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L-functions arise from many different sources. Already in degree 2 we have examples of L-functions associated with holomorphic cusp forms, with Maass forms, with elliptic curves, with characters of number fields (Hecke characters), and with 2-dimensional representations of the Galois group of a number field (Artin L-functions).

Sometimes an L-function may arise from more than one source. For example, the L-functions associated with elliptic curves are also associated with weight 2 cusp forms. A goal of the Langlands program ostensibly is to prove that any degree $d$ L-function is associated with an automorphic form on $\mathrm{GL}(d)$. Because of this representation theoretic genesis, one can associate an L-function not only to an automorphic representation but also to symmetric powers, or exterior powers of that representation, or to the tensor product of two representations (the Rankin-Selberg product of two L-functions).

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  • Review status: reviewed
  • Last edited by Stephan Ehlen on 2019-04-30 10:00:55
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