# sum-product theorem

Suppose $\mathbb{F}$ is a finite field. Then given a subset $A$ of $\mathbb{F}$ we define the sum of $A$ to be the set

 $A+A=\{a+b:a,b\in A\}$

and the product to be the set

 $A\cdot A=\{a\cdot b:a,b\in A\}.$

We concern ourselves with estimating the size of $A+A$ and $A\cdot A$ relative to the size of $A$, and ultimately also to the size of $\mathbb{F}$.

If $A$ is empty then $A+A$ is empty as is $A\cdot A$ and so $|A|=|A+A|=|A\cdot A|$. Now suppose $A$ is non-empty then let $a\in A$. Then

 $a+A=\{a+b:b\in A\}\subset A+A$

so $|A|\leq|A+A|$. If $A=\{0\}$ then $A\cdot A=A$ so finally assume $a\in A$, $a\neq 0$. Then we have

 $a\cdot A=\{a\cdot b:b\in A\}\subset A\cdot A$

so in any case it always follows that

 $|A|\leq|A+A|,|A\cdot A|.$ (1)

Now if $\mathbb{F}$ has a proper subfield $\mathbb{F}_{0}$ โ for instance $\mathbb{F}=GF(p^{2})$ and $\mathbb{F}_{0}=GF(P)$ โ then setting $A=\mathbb{F}_{0}$ makes $A=A+A=A\cdot A$ and so in this situation the bound in (1) is tight, that is, $|A|=|A+A|=|A\cdot A|$. So we insist now that $\mathbb{F}$ is a prime field, so it has no proper subfields.

We would like to understand what size $A$ must have to ensure that either $A+A$ or $A\cdot A$ is larger than $A$. (Note this is not the same as asking if $A\neq A+A$ or $A\cdot A$ as we are concerned only with growth in size not the change in the elements of the set.) Clearly $A=\{0\}$ fails, as does $A=\mathbb{F}$ and with some intuition as guidance it is safe to presume that $A$ must be large enough to have enough elements to produce many elements as a sum or product but also small enough that these these new elements outgrow the size of $A$. This is the content of the following important result.

###### Theorem 1 (Sum-Product estimate:Bourgain-Katz-Tao (2003)).

Let $\mathbb{F}=\mathbb{Z}_{p}$ be the field of prime order $p$. Let $A$ be any subset of $\mathbb{F}$ such that

 $|\mathbb{F}|^{\delta}<|A|<|\mathbb{F}|^{1-\delta}$

for some $\delta>0$. Then

 $\max\{|A+A|,|A\cdot A|\}\geq C|A|^{1+\varepsilon}$

for some $\varepsilon>0$ which depends on $\delta$ and some constant $C$ which also depends on $\delta$.

The proof is non-trivial. Jean Bourgain was awarded the Fieldsโ medal in 1994, Terence Tao in 2006 with the prize in part due to his various contributions in additive number theory.

http://www.arxiv.org/abs/math/0301343 Bourgain, Katz, and Tao, A Sum-Product estimate in finite fields, and applications, (preprint) arXiv:math/CO/0301343 v2, 2003.

Title sum-product theorem SumproductTheorem 2013-03-22 16:54:48 2013-03-22 16:54:48 Algeboy (12884) Algeboy (12884) 8 Algeboy (12884) Theorem msc 11T99 msc 05B25 Sum-product estimate