Ramanujan’s Notebooks: Part 3

Springer Science & Business Media
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During the time period between 1903 and 1914, Ramanujan worked in almost complete isolation in India. Throughout these years, he recorded his mathematical results without proofs in notebooks. Upon Ramanujan's death in 1920, G.H. Hardy strongly urged that Ramanujan's notebooks be published and edited. The English mathematicians G.N. Watson and B.M. Wilson began this task in 1929, but although they devoted nearly ten years to the project, the work was never completed. In 1957, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay published a photostat edition of the notebooks, but no editing was undertaken. In 1977, Berndt began the tasks of editing Ramanujan's notebooks. Proofs are provided to theorems not yet proven in previous literature, and many results 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
510
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ISBN
9781461209652
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Mathematics / Number Theory
Mathematics / Probability & Statistics / Stochastic Processes
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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.
Edward Frenkel
A New York Times Science Bestseller

What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren't even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.

In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we've never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space.

Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young man's journey learning and living it. Having braved a discriminatory educational system to become one of the twenty-first century's leading mathematicians, Frenkel now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of math in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program. Considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of mathematics, the Langlands Program enables researchers to translate findings from one field to another so that they can solve problems, such as Fermat's last theorem, that had seemed intractable before.

At its core, Love and Math is a story about accessing a new way of thinking, which can enrich our lives and empower us to better understand the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the magic hidden universe of mathematics.
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​

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 third of five volumes that the authors plan to write on Ramanujan’s lost notebook and other manuscripts and fragments found in The Lost Notebook and Other Unpublished Papers, published by Narosa in 1988. The ordinary partition function p(n) is the focus of this third volume. In particular, ranks, cranks, and congruences for p(n) are in the spotlight. Other topics include the Ramanujan tau-function, the Rogers–Ramanujan functions, highly composite numbers, and sums of powers of theta functions.

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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