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Continued fractions of certain Mahler functions. (English) Zbl 1432.11089
Let \(P(x)=1+u_1x+\cdots+u_{d-1}x^{d-1}\in{\mathbb{F}}[x]\) be a polynomial of degree \(<d\) with coefficients in a field \({\mathbb{F}}\), let \(f\in{\mathbb{F}}[[x^{-1}]]\) be the Laurent series \[ f(x)=\prod_{t=0}^\infty P(x^{-d^t}) \] and let \(g(x)=x^{-1}f(x)\). Given a convergent of the continued fraction of \(g(x)\), the other produces an infinite chain of other convergents. The author finds relations between the partial quotients which can provide recurrence formulae for them. Assuming \(g(x)\) is badly approximable, he produces explicit formulae for the continued fraction of \(g(x)\) in terms of the coefficients \((u_1,\dots,u_{d-1})\) of \(P\) for \(d=2\) and \(d=3\). Assuming \({\mathbb{F}}={\mathbb{Q}}\), if \(b\ge 2\) is an integer such that \(g(b)\not=0\), he deduces that the irrationality exponent of the real number \(g(b)\) is \(2\) if and only if \(g(x)\) is badly approximable. When \(g(x)\) is not badly approximable, he gives an explicit lower bound \(>2\) for the irrationality exponent of \(g(b)\). The results are complete for \(d=2\), while for \(d=3\) the author is able to cover many but not all values of \((u_1,u_2)\in{\mathbb{Q}}^2\). If \(d=3\) and \((u_1,u_2)\) is either \((u,u^2)\), or \((\pm 2,1)\), or \((s^3,-s^2(s^2+1))\) for some \(s\in {\mathbb{Z}}\), then \(g(x)\) is not badly approximable; the author conjectures that for the other values of \((u_1,u_2)\), \(g(x)\) is badly approximable.

MSC:
11J82 Measures of irrationality and of transcendence
11B85 Automata sequences
11J04 Homogeneous approximation to one number
11J70 Continued fractions and generalizations
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