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Topics in analytic number theory

In this thesis we prove several different results about the number of primes represented by linear functions. The BrunTitchmarsh theorem shows that the number of primes which are less than x and congruent to a modulo q is less than (C+o(1))x/(phi(q)log{x}) for some value C depending on log{x}/log{q}. Different authors have provided different estimates for C in different ranges for log{x}/log{q}, all of which give C>2 when log{x}/log{q} is bounded. We show in Chapter 2 that one can take C=2 provided that log{x}/log{q}> 8 and q is sufficiently large. Moreover, we also produce a lower bound of size x/(q^{1/2}phi(q)) when log{x}/log{q}>8 and is bounded. Both of these bounds are essentially bestpossible without any improvement on the Siegel zero problem. Let k>1 and Pi(n) be the product of k linear functions of the form a_in+b_i for some integers a_i, b_i. Suppose that Pi(n) has no fixed prime divisors. Weighted sieves have shown that for infinitely many integers n, the number of prime factors of Pi(n) is at most r_k, for some integer r_k depending only on k. In Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 we introduce two new weighted sieves to improve the possible values of r_k when k>2. In Chapter 5 we demonstrate a limitation of the current weighted sieves which prevents us proving a bound better than r_k=(1+o(1))klog{k} for large k. Zhang has shown that there are infinitely many intervals of bounded length containing two primes, but the problem of bounded length intervals containing three primes appears out of reach. In Chapter 6 we show that there are infinitely many intervals of bounded length containing two primes and a number with at most 31 prime factors. Moreover, if numbers with up to 4 prime factors have `level of distribution' 0.99, there are infinitely many integers n such that the interval [n,n+90] contains 2 primes and an almostprime with at most 4 prime factors.
