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# On the Littlewood Problem Modulo a Prime

Published:2009-02-01
Printed: Feb 2009
• Ben Green
• Sergei Konyagin
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## Abstract

Let $p$ be a prime, and let $f \from \mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ be a function with $\E f = 0$ and $\Vert \widehat{f} \Vert_1 \leq 1$. Then $\min_{x \in \Zp} |f(x)| = O(\log p)^{-1/3 + \epsilon}$. One should think of $f$ as being approximately continuous''; our result is then an approximate intermediate value theorem''. As an immediate consequence we show that if $A \subseteq \Zp$ is a set of cardinality $\lfloor p/2\rfloor$, then $\sum_r |\widehat{1_A}(r)| \gg (\log p)^{1/3 - \epsilon}$. This gives a result on a mod $p$'' analogue of Littlewood's well-known problem concerning the smallest possible $L^1$-norm of the Fourier transform of a set of $n$ integers. Another application is to answer a question of Gowers. If $A \subseteq \Zp$ is a set of size $\lfloor p/2 \rfloor$, then there is some $x \in \Zp$ such that $| |A \cap (A + x)| - p/4 | = o(p).$
 MSC Classifications: 42A99 - None of the above, but in this section 11B99 - None of the above, but in this section

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