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Some cubic modular identities of Ramanujan

Authors: J. M. Borwein, P. B. Borwein and F. G. Garvan
Journal: Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 343 (1994), 35-47
MSC: Primary 11B65; Secondary 11F27, 33D10
MathSciNet review: 1243610
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Abstract: There is a beautiful cubic analogue of Jacobi’s fundamental theta function identity: $\theta _3^4 = \theta _4^4 + \theta _2^4$. It is \[ {\left ({\sum \limits _{n,m = - \infty }^\infty {{q^{{n^2} + nm + {m^2}}}} } \right )^3} = {\left ({\sum \limits _{n,m = - \infty }^\infty {{\omega ^{n - m}}{q^{{n^2} + nm + {m^2}}}} } \right )^3} + {\left ({\sum \limits _{n,m = - \infty }^\infty {{q^{{{(n + \frac {1}{3})}^2} + (n + \frac {1}{3})(m + \frac {1}{3}) + {{(m + \frac {1}{3})}^2}}}} } \right )^3}.\] Here $\omega = \exp (2\pi i/3)$. In this note we provide an elementary proof of this identity and of a related identity due to Ramanujan. We also indicate how to discover and prove such identities symbolically.

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Keywords: Theta functions, <I>q</I>-series, eta function, modular forms, cubic modular equations, hypergeometric functions
Article copyright: © Copyright 1994 American Mathematical Society