Agnes Scott College

Sheila Scott Macintyre

An Upper Bound for the Whittaker Constant W
Journal of the London Mathematical Society, Vol. 22 (1947), 305-311

Received 2 September, 1947; read 16 October, 1947.


Let f(z) be an integral function whose maximum modulus satisfies

log M(r)
≤ 1,

and such that f(z) and all its derivatives have each at least one zero on or within the circle |z| = ρ. The Whittaker constant W is the lower bound of these numbers ρ for which at least one such f(z) exists not identically zero. Whittaker and Boas use equivalent definitions. Levinson and Boas proved that

0.7199 < W < 0.7399,

while Pondiczery conjectured that W = 2e–1 = 0.7357.... In this note I show that W < 0.7378, thus reducing the length of the interval in which W is known to lie by about 10 per cent.

Full article available online at the Journal of the London Mathematical Society (subscription required).