Asymptotic $L^4$ norm of polynomials derived from characters

Research paper by Daniel J. Katz

Indexed on: 19 Oct '12Published on: 19 Oct '12Published in: Mathematics - Number Theory


Littlewood investigated polynomials with coefficients in $\{-1,1\}$ (Littlewood polynomials), to see how small their ratio of norms $||f||_4/||f||_2$ on the unit circle can become as $deg(f)\to\infty$. A small limit is equivalent to slow growth in the mean square autocorrelation of the associated binary sequences of coefficients of the polynomials. The autocorrelation problem for arrays and higher dimensional objects has also been studied; it is the natural generalization to multivariable polynomials. Here we find, for each $n > 1$, a family of $n$-variable Littlewood polynomials with lower asymptotic $||f||_4/||f||_2$ than any known hitherto. We discover these through a wide survey, infeasible with previous methods, of polynomials whose coefficients come from finite field characters. This is the first time that the lowest known asymptotic ratio of norms $||f||_4/||f||_2$ for multivariable polynomials $f(z_1,...,z_n)$ is strictly less than what could be obtained by using products $f_1(z_1)... f_n(z_n)$ of the best known univariate polynomials.