Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 May 2011
We show that the residue density of the logarithm of a generalized Laplacian on a closed manifold defines an invariant polynomial-valued differential form. We express it in terms of a finite sum of residues of classical pseudodifferential symbols. In the case of the square of a Dirac operator, these formulas provide a pedestrian proof of the Atiyah–Singer formula for a pure Dirac operator in four dimensions and for a twisted Dirac operator on a flat space of any dimension. These correspond to special cases of a more general formula by Scott and Zagier. In our approach, which is of perturbative nature, we use either a Campbell–Hausdorff formula derived by Okikiolu or a noncommutative Taylor-type formula.