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# A R K I V F O R M A T E M A T I K B a n d 2 n r 2 2 C o m m u n i c a t e d 2 6 N o v e m b e r 1 9 5 2 b y F . C A R L S O N

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A R K I V F O R M A T E M A T I K B a n d 2 nr 22

C o m m u n i c a t e d 26 N o v e m b e r 1952 b y F. CARLSON

A n o t e o n r e c u r r i n g s e r i e s B y CHRISTER LECH

We wish to prove the following theorem, which extends to any field of char- acteristic 0 a result, proved by SKOLE~ [4] in the field of rational numbers and by MAttLER [2] in the field of algebraic numbers.

T h e o r e m . I n a /ield o/ characteristic 0, let a sequence

c~ v = 0 , 1 , 2 , . . .

satis/y a recursion ]ormula o/ the type

C v ~ O ~ l C ~ , - l + ~ 2 C v - 2 + " " + O~nCv-n v = n , n + l , n + 2 , . . . .

I / c~ = 0 /or in/initely m a n y values o/ v, then those c~ that are equal to zero occur periodically in the sequence /rom a certain index on.

I t will be shown by an example t h a t the restriction for the characteristic is essential (section 6).

From the theorem can be deduced a characterization of those sequences {c~}

that contain 0 (or: any number) an infinity of times (see MAHLER [2]). In particular, only a finite number of the c~ can be equal to zero if the quotient of two different roots of the equation l = a l t + ~ 2 t 2 + " ' + a n t ~ is never a root of unity.

SKOLEM and MAHLER used for their proofs a p-adic method, due to SKOLEM [3]. Our proof will closely follow t h a t of MAHLER, and is partly built on it.

1. A sequence {c~} in any field may be considered as the TAYLOR-coefficients of a rational function if it satisfies a. linear recursion formula as above. By resolving this rational function into partial fractions it is possible to get an explicit expression for the c~. In a field of characteristic 0 we get

m

cx = Y~ A f Pj (x) x = 0, 1, 2 . . . ,

where the Pj (x) are polynomials whose coefficients, together with the Aj, are algebraic over the field t h a t is generated by the c~. Therefore, to prove the theorem, it is sufficient to prove the following lemma.

Lemma. Let the /unction F (x) be defined by

m

F (x) = 5 Ay Pj (x),

1=1

(2)

C. LECH, 2t note on recurring series

where the Pj (x) are polynomials whose coe//icients, together with the A j , belong to a /ield K o/ characteristic O. I~ F (x) = 0 / o r an in/inity o/rational integral values o/ x, then there is a natural number r and di//erent numbers r a), r a) . . . r (~) o/

the set O, 1 . . . . , r - 1 , so that all the values

r(l~ + r z , ra) + r z , . . ., r(~ + r z z = 0 , _ _ l , + _ 2 , . . . and, in addition, at most a finite number o] rational integral values o] x make F (x) vanish.

Without loss of generality we can suppose t h a t K is just the field generated b y the Aj and the coefficients of the Pj (x). Denote b y P the field of ra- tional numbers.

2. First assume t h a t K is algebraic over P. This is the case treated by MArlLER. We give a sketch of his proof. Choose a prime ideal p of K, dividing neither numerator nor denominator of any Aj. Denote b y [,tlp ( c o c K ) the corresponding valuation of K, normed so t h a t I P I p = 1, where p is the natural

P

prime divided b y p. (In the sequel this special norming of a valuation will be tacitly assumed.) Applying a generalization of FERMAT'S theorem we can find a natural number r, so t h a t

1

(1) I A ~ - I l o < v - ; ~ 1 = 1 , 2, . . . , m.

As a consequence of these inequalities, the functions

A~ x j = l , 2 . . . . , m,

where x is restricted to rational integral values, can be represented b y p-adic power series of x. Instead of F (x) consider now the r functions

m

F o ( z ) = . F ( a + r z ) = ~ A T A ~ z P j ( a + r z ) (r=0, 1, . . . , r - 1 .

1=1

For rational integral values of z these functions can all be represented b y p- adic power series. If any of t h e m has an infinity of rational integral zeros, it vanishes identically. I n fact, the zeros then have a p-adic point of accumula- tion in the region of convergence of the power series, and, as in the case of a power series of a complex variable, this is impossible unless the series vanishes identically. F r o m the connection between F (x) and the r functions F , (z) we get the desired result about the rational integral zeros of F (x).

3. Now assume t h a t K is not algebraic over its prime field P. Observe t h a t if we were able to find a valuation of K, continuating a p-adic valuation of P, so t h a t a precise analogue of the inequalities (1) could be proved, then the reasoning of the preceding section could be carried through. Actually we shall construct such a valuation of K. Denoting it by ~ (:r (~ e K) and meaning by

~ the corresponding natural prime q) @) = ~ we have to prove t h a t for ~ome natural number r

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ARKIV FOR MATEMATIK~ B d 2 n r 2 2

1

(2) 9 ( A I - 1 ) < p , - 1 ] = 1 , 2 . . . m.

4. Since K is generated b y a finite n u m b e r of elements, it m u s t be of finite transcendence-degree k over P . I t m a y therefore be considered as a n algebraic extension of a field P ( ~ I . . . . , ue), where gi . . . gk are algebraically inde- p e n d e n t o v e r P . This algebraic extension m u s t be finite and hence simple, as the characteristic is 0. Thus e v e r y element of K m a y be w r i t t e n in the form

## (~)

Q ( u l . . . . , z D t e o ( z i 1 , / . . . , xk) + P l (ul . . . z k ) 2 + .-. + P~-I (Zl . . . . , ~ k ) ~l-1)~

where ), satisfies an equation, irreducible in P ( ~ 1 , - - - , z~),

~9(~1 . . . ~ k ' ~ ) ~ - ~ l J v C l ( g l . . . . , ~ k ) ~ l-1 "~- "'" ~- C l ( g l , o . . , ~ k ) = O, Q ( U l , . . . , uk), the P,(Ul . . . gk) a n d the C , ( u l , . . . , u k ) b e i n g polynomials w i t h r a t i o n a l integral coefficients.

L e t Aj (~1 . . . uk ; ~) (i = 1, 2 . . . m) be expressions of the f o r m (3) for the n u m b e r s Aj a n d denote b y D (zl . . . . , uk) the discriminant of ? (Zl . . . . , ~ ; 2), r e g a r d e d as a polynomial in 2.

After these preliminaries we proceed to t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e valuation.

5. Choose k rational integers a 1 . . . . , ak, so t h a t w h e n these n u m b e r s are s u b s t i t u t e d for ~1 . . . ~ , t h e n D (ul . . . . , x~) and the d e n o m i n a t o r s of the Aj (ul . . . u k ; 2 ) do not vanish. F i x in P [ 2 ] one irreducible factor of the polynomial ~ ( a 1 . . . . , ak; 4) a n d let v q be a root of this factor, t h u s

~0 (a~ . . . . , a k ; v q ) = 0 . According to section 2 t h e r e are a v a l u a t i o n of t h e field P (v~), corresponding to some prime ideal p, and a n a t u r a l n u m b e r r, such t h a t

1

(4) I ( A i ( a i , . . . , a~; v q ) ) r - 1 1 ~ < p - ~ =-~ i = 1 , 2 , . . . , m,

p denoting the n a t u r a l prime divided b y p ( ] p ] , = l ) .

k J [ ~ /

We denote b y P (v ~) the perfect p-adic extension of P ( v ~ ) . - L e t e~, . . . , ~ be elements of P ( v ~) which are algebraically independent over P1). W e h a v e

lira t (a. + p ~ e.) - a~ ], = 0 v = 1, 2 . . . k, which m e a n s t h a t in t h e sense of the v a l u a t i o n of P(v~ i the n u m b e r s a ~ + p ~ e l , . . . , a ~ + p ~ e ~ t e n d to a l , . . . , a ~ respectively when n tends t o in- finity. W e assert t h a t for large values of n t h e r e is also in P (v~) a root 2 (")

~) T h e e x i s t e n c o of s u c h e l e m e n t s e ~ , . . . , e~: follows f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t P (v ~) h a s t h e c a r d i n a l i t y of t h e c o n t i n u u m . T o o b t a i n a n e f f e c t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n , l e t p , (x~ . . . . , xk) ( v = 1, 2, 3 . . . . ) be a n e n u m e r a t i o n of a l l p o l y n o m i a l s i n k v a r i a b l e s w i t h r a t i o n a l i n t e g r a l coefficients. W r i t e el . . . ek a s i n f i n i t e s u m s of r a t i o n a l n u m b e r s . D e f i n e t h e s e s u m s b y s t e p s , e v e r y s t e p c o n s i s t i n g i n t h e a d d i t i o n of one t e r m t o e a c h s u m a n d t h e r t h s t e p h a v i n g no i n f l u e n c e on ]p~(e~ . . . ek) p ( p < v ) b u t a s s u r i n g t h a t p~ ( e ~ , . . . , e k ) % 0. T h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n c a n be p r e c i s o d b y s o m e u n i v o c a l law.

(4)

C. LECH, A note on recurring series

of t h e equation ~ (a 1 + pn el . . . ak + pn ek ; x) = 0,. such t h a t A (n) tends to v a when n tends to infinity. F o r it is clear t h a t the polynomial congruence

( a l + P n S l , . . . , a k + P n e k ; x ) - - ~ v ( a l , . . . , a k ; x ) ( m o d p n)

is satisfied. F u r t h e r m o r e , f o r large values of n the discriminant of q0 (al + p n el, . . . , ak + p n ek; x) will have t h e same valuation as t h e n u m b e r D ( a l , . . . ,

## ak),

which is different Irom zero. According to HENSEL ([1], pp. 68-70, 153--156 we can therefore deduce, since there is a factorization in P (v a)

(a 1 . . . a~ ; x) = (x - 0) ~p (x), t h a t , for large n, there is a factorization in P (tg)

(a 1 + io n sj . . . . , ak + p~ ek ; x) = (x - 2 (~)) ~on (x) with

lim 12(~) - v~ Ip = 0.

n = o o

As the rational functions in a valued field are continuous in the sense of the valuation, we can find a n n for which

1

(5) ] (At ( a l + p n el ' . - . , ak + p ~ ek; 2(n))) ~ - ( A j (al, . . . , ak; v~)) ~ Ip < p p 1 1 = 1 , 2 , . . . , m.

Fixing this value of n, we have, b y (4) a n d (5),

1

(6) I ( A j ( a l + p n e l , . . . , a k + p n ~ : ; 2 ( n ) ) ) ~ - - l l ~ < p ~,-1 i = 1 , 2 . . . m.

The valuation of K = P (zl, 9 9 x~ ; 2) is now obtained b y a n embedding of this field in t h e valued field P (zg) in c o n f o r m i t y to t h e formulas

~t~ -+ a , + p n e,

2 -+ 2 (~).

I t is indeed evident from our choice of t h e e, a n d 2 (n) t h a t the field P ( a 1 q-

+ P" el . . . . , ak + p" ek ; 2 (n)) ( ~ P (va)) is isomorphic to K. The v a l i d i t y of t h e inequalities (2) is expressed b y (6). Our proof is t h u s completed.

6. There are fields of prime characteristic in which t h e s t a t e m e n t of t h e t h e o r e m (and of t h e lemma) does n o t hold. We shall show this b y an example.

L e t e be the u n i t y element of t h e prime field with p elements a n d let u be an indeterminate over the same field. The sequence

c ~ = ( e + g ) ~ - e - u " v = 0 , 1, 2 . . . .

satisfies the recursion formula

c, = (2 e + 2 , ) c,_1 - (e + 3 z + z ~) c,-2 + (~ + ~2) c~-3.

I t is seen t h a t c ~ = 0 if and only if v is an integral power of p.

(5)

ARKIV FOR MATEMATIK. B d 2 n r 22

R E F E R E N C E S

[1] K. HENSEL, Theorie der algebraischen Zahlen I, Leipzig und Berlin, 1908.

[2] K . MAHLER, Eine arithmetisehe Eigenschaft der Taylor-koeffizienten ralionaler Funktionen, Akad. Wetensch. Amsterdam, Proc. 38, 50-60 (1935).

[3] TH. SKOLEM, Einige S~tze tiber gewisse Reihenentwicklungen und exponenti~le Beziehungen mit Anwendung auf diophantische Gleichungen. Oslo Vid. akad. Skrifter I 1933 Nr. 6.

[4] - - - - , Ein Verfahren zur Behandlung gewisser exponentialer Gleichungen und diophantischer Gleichungen, C. r. 8 congr, scand. ~ Stockholm 1934, 163-188.

Tryckt den 16 februari 1953 Uppsala 1953. A_lmqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri AB

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