# A model problem for multiplicative chaos in number theory

### Kannan Soundararajan

Stanford University, USA### Asif Zaman

University of Toronto, Canada

## Abstract

Resolving a conjecture of Helson, Harper recently established that partial sums of random multiplicative functions typically exhibit more than square-root cancellation. Harper’s work gives an example of a problem in number theory that is closely linked to ideas in probability theory connected with multiplicative chaos; another such closely related problem is the Fyodorov–Hiary–Keating conjecture on the maximum size of the Riemann zeta function in intervals of bounded length on the critical line. In this paper we consider a problem that might be thought of as a simplified function field version of Helson’s conjecture. We develop and simplify the ideas of Harper in this context, with the hope that the simplified proof would be of use to readers seeking a gentle entry-point to this fascinating area.

## Cite this article

Kannan Soundararajan, Asif Zaman, A model problem for multiplicative chaos in number theory. Enseign. Math. 68 (2022), no. 3/4, pp. 307–340

DOI 10.4171/LEM/1031