Littlewood polynomial

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In mathematics, a Littlewood polynomial is a polynomial all of whose coefficients are +1 or −1. Littlewood's problem asks how large the values of such a polynomial must be on the unit circle in the complex plane. The answer to this would yield information about the autocorrelation of binary sequences. They are named for J. E. Littlewood who studied them in the 1950s.


A polynomial

is a Littlewood polynomial if all the . Littlewood's problem asks for constants c1 and c2 such that there are infinitely many Littlewood polynomials pn , of increasing degree n satisfying

for all on the unit circle. The Rudin–Shapiro polynomials provide a sequence satisfying the upper bound with . No sequence is known (as of 2008) that satisfies the lower bound.