Generalized continued fraction


Generalized continued fraction

In analysis, a generalized continued fraction is a generalization of regular continued fractions in canonical form in which the partial numerators and the partial denominators can assume arbitrary real or complex values.

A generalized continued fraction is an expression of the form

:x = b_0 + cfrac{a_1}{b_1 + cfrac{a_2}{b_2 + cfrac{a_3}{b_3 + cfrac{a_4}{ddots,

where the "a""n" ("n" > 0) are the partial numerators, the "b""n" are the partial denominators, and the leading term "b"0 is the so-called "whole" or "integer" part of the continued fraction.

The successive convergents of the continued fraction are formed by applying the fundamental recurrence formulas:

:x_0 = frac{A_0}{B_0} = b_0, qquadx_1 = frac{A_1}{B_1} = frac{b_1b_0+a_1}{b_1},qquadx_2 = frac{A_2}{B_2} = frac{b_2(b_1b_0+a_1) + a_2b_0}{b_2b_1 + a_2},qquadcdots,

where "A""n" is the numerator and "B""n" is the denominator (also called continuant [cite book | title=The Markoff and Lagrange Spectra | author=Thomas W. Cusick | coauthors=Mary E. Flahive | publisher=American Mathematical Society | year=1989 | isbn=0-8218-1531-8 | pages=89 ] [cite book | title=Algebra, an Elementary Text-book for the Higher Classes of Secondary Schools and for Colleges: Pt. 1 | author=George Chrystal | authorlink=George Chrystal | publisher=American Mathematical Society | year=1999 | isbn=0-8218-1649-7 | pages=500 ] ) of the "n"th convergent.

If the sequence of convergents {"x""n"} approaches a limit the continued fraction is convergent and has a definite value. If the sequence of convergents never approaches a limit the continued fraction is divergent. It may diverge by oscillation (for example, the odd and even convergents may approach two different limits), or it may produce an infinite number of zero denominators "B""n".

History of continued fractions

The story of continued fractions begins with the Euclidean algorithm [300 BC Euclid, "Elements" - The Euclidean algorithm generates a continued fraction as a by-product.] , a procedure for finding the greatest common divisor of two natural numbers "m" and "n". That algorithm introduced the idea of dividing to extract a new remainder – and then dividing by the new remainder again, and again, and again.

Nearly two thousand years passed before Rafael Bombelli [1579 Rafael Bombelli, "L'Algebra Opera"] devised a technique for approximating the roots of quadratic equations with continued fractions. Now the pace of development quickened. Just 24 years later Pietro Cataldi introduced the first formal notation [1613 Pietro Cataldi, "Trattato del modo brevissimo di trovar la radice quadra delli numeri"; roughly translated, "A treatise on a quick way to find square roots".] for the generalized continued fraction. Cataldi represented a continued fraction as

:a_0., & n_1 over d_1. & n_2 over d_2. & {n_3 over d_3},

with the dots indicating where the next fraction goes, and each & representing a modern plus sign.

Late in the seventeenth century John Wallis [1695 John Wallis, "Opera Mathematica", Latin for "Mathematical Works".] introduced the term "continued fraction" into the mathematical literature. New techniques for mathematical analysis (Newton's and Leibniz's calculus) had recently exploded onto the scene, and a generation of Wallis' contemporaries put the new word to use right away.

In 1748 Euler published a very important theorem showing that a particular kind of continued fraction is equivalent to a certain very general infinite series.1748 Leonhard Euler, "Introductio in analysin infinitorum", Vol. I, Chapter 18.] Euler's continued fraction theorem is still of central importance in modern attempts to whittle away at the convergence problem.

Continued fractions can also be applied to problems in number theory, and are especially useful in the study of Diophantine equations. In the late eighteenth century Lagrange used continued fractions to construct the general solution of Pell's equation, thus answering a question that had fascinated mathematicians for more than a thousand years. [Brahmagupta (598 - 670) was the first mathematician to make a systematic study of Pell's equation.] Amazingly, Lagrange's discovery implies that the canonical continued fraction expansion of the square root of every non-square integer is periodic and that, if the period is of length "p" > 1, it contains a palindromic string of length "p" - 1.

In 1813 Gauss used a very clever trick with the complex-valued hypergeometric function to derive a versatile continued fraction expression that has since been named in his honor. [1813 Karl Friedrich Gauss, "Werke", Vol. 3, pp. 134-138.] That formula can be used to express many elementary functions (and even some more advanced functions, like the Bessel functions) as rapidly convergent continued fractions valid almost everywhere in the complex plane.

Notation

The long continued fraction expression displayed in the introduction is probably the most intuitive form for the reader. Unfortunately, it takes up a lot of space in a book (and it's not easy for the typesetter, either). So mathematicians have devised several alternative notations. One convenient way to express a generalized continued fraction looks like this:

:x = b_0+frac{a_1}{b_1+},frac{a_2}{b_2+},frac{a_3}{b_3+}cdots

Pringsheim wrote a generalized continued fraction this way:

:x = b_0 + frac{a_1 mid}{mid b_1} + frac{a_2 mid}{mid b_2} + frac{a_3 mid}{mid b_3}+cdots,.

Karl Friedrich Gauss evoked the more familiar infinite product Π when he devised this notation:

:x = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i}{b_i}.,

Here the "K" stands for "Kettenbrüche", the German word for "continued fraction". This is probably the most compact and convenient way to express continued fractions; sadly, Gauss' notation is not well known to English speakers.

Some elementary considerations

Here are some elementary results that are of fundamental importance in the further development of the analytic theory of continued fractions.

Partial numerators and denominators

If one of the partial numerators "a""n"+1 is zero, the infinite continued fraction

:b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i}{b_i},

is really just a finite continued fraction with "n" fractional terms, and therefore a rational function of the first "n" "a""i"s and the first ("n" + 1) "b""i"s. Such an object is of little interest from the point of view adopted in mathematical analysis, so it is usually assumed that none of the "a""i" = 0. There is no need to place this restriction on the partial denominators "b""i".

The determinant formula

When the "n"th convergent of a continued fraction

:x_n = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{n}{K frac{a_i}{b_i},

is expressed as a simple fraction "x""n" = "A""n"/"B""n" we can use the determinant formula

:A_{n-1}B_n - A_nB_{n-1} = (-1)^na_1a_2cdots a_n = Pi_{i=1}^n (-a_i),

to relate the numerators and denominators of successive convergents "x""n" and "x""n"-1 to one another. Specifically, if neither "B""n" nor "B""n"-1 is zero we can express the difference between the "n"-1st and "n"th ("n" > 0) convergents like this:

:x_{n-1} - x_n = frac{A_{n-1{B_{n-1 - frac{A_n}{B_n} = (-1)^n frac{a_1a_2cdots a_n}{B_nB_{n-1 = frac{Pi_{i=1}^n (-a_i)}{B_nB_{n-1.,

The equivalence transformation

If {"c""i"} = {"c"1, "c"2, "c"3, ...} is any infinite sequence of non-zero complex numbers we can prove, by induction, that

:b_0 + cfrac{a_1}{b_1 + cfrac{a_2}{b_2 + cfrac{a_3}{b_3 + cfrac{a_4}{ddots, =b_0 + cfrac{c_1a_1}{c_1b_1 + cfrac{c_1c_2a_2}{c_2b_2 + cfrac{c_2c_3a_3}{c_3b_3 + cfrac{c_3c_4a_4}{ddots,

where equality is understood as equivalence, which is to say that the successive convergents of the continued fraction on the left are exactly the same as the convergents of the fraction on the right.

The equivalence transformation is perfectly general, but two particular cases deserve special mention. First, if none of the "a""i" are zero a sequence {"c""i"} can be chosen to make each partial numerator a 1:

:b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i}{b_i} = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{1}{c_i b_i},

where "c"1 = 1/"a"1, "c"2 = "a"1/"a"2, "c"3 = "a"2/("a"1"a"3), and in general "c""n"+1 = 1/("a""n"+1"c""n").

Second, if none of the partial denominators "b""i" are zero we can use a similar procedure to choose another sequence {"d""i"} to make each partial denominator a 1:

:b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i}{b_i} = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{d_i a_i}{1},

where "d"1 = 1/"b"1 and otherwise "d""n"+1 = 1/("b""n""b""n"+1).

These two special cases of the equivalence transformation are enormously useful when the general convergence problem is analyzed.

Simple convergence concepts

It has already been noted that the continued fraction

:x = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i}{b_i},

converges if the sequence of convergents {"x""n"} tends to a finite limit.

The notion of absolute convergence plays a central role in the theory of infinite series. No corresponding notion exists in the analytic theory of continued fractions – in other words, mathematicians do not speak of an "absolutely convergent" continued fraction. Sometimes the notion of absolute convergence does enter the discussion, however, especially in the study of the convergence problem. For instance, a particular continued fraction

:x = underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{1}{b_i},

diverges by oscillation if the series "b"1 + "b"2 + "b"3 + ... is absolutely convergent. [1895 Helge von Koch, "Bull. Soc. Math. de France", "Sur un théorème de Stieltjes et sur les fractions continues".]

Sometimes the partial numerators and partial denominators of a continued fraction are expressed as functions of a complex variable "z". For example, a relatively simple function [When "z" is taken to be an integer this function is quite famous; it generates the golden ratio and the closely related sequence of silver means.] might be defined as

:f(z) = underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{1}{z}.,

For a continued fraction like this one the notion of uniform convergence arises quite naturally. A continued fraction of one or more complex variables is "uniformly convergent" in an open neighborhood Ω if the fraction's convergents converge uniformly at every point in Ω. Or, in gory detail: if, for every "ε" > 0 an integer "M" can be found such that the absolute value of the difference

:f(z) - f_n(z) = underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i(z)}{b_i(z)}- underset{i=1}{overset{n}{K frac{a_i(z)}{b_i(z)},

is less than "ε" for every point "z" in an open neighborhood Ω whenever "n" > "M", the continued fraction defining "f"("z") is uniformly convergent on Ω. (Here "f""n"("z") denotes the "n"th convergent of the continued fraction, evaluated at the point "z" inside Ω, and "f"("z") is the value of the infinite continued fraction at the point "z".)

Even and odd convergents

It is sometimes necessary to separate a continued fraction into its even and odd parts. For example, if the continued fraction diverges by oscillation between two distinct limit points "p" and "q", then the sequence {"x"0, "x"2, "x"4, ...} must converge to one of these, and {"x"1, "x"3, "x"5, ...} must converge to the other. In such a situation it may be convenient to express the original continued fraction as two different continued fractions, one of them converging to "p", and the other converging to "q".

The formulas for the even and odd parts of a continued fraction can be written most compactly if the fraction has already been transformed so that all its partial denominators are unity. Specifically, if

:x = underset{i=1}{overset{infty}{K frac{a_i}{1},

is a continued fraction, then the even part "x"even and the odd part "x"odd are given by

:x_mathrm{even} = cfrac{a_1}{1+a_2-cfrac{a_2a_3} {1+a_3+a_4-cfrac{a_4a_5} {1+a_5+a_6-cfrac{a_6a_7} {ddots,

and

:x_mathrm{odd} = a_1 - cfrac{a_1a_2}{1+a_2+a_3-cfrac{a_3a_4} {1+a_4+a_5-cfrac{a_5a_6} {1+a_6+a_7-cfrac{a_7a_8} {ddots,

respectively. More precisely, if the successive convergents of the continued fraction "x" are {"x"1, "x"2, "x"3, ,,,}, then the successive convergents of "x"even as written above are {"x"2, "x"4, "x"6, ,,,}, and the successive convergents of "x"odd are {"x"1, "x"3, "x"5, ,,,}. [1929 Oskar Perron, "Die Lehre von den Kettenbrüchen" derives even more general extension and contraction formulas for continued fractions.]

Linear fractional transformations

A linear fractional transformation (LFT) is a complex function of the form

:w = f(z) = frac{a + bz}{c + dz},,

where "z" is a complex variable, and "a", "b", "c", "d" are arbitrary complex constants. An additional restriction – that "ad" ≠ "bc" – is customarily imposed, to rule out the cases in which "w" = "f"("z") is a constant. The linear fractional transformation, also known as a Möbius transformation, has many fascinating properties. Four of these are of primary importance in developing the analytic theory of continued fractions.
*If "d" ≠ 0 the LFT has one or two fixed points. This can be seen by considering the equation

::f(z) = z Rightarrow dz^2 + cz = a + bz,

:which is clearly a quadratic equation in "z". The roots of this equation are the fixed points of "f"("z"). If the discriminant ("c" − "b")2 + 4"ad" is zero the LFT fixes a single point; otherwise it has two fixed points.

*If "ad" ≠ "bc" the LFT is an invertible conformal mapping of the extended complex plane onto itself. In other words, this LFT has an inverse function

::z = g(w) = frac{-a + cw}{b - dw},

:such that "f"("g"("z")) = "g"("f"("z")) = "z" for every point "z" in the extended complex plane, and both "f" and "g" preserve angles and shapes at vanishingly small scales. From the form of "z" = "g"("w") we see that "g" is also an LFT.

*The composition of two different LFTs for which "ad" ≠ "bc" is itself an LFT for which "ad" ≠ "bc". In other words, the set of all LFTs for which "ad" ≠ "bc" is closed under composition of functions. The collection of all such LFTs – together with the "group operation" composition of functions – is known as the automorphism group of the extended complex plane.

*If "b" = 0 the LFT reduces to

::w = f(z) = frac{a}{c + dz},,

:which is a very simple meromorphic function of "z" with one simple pole (at −"c"/"d") and a residue equal to "a"/"d". (See also Laurent series.)

The continued fraction as a composition of LFTs

Consider a sequence of simple linear fractional transformations

: au_0(z) = b_0 + z,quad au_1(z) = frac{a_1}{b_1 + z},quad au_2(z) = frac{a_2}{b_2 + z},quad au_3(z) = frac{a_3}{b_3 + z},quadcdots,

Here we use the Greek letter "τ" (tau) to represent each simple LFT, and we adopt the conventional circle notation for composition of functions. We also introduce a new symbol "Τ""n" to represent the composition of "n"+1 little "τ"s – that is,

:oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{1(z) = au_0circ au_1(z) = au_0( au_1(z)),quadoldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{2(z) = au_0circ au_1circ au_2(z) = au_0( au_1( au_2(z))),,

and so forth. By direct substitution from the first set of expressions into the second we see that

:egin{align}oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{1(z)& = au_0circ au_1(z)& =&quad b_0 + cfrac{a_1}{b_1 + z}\oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{2(z)& = au_0circ au_1circ au_2(z)& =&quad b_0 + cfrac{a_1}{b_1 + cfrac{a_2}{b_2 + z,end{align}

and, in general,

:oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n(z) = au_0circ au_1circ au_2circcdotscirc au_n(z) =b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{n}{K frac{a_i}{b_i},

where the last partial denominator in the finite continued fraction "K" is understood to be "b""n" + "z". And, since "b""n" + 0 = "b""n", the image of the point "z" = 0 under the iterated LFT "Τ""n" is indeed the value of the finite continued fraction with "n" partial numerators:

:oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n(0) = oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n+1(infty) = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{n}{K frac{a_i}{b_i}.,

A geometric interpretation

Intuition can never replace a mathematical proof. Still, intuition is a useful tool, often suggesting new lines of attack that may finally resolve a previously intractable problem. Defining a finite continued fraction as the image of a point under the iterated LFT Τn("z") leads to an intuitively appealing geometric interpretation of infinite continued fractions. Let's see how that works.

The relationship

:x_n = b_0 + underset{i=1}{overset{n}{K frac{a_i}{b_i} = frac{A_n}{B_n} = oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n(0) = oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n+1(infty),

is probably best understood by rewriting the LFTs Τ"n"("z") and Τ"n"+1("z") in terms of the fundamental recurrence formulas:

:egin{align}oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n(z)& = frac{(b_n+z)A_{n-1} + a_nA_{n-2{(b_n+z)B_{n-1} + a_nB_{n-2& oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n(z)& = frac{zA_{n-1} + A_n}{zB_{n-1} + B_n};\oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n+1(z)& = frac{(b_{n+1}+z)A_n + a_{n+1}A_{n-1{(b_{n+1}+z)B_n + a_{n+1}B_{n-1& oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n+1(z)& = frac{zA_n + A_{n+1 {zB_n + B_{n+1.,end{align}

In the first of these equations the ratio tends toward "A""n"/"B""n" as "z" tends toward zero. In the second, the ratio tends toward "A""n"/"B""n" as "z" tends to infinity. This leads us to our first geometric interpretation. If the continued fraction converges, the successive convergents "A""n"/"B""n" are eventually arbitrarily close together. Since the linear fractional transformation Τ"n"("z") is a continuous mapping, there must be a neighborhood of "z" = 0 that is mapped into an arbitrarily small neighborhood of Τ"n"(0) = "A""n"/"B""n". Similarly, there must be a neighborhood of the point at infinity which is mapped into an arbitrarily small neighborhood of Τ"n"(∞) = "A""n"-1/"B""n"-1. So if the continued fraction converges the transformation Τ"n"("z") maps both very small "z" and very large "z" into an arbitrarily small neighborhood of "x", the value of the continued fraction, as "n" gets larger and larger.

What about intermediate values of "z"? Well, since the successive convergents are getting closer together we must have

:frac{A_{n-1{B_{n-1 approx frac{A_n}{B_n} quadRightarrowquad frac{A_{n-1{A_n} approx frac{B_{n-1{B_n} = k,

where "k" is a constant, introduced for convenience. But then, by substituting in the expression for Τ"n"("z") we obtain

:oldsymbol{Tau}_{oldsymbol{n(z) = frac{zA_{n-1} + A_n}{zB_{n-1} + B_n}= frac{A_n}{B_n} left(frac{zfrac{A_{n-1{A_n} + 1}{zfrac{B_{n-1{B_n} + 1} ight)approx frac{A_n}{B_n} left(frac{zk + 1}{zk + 1} ight) = frac{A_n}{B_n},

so that even the intermediate values of "z" (except when "z" ≈ −"k"−1) are mapped into an arbitrarily small neighborhood of "x", the value of the continued fraction, as "n" gets larger and larger. Intuitively, it is almost as if the convergent continued fraction maps the entire extended complex plane into a single point. [This intuitive interpretation is not rigorous because a continued fraction is not a mapping – it is the "limit" of a sequence of mappings. This construction of an infinite continued fraction is roughly analogous to the construction of an irrational number as the limit of a Cauchy sequence of rational numbers.]

Notice that the sequence {Τ"n"} lies within the automorphism group of the extended complex plane, since each Τ"n" is a linear fractional transformation for which "ab" ≠ "cd". And every member of that automorphism group maps the extended complex plane into itself – not one of the Τ"n"s can possibly map the plane into a single point. Yet in the limit the sequence {Τ"n"} defines an infinite continued fraction which (if it converges) represents a single point in the complex plane.

How is this possible? Think of it this way. When an infinite continued fraction converges, the corresponding sequence {Τ"n"} of LFTs "focuses" the plane in the direction of "x", the value of the continued fraction. At each stage of the process a larger and larger region of the plane is mapped into a neighborhood of "x", and the smaller and smaller region of the plane that's left over is stretched out ever more thinly to cover everything outside that neighborhood. [Because of analogies like this one, the theory of conformal mapping is sometimes described as "rubber sheet geometry".]

What about divergent continued fractions? Can those also be interpreted geometrically? In a word, yes. We distinguish three cases.
#The two sequences {Τ2"n"-1} and {Τ2"n"} might themselves define two convergent continued fractions that have two different values, "x"odd and "x"even. In this case the continued fraction defined by the sequence {Τ"n"} diverges by oscillation between two distinct limit points. And in fact this idea can be generalized – sequences {Τ"n"} can be constructed that oscillate among three, or four, or indeed any number of limit points. Interesting instances of this case arise when the sequence {Τ"n"} constitutes a subgroup of finite order within the group of automorphisms over the extended complex plane.
# The sequence {Τ"n"} may produce an infinite number of zero denominators "B""i" while also producing a subsequence of finite convergents. These finite convergents may not repeat themselves or fall into a recognizable oscillating pattern. Or they may converge to a finite limit, or even oscillate among multiple finite limits. No matter how the finite convergents behave, the continued fraction defined by the sequence {Τ"n"} diverges by oscillation with the point at infinity in this case. [One approach to the convergence problem is to construct "positive definite" continued fractions, for which the denominators "B""i" are never zero.]
#The sequence {Τ"n"} may produce no more than a finite number of zero denominators "B""i". while the subsequence of finite convergents dances wildly around the plane in a pattern that never repeats itself and never approaches any finite limit, either.

Interesting examples of cases 1 and 3 can be constructed by studying the simple continued fraction

:x = 1 + cfrac{z}{1 + cfrac{z}{1 + cfrac{z}{1 + cfrac{z}{ddots,

where "z" is any real number such that "z" < −¼. [This periodic fraction of period one is discussed more fully in the article convergence problem.]

Continued fractions and series

Euler proved the following identity:

:a_0 + a_0a_1 + a_0a_1a_2 + cdots + a_0a_1a_2cdots a_n =frac{a_0}{1-}frac{a_1}{1+a_1-}frac{a_2}{1+a_2-}cdotsfrac{a_{n{1+a_n}.,

From this many other results can be derived, such as

:frac{1}{u_1}+frac{1}{u_2}+frac{1}{u_3}+cdots+frac{1}{u_n} =frac{1}{u_1-}frac{u_1^2}{u_1+u_2-}frac{u_2^2}{u_2+u_3-}cdotsfrac{u_{n-1}^2}{u_{n-1}+u_n},,

and

:frac{1}{a_0} + frac{x}{a_0a_1} + frac{x^2}{a_0a_1a_2} + cdots +frac{x^n}{a_0a_1a_2 ldots a_n} =frac{1}{a_0-}frac{a_0x}{a_1+x-}frac{a_1x}{a_2+x-}cdotsfrac{a_{n-1}x}{a_n-x}.,

Euler's formula connecting continued fractions and series is the motivation for the fundamental inequalities, and also the basis of elementary approaches to the convergence problem.

Examples

Here are two continued fractions that can be built via Euler's identity.

:log(1+x)=x-frac{x^2}{2}+frac{x^3}{3}-frac{x^4}{4}+cdots=cfrac{x}{1+cfrac{1^2x}{2-x+cfrac{2^2x}{3-2x+cfrac{3^2x}{4-3x+cfrac{4^2x}{ddots}

: e^x=1+x+frac{x^2}{2!}+cdots=1+cfrac{x}{1-cfrac{x}{x+2-cfrac{2x}{x+3-cfrac{3x}{x+4-cfrac{4x}{x+5-cfrac{5x}{ddots

More advanced techniques are necessary to construct the following examples.

: e^{2m/n}=1+cfrac{2m}{(n-m)+cfrac{m^2}{3n+cfrac{m^2}{5n+cfrac{m^2}{7n+cfrac{m^2}{9n+cfrac{m^2}{ddots,

Setting "m" = "x" and "n" = 2 yields

: e^x=1+cfrac{2x}{(2-x)+cfrac{x^2}{6+cfrac{x^2}{10+cfrac{x^2}{14+cfrac{x^2}{18+cfrac{x^2}{ddots,

:pi=3+cfrac{1}{6+cfrac{9}{6+cfrac{25}{6+cfrac{49}{6+cfrac{81}{6+cfrac{121}{ddots

:pi = cfrac{4}{1 + cfrac{1}{3 + cfrac{4}{5 + cfrac{9}{7 + cfrac{16}{9 + cfrac{25}{11 + cfrac{36}{13 + cfrac{49}{ddots

Higher dimensions

Another meaning for "generalised continued fraction" is a generalisation to higher dimensions. For example, there is a close relationship between the simple continued fraction in canonical form for the irrational real number α, and the way lattice points in two dimensions lie to either side of the line "y" = α"x". Generalising this idea, one might ask about something related to lattice points in three or more dimensions. One reason to study this area is to quantify the mathematical coincidence idea; for example, for monomials in several real numbers, take the logarithmic form and consider how small it can be.

There have been numerous attempts to construct a generalised theory. Two notable efforts are those of Georges Poitou and George Szekeres.

ee also

* Continued fraction of Gauss
* Padé table
* Solving quadratic equations with continued fractions

External links

* [http://mipagina.cantv.net/arithmetic/gencontfrac.htm Generalized Continued Fractions] , excerpt from: Domingo Gómez Morín, "La Quinta Operación Arithmética, Media Aritmónica" [The Fifth Arithmetical Operation, Arithmonic Mean] , ISBN 980-12-1671-9.
* The [http://assets.cambridge.org/052181/8052/sample/0521818052ws.pdf first twenty pages] of Steven R. Finch, "Mathematical Constants", Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-81805-2, contains generalized continued fractions for √2 and the golden mean.
* [http://www.research.att.com/~njas/sequences/A133593 Exact continued fraction]

Notes

References

* William B. Jones and W.J. Thron, "Continued Fractions: Analytic Theory and Applications", Addison-Wesley, 1980. ISBN 978-0-20-113510-7. (Covers both analytic theory and history).
* Lisa Lorentzen and Haakon Waadeland, "Continued Fractions with Applications", North Holland, 1992. ISBN 978-0-44-489265-2. (Covers primarily analytic theory and some arithmetic theory).
* Oskar Perron and B.G. Teubner, "Die Lehre Von Den Kettenbrüchen" Band I, II, 1954.
* George Szekeres, "G.Ann. Univ. Sci. Budapest Eotvos Sect. Math. 13", "Multidimensional Continued Fractions", pp. 113-140, 1970.
* H.S. Wall, "Analytic Theory of Continued Fractions", Chelsea, 1973. ISBN 0-8284-0207-8. (This reprint of the D. Van Nostrand edition of 1948 covers both history and analytic theory.)


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Continued fraction — Finite continued fraction, where a0 is an integer, any other ai are positive integers, and n is a non negative integer. In mathematics, a continued fraction is an expression obtained through an iterative process of representing a number as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Continued fraction of Gauss — In complex analysis, the continued fraction of Gauss is a particular continued fraction derived from the hypergeometric functions. It was one of the first analytic continued fractions known to mathematics, and it can be used to represent several… …   Wikipedia

  • Complex argument (continued fraction) — In analysis, the complex argument theta; = arg( z ) is commonly defined as an angle, often in terms of the inverse tangent function, or the inverse cosine. In a purely formal and perfectly rigorous treatment of the complex numbers, such reliance… …   Wikipedia

  • Gauss's continued fraction — In complex analysis, Gauss s continued fraction is a particular class of continued fractions derived from hypergeometric functions. It was one of the first analytic continued fractions known to mathematics, and it can be used to represent several …   Wikipedia

  • Solving quadratic equations with continued fractions — In mathematics, a quadratic equation is a polynomial equation of the second degree. The general form is:ax^2+bx+c=0,,!where a ne; 0.Students and teachers all over the world are familiar with the quadratic formula that can be derived by completing …   Wikipedia

  • Methods of computing square roots — There are several methods for calculating the principal square root of a nonnegative real number. For the square roots of a negative or complex number, see below. Contents 1 Rough estimation 2 Babylonian method 2.1 Example …   Wikipedia

  • Pi — This article is about the number. For the Greek letter, see Pi (letter). For other uses, see Pi (disambiguation). The circumference of a ci …   Wikipedia

  • List of number theory topics — This is a list of number theory topics, by Wikipedia page. See also List of recreational number theory topics Topics in cryptography Contents 1 Factors 2 Fractions 3 Modular arithmetic …   Wikipedia

  • Sine — For other uses, see Sine (disambiguation). Sine Basic features Parity odd Domain ( ∞,∞) Codomain [ 1,1] P …   Wikipedia

  • Representations of e — The mathematical constant e can be represented in a variety of ways as a real number. Since e is an irrational number (see proof that e is irrational), it cannot be represented as a fraction, but it can be represented as a continued fraction.… …   Wikipedia