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# Stunningly beautiful identity proved

March 11 2013 by
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This post in reply to the Comment, Stunningly beautiful identity

I present this proof-in-Maple not just for its own sake, but because I think that it illustrates effective techniques for working with complicated algebraic numbers.

Proof of a complicated trigonometric / algebraic number identity

It is well known that for any integer p and positive integer q, is an algebraic number. When q has prime factors larger than 3, an explicit presentation of that algebraic number can be quite complicated, and often involves imaginary numbers. Here we prove a remarkable purely real-number identity that holds between a group of these algebraic numbers when q = 19.

 > restart;

(The reason that I use lowercase pi in the following expression is explained below.)

 > LHS:=    surd(cos(3*pi/19) + cos(5*pi/19) + cos(17*pi/19), 3) +    surd(cos(pi/19) + cos(7*pi/19) + cos(11*pi/19), 3) +    surd(cos(9*pi/19) + cos(13*pi/19) + cos(15*pi/19), 3) ; RHS:= (     1/2 -     3*7^(1/3) +     (3/2)*(-25+3*7^(2/3)+18*7^(1/3))^(1/3) +     (3/2)*(-44+18*7^(1/3)+3*7^(2/3))^(1/3) )^(1/3);

The identity is

 > LHS = RHS:

This identity is quite remarkable for at least four reasons:

 1 All the roots are cube roots (even though the cosines are the roots of a degree-9 polynomial, as we shall see).
 2 All 9 roots of that polynomial are used.
 3 All the numbers involved are real.
 4 The only integer base of the cube roots is the small integer 7.

To prove the identity, we construct an exact integer polynomial whose roots give us the values of cosine in the identity. (The polynomial's roots are actually and they must be manipulated via the identity to get the values of that we want.)

 > algsubs(cos(x)^2= _Z, expand(cos(19*x))/cos(x));

 > alias(P19= %):

Verify irreducibility:

 > factor(P19);

Establish a correspondence between the roots of this polynomial and values of , k odd.  Note the use of lowercase pi below to prevent simplifications that would otherwise be done by Maple's use of  the identity . For example, would become .

 > RootMap:= n-> cos((2*n-1)*pi/19) = 2*RootOf(P19, index= 10-n) - 1:

For example:

 > RootMap(5);

Generate the substitutions that will be used on the left-hand side (LHS) of the identity.

 > Subs:= [seq](RootMap(k), k= 1..9):

Verify numerically that I've got the indexing in the right order.

 > (fnormal@evalf) ~ (eval((rhs-lhs) ~ (Subs), pi= Pi));

Prove LHS - RHS = 0.

 > CodeTools:-Usage(evala(Normal(subs(Subs, LHS) - RHS)));

memory used=4.01GiB, alloc change=41.86MiB, cpu time=45.70s, real time=43.94s

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