log 2/\log 6$. That is, I am looking for an upper bound on the quantity ...
18
votes
1answer
566 views

Can the expansion of a large integer in all bases consist of almost all zeroes?

Let $n$ be a positive integer. Given an integer base $b\ge 2$, let $C_b(n)$ be the number of non-zero digits in the expansion of $N$ in base $b$. Further, let $M(n)=\max\{C_b(n):b\ge 2\}$ be the ...
16
votes
1answer
389 views

Is there a bounded sequence of points in the plane with pairwise distances at least $1/\sqrt{|i-j|}$?

Previously I have mentioned the following problem in an addition to the list of Contest problems with connections to deeper mathematics.. Is there an infinite bounded sequence $(P_n) \subset ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is there a $\sqrt{5}$ in Hurwitz's Theorem?

Hurwitz's theorem is an extension of Minkowski's Theorem and deals with rational approximations to irrational numbers. The theorem states: For every irrational number $\alpha$, there are infinitely ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there an explicit example of such a real number with the following property?

In Diophantine approximation, for a given positive real number $\alpha$ let $[a_0, a_1, \cdots]$ denote its continued fraction expansion and let $p_n/q_n = [a_1, \cdots, a_n]$. Then it is known that ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Striking applications of Baker's theorem

I saw that there are many "applications" questions in Mathoverflow; so hopefully this is an appropriate question. I was rather surprised that there were only five questions at Mathoverflow so far with ...
14
votes
1answer
496 views

Rational approximations on the circle

The well-known Liouville theorem asserts that an irrational algebraic number $\alpha$ cannot have too good rational approximations, namely $|\alpha-p/q|\ge C(\alpha)/q^k$ where $k$ is the degree of ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Advances and difficulties in effective version of Thue-Roth-Siegel Theorem

A fundamental result in Diophantine approximation, which was largely responsible for Klaus Roth being awarded the Fields Medal in 1958, is the following simple-to-state result: If $\alpha$ is a real ...
12
votes
0answers
426 views

Should the number of small solutions in Roth's theorem be bounded uniformly, assuming the target is an algebraic integer?

Consider, on the one hand, algebraic integers $\alpha$ and their rational approximants to within a varying exponent $\kappa > 2$; and on the other hand, smooth projective geometrically irreducible ...
11
votes
2answers
512 views

For what real $t$ is $\{n^t : n \geq 1\}$ linearly independent over $\mathbb{Q}$?

It's straightforward that $t$ must be irrational. I have googled many variations of this question and browsed through some books on transcendental number theory. There is much that is said about when ...
11
votes
0answers
109 views

Looking for an effective irrationality measure of $\pi$

Most standard summaries of the literature on irrationality measure simply say, e.g., that $$ \left| \pi - \frac{p}{q}\right| > \frac{1}{q^{7.6063}} $$ for all sufficiently large $q$, without giving ...
11
votes
0answers
579 views

Roth's theorem, Lang's conjecture and beyond

Lang conjectured that for an irrational algebraic number $\alpha$ and $\epsilon > 0$, there exist only finitely may rationals $p/q$ such that $$ \left| \alpha - \frac{p}{q} \right| ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What numbers can be approximated “pretty well” by rationals?

More precisely, what real numbers $r$ have the following property: for any $\epsilon > 0$ there exist infinitely many pairs $(p, q)$ of integers such that $$\left| \frac{p}{q} - r \right| < ...
10
votes
1answer
405 views

Distribution mod 1 of exponential growth sequences

Let $t_n$ be a sequence of real numbers and $C,r>1.$ Suppose that for every $n\geq 1$ we have $\frac{1}{C}r^n\leq t_n \leq Cr^n.$ Does there exist a real number $\xi$ and an $\varepsilon>0$ ...
9
votes
3answers
355 views

“Most Similar Vector Problem” on an Integer Lattice?

I am currently working on problem that I think could be expressed as an integer lattice problem. Given $u \in \mathbb{R}^n$ and a bounded integer lattice $L = \mathbb{Z}^n \cap [-M,M]^n$ I would like ...
9
votes
1answer
496 views

A weakening of the Littlewood conjecture

For real numbers $x$, let $\|x\|$ denote the distance from $x$ to the nearest integer. Define a function $\ell:\mathbb{R}^2\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ by ...
9
votes
1answer
336 views

Distribution of polynomials mod 1 using co-prime integers

If $a$ is any real irrational, then the set of numbers of the form $ax+y$ with $x$ and $y$ co-prime integers is dense in $\mathbb{R}$. I managed to prove this, in what I suspect is an overly ...
9
votes
0answers
325 views

How small parallelograms are we guaranteed to get, when we select the two sides from different plane lattices?

Title question description: Select two lattices $\Lambda_1$ and $\Lambda_2$ (here a lattice=additive free abelian group without accumulation points) of maximal rank two in the real plane. We normalize ...
8
votes
2answers
541 views

Does the Galois group of a Pisot polynomial contain the alternating group?

Let $n \in \mathbb{N}$, and let $p(X) \in \mathbb{Z}[X]$ be a monic polynomial of degree $n$. Suppose that exactly one complex root of $p$ is of modulus $> 1$, and that the remaining $n-1$ roots of ...
8
votes
3answers
637 views

Is the infimum of Salem numbers > 1?

BACKGROUND A Salem number is an algebraic integer $\theta$ such that all the Galois conjugates of $\theta$ are $\leq 1$ in absolute value, and at least one of them lies on the unit circle. Their ...
8
votes
1answer
475 views

Square-free diophantine approximation

Given an irrational algebraic number $\alpha$ (and maybe I want to add: of degree greater than $2$?), do there exist infinitely many relatively prime and square-free $p$,$q$ with $$|\alpha - p/q | ...
8
votes
1answer
418 views

On the irrationality measure of $\sum_{n=1}^\infty a^{-b^n}$

Pick integers $a, b \ge 2$ and let $\xi_{a,b}$ be the sum of the series $\sum_{n=1}^\infty a^{-b^n}$. It is known that $\xi_{2,2}$ is transcendental: I learned a proof of this from notes by M. ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

A question related to the abc conjecture

The abc conjecture asserts that whenever $a,b,c$ are pairwise coprime positive integers such that $a + b = c$ and $\epsilon > 0$, there exists a constant $C_\epsilon > 0$ (which depends on ...
8
votes
1answer
382 views

Do simple, multi-dimensional generalizations of this continued fraction formula exist?

Background Let $x\in [0,1)\setminus \mathbb{Q}$ have regular continued fraction expansion given by $$ x = [a_1, a_2, a_3, \dots] = \cfrac{1}{a_1+\cfrac{1}{a_2+\dots}}, \qquad a_i \in \mathbb{N}. $$ ...
8
votes
2answers
435 views

Efficient computation of the least fraction with square denominator greater than the square root of 2.

The least rational number greater than $\sqrt{2}$ that can be written as a ratio of integers $x/y$ with $y\le10^{100}$ can be found in a moment using a little Python program. Can anyone write a ...
8
votes
1answer
215 views

inferring the slope of a digitized line

Given real numbers $a$ and $b$, and an integer $n \geq 2$, let $f(n,a,b)$ be the minimum of $(nint(ja+b)-nint(ia+b)+1)/(j-i)$ (for $1 \leq i < j \leq n$) minus the maximum of ...
8
votes
1answer
409 views

is there any way to bound the number of CM points by height functions?

It is known that if $X$ is a curve over a number field $F$ equipped with a flat regular model over $O_F$ the integer ring, one can define, using a suitable ample line bundle with an Hermitian metric, ...
8
votes
0answers
180 views

Attractors of arithmetically small points

Consider the "points" to be in $\mathbb{G}_m(\mathbb{C}) = \mathbb{C}^{\times}$. By a sequence of "arithmetically small points" is meant a sequence of pairwise different algebraic points $\beta$ that, ...
8
votes
0answers
587 views

Counting Lattice Points in Real Polytopes

Suppose one did have an exact formula for the number of $\mathbb{Z}^n$-lattice points intersecting an arbitrary dilate of a (not necessarily rational) finite, closed and convex $n$-polytope. As a ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Kronecker Approximation theorem and Fibonacci numbers

There is a famous old theorem by Kronecker that for every positive real $\alpha$ and $\epsilon>0$ there exists a positive integer n such that $\alpha n$ is within $\epsilon$ of an integer. ...
7
votes
2answers
204 views

approximate two different real numbers to order $\frac{1}{z^{3/2}}$

I took this result from Minkowski's book on Geometry of numbers: Two arbitrary real quantitites $a$ and $b$ may be made to approach as near as we wish in value the two fractions $\frac{x}{z}$ and ...
7
votes
2answers
842 views

Simultaneous rational approximation of two reals using their continued fractions

Littlewood's well-known conjecture about simultaneous rational approximation is that for all $x, y \in \mathbb{R}$, $\liminf_{n \to \infty} n \Vert nx \Vert \Vert ny \Vert = 0$ (where $\Vert x \Vert$ ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

Expected symmetry in the diophantine approximations of an irrational number

Given $x \in \mathbb{R}$ we will write $\{x\}$ for the fractional part of $x$ and $\|x\|$ for the distance of $x$ from the nearest integer, in such a way that $\{x\} = x - \lfloor x \rfloor$ and ...
7
votes
1answer
442 views

Diophantine elements in SU(2)

Following notions from [1], call a set of elements $g_1, \dots, g_k \in G = SU(2)$ Diophantine if it satisfies the following property: there exists a constant $D$ such that for every word $W_m$ of ...
7
votes
2answers
435 views

Computing the measure of the projection on the torus of a semialgebraic set

Let $V \subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$ be a set cut out by a system of finitely many polynomial equations and inequalities with integer coefficients. Let $W$ be the set of all points in the box $[0,1]^n$ that ...
7
votes
0answers
234 views

Question on some coverings of the euclidean space

Let $L$ be a maximal integral lattice in the euclidean $(\mathbf R^{8m},q)$ (thus the associated bilinear form $b(u,v)=q(u+v)-q(u)-q(v)$, once restricted to $L$, takes values in $2\mathbf Z$ and has ...
6
votes
1answer
331 views

Numbers characterized by extremal properties

The golden ratio $\phi=\frac{1+\sqrt5}2$ is sometimes said to be one of the most difficult numbers to approximate with rational numbers, because its continued fraction development $$\phi = 1 + ...
6
votes
2answers
530 views

Simultaneous Powers Far From 1

I'm looking for a reference or proof of the following. Let $K/\mathbb{Q}$ be a finite Galois extension of degree $n$. Let $a_1,\ldots,a_n$ be Galois conjugate elements in the ring of integers of $K$ ...
6
votes
1answer
497 views

Analogue of van der Corput sequence for prime numbers

A van der Corput sequence is a low-discrepancy sequence over the unit interval first published in 1935 by the Dutch mathematician J. G. van der Corput. It is constructed by placing a decimal point and ...
6
votes
2answers
698 views

Question related to Diophantine approximations and Roth's theorem

The following question came up in my arithmetic geometry course yesterday. Suppose $\alpha$ is an irrational real algebraic integer, and suppose $\epsilon >0$ is given. Then by Roth's theorem there ...
6
votes
1answer
275 views

Bounding the growth of rational bivariate polynomials from below

The following question is an attempt to find a lower bound for the value of a polynomial at integer points. It is something that I originally thought about while trying to understand how it would be ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Can a product of conjugates be a Pisot number again?

Let $p(X) \in \mathbb{Z}[X]$ be an irreducible polynomial, and let $\alpha_1 \dots, \alpha_n$ be its roots in $\mathbb{C}$. Suppose that $\alpha_1$ is a Pisot number, that is, $\alpha_1 \in ...
6
votes
2answers
459 views

Still more generalized Dirichlet Theorem

Dirichlet proved a classical theorem about approximating irrational real numbers with rational numbers, saying that for any irrational real number $\alpha$, you can find infinitely many rational ...