Analysis in Fractional Calculus and Asymptotics Related to Zeta Functions

Change log

This thesis presents results in two apparently disparate mathematical fields which can both be examined -- and even united -- by means of pure analysis.

Fractional calculus is the study of differentiation and integration to non-integer orders. Dating back to Leibniz, this idea was considered by many great mathematical figures, and in recent decades it has been used to model many real-world systems and processes, but a full development of the mathematical theory remains incomplete.

Many techniques for partial differential equations (PDEs) can be extended to fractional PDEs too. Three chapters below cover my results in this area: establishing the elliptic regularity theorem, Malgrange-Ehrenpreis theorem, and unified transform method for fractional PDEs. Each one is analogous to a known result for classical PDEs, but the proof in the general fractional scenario requires new ideas and modifications.

Fractional derivatives and integrals are not uniquely defined: there are many different formulae, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most commonly used is the classical Riemann-Liouville model, but others may be preferred in different situations, and now new fractional models are being proposed and developed each year. This creates many opportunities for new research, since each time a model is proposed, its mathematical fundamentals need to be examined and developed.

Two chapters below investigate some of these new models. My results on the Atangana-Baleanu model proposed in 2016 have already had a noticeable impact on research in this area. Furthermore, this model and the results concerning it can be extended to more general fractional models which also have certain desirable properties of their own.

Fractional calculus and zeta functions have rarely been united in research, but one chapter below covers a new formula expressing the Lerch zeta function as a fractional derivative of an elementary function. This result could have many ramifications in both fields, which are yet to be explored fully.

Zeta functions are very important in analytic number theory: the Riemann zeta function relates to the distribution of the primes, and this field contains some of the most persistent open problems in mathematics. Since 2012, novel asymptotic techniques have been applied to derive new results on the growth of the Riemann zeta function.

One chapter below modifies some of these techniques to prove asymptotics to all orders for the Hurwitz zeta function. Many new ideas are required, but the end result is more elegant than the original one for Riemann zeta, because some of the new methodologies enable different parts of the argument to be presented in a more unified way.

Several related problems involve asymptotics arbitrarily near a stationary point. Ideally it should be possible to find uniform asymptotics which provide a smooth transition between the integration by parts and stationary phase methods. One chapter below solves this problem for a particular integral which arises in the analysis of zeta functions.

Fokas, Athanassios Spyridon
fractional calculus, fractional derivatives, fractional integrals, fractional differential equations, zeta functions, asymptotic expansions, oscillatory integrals, analytic number theory, riemann zeta function, hurwitz zeta function
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge
My PhD studentship was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK.