We study arithmetic functions that are bounded in mean square, and simultaneously have a mean value over any arithmetic progression. A Besicovitch type norm makes the set of these functions a Banach space. We apply the Hardy-Littlewood (circle) method to analyse this space. This method turns out to be a surprisingly flexible tool for this purpose. We obtain several characterisations of limit periodic functions, correlation formulae, and we give some applications to Waring's problem and related topics. Finally, we direct the theory to the distribution of the arithmetic functions under review in arithmetic progressions, with mean square results of Barban-Davenport-Halberstam type and related asymptotic formulae at the focus of our attention. There is a rich literature on this last theme. Our approach supersedes previous work in various ways, and ultimately provides another characterisation of limit periodic functions: the variance over arithmetic progression is atypically small if and only if the input function is limit periodic.
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Mike Bennett (University of British Columbia)
Philipp Habegger (University of Basel)
Alina Ostafe (UNSW Sydney)