Skip to content


  • Research Article
  • Open Access

On the Exponent of Convergence for the Zeros of the Solutions of

Journal of Inequalities and Applications20102010:428936

Received: 1 July 2010

Accepted: 12 September 2010

Published: 15 September 2010


Let and be entire functions of order less than 1 with and transcendental. We prove that every solution of the equation , , being has zeros with infinite exponent of convergence.


  • Positive Constant
  • Entire Function
  • Meromorphic Function
  • Nontrivial Solution
  • Linear Differential Equation

1. Introduction

It is assumed that the reader of this paper is familiar with the basic concepts of Nevanlinna theory [1, 2] such as , and . Suppose that is a meromorphic function, then the order of growth of the function and the exponent of convergence of the zeros of are defined, respectively, as
Let be a measurable subset of . The lower logarithmic density and the upper logarithmic density of are defined, respectively, by
where is the characteristic function of defined as
Now let us recall some of the previous results on the linear differential equation
where is an entire function of finite order, When is polynomial, many authors [36] have studied the properties of the solutions of (1.4). If is a transcendental entire function with , Gundersen [7] proved that every nontrivial solution of (1.4) has infinite order of growth. In [8], Wang and Laine considered the nonhomogeneous equation of type

where are entire functions of order less than one and are complex numbers. In fact, they have proved the following theorem.

Theorem 1.1.

Suppose that are entire functions of order less than one, and suppose that with and . Then every nontrivial solution of (1.5) is of infinite order.

Corollary 1.2.

Suppose that , where is a nonvanishing entire function with and with . Then every nontrivial solution of (1.4) is of infinite order.

2. Results

We observe that all the above results concern the order of growth only. In this paper, we are going to prove the following theorem which concerns the exponent of convergence.

Theorem 2.1.

Let and be entire functions of order less than 1 with and being transcendental. Then every solution of the equation

has zeros with infinite exponent of convergence.

The hypothesis that is transcendental is not redundant since Frei [4] has shown that

has solutions of finite order, for certain constants .

We notice that Theorem 2.1 fails for . For any entire function the function solves (2.1) with

3. Some Lemmas

Throughout this paper we need the following lemmas. In 1965, Hayman [9] proved the following lemma.

Lemma 3.1.

Let the function be meromorphic of finite order in the plane and let . Then

for all outside a set of upper logarithmic density , where the positive constant depends only on and .

In 1962, Edrei and Fuchs [10] proved the following lemma.

Lemma 3.2.

Let be a meromorphic function in the complex plane and let have measure . Then

In 2007, Bergweiler and Langley [11] proved the following lemma.

Lemma 3.3.

Let be a transcendental entire function of order . For large define to be the length of the longest arc of the circle on which , with if the minimum modulus satisfies . Then at least one of the following is true:

(i)there exists a set of positive upper logarithmic density such that for ;

(ii)for each the set has lower logarithmic density at least

We deduce the following.

Lemma 3.4.

Let , let be a positive integer, and let have logarithmic density . Let be a transcendental entire function such that on a path tending to infinity and for all with and . Then has order at least .


Assume that and choose a polynomial of degree at most such that
is transcendental entire. Then we have for all and for all with and . With the notation of Lemma 3.3, we see that for all large , and so we must have case (ii), as well as for . Define by
Since has logarithmic density this gives

4. Proof of Theorem 2.1

Let , and be as in the hypotheses. We can assume that . Suppose that is a solution of (2.1) having zeros with finite exponent of convergence. Then we can write
where and are entire functions with . We can assume that , since if is constant we can replace by and by . Using (2.1) and (4.1), we get

Lemma 4.1.

One has .


Suppose that . Dividing (4.2) by , we get
Hence, provided lies outside a set of finite measure,
and so, using the fact that and have order less than , we obtain
This holds outside a set of finite measure and so for all large , since we may take with so that

Lemma 4.1 is proved.

Let denote large positive constants. Choose with
There exists an -set [2, page 84] such that for all large outside , we have
and using the Poisson-Jensen formula,

Moreover, there exists a set of logarithmic density such that for the circle does not meet the -set .

Lemma 4.2.

The functions and are both transcendental.


Let be small and positive and suppose that or is a polynomial. Let be large with and . Since is small it follows from (4.2) and (4.8) that . Choose with such that the intersection of with the ray given by is bounded. Applying Lemma 3.4 to the function , with a subpath of , gives , but may be chosen arbitrarily small, and this contradicts (4.7).

The next step is to estimate in the right half-plane.

Lemma 4.3.

Let be a large positive integer and let . Then for large with
one has, either


Let be large and satisfy (4.10), and assume that (4.11) does not hold. Then (4.8) implies that
Also, (4.7), and (4.9) give
Here denote positive constants which may depend on but not on . Using (4.8), (4.12) and (4.14) we get, from (4.2),
Now divide (4.2) by . We obtain, using (4.15),

which gives and (4.12). This proves Lemma 4.3.

Lemma 4.4.

Let and be as in Lemma 4.3. Choose such that the ray has bounded intersection with the -set . Let be the union of the ray and the arcs , where is the set chosen following (4.9). Then one of the following holds:

(i)one has (4.11) for all large in ;

(ii)one has (4.12) for all large in .


This follows simply from continuity. For each large in we have (4.11) or (4.12), but we cannot have both because of (4.14). This proves Lemma 4.4.

Lemma 4.5.

Let . Then for large with , one has


Let be as in the hypotheses. Since we only need to prove (4.17) for . Assume that . Then dividing (4.2) by gives

by (4.8), and so (4.17) follows using (4.7). This proves Lemma 4.5.

Lemma 4.6.

If conclusion (i) of Lemma 4.4 holds then , while if conclusion (ii) of Lemma 4.4 holds then .


Suppose that conclusion (i) of Lemma 4.4 holds. Choose such that
and let be small compared to . Assume that in Lemma 4.4 is small compared to , in particular so small that
where is the positive constant from Lemma 3.1. Let
and let be the exceptional set of Lemma 3.1, with . Then for large we have, using (4.20) and Lemmas 3.1, 3.2, and 4.5,
We then have
for large . Now take any large . Since has logarithmic density , while has upper logarithmic density at most , and since is small, there exists with

which proves Lemma 4.6 in this case. The alternative case, in which we have conclusion (ii) in Lemma 4.4, is proved the same way, using in place of .

To finish the proof suppose first that conclusion (ii) of Lemma 4.4 holds. Then Lemma 3.4 implies that has order at least . Since may be chosen arbitrarily small, this contradicts Lemma 4.6. The same contradiction, with replaced by , arises if conclusion (i) of Lemma 4.4 holds, and the proof of the theorem is complete.



The author thanks Professor J. K. Langley for the invaluable discussions on the results of this paper during his visit in summer 2008 and summer 2010 to the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Mathematics, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


  1. Hayman WK: Meromorphic Functions, Oxford Mathematical Monographs. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK; 1964:xiv+191.Google Scholar
  2. Laine I: Nevanlinna Theory and Complex Differential Equations, de Gruyter Studies in Mathematics. Volume 15. W. de Gruyter, Berlin, Germany; 1993:viii+341.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Amemiya I, Ozawa M: Nonexistence of finite order solutions of . Hokkaido Mathematical Journal 1981, 10: 1–17.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Frei M: Über die subnormalen Lösungen der Differentialgleichung (Konst.) . Commentarii Mathematici Helvetici 1961, 36: 1–8.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Langley JK: On complex oscillation and a problem of Ozawa. Kodai Mathematical Journal 1986, 9(3):430–439. 10.2996/kmj/1138037272MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. Ozawa M: On a solution of . Kodai Mathematical Journal 1980, 3(2):295–309. 10.2996/kmj/1138036197MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. Gundersen GG: On the question of whether can admit a solution of finite order. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Section A 1986, 102(1–2):9–17. 10.1017/S0308210500014451MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. Wang J, Laine I: Growth of solutions of second order linear differential equations. Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications 2008, 342(1):39–51.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. Hayman WK: On the characteristic of functions meromorphic in the plane and of their integrals. Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. Third Series 1965, 3(14):93–128.MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  10. Edrei A, Fuchs WHJ: Bounds for the number of deficient values of certain classes of meromorphic functions. Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. Third Series 1962, 12: 315–344. 10.1112/plms/s3-12.1.315MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. Bergweiler W, Langley JK: Zeros of differences of meromorphic functions. Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 2007, 142(1):133–147. 10.1017/S0305004106009777MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar


© Abdullah Alotaibi. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.