On periodicity of p-adic Browkin continued fractions

Abstract

The classical theory of continued fractions has been widely studied for centuries for its important properties of good approximation, and more recently it has been generalized to p-adic numbers where it presents many differences with respect to the real case. In this paper we investigate periodicity for the p-adic continued fractions introduced by Browkin. We give some necessary and sufficient conditions for periodicity in general, although a full characterization of p-adic numbers having purely periodic Browkin continued fraction expansion is still missing. In the second part of the paper, we describe a general procedure to construct square roots of integers having periodic Browkin p-adic continued fraction expansion of prescribed even period length. As a consequence, we prove that, for every n≥1, there exist infinitely many square roots of integers with periodic Browkin expansion of period 2^n, extending a previous result of Bedocchi obtained for n=1

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