This is the fourth “research” thread of the Polymath15 project to upper bound the de Bruijn-Newman constant ${\Lambda}$, continuing https://terrytao.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/polymath-proposal-upper-bounding-the-de-bruijn-newman-constant/. Progress will be summarised at this Polymath wiki page.

We are getting closer to finishing off the following test problem: can one show that ${H_t(x+iy) \neq 0}$ whenever ${t = y = 0.4}$, ${x \geq 0}$? This would morally show that ${\Lambda \leq 0.48}$. A wiki page for this problem has now been created here. We have obtained a number of approximations ${A+B, A'+B', A^{eff}+B^{eff}, A^{toy}+B^{toy}}$ to ${H_t}$ (see wiki page), though numeric evidence indicates that the approximations are all very close to each other. (Many of these approximations come with a correction term ${C}$, but thus far it seems that we may be able to avoid having to use this refinement to the approximations.) The effective approximation ${A^{eff} + B^{eff}}$ also comes with an effective error bound $\displaystyle |H_t - A^{eff} - B^{eff}| \leq E_1 + E_2 + E_3$

for some explicit (but somewhat messy) error terms ${E_1,E_2,E_3}$: see this wiki page for details. The original approximations ${A+B, A'+B'}$ can be considered deprecated at this point in favour of the (slightly more complicated) approximation ${A^{eff}+B^{eff}}$; the approximation ${A^{toy}+B^{toy}}$ is a simplified version of ${A^{eff}+B^{eff}}$ which is not quite as accurate but might be useful for testing purposes.

It is convenient to normalise everything by an explicit non-zero factor ${B^{eff}_0}$. Asymptotically, ${(A^{eff} + B^{eff}) / B^{eff}_0}$ converges to 1; numerically, it appears that its magnitude (and also its real part) stays roughly between 0.4 and 3 in the range ${10^5 \leq x \leq 10^6}$, and we seem to be able to keep it (or at least the toy counterpart ${(A^{toy} + B^{toy}) / B^{toy}_0}$) away from zero starting from about ${x \geq 4 \times 10^6}$ (here it seems that there is a useful trick of multiplying by Euler-type factors like ${1 - \frac{1}{2^{1-s}}}$ to cancel off some of the oscillation). Also, the bounds on the error ${(H_t - A^{eff} - B^{eff}) / B^{eff}_0}$ seem to be of size about 0.1 or better in these ranges also. So we seem to be on track to be able to rigorously eliminate zeroes starting from about ${x \geq 10^5}$ or so. We have not discussed too much what to do with the small values of ${x}$; at some point our effective error bounds will become unusable, and we may have to find some more faster ways to compute ${H_t}$.

In addition to this main direction of inquiry, there have been additional discussions on the dynamics of zeroes, and some numerical investigations of the behaviour Lehmer pairs under heat flow. Contributors are welcome to summarise any findings from these discussions from previous threads (or on any other related topic, e.g. improvements in the code) in the comments below.