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Historical Information about the Gauss elliptic curve

This elliptic curve has smallest conductor amongst elliptic curves over $\Q$ of rank 3.

In 1985, Buhler, Gross and Zagier used the celebrated Gross-Zagier Theorem on heights of Heegner points (see Gross, Benedict H.; Zagier, Don B. (1986), "Heegner points and derivatives of L-series", Inventiones Mathematicae 84 (2): 225–320, doi:10.1007/BF01388809) to prove that the L-function of this curve has a zero of order 3 at its critical point $s=1$, thus establishing the first part of the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture for this curve (see Math. Comp. 44 (1985), 473-481). This was the first time that BSD had been established for any elliptic curve of rank $3$. To this day, it is not possible, even in principle, to establish BSD for any curve of rank $4$ or greater since there is no known method for rigourously establishing the value of the analytic rank when it is greater than $3$.

Via Goldfeld's method, which required the use of an L-function of analytic rank at least $3$, this elliptic curve also found an application in the context of obtaining explicit lower bounds for the class numbers of imaginary quadratic fields. This solved Gauss's Class Number Problem first posed by Gauss in 1801 is his book Disquisitiones Arithmeticae (Section V, Articles 303 and 304).

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  • Last edited by John Jones on 2018-06-18 18:36:04.644000