Arithmetic structures in smooth subsets of F_p

Croot, Ernie
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Fix integers a_1,...,a_d satisfying a_1 + ... + a_d = 0. Suppose that f : Z_N -> [0,1], where N is prime. We show that if f is ``smooth enough'' then we can bound from below the sum of f(x_1)...f(x_d) over all solutions (x_1,...,x_d) in Z_N to a_1 x_1 + ... + a_d x_d == 0 (mod N). Note that d = 3 and a_1 = a_2 = 1 and a_3 = -2 is the case where x_1,x_2,x_3 are in arithmetic progression. By ``smooth enough'' we mean that the sum of squares of the lower order Fourier coefficients of f is ``small'', a property shared by many naturally-occurring functions, among them certain ones supported on sumsets and on certain types of pseudoprimes. The paper can be thought of as a generalization of another result of the author, which dealt with a F_p^n analogue of the problem. It appears that the method in that paper, and to a more limited extent the present paper, uses ideas similar to those of B. Green's ``arithmetic regularity lemma'', as we explain in the paper.
Comment: This is a very preliminary draft. Future drafts will have cleaner proofs and tighter notation
Mathematics - Number Theory, Mathematics - Combinatorics, 11P99