On the internet, most theorems about lacunary function only give the sufficient conditions. For example, Ostrowski-Hadamard Gap Theorem concerns the asymptotic length of null Taylor coefficients, while a theorem of Carlson states that a Taylor series with integral coefficients is either rational or lacunary.

However, it seems like that a Taylor series not satisfying the conditions in these theorems may also be lacunary. Are there any theorems about the necessary conditions of lacunary functions?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, Carlson's theorem also assumes the radius of convergence is 1. For instance, $\sum {2n\choose n}x^n$ is neither rational nor lacunary. $\endgroup$ – Richard Stanley Mar 8 '20 at 14:10

Terminology: by singular boundary point I mean a boundary point across which you cannot analytically continue an analytic function on the interior of the give domain, while this can happen at a regular boundary point.

A necessary and sufficient condition. I am not aware of any necessary condition for the "lacunarity". However, a conceptually simple necessary and sufficient condition for a boundary point to be a singular point is known: and as a corollary, you can use it and check every boundary point of the domain of your function is singular or not. Without any restriction on generality, let's consider a power series $$ f(z)=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} a_n z^n,\label{1}\tag{1} $$ whose radius of convergence $R_f$ is 1 and suppose we want to check if $z=1$ is singular or not.
If we expand $f(x)$ about any point on the real segment $]0,1[$, if the circle of convergence includes $z=1$ then this point is regular, otherwise it is singular. This form of the condition is fully given by Markushevich ([2] chapter IX §IX.7 pp313-314) and Titchmarsh ([3] chapter 7, §7.23, p. 216): however, this latter author follows Landau in simplifying the calculations by introducing the following function $F(\zeta)$ ([3] chapter 7, §7.23, pp. 216-217, [1] chapter 5, §19, p. 76-77). Let $$ F(\zeta)=\frac{1}{1-\zeta}f\left(\frac{\zeta}{1-\zeta}\right)=\sum_{n=0}^{\infty} b_n z^n,\label{2}\tag{2} $$ where $b_n=\sum_{m=0}^{n}\binom{n}{m} a_m$. Then $z=1$ is a singular boundary point for $f$ if and only if $$ R_F=\limsup_{n\to\infty}|b_n|^{-\frac{1}{n}}=\frac{1}{2}, $$ and thus we get the following
Corollary. Let $f:\Bbb C\to\Bbb C$ be an analytic function whose power series expansion at $0\in\Bbb C$ is \eqref{1}. Then $f$ is lacunary on the open unit disk $\Bbb D$ (i.e. $\partial\Bbb D$ is the "natural boundary" for $f$) if and only if $$ \limsup_{n\to\infty} |a_n|^\frac{1}{n}=1\;\wedge\;\limsup_{n\to\infty}{\left|\sum_{m=0}^{n}\binom{n}{m} a_me^{im\theta}\right|^\frac{1}{n}}\!\!=2\quad\forall \theta\in[0,2\pi] $$


  • According to Landau ([1] chapter 5, §19, p. 76), this criterion is due to Fabry.
  • Reference [2] have been translated in English as Markushevich A.I. The theory of analytic functions: a brief course, Moscow: MIR: however, I do not have access to a copy of that book, therefore I refer to the Italian edition listed below.


[1] Landau, Edmund; Gaier, Dieter, Darstellung und Begründung einiger neuerer Ergebnisse der Funktionentheorie. 3 erw. Auflage (German), Berlin-Heildelberg-New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. XI+201 (1986), ISBN: 3-540-16886-9, MR0869998, Zbl 0601.30001.

[2] Markushevich, Alekseĭ Ivanovich, Elementi di teoria delle funzioni analitiche. Translated from the Russian by Ernest Kozlov, (Italian) Nuova Biblioteca di Cultura, Serie Scientifica. Roma: Editori Riuniti; Moscow: Edizioni Mir. pp. 384 (1988), ISBN: 88-359-3284-X, MR1011460, Zbl 0694.30002.

[3] Titchmarsh, Edward Charles, The theory of functions 2nd ed., (English) X + 454 p. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1939), JFM 65.0302.01, MR3728294, Zbl 0336.30001.


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