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Hypergeometric function




hypergeom(a,b,z) represents the generalized hypergeometric function.


Hypergeometric Function for Numeric and Symbolic Arguments

Depending on its arguments, hypergeom can return floating-point or exact symbolic results.

Compute the hypergeometric function for these numbers. Because these numbers are not symbolic objects, you get floating-point results.

A = [hypergeom([1, 2], 2.5, 2),
hypergeom(1/3, [2, 3], pi),
hypergeom([1, 1/2], 1/3, 3*i)]
A =
  -1.2174 - 0.8330i
   1.2091 + 0.0000i
  -0.2028 + 0.2405i

Compute the hypergeometric function for the numbers converted to symbolic objects. For most symbolic (exact) numbers, hypergeom returns unresolved symbolic calls.

symA = [hypergeom([1, 2], 2.5, sym(2)),
hypergeom(1/3, [2, 3], sym(pi)),
hypergeom([1, 1/2], sym(1/3), 3*i)]
symA =
     hypergeom([1, 2], 5/2, 2)
    hypergeom(1/3, [2, 3], pi)
 hypergeom([1/2, 1], 1/3, 3i)

Use vpa to approximate symbolic results with the required number of digits:

ans =
   - 1.21741893 - 0.8330405509i
 - 0.2027516975 + 0.2405013423i

Special Values

The hypergeometric function has special values for some parameters:

syms a b c d x
hypergeom([], [], x)
hypergeom([a, b, c, d], [a, b, c, d], x)
hypergeom(a, [], x)
ans =
ans =
ans =
1/(1 - x)^a

Any hypergeometric function, evaluated at 0, has the value 1:

syms a b c d
hypergeom([a, b], [c, d], 0)
ans =

If, after canceling identical parameters, the list of upper parameters contains 0, the resulting hypergeometric function is constant with the value 1:

hypergeom([0, 0, 2, 3], [a, 0, 4], x)
ans =

If, after canceling identical parameters, the upper parameters contain a negative integer larger than the largest negative integer in the lower parameters, the hypergeometric function is a polynomial. If all parameters as well as the argument x are numeric, a corresponding explicit value is returned:

hypergeom([(-4), -2 , 3], [-3, 1, 4], x*pi*sqrt(2))
ans =
(6*pi^2*x^2)/5 - 2*2^(1/2)*pi*x + 1

Hypergeometric functions also reduce to other special functions for some parameters:

hypergeom([1], [a], x)
hypergeom([a], [a, b], x)
ans =
(exp(x/2)*whittakerM(1 - a/2, a/2 - 1/2, -x))/(-x)^(a/2)
ans =
 x^(1/2 - b/2)*gamma(b)*besseli(b - 1, 2*x^(1/2))

Handling Expressions That Contain Hypergeometric Functions

Many functions, such as diff and taylor, can handle expressions containing hypergeom.

Differentiate this expression containing hypergeometric function:

syms a b c d x
diff(1/x*hypergeom([a, b], [c, d], x), x)
ans =
(a*b*hypergeom([a + 1, b + 1], [c + 1, d + 1], x))/(c*d*x)...
 - hypergeom([a, b], [c, d], x)/x^2

Compute the Taylor series of this hypergeometric function:

taylor(hypergeom([1, 2], [3], x), x)
ans =
(2*x^5)/7 + x^4/3 + (2*x^3)/5 + x^2/2 + (2*x)/3 + 1

Input Arguments

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Upper parameters of hypergeometric function, specified as a number, variable, symbolic expression, symbolic function, or vector.

Lower parameters of hypergeometric function, specified as a number, variable, symbolic expression, symbolic function, or vector.

Argument of hypergeometric function, specified as a number, variable, symbolic expression, symbolic function, or vector. If z is a vector, hypergeom(a,b,z) is evaluated element-wise.

More About

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Generalized Hypergeometric Function

The generalized hypergeometric function of order p, q is defined as follows:


Here a = [a1,a2,...,ap] and b = [b1,b2,...,bq] are vectors of lengths p and q, respectively.

(a)k and (b)k are Pochhammer symbols.

For empty vectors a and b, hypergeom is defined as follows:


Pochhammer Symbol

The Pochhammer symbol is defined as follows:


If n is a positive integer, then (x)n = x(x + 1)...(x + n - 1).


  • For most exact arguments, the hypergeometric function returns a symbolic function call. If an upper parameter coincides with a lower parameter, these values cancel and are removed from the parameter lists.

  • If, after cancellation of identical parameters, the upper parameters contain a negative integer larger than the largest negative integer in the lower parameters, then pFq(a;b;z) is a polynomial in z.

  • The following special values are implemented:

    • pFp(a;a;z) = 0F0(;;z) = ez.

    • pFq(a;b;z) = 1 if the list of upper parameters a contains more 0s than the list of lower parameters b.

    • pFq(a;b;0) = 1.


The series


  • Converges for any |z| < ∞ if p ≤ q.

  • Converges for |z| < 1 if p = q + 1. For |z| >= 1, the series diverges, and pFq is defined by analytic continuation.

  • Diverges for any z <> 0 if p > q + 1. The series defines an asymptotic expansion of pFq(a;b;z) around z = 0. The positive real axis is the branch cut.

If one of the parameters in a is equal to 0 or a negative integer, then the series terminates, turning into what is called a hypergeometric polynomial.

pFq(a;b;z) is symmetric with respect to the parameters, that is, it does not depend on the order of the arrangement a1, a2, … in a or b1, b2, … in b.

If at least one upper parameter equals n = 0,-1,-2,…, the function turns into a polynomial of degree n. If the previous condition for the lower parameters b is relaxed, and there is some lower parameter equal to m = 0,-1,-2,…, then the function pFq(a;b;z) also reduces to a polynomial in z provided n > m. It is undefined if m > n or if no upper parameter is a nonpositive integer (resulting in division by 0 in one of the series coefficients). The case m = n is handled by the following rule.

. If for r values of the upper parameters, there are r values of the lower parameters equal to them (that is, a = [a1,…,ap - r, c1,…,cr], b = [b1,…,bq - r, c1,…,cr]), then the order (p, q) of the function pFq(a;b;z) is reduced to (p - r, q - r):


This rule applies even if any of the ci is zero or a negative integer. For details, see Luke, Y.L. "The Special Functions and Their Approximations", vol. 1, p. 42.

U(z)=Fpq(a;b;z) satisfies a differential equation in z:

[δ(δ+b1)z(δ+a)]U(z)=0,  δ=zz,

where (δ + a) and (δ + b) stand for




respectively. Thus, the order of this differential equation is max(p, q + 1) and the hypergeometric function is only one of its solutions. If p < q + 1, this differential equation has a regular singularity at z = 0 and an irregular singularity at z = ∞. If p = q + 1, the points z = 0, z = 1, and z = ∞ are regular singularities, thus explaining the convergence properties of the hypergeometric series.


[1] Oberhettinger, F. "Hypergeometric Functions." Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables. (M. Abramowitz and I. A. Stegun, eds.). New York: Dover, 1972.

[2] Luke, Y.L. "The Special Functions and Their Approximations", Vol. 1, Academic Press, New York, 1969.

[3] Prudnikov, A.P., Yu.A. Brychkov, and O.I. Marichev, "Integrals and Series", Vol. 3: More Special Functions, Gordon and Breach, 1990.

Introduced before R2006a

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