Problems & Puzzles: Problems

Problem 39.  The primes sequence and the Sebastian's function

Sebastián Martín Ruiz has developed a method to find the next prime pn to a previously known complete sequence of primes {2, 3, 5, 7, ...pn-1}, through the Newton's method to find - by successive approximations - the rightist root (pn) to a very peculiar function F(x, n) introduced by him.

The function F(x,n) needed by the target and created by Sebastian, has the following basic properties:

F(x,n), for a fixed n:

a) is discontinue, but zero by the right, in all and only the integer values 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ..., pn.
b) is continuous by the right, concave and increasing in its continuity intervals.

Something like this (in the neighborhood of x=3, for F(x,2) to obtain the prime p=3 ):

Supposedly this is enough to apply the Newton's method, starting the iterations from a convenient initial point.

Sebastian's recommendation for this convenient initial point to search pn is x0=2.pn-1 because we know that pn<2pn-1

What is this announced as peculiar function? This is it:

where:

and

G(x) is the well known and named "Gamma Function

The Newton's method to find a root, simply calculates recursively successive xi values, using the following basic formula:

xi+1 = xi -F(xi, n)/F'(xi, n)

For our particular case:

xi+1  = xi -F(xi , n)/F'(xi, n) = xi -F(xi, n) / G '(xi)

because for a constant n, F'(x,n) = G '(x)

***

When I first knew this new Sebastian's work I deplored the inclusion of the Gamma function because some big-numbers packages (like Ubasic) don't bring this as a library function, not to mention its derivative.

Sebastián fixed this  inconvenient (for me) substituting G (x) and G '(x) by:

and

respectively.

Evidently both these "Gamma-like" functions are easily computable by any big-numbers package and keep for F(x,n) the properties provided by the real Gamma function.

In the real program in Ubasic (or Matematica) where we have tested this method to calculate each pn, the starting point for x is taken as pn-1 +25

This the Ubasic code that I made to test this method:

10 'The prime sequence using the Newton's method and a function by Sebastián Martín Ruiz
20 Z=50:dim P(Z):P(1)=2:ER=10^(-5):X=0:XPLUS=25:clr time:'sprnwt.ub
30 for I=2 to Z:X=X+XPLUS
40 for J=1 to 40
50 gosub *F:DG4=!(int(X))-!(int(X)-1):X=X-F/DG4
60 next J
70 P(I)=int(X):print I,P(I):if prm(I)<>P(I) then print "Error":end
80 next I
90 print time:end
100 *F:P=1
110 for II=1 to I-1:gosub *S:P=P*P(II)^S:next II
120 G4=(!(int(X))-!(int(X)-1))*(X-int(X))+!(int(X)-1):F=G4-P
130 return
140 *S:S=0:LL=log(X-1)/log(P(II)):EE=int(LL+ER)
150 for JJ=1 to EE
160 B=(X-1)/(P(II)^JJ):EB=int(B+ER):S=S+EB
170 next JJ

The code in Mathematica (which supports directly the Gamma funnction and its derivative) made by Sebastian, is the following one:

(*NEWTON'S METHOD APPLIED TO THE CALCULATION OF PRIME NUMBERS   *)

ndiez[s_]:=N[s,10]
\$Post=ndiez
ndiez
P={}
{}
er=10.^(-5)
0.00001
B[x_,i_,j_]:=(x-1.)/P[[i]]^j
EB[x_,i_,j_]:=Floor[B[x,i,j]+er]
LL[x_,i_]:=Log[P[[i]],x-1.]
EE[x_,i_]:=Floor[LL[x,i]+er]
S[x_,i_]:=Sum[EB[x,i,j],{j,1,EE[x,i]}]
F[x_,n_]:=Gamma[x]-Product[(P[[i]])^S[x,i],{i,1,n-1}]
xx=0.
0.
Do[{xx=xx+25.,
Do[xx=xx-F[xx,i]/ (Gamma[xx]*PolyGamma[0.,xx])
,{175}],P=Join[P,{xx}],Print[xx," ",Prime[i]]},
{i,1,50}]

***

What are the questions for this creation?

1. Does effectively the Sebastian's function F(x, n) satisfy the convergence conditions in order to use the Newton's method? What is the order of computation of this method?

2. Do you devise simpler functions to produce the same sequence (primes) using the Newton's method as the basic tool?

3. Do you devise simpler functions to produce the same sequence (primes)?

Solution:

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