Many special functions can be represented as a Mellin–Barnes integral, that is, an integral of a product of gamma functions, reciprocals of gamma functions, and a power of , the integration contour being doubly-infinite and eventually parallel to the imaginary axis at both ends. The left-hand side of (5.13.1) is a typical example. By translating the contour parallel to itself and summing the residues of the integrand, asymptotic expansions of for large , or small , can be obtained complete with an integral representation of the error term. For further information and examples see §2.5 and Paris and Kaminski (2001, Chapters 5, 6, and 8).
The volume and surface area of the -dimensional sphere of radius are given by