In mathematics, a character sum is a sum of values of a Dirichlet character χ modulo N, taken over a given range of values of n. Such sums are basic in a number of questions, for example in the distribution of quadratic residues, and in particular in the classical question of finding an upper bound for the least quadratic non-residue modulo N. Character sums are often closely linked to exponential sums by the Gauss sums (this is like a finite Mellin transform).
Assume χ is a nonprincipal Dirichlet character to the modulus N.
Sums over ranges
The sum taken over all residue classes mod N is then zero. This means that the cases of interest will be sums over relatively short ranges, of length R < N say,
Another significant type of character sum is that formed by
for some function F, generally a polynomial. A classical result is the case of a quadratic, for example,
More generally, such sums for the Jacobi symbol relate to local zeta-functions of elliptic curves and hyperelliptic curves; this means that by means of André Weil's results, for N = p a prime number, there are non-trivial bounds
The constant implicit in the notation is linear in the genus of the curve in question, and so (Legendre symbol or hyperelliptic case) can be taken as the degree of F. (More general results, for other values of N, can be obtained starting from there.)
Weil's results also led to the Burgess bound, applying to give non-trivial results beyond Pólya–Vinogradov, for R a power of N greater than 1/4.
Assume the modulus N is a prime.
for any integer r ≥ 3.
- Montgomery and Vaughan (1977)
- Burgess (1957)
- Montgomery and Vaughan (2007), p.315
- G. Pólya (1918). "Ueber die Verteilung der quadratischen Reste und Nichtreste". Nachr. Akad. Wiss. Goettingen: 21–29. JFM 46.0265.02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- I. M. Vinogradov (1918). "Sur la distribution des residus and nonresidus des puissances". J. Soc. Phys. Math. Univ. Permi: 18–28. JFM 48.1352.04. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- D. A. Burgess (1957). "The distribution of quadratic residues and non-residues". Mathematika. 4 (02): 106–112. doi:10.1112/S0025579300001157. Zbl 0081.27101.
- Hugh L. Montgomery; Robert C. Vaughan (1977). "Exponential sums with multiplicative coefficients" (PDF). Invent. Math. 43 (1): 69–82. doi:10.1007/BF01390204. hdl:2027.42/46603. Zbl 0362.10036. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Hugh L. Montgomery; Robert C. Vaughan (2007). Multiplicative number theory I. Classical theory. Cambridge tracts in advanced mathematics. 97. Cambridge University Press. pp. 306–325. ISBN 0-521-84903-9. Zbl 1142.11001. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Korobov, N.M. (1992). Exponential sums and their applications. Mathematics and Its Applications (Soviet Series). 80. Translated from the Russian by Yu. N. Shakhov. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-1647-9. Zbl 0754.11022.