Primes in arithmetic progressions

In analytic number theory, a fundamental problem is to understand the distribution of the primes number \{2,3,5,\cdots\}. One important result is Dirichelt’s theorem, which  states that for any two positive coprime integers a and N, the are infinitely many primes of the form qN+a, where q is a non-negative integer.

Theorem.  Let a and N be fixed an integer with a and N coprime (thus \gcd(a,N)=1), then there are infinitely many primes p in the arithmetic progression \{qa+N:q\in\mathbf{N}\}.

Remark. If \gcd(a,N)>1, then there is at most one prime p meeting the condition $latex p=a mod N, since such p would be divisible by the \gcd. Thus, the necessity of the gcd condition is obvious.

Group characters

We first explain Dirichlet’s innovation, the use of group characters to isolate in a specified congruence class module N.

Definitoin. Let G be a finite abelian group, the  dual group or group of character \widehat{G} of a abelian group G is
\displaystyle\widehat{G}:=\{\text{group homomorphism}\ \chi:G\to\mathbf{C}^\times\}.
This \widehat{G} is itself an abelian group under the operation on character defined for g\in G by

Definition. Let G be a cyclic group of order n with specified generator g. Then \widehat{G} is isomorphic to the group of n-th roots of unity \mu_n. That is, an n-th root of unity \zeta gives the character \chi such that
In particular, \widehat{G} is a cyclic group of order n.

Proposition.  Let G=A\oplus B be a direct sum of finite abelian groups. Then there is a natural isomorphism of the dual groups
\displaystyle \widehat{A}\oplus\widehat{B}\cong\widehat{G}
by (\chi_1,\chi_2)\mapsto \chi_1\cdot\chi_2, where \chi_1\cdot\chi_2\in \widehat{G} is the character defined by
\displaystyle \chi_1\cdot\chi_2((a,b))=\chi_1(a)\chi_2(b).

Remark.  Combining this proposition and the structure theorem for finite abelian groups, we conclude that \widehat{G}\cong G for a finite abelian group $G$.

Theorem 1. (Dual version of cancellation) For g in a finite ableian group,
\displaystyle \sum_{\chi\in\widehat{G}}\chi(g)=\begin{cases} |G|& {\rm for}\ g=e,\\ 0& {\rm otherwise}. \end{cases}

Proof. If g=e, then the sum counts the characters in \widehat{G}.
One the other hand, given g\neq e in G, by previous proposition let \chi_1 be in \widehat{G} such that \chi_1(g)\neq 0. The map on \widehat{G}
\displaystyle\chi\mapsto \chi_1\cdot\chi
is a bijection of \widehat{G} to itself.

Proof of  Dirichlet’s theorem

Definition.  A  Dirichlet character module N  is a group homomorphism
\displaystyle \chi:(\mathbf{Z}/N\mathbf{Z})^\times\to \mathbf{C}^{\times}
extended by 0 to all of \mathbf{Z}/N\mathbf{Z}, that is by defining \chi(a)=0 if a is not invertible modulo N. The trivial or principal character \chi_0 module N is the character which takes only the value 1 and 0.

Remark. This extension by zero allows us to compose \chi with the reduction-mod-N map \mathbf{Z}\to\mathbf{Z}/N\mathbf{Z} and also consider \chi as a function on \mathbf{Z}. Even when extended by 0 the function \chi is still  multiplicative in the sense that
\displaystyle \chi(mn)=\chi(m)\chi(n).

Theorem. \displaystyle\sum_{a\in\mathbf{Z}/N\mathbf{Z}}\chi(a)=\begin{cases} \varphi(N)& {\rm for}\ \chi=\chi_0,\\ 0& {\rm otherwise}, \end{cases}
where \varphi is the Euler’s totient function

Proof. The proof is easy, by changing variables.

Dirichlet’s  dual trick is to sum over character \chi module N evaluated at fixed a in (\mathbf{Z}/N\mathbf{Z})^\times. From Theorem 1 we see that
\displaystyle\sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N} \chi(a)=\begin{cases} \varphi(N)& \text{for}\ a=1\ \text{mod}\ N,\\ 0& \text{otherwise}. \end{cases}
We also have for b invertible module N,
\displaystyle \sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N} \chi(a)^{-1}\chi(b)=\sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N} \chi(a^{-1}b)=\begin{cases} \varphi(N)& \text{for}\ a=b\ \text{mod}\ N,\\ 0& \text{otherwise}. \end{cases}

Definition. (Dirichlet L-function)  Given a character \chi module N, the corresponding Dirichlet L-function is
\displaystyle L(s,\chi):=\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{\chi(n)}{n^s},\quad \mathrm{Re}(s)>1.
Since we have the multiplicative property \chi(mn)=\chi(m)\chi(n), each L-function has an  Euler product expansion
\displaystyle L(s,\chi)=\prod_{p\ \text{prime}}\frac{1}{1-\chi(p)p^{-s}}.

The next step is to take logarithm of L(s,\chi) and equate it to the logarithm of the Euler product. This must be done with some care since complex logarithms can be insidious.
As seen from the Euler product, the L-function L(s,\chi) does not vanish in the half-plane \mathrm{Re}(s)>1, so the half plane being simple connected, the logarithm \log L(s,\chi) is well defined (for instance, \log L(s,\chi):=\int_{\gamma}\frac{L'(w,\chi)}{L(w,\chi)}\,dw+c).

However, when taking the logarithm of the Euler product, one can not immediately infer that one arrive at the sum of the logarithm (\log (zw) is not necessarily equal to \log z+\log w; they might different by 2\pi i). Summing the principal logarithm of the factor in the Euler product, and using the branch it holds that
 \displaystyle -\log(1-z)=\sum_{m=1}^\infty \frac{z^m}{m}
for |z|<1, we arrive at the following series
\displaystyle G(s)=-\sum_{p}\log(1-\chi(p)p^{-s})=\sum_{p\ \text{prime}}\sum_{m\geq 1}\frac{\chi(p)^m}{mp^{ms}}
which converges for \mathrm{Re}(s)>1, uniformly on compact set, as it is dominated by \sum_{n\ge 1}\frac{1}{n^s}. And since exponential function behaves better that the logarithm, i.e., it it continuous and \exp(z+w)=\exp(z)\exp(w) always holds, this series is a logarithm of L(s,\chi) (but may not be the principal one); that is, one has
\displaystyle \exp(G(s))=L(s,\chi),

We still use \log (s,\chi) to denote this branch of logarithm, then we have
\displaystyle \log L(s,\chi)=\sum_{p\ \text{prime},m\geq 1}\frac{\chi(p)^m}{mp^{ms}}=\sum_{p\ \text{prime}}\frac{\chi(p)}{p^s}+\sum_{p\ \text{prime},m\geq 2}\frac{\chi(p)^m}{mp^{ms}}.
The second sum on the right will turn to be subordinate to the first, so we aim our attention at the first sum where m=1.

To pick out the primes p with p=a mod N, we use the sum over \chi trick to obtain
\displaystyle \sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N}\chi(a)^{-1}\frac{\chi(p)}{p^s}=\begin{cases} \varphi(N)p^{-s}& \text{for}\ p=a\ \text{mod}\ N,\\ 0&\text{otherwise}. \end{cases}
\displaystyle \sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N} \chi(a)^{-1}L(s,\chi)=\sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N}\chi(a)^{-1}\sum_{p\ \text{prime},m\geq 1}\frac{\chi(p)^m}{mp^{ms}}\\ \quad\quad\quad\quad=\sum_{p=a\ \text{mod}\ N}\frac{\varphi(N)}{p^s}+\sum_{\chi\ \text{mod}\ N}\chi(a)^{-1}\sum_{p\ \text{prime},m\geq 2}\frac{\chi(p)^m}{mp^{ms}}




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