The Liouville lambda function, denoted by λ(n) and named after Joseph Liouville, is an important arithmetic function. Its value is +1 if n is the product of an even number of prime numbers, and −1 if it is the product of an odd number of primes.

Explicitly, the fundamental theorem of arithmetic states that any positive integer n can be represented uniquely as a product of powers of primes:   ${\displaystyle n=p_{1}^{a_{1))\cdots p_{k}^{a_{k))}$   where p1 < p2 < ... < pk are primes and the aj are positive integers. (1 is given by the empty product.) The prime omega functions count the number of primes, with (Ω) or without (ω) multiplicity:

ω(n) = k,
Ω(n) = a1 + a2 + ... + ak.

λ(n) is defined by the formula

${\displaystyle \lambda (n)=(-1)^{\Omega (n)}.}$ (sequence A008836 in the OEIS).

λ is completely multiplicative since Ω(n) is completely additive, i.e.: Ω(ab) = Ω(a) + Ω(b). Since 1 has no prime factors, Ω(1) = 0 so λ(1) = 1.

It is related to the Möbius function μ(n). Write n as n = a2b where b is squarefree, i.e., ω(b) = Ω(b). Then

${\displaystyle \lambda (n)=\mu (b).}$

The sum of the Liouville function over the divisors of n is the characteristic function of the squares:

${\displaystyle \sum _{d|n}\lambda (d)={\begin{cases}1&{\text{if ))n{\text{ is a perfect square,))\\0&{\text{otherwise.))\end{cases))}$

Möbius inversion of this formula yields

${\displaystyle \lambda (n)=\sum _{d^{2}|n}\mu \left({\frac {n}{d^{2))}\right).}$

The Dirichlet inverse of Liouville function is the absolute value of the Möbius function, ${\displaystyle \lambda ^{-1}(n)=|\mu (n)|=\mu ^{2}(n),}$ the characteristic function of the squarefree integers. We also have that ${\displaystyle \lambda (n)\mu (n)=\mu ^{2}(n)}$.

## Series

The Dirichlet series for the Liouville function is related to the Riemann zeta function by

${\displaystyle {\frac {\zeta (2s)}{\zeta (s)))=\sum _{n=1}^{\infty }{\frac {\lambda (n)}{n^{s))}.}$

Also:

${\displaystyle \sum \limits _{n=1}^{\infty }{\frac {\lambda (n)\ln n}{n))=-\zeta (2)=-{\frac {\pi ^{2)){6)).}$

The Lambert series for the Liouville function is

${\displaystyle \sum _{n=1}^{\infty }{\frac {\lambda (n)q^{n)){1-q^{n))}=\sum _{n=1}^{\infty }q^{n^{2))={\frac {1}{2))\left(\vartheta _{3}(q)-1\right),}$

where ${\displaystyle \vartheta _{3}(q)}$ is the Jacobi theta function.

## Conjectures on weighted summatory functions

The Pólya problem is a question raised made by George Pólya in 1919. Defining

${\displaystyle L(n)=\sum _{k=1}^{n}\lambda (k)}$ (sequence A002819 in the OEIS),

the problem asks whether ${\displaystyle L(n)\leq 0}$ for n > 1. The answer turns out to be no. The smallest counter-example is n = 906150257, found by Minoru Tanaka in 1980. It has since been shown that L(n) > 0.0618672n for infinitely many positive integers n,[1] while it can also be shown via the same methods that L(n) < -1.3892783n for infinitely many positive integers n.[2]

For any ${\displaystyle \varepsilon >0}$, assuming the Riemann hypothesis, we have that the summatory function ${\displaystyle L(x)\equiv L_{0}(x)}$ is bounded by

${\displaystyle L(x)=O\left({\sqrt {x))\exp \left(C\cdot \log ^{1/2}(x)\left(\log \log x\right)^{5/2+\varepsilon }\right)\right),}$

where the ${\displaystyle C>0}$ is some absolute limiting constant.[2]

Define the related sum

${\displaystyle T(n)=\sum _{k=1}^{n}{\frac {\lambda (k)}{k)).}$

It was open for some time whether T(n) ≥ 0 for sufficiently big nn0 (this conjecture is occasionally–though incorrectly–attributed to Pál Turán). This was then disproved by Haselgrove (1958), who showed that T(n) takes negative values infinitely often. A confirmation of this positivity conjecture would have led to a proof of the Riemann hypothesis, as was shown by Pál Turán.

### Generalizations

More generally, we can consider the weighted summatory functions over the Liouville function defined for any ${\displaystyle \alpha \in \mathbb {R} }$ as follows for positive integers x where (as above) we have the special cases ${\displaystyle L(x):=L_{0}(x)}$ and ${\displaystyle T(x)=L_{1}(x)}$ [2]

${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }(x):=\sum _{n\leq x}{\frac {\lambda (n)}{n^{\alpha ))}.}$

These ${\displaystyle \alpha ^{-1))$-weighted summatory functions are related to the Mertens function, or weighted summatory functions of the Moebius function. In fact, we have that the so-termed non-weighted, or ordinary function ${\displaystyle L(x)}$ precisely corresponds to the sum

${\displaystyle L(x)=\sum _{d^{2}\leq x}M\left({\frac {x}{d^{2))}\right)=\sum _{d^{2}\leq x}\sum _{n\leq {\frac {x}{d^{2))))\mu (n).}$

Moreover, these functions satisfy similar bounding asymptotic relations.[2] For example, whenever ${\displaystyle 0\leq \alpha \leq {\frac {1}{2))}$, we see that there exists an absolute constant ${\displaystyle C_{\alpha }>0}$ such that

${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }(x)=O\left(x^{1-\alpha }\exp \left(-C_{\alpha }{\frac {(\log x)^{3/5)){(\log \log x)^{1/5))}\right)\right).}$

By an application of Perron's formula, or equivalently by a key (inverse) Mellin transform, we have that

${\displaystyle {\frac {\zeta (2\alpha +2s)}{\zeta (\alpha +s)))=s\cdot \int _{1}^{\infty }{\frac {L_{\alpha }(x)}{x^{s+1))}dx,}$

which then can be inverted via the inverse transform to show that for ${\displaystyle x>1}$, ${\displaystyle T\geq 1}$ and ${\displaystyle 0\leq \alpha <{\frac {1}{2))}$

${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }(x)={\frac {1}{2\pi \imath ))\int _{\sigma _{0}-\imath T}^{\sigma _{0}+\imath T}{\frac {\zeta (2\alpha +2s)}{\zeta (\alpha +s)))\cdot {\frac {x^{s)){s))ds+E_{\alpha }(x)+R_{\alpha }(x,T),}$

where we can take ${\displaystyle \sigma _{0}:=1-\alpha +1/\log(x)}$, and with the remainder terms defined such that ${\displaystyle E_{\alpha }(x)=O(x^{-\alpha })}$ and ${\displaystyle R_{\alpha }(x,T)\rightarrow 0}$ as ${\displaystyle T\rightarrow \infty }$.

In particular, if we assume that the Riemann hypothesis (RH) is true and that all of the non-trivial zeros, denoted by ${\displaystyle \rho ={\frac {1}{2))+\imath \gamma }$, of the Riemann zeta function are simple, then for any ${\displaystyle 0\leq \alpha <{\frac {1}{2))}$ and ${\displaystyle x\geq 1}$ there exists an infinite sequence of ${\displaystyle \{T_{v}\}_{v\geq 1))$ which satisfies that ${\displaystyle v\leq T_{v}\leq v+1}$ for all v such that

${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }(x)={\frac {x^{1/2-\alpha )){(1-2\alpha )\zeta (1/2)))+\sum _{|\gamma |

where for any increasingly small ${\displaystyle 0<\varepsilon <{\frac {1}{2))-\alpha }$ we define

${\displaystyle I_{\alpha }(x):={\frac {1}{2\pi \imath \cdot x^{\alpha ))}\int _{\varepsilon +\alpha -\imath \infty }^{\varepsilon +\alpha +\imath \infty }{\frac {\zeta (2s)}{\zeta (s)))\cdot {\frac {x^{s)){(s-\alpha )))ds,}$

and where the remainder term

${\displaystyle R_{\alpha }(x,T)\ll x^{-\alpha }+{\frac {x^{1-\alpha }\log(x)}{T))+{\frac {x^{1-\alpha )){T^{1-\varepsilon }\log(x))),}$

which of course tends to 0 as ${\displaystyle T\rightarrow \infty }$. These exact analytic formula expansions again share similar properties to those corresponding to the weighted Mertens function cases. Additionally, since ${\displaystyle \zeta (1/2)<0}$ we have another similarity in the form of ${\displaystyle L_{\alpha }(x)}$ to ${\displaystyle M(x)}$ in so much as the dominant leading term in the previous formulas predicts a negative bias in the values of these functions over the positive natural numbers x.

## References

1. ^ Borwein, P.; Ferguson, R.; Mossinghoff, M. J. (2008). "Sign Changes in Sums of the Liouville Function". Mathematics of Computation. 77 (263): 1681–1694. doi:10.1090/S0025-5718-08-02036-X.
2. ^ a b c d Humphries, Peter (2013). "The distribution of weighted sums of the Liouville function and Pólyaʼs conjecture". Journal of Number Theory. 133 (2): 545–582. arXiv:1108.1524. doi:10.1016/j.jnt.2012.08.011.