On Gauss sums and the evaluation of Stechkin's constant

William D. Banks, Igor E. Shparlinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the Gauss sums which are defined by [equation presented here], Stechkin (1975) conjectured that the quantity [equation presented here] is finite. Shparlinski (1991) proved that A is finite, but in the absence of effective bounds on the sums Sn(a, q) the precise determination of A has remained intractable for many years. Using recent work of Cochrane and Pinner (2011) on Gauss sums with prime moduli, in this paper we show that with the constant given by 

A = |S6(â,qˆ)|/qˆ1   1/6 =4.709236...,

where â := 4787 and qˆ := 4606056 = 23·32·7·13·19·37, one has the sharp inequality 

|Sn(a,q)| ≤ Aq1   1/n

for all n, q ≥ 2 and all a ε Z with gcd(a, q) = 1. One interesting aspect of our method is that we apply effective lower bounds for the center density in the sphere packing problem due to Cohn and Elkies (2003) to derive new effective bounds on the sums Sn(a, q) in order to make the task computationally feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2569-2581
Number of pages13
JournalMathematics of Computation
Issue number301
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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