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Integer sum sets containing long arithmetic progressions. (English) Zbl 0768.11005

For any subset \(\mathcal A\) of \(\mathbb{N}\) let \(k{\mathcal A}\) denote the set of integers \(n = a_ 1 + \dots + a_ k\), with \(a_ i \in {\mathcal A}\), and let \({\mathcal A}(N) = {\mathcal A} \cap [1,N]\). It is conjectured that if the density \(\#{\mathcal A}(N)/N\) is not too small, then \({\mathcal A}(N)\) will contain a long arithmetic progression. Here it is shown that if \(\#{\mathcal A}(N)/N \geq (\log N)^{-\alpha}\), where \(0 < \alpha < {1\over 3}\), and \(N > N(\alpha)\), then \(3{\mathcal A}(N)\) contains an arithmetic progression of length \(\text{exp}(c(\log N)^{1-3\alpha})\). A corresponding result for \(2{\mathcal A}(N)\) has been given by J. Bourgain [A tribute to P. Erdős, 105-109 (1990; Zbl 0715.11006)].
The paper goes on to show that, if a certain ‘local’ condition (that \(\mathcal A\) covers certain congruence classes) is satisfied, then \(A\) is an asymptotic basis of order 4. The proofs are an elegant combination of combinatorial arguments with the use of exponential sums. The paper concludes with an example showing that the first result cannot be too far from the truth.

MSC:

11B13 Additive bases, including sumsets
11B25 Arithmetic progressions

Citations:

Zbl 0715.11006
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