Polynomials with coefficients from a finite set Academic Article uri icon


  • In 1945 Duffin and Schaeffer proved that a power series that is bounded in a sector and has coefficients from a finite subset of is already a rational function. Their proof is relatively indirect. It is one purpose of this paper to give a shorter direct proof of this beautiful and surprising theorem. This will allow us to give an easy proof of a recent result of two of the authors stating that a sequence of polynomials with coefficients from a finite subset of C cannot tend to zero uniformly on an arc of the unit circle. Another main result of this paper gives explicit estimates for the number and location of zeros of polynomials with bounded coefficients. Let n be so large that n := 33 log n/n satisfies n 1. We show that any polynomial in Kn := {k=0n akzk : |a0| = |an| = 1 and |ak| 1 has at least 8 n log n zeros in any disk with center on the unit circle and radius n. Copyright 2008 American Mathematical Society.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 5.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Borwein, P., Erdelyi, T., & Littmann, F.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Borwein, Peter||Erdelyi, Tamas||Littmann, Friedrich

publication date

  • May 2008