In mathematics, Cahen's constant is defined as an infinite series of unit fractions, with alternating signs, derived from Sylvester's sequence:
By considering these fractions in pairs, we can also view Cahen's constant as a series of positive unit fractions formed from the terms in even positions of Sylvester's sequence; this series for Cahen's constant forms its greedy Egyptian expansion:
This constant is named after Eugène Cahen (also known for the Cahen-Mellin integral), who first formulated and investigated its series (Cahen 1891).
Cahen's constant is known to be transcendental (Davison and Shallit 1991). It is notable as being one of a small number of naturally occurring transcendental numbers for which we know the complete continued fraction expansion: if we form the sequence
1, 1, 2, 3, 14, 129, 25298, 420984147, ... (sequence A006279 in OEIS)
defined by the recurrence
then the continued fraction expansion of Cahen's constant is
* Cahen, Eugène (1891). "Note sur un développement des quantités numériques, qui présente quelque analogie avec celui en fractions continues". Nouvelles Annales de Mathématiques 10: 508–514.
* Davison, J. Les; Shallit, Jeffrey O. (1991). "Continued fractions for some alternating series". Monatshefte für Mathematik 111: 119–126. doi:10.1007/BF01332350.
* Weisstein, Eric W. "Cahen's Constant". MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CahensConstant.html.
* "The Cahen constant to 4000 digits". http://pi.lacim.uqam.ca/piDATA/cahen.txt.