[page 637, §1]
[637.1.1] A special function of growing importance is the generalized Mittag-Leffler function defined by the power series [2, p. 210]
[637.2.1] Mittag-Leffler functions are important in mathematical as well as in theoretical and applied physics [9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. [637.2.2] A primary reason for the recent surge of interest in these functions [page 638, §0] is their appearance when solving the fractional differential equation
for functions for which the expression on the right hand side exists. [638.0.2] Of course, the notation stands for the right sided fractional Riemann-Liouville integral of order defined by
where is the generalized Mittag-Leffler function. [638.0.4] Equation (2) shows that the Mittag-Leffler function plays the same role for fractional calculus that the exponential function plays for conventional calculus. [638.0.5] Mittag-Leffler functions and fractional calculus have in recent years become a powerful tool to investigate anomalous dynamics and strange kinetics [13, 18, 19, 20].
[638.1.1] Despite the growing importance of in physics, and despite a wealth of analytical information about its behaviour as a holomorphic function and dependence upon the parameters are largely unexplored, because there seem to be no numerical algorithms available to compute the function accurately for all , , . [638.1.2] Easy numerical evaluation and a thorough understanding of as a function of , , is, however, a key prerequisite for extending its applications to other disciplines. [638.1.3] It is therefore desirable to explore the behaviour of for large sets of the parameters , and complex argument .
[638.2.1] Given this objective the present paper reports a newly developed numerical algorithm as well as extensive computations for the generalized Mittag-Leffler function. [638.2.2] Little will be said in this paper about the algorithm apart from giving its complete definition a (This is a footnote:) aWhile this work was in progress a simpler algorithm appeared in . A detailed comparison between the two algorithms can be found in .. [638.2.3] One should note that the algorithm works not only on the real axis, but in the full complex plane. [638.2.4] Rather than discussing details of the algorithm we concentrate here on exploring the functional behaviour of . [638.2.5] In particular we study its complex zeros and illustrate its behaviour as an entire function. [638.2.6] As an example we find that the zeros of coalesce to form a simple pole in the limit . [638.2.7] Moreover, the zeros diverge in a complicated fashion to as approaches unity from above as well as from below.