Generalized Ramanujan Primes
Abstract
In 1845, Bertrand conjectured that for all integers $x\ge2$, there exists at least one prime in $(x/2, x]$. This was proved by Chebyshev in 1860, and then generalized by Ramanujan in 1919. He showed that for any $n\ge1$, there is a (smallest) prime $R_n$ such that $\pi(x) \pi(x/2) \ge n$ for all $x \ge R_n$. In 2009 Sondow called $R_n$ the $n$th Ramanujan prime and proved the asymptotic behavior $R_n \sim p_{2n}$ (where $p_m$ is the $m$th prime). In the present paper, we generalize the interval of interest by introducing a parameter $c \in (0,1)$ and defining the $n$th $c$Ramanujan prime as the smallest integer $R_{c,n}$ such that for all $x\ge R_{c,n}$, there are at least $n$ primes in $(cx,x]$. Using consequences of strengthened versions of the Prime Number Theorem, we prove that $R_{c,n}$ exists for all $n$ and all $c$, that $R_{c,n} \sim p_{\frac{n}{1c}}$ as $n\to\infty$, and that the fraction of primes which are $c$Ramanujan converges to $1c$. We then study finer questions related to their distribution among the primes, and see that the $c$Ramanujan primes display striking behavior, deviating significantly from a probabilistic model based on biased coin flipping; this was first observed by Sondow, Nicholson, and Noe in the case $c = 1/2$. This model is related to the Cramer model, which correctly predicts many properties of primes on large scales, but has been shown to fail in some instances on smaller scales.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 August 2011
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.1108.0475
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1108.0475
 Bibcode:
 2011arXiv1108.0475A
 Keywords:

 Mathematics  Number Theory;
 11A41
 EPrint:
 13 pages, 2 tables, to appear in the CANT 2011 Conference Proceedings. This is version 2.0. Changes: fixed typos, added references to OEIS sequences, and cited Shevelev's preprint