A Gaussian hypergeometric series evaluation and apéry number congruences

Scott Ahlgren, Ken Ono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


If p is prime, then let φp denote the Legendre symbol modulo p and let εp be the trivial character modulo p. As usual, let n+1Fn(x)p := n+1Fn(φp, φp, ..., φp εp, ..., εp | x )p be the Gaussian hypergeometric series over double-struck Fp. For n > 2 the non-trivial values of n+1Fn(x)p have been difficult to obtain. Here we take the first step by obtaining a simple formula for 4F3(1)p. As a corollary we obtain a result describing the distribution of traces of Frobenius for certain families of elliptic curves. We also find that 4F3(1)p satisfies surprising congruences modulo 32 and 11. We then establish a mod p2 "supercongruence" between Apéry numbers and the coefficients of a certain eta-product; this relationship was conjectured by Beukers in 1987. Finally, we obtain many new mod p congruences for generalized Apéry numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-212
Number of pages26
JournalJournal fur die Reine und Angewandte Mathematik
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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