Ramanujan’s Notebooks: Part 4

Springer Science & Business Media
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During the years 1903-1914, Ramanujan worked in almost complete isolation in India. During this time, he recorded most of his mathematical discoveries without proofs in notebooks. Although many of his results were already found in the literature, most were not. Almost a decade after Ramanujan's death in 1920, G.N. Watson and B.M. Wilson began to edit Ramanujan's notebooks, but they never completed the task. A photostat edition, with no editing, was published by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay in 1957. This book is the fourth of five volumes devoted to the editing of Ramanujan's notebooks. Parts I, II, and III, published in 1985, 1989, and 1991, contain accounts of Chapters 1-21 in Ramanujan's second notebook as well as a description of his quarterly reports. This is the first of two volumes devoted to proving the results found in the unorganized portions of the second notebook and in the third notebook. The author also proves those results in the first notebook that are not found in the second or third notebooks. For those results that are known, references in the literature are provided. Otherwise, complete proofs are given. Over 1/2 of the results in the notebooks are new. Many of them are so startling and different that there are no results akin to them in the literature.
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Dec 6, 2012
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Pages
451
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ISBN
9781461208792
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Language
English
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Genres
Mathematics / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Bruce C. Berndt
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson go camping and pitch their tent under the stars. During the night, Holmes wakes his companion and says, ""Watson, look up at the stars and tell me what you deduce."" Watson says, ""I see millions of stars, and it is quite likely that a few of them are planets just like Earth. Therefore there may also be life on these planets."" Holmes replies, ""Watson, you idiot. Somebody stole our tent."" When seeking proofs of Ramanujan's identities for the Rogers-Ramanujan functions, Watson, i.e., G. N. Watson, was not an ""idiot."" He, L. J. Rogers, and D. M. Bressoud found proofs for several of the identities. A. J. F. Biagioli devised proofs for most (but not all) of the remaining identities. Although some of the proofs of Watson, Rogers, and Bressoud are likely in the spirit of those found by Ramanujan, those of Biagioli are not. In particular, Biagioli used the theory of modular forms. Haunted by the fact that little progress has been made into Ramanujan's insights on these identities in the past 85 years, the present authors sought ""more natural"" proofs. Thus, instead of a missing tent, we have had missing proofs, i.e., Ramanujan's missing proofs of his forty identities for the Rogers-Ramanujan functions. In this paper, for 35 of the 40 identities, the authors offer proofs that are in the spirit of Ramanujan. Some of the proofs presented here are due to Watson, Rogers, and Bressoud, but most are new. Moreover, for several identities, the authors present two or three proofs. For the five identities that they are unable to prove, they provide non-rigorous verifications based on an asymptotic analysis of the associated Rogers-Ramanujan functions. This method, which is related to the 5-dissection of the generating function for cranks found in Ramanujan's lost notebook, is what Ramanujan might have used to discover several of the more difficult identities. Some of the new methods in this paper can be employed to establish new identities for the Rogers-Ramanujan functions.
the late Richard Courant
For more than two thousand years a familiarity with mathematics has been regarded as an indispensable part of the intellectual equipment of every cultured person. Today, unfortunately, the traditional place of mathematics in education is in grave danger. The teaching and learning of mathematics has degenerated into the realm of rote memorization, the outcome of which leads to satisfactory formal ability but does not lead to real understanding or to greater intellectual independence. This new edition of Richard Courant's and Herbert Robbins's classic work seeks to address this problem. Its goal is to put the meaning back into mathematics. Written for beginners and scholars, for students and teachers, for philosophers and engineers, What is Mathematics?, Second Edition is a sparkling collection of mathematical gems that offers an entertaining and accessible portrait of the mathematical world. Covering everything from natural numbers and the number system to geometrical constructions and projective geometry, from topology and calculus to matters of principle and the Continuum Hypothesis, this fascinating survey allows readers to delve into mathematics as an organic whole rather than an empty drill in problem solving. With chapters largely independent of one another and sections that lead upward from basic to more advanced discussions, readers can easily pick and choose areas of particular interest without impairing their understanding of subsequent parts. Brought up to date with a new chapter by Ian Stewart, What is Mathematics?, Second Edition offers new insights into recent mathematical developments and describes proofs of the Four-Color Theorem and Fermat's Last Theorem, problems that were still open when Courant and Robbins wrote this masterpiece, but ones that have since been solved. Formal mathematics is like spelling and grammar--a matter of the correct application of local rules. Meaningful mathematics is like journalism--it tells an interesting story. But unlike some journalism, the story has to be true. The best mathematics is like literature--it brings a story to life before your eyes and involves you in it, intellectually and emotionally. What is Mathematics is like a fine piece of literature--it opens a window onto the world of mathematics for anyone interested to view.
Bruce C. Berndt
George E. Andrews
​​​​In the spring of 1976, George Andrews of Pennsylvania State University visited the library at Trinity College, Cambridge, to examine the papers of the late G.N. Watson. Among these papers, Andrews discovered a sheaf of 138 pages in the handwriting of Srinivasa Ramanujan. This manuscript was soon designated, "Ramanujan's lost notebook." Its discovery has frequently been deemed the mathematical equivalent of finding Beethoven's tenth symphony.

This volume is the fourth of five volumes that the authors plan to write on Ramanujan’s lost notebook.​ In contrast to the first three books on Ramanujan's Lost Notebook, the fourth book does not focus on q-series. Most of the entries examined in this volume fall under the purviews of number theory and classical analysis. Several incomplete manuscripts of Ramanujan published by Narosa with the lost notebook are discussed. Three of the partial manuscripts are on diophantine approximation, and others are in classical Fourier analysis and prime number theory. Most of the entries in number theory fall under the umbrella of classical analytic number theory. Perhaps the most intriguing entries are connected with the classical, unsolved circle and divisor problems.

Review from the second volume:

"Fans of Ramanujan's mathematics are sure to be delighted by this book. While some of the content is taken directly from published papers, most chapters contain new material and some previously published proofs have been improved. Many entries are just begging for further study and will undoubtedly be inspiring research for decades to come. The next installment in this series is eagerly awaited."

- MathSciNet

Review from the first volume:

"Andrews and Berndt are to be congratulated on the job they are doing. This is the first step...on the way to an understanding of the work of the genius Ramanujan. It should act as an inspiration to future generations of mathematicians to tackle a job that will never be complete."

- Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society​

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