# Evaluation of a summation involving hypergeometric functions

I need help in evaluating the following tricky summation mainly involving a product of two Kummer's confluent hypergeometric function, $${}_1 F_1(a;b;z)$$. Is there some identity of $${}_1 F_1(a;b;z)$$ that I could use to simplify the product: $${}_1 F_1(1+k;1;b)\times{}_1 F_1(1+n-k;1+n-n';c)$$ in the summation?

$$f(n,n';a,b,c)=\sum_{k=0}^{n} \frac{a^{2 k} \, _1F_1(1+k;1;b) \, _1F_1\left(1+n-k;1+n-n';c\right)}{k! \left(n'-k\right)!}$$

where, $$a$$, $$b$$, and $$c$$ are constants.

Here is the Mathematica code.

f[n_, n1_, a_, b_, c_] := Sum[(a^(2 k) Hypergeometric1F1[1 + k, 1, b] Hypergeometric1F1[1 - k + n, 1 + n - n1, c])/(k! (-k + n1)!), {k, 0, n}]


Note that in the code, the variable, $$n1=n'$$.

I'm looking to get a closed-form expression for this summation if it converges. I came across this summation while working on a bigger physics research problem.

• Not sure if this is a MMA question though. Have you tried asking in the math forum instead? Feb 1, 2022 at 17:34
• Sometimes plugging in integer values for $k$ (and $n$ and $n'$) will show a pattern as opposed to going for a direct symbolic result. For example, when n1=1, the whole sum simplifies to Exp[b + c] (n (1 + a^2 (1 + b)) + c)/n. So maybe asking how Mathematica could search for patterns to simplify your equation (or at least parts of it) might get you more help in this forum.
– JimB
Feb 1, 2022 at 17:39
• @MarcoB Yes, I have also asked the question in the math forum. Feb 1, 2022 at 22:12
• But if you plug in 1, 2, 3,..., 10 for n while leaving n1=1, you'll see the pattern and the result I gave in my initial comment. (If there's a limited range of values for $n$ and $n'$ that you're interested in, that would be helpful to know. Should I assume you always want $n \geq n'$ ?)
– JimB
Feb 1, 2022 at 22:30
• You might want to consider a restriction as f[2,3,a,b,c] results in Indeterminate with the warning Infinity::indet: Indeterminate expression ComplexInfinity+ComplexInfinity+ComplexInfinity encountered.
– JimB
Feb 2, 2022 at 0:13

More of an extended comment.

This is following the logic of finding patterns, which I love, and is also suggested by @JimB. Below I give my approach to this kind of problems. By the way, from the two concrete cases I examined it seems that there should be a general formula in terms of n and n1.

The logic is that we want to re-sum in two variables. We break it down to baby steps as follows.

We assume for concreteness $$n \geq n^{\prime}$$.

We define the function

f[n_, n1_, a_, b_, c_] :=
Sum[(a^(2 k) Hypergeometric1F1[1 + k, 1, b] Hypergeometric1F1[
1 - k + n, 1 + n - n1, c])/(k! (-k + n1)!), {k, 0, n}]


We generate data from the above like so:

Table[f[n, 1, a, b, c], {n, 1, 10}]


Then, we find a pattern in the increasing value of n by using

FindSequenceFunction[{1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5}, n]


We write down our conjectured formula

guess1[n_, a_, b_, c_] :=
a^2 (1 + b) Exp[b + c] + (1 + c/n) Exp[b + c]


and for our peace of minds we verify our analytic guess against higher values of n compared to the ones we used in order to guess our answer.

Table[f[n, 1, a, b, c] - guess1[n, a, b, c], {n, 1, 21}]


The result is

{0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0}

as it should.

I am providing another example for clarity. The n1=2 case. We have our data

Table[f[n, 2, a, b, c], {n, 2, 10}]


and we make a guess -careful with the shifts in the FindSequenceFunction command

FindSequenceFunction[{1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5}, n] /. n -> n - 1
FindSequenceFunction[{2, 1, 2/3, 1/2, 2/5, 1/3, 2/7, 1/4, 2/9}, n] /.
n -> n - 1
FindSequenceFunction[{1/2, 1/6, 1/12, 1/20, 1/30, 1/42, 1/56, 1/72,
1/90}, n] /. n -> n - 1


We write our conjectured formula

guess2[n_, a_, b_, c_] :=
1/2 a^4 (1 + 2 b + b^2/2) Exp[b + c] +
a^2 (1 + b) (1 + c/(n - 1)) Exp[b + c] + (1/
2) (1 + (2 c)/(n - 1) + c^2/(n (n - 1))) Exp[b + c]


and as before we test our result non-trivially by running

Table[f[n, 2, a, b, c] - guess2[n, a, b, c], {n, 2, 21}]


From the above we get

{0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0}

as we should.

Once, we have enough analytic formulae in n we can try to spot the general pattern; i.e guess a formula in terms of n1 that produces all the previous analytic results. Once we have that, we verify against a couple of non-trivial results -values for n and n1- that have not been used in order to do our guesswork.

Now we are done and happy.

• Very good. Because you've noticed that all combinations of $n>=n'$ have the multiplicative term Exp[b + c], the following would seem to give a strong hint as to the overall pattern: Do[Print[TableForm[Table[{n, n1, f[n, n1, a, b, c] /. Exp[b + c] -> 1}, {n, n1, 9 + n1}], TableHeadings -> {None, {"n", "n1", "Result"}}]], {n1, 0, 5}].
– JimB
Feb 2, 2022 at 17:17
• Precisely. That's how I would go about it, it's just a bit arduous for me to finish off this computation fully right now. But it's pretty obvious that there is indeed a pattern and one should be able to get a closed formula in terms of n and n1.
– user49048
Feb 2, 2022 at 17:50
• Same here. Just not enough time in the day. Also, the definition of $g(x,x')$ is essential as it must drop to zero very quickly. So in the end it's probably putting a limit on the maximum values of $n$ and $n'$ that will be necessary. And I learned something new from your answer: I wrongly assumed that 'FindSequenceFunction only worked on integers. Thanks!
– JimB
Feb 2, 2022 at 18:41
• @DiSp0sablE_H3r0 By analyzing the patterns, I was finally able to obtain the closed-form expression in terms of $n$ and $n1$ that I was looking for. Here is the expression: $F(n, n1, a, b, c)=\sum_{p=0}^{n1}\sum_{q=0}^{n1}\sum_{r=0}^{n1} \frac{e^{b+c} b^q c^r (n-\text{n1})! a^{2 (\text{n1}-p)}}{(q!)^2 r! (p-r)! (n-\text{n1}+r)! (\text{n1}-p-q)!}$ Here's the code: Sum[(a^(2 (n1 - p)) b^q c^r E^(b + c) (n - n1)!)/((n1 - p - q)! (q!)^2 (p - r)! r! (n - n1 + r)!), {p, 0, n1}, {q, 0, n1}, {r, 0, n1}]` Feb 11, 2022 at 12:08
• Perfect!!! Great job. Good to know that eventually the method worked
– user49048
Feb 11, 2022 at 14:58