Questions on congruences, linear diophantine equations, greatest common divisor, divisibility, etc.

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230
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12answers
29k views

Unusual 5th grade problem, how to solve it

Find a positive integer solution $(x,y,z,a,b)$ for which $$\frac{1}{x}+ \frac{1}{y} + \frac{1}{z} + \frac{1}{a} + \frac{1}{b} = 1\;.$$ Is your answer the only solution? If so, show why. I was ...
171
votes
3answers
7k views

How many fours are needed to represent numbers up to $N$?

The goal of the four fours puzzle is to represent each natural number using four copies of the digit $4$ and common mathematical symbols. For example, $165=(\sqrt{4} + \sqrt{\sqrt{{\sqrt{4^{4!}}}}}) ...
162
votes
2answers
13k views

Proving you *can't* make $2011$ out of $1,2,3,4$: nice twist on the usual

An undergraduate was telling me about a puzzle he'd found: the idea was to make $2011$ out of the numbers $1, 2, 3, 4, \ldots, n$ with the following rules/constraints: the numbers must stay in order, ...
160
votes
5answers
6k views

Can you answer my son's fourth-grade homework question: Which numbers are prime, have digits adding to ten and have a three in the tens place?

My son Horatio (nine years old, fourth grade) came home with some fun math homework exercises today. One of his problems was the following little question: I am thinking of a number... It ...
127
votes
6answers
23k views

Deleting any digit yields a prime… is there a name for this?

My son likes his grilled cheese sandwich cut into various numbers, the number depends on his mood. His mother won't indulge his requests, but I often will. Here is the day he wanted 100: But ...
113
votes
9answers
5k views

What does $2^x$ really mean when $x$ is not an integer?

We all know that $2^5$ means $2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2 = 32$, but what does $2^\pi$ mean? How is it possible to calculate that without using a calculator? I am really curious about this, so ...
102
votes
1answer
6k views

A variation of Fermat's little theorem

Fermat's little theorem states that for $n$ prime, $$ a^n \equiv a \pmod{n}. $$ The values of $n$ for which this holds are the primes and the Carmichael numbers. If we modify the congruence ...
92
votes
11answers
6k views

Is there a domain “larger” than (i.e., a supserset of) the complex number domain?

I've been teaching my 10yo son some (for me, anyway) pretty advanced mathematics recently and he stumped me with a question. The background is this. In the domain of natural numbers, addition and ...
81
votes
1answer
3k views

$4494410$ and friends

The number $4494410$ has the property that when converted to base $16$ it is $44944A_{16}$, then if the $A$ is expanded to $10$ in the string we get back the original number. ...
68
votes
5answers
10k views

What is special about the numbers 9801, 998001, 99980001 ..?

Just saw this post, and realized that 1/9801 = ...
65
votes
12answers
11k views

Is zero odd or even?

Some books say even numbers start from two but if you consider the number line concept, I think zero should be even because it is in between -1 and +1 (i.e in between 2 odd numbers). What is the real ...
64
votes
10answers
3k views

Why 1 is not considered to be a prime number?

Why $1$ is not considered to be a prime number? Or why definition of prime numbers is given for integers greater than $1$?
64
votes
11answers
11k views

Am I just not smart enough? [closed]

When I was doing math, let us say for example, introductory number theory, it seems to take me a lot of time to fully understand a theorem. By understanding, I mean, both intuitively and also ...
62
votes
13answers
20k views

Dividing 100% by 3 without any left

In mathematics, as far as I know, you can't divide 100% by 3 without having 0,1...% left. Imagine an apple which was cloned two times, so the other 2 are completely equal in 'quality'. The totality ...
62
votes
2answers
3k views

Help me put these enormous numbers in order: googol, googol-plex-bang, googol-stack and so on

Popular mathematics folklore provides some simple tools enabling us compactly to describe some truly enormous numbers. For example, the number $10^{100}$ is commonly known as a googol, and a googol ...
61
votes
4answers
4k views

$x$, $y$, $x+y$ and $x-y$ are prime numbers. What is their sum?

Here is the question: The $x$, $y$, $x−y$ and $x+y$ are all positive prime integers. What is the sum of all the four integers? Well, I just put some values and I got the answer. $x=5$, $y=2$, ...
56
votes
13answers
11k views

Why is Euclid's proof on the infinitude of primes considered a proof?

I've expressed Euclid's proof on the infinitude of primes on Mathematica: ...
54
votes
7answers
7k views

What makes $9$ special?

I don't know if this is a well know fact but I have observed that every number no matter how large that is equally divided by $9$, will equal $9$ if you add all the numbers it is made from until there ...
53
votes
2answers
6k views

Can 18 consecutive integers be separated into two groups,such that their product is equal?

Can $18$ consecutive positive integers be separated into two groups, such that their product is equal? We cannot leave out any number and neither we can take any number more than once. My work: ...
53
votes
4answers
5k views

Do we have negative prime numbers?

Do we have negative prime numbers? $..., -7, -5, -3, -2, ...$
49
votes
7answers
8k views

Prove every odd integer is the difference of two squares

I know that I should use the definition of an odd integer ($2k+1$), but that's about it. Thanks in advance!
49
votes
9answers
3k views

The last digit of $2^{2006}$

My 13 year old son was asked this question in a maths challenge. He correctly guessed 4 on the assumption that the answer was likely to be the last digit of $2^6$. However is there a better ...
48
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the string of prime numbers contain all natural numbers?

Does the string of prime numbers $$2357111317\ldots$$ contain every natural number as its sub-string?
46
votes
10answers
3k views

Given real numbers: define integers?

I have only a basic understanding of mathematics, and I was wondering and could not find a satisfying answer to the following: Integer numbers are just special cases (a subset) of real numbers. ...
46
votes
5answers
4k views

Does every prime divide some Fibonacci number?

I am tring to show that $\forall a \in \Bbb P\; \exists n\in\Bbb N : a|F_n$, where $F$ is the fibonacci sequence defined as $\{F_n\}:F_0 = 0, F_1 = 1, F_n = F_{n-1} + F_{n-2}$ $(n=2,3,...)$. How can ...
46
votes
3answers
3k views

How to weigh up to 100kg with 5 weights

1) You are a shopkeeper who is selling sugar between 1-100 kg .Now you have to design 5 weights in such a way that any integer weight between 1-100 can be measured in a single attempt ,without using ...
46
votes
4answers
7k views

Prove that $\gcd(a^n - 1, a^m - 1) = a^{\gcd(n, m)} - 1$

For all $a, m, n \in \mathbb{Z}^+$, $$\gcd(a^n - 1, a^m - 1) = a^{\gcd(n, m)} - 1$$
46
votes
4answers
2k views

How to understand and appreciate the prime number industry?

Why would I want to buy prime numbers? There is a website (found it!) selling a table of 400 digit primes for twenty dollars. Like an updated version of this. I have a layman's idea that prime numbers ...
45
votes
13answers
5k views

How can I write the numbers 5 and 7 as some sequence of operations on three 9s?

I want to make the numbers $1, 2, ..., 9$ using exactly three copies of the number $9$ and the following actions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squaring, taking square roots, and ...
45
votes
10answers
6k views

Is there something special about 2015?

Is there some property which is satisfied only by the number 2015 (among natural numbers, say) or is there a relatively simple question for which the answer is, surprisingly, 2015? This is inspired ...
45
votes
7answers
9k views

There exists a power of 2 such that the last five digits are all 3's or 6's. Find the last 5 digits of this number

I just took an olympiad and I'm wondering how this problem is solved. Problem: There exists a power of 2 such that the last five digits are all 3's or 6's. Find the last 5 digits of this number. ...
45
votes
3answers
709 views

Finding triplets $(a,b,c)$ such that $\sqrt{abc}\in\mathbb N$ divides $(a-1)(b-1)(c-1)$

When I was playing with numbers, I found that there are many triplets of three positive integers $(a,b,c)$ such that $\color{red}{2\le} a\le b\le c$ $\sqrt{abc}\in\mathbb N$ $\sqrt{abc}$ divides ...
44
votes
6answers
1k views

Second part of the factorial sum divisibility question

Which primes $p$ divide the sum of factorials $1! + 2! + 3! + 4! + 5! + \cdots + (p-1)!$? This is related to my previous question.
41
votes
3answers
2k views

How come the number $N!$ can terminate in exactly $1,2,3,4,$ or $6$ zeroes but never $5$ zeroes? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Highest power of a prime $p$ dividing $N!$ How come the number $N!$ can terminate in exactly $1,2,3,4,$ or $6$ zeroes but never $5$ zeroes?
41
votes
7answers
923 views

Problems regarding $\{x_n \}$ defined by $x_1=1$; $x_n$ is the smallest distinct natural number such that $x_1+…+x_n$ is divisible by $n$.

Let me denote a sequence of distinct natural numbers by $x_n$ whose terms are determined as follows: $x_1$ is $1$ and $x_2$ is the smallest distinct natural number $n$ such that $x_1+x_2$ is divisible ...
39
votes
3answers
3k views

Is $n! + 1$ often a prime?

Related to this question, I wonder how often $n!+1$ is a prime? There is a related OEIS sequence A002981, however, nothing is said if the sequence is finite or not. Does anybody know more about it?
39
votes
1answer
908 views

Functions $f:\mathbb{N}\rightarrow \mathbb{Z}$ such that $\left(m-n\right) \mid \left(f(m)-f(n)\right)$

A long time back, I wondered what functions other than integer polynomials on $\mathbb{N}$ (or $\mathbb{Z}$) satisfied the property: $$\forall m,n: \left(m-n\right) \mid \left(f(m)-f(n)\right)$$ ...
37
votes
6answers
4k views

Of any 52 integers, two can be found whose difference of squares is divisible by 100

Prove that of any 52 integers, two can always be found such that the difference of their squares is divisible by 100. I was thinking about using recurrence, but it seems like pigeonhole may also ...
36
votes
5answers
6k views

If a prime number is reversed, and then appended to itself, why is the result always a composite number?

$2 \Rightarrow 22$ which is a composite number. $37 \Rightarrow 3773$ which is a composite number. $523 \Rightarrow 523325$ which is a composite number. $8123 \Rightarrow 81233218$ which is a ...
36
votes
6answers
2k views

Is $2^{218!} +1$ prime?

Prove that $2^{218!} +1$ is not prime. I can prove that the last digit of this number is $7$, and that's all. Thank you.
36
votes
7answers
1k views

Bad Fraction Reduction That Actually Works

$$\frac{16}{64}=\frac{1\rlap{/}6}{\rlap{/}64}=\frac{1}{4}$$ This is certainly not a correct technique for reducing fractions to lowest terms, but it happens to work in this case, and I believe there ...
36
votes
5answers
771 views

Is ${F_{n}}^2 - 28$ always a composite number?

The problem is as follows: Prove or disprove that if ${F_{n}}$ is $n$-th Fibonacci number, and $n>5$, than $${F_{n}}^2 - 28$$ cannot be a prime. I came across this problem accidentally ...
36
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the divisibility graphs work?

I came across this graphic method for checking divisibility by $7$. $\hskip1.5in$ Write down a number $n$. Start at the small white node at the bottom of the graph. For each digit $d$ in ...
36
votes
7answers
3k views

Project Euler, Problem #25

Problem #25 from Project Euler asks: What is the first term in the Fibonacci sequence to contain 1000 digits? The brute force way of solving this is by simply telling the computer to generate ...
36
votes
2answers
954 views

Proof that $123456789098765432111$ is prime?

The mathematician Charles Weibel asks on his home page the following "fun question": How can you prove that 123456789098765432111 is a prime number? (He notes the fact $$12345678987654321 = ...
35
votes
8answers
3k views

Is the number 100k+11 ever a square?

Is the number 100k+11 ever a square? Obviously all such numbers end in 11. Can a square end with an 11?
35
votes
8answers
2k views

Prove that 16, 1156, 111556, 11115556, 1111155556… are squares.

I'm 16 years old, and I'm studying for my exam maths coming this monday. In the chapter "sequences and series", there is this exercise: Prove that a positive integer formed by $k$ times digit 1, ...
35
votes
2answers
2k views

Decomposing polynomials with integer coefficients

Can every quadratic with integer coefficients be written as a sum of two polynomials with integer roots? (Any constant $k \in \mathbb{Z}$, including $0$, is also allowed as a term for simplicity's ...
34
votes
1answer
2k views

Checking a Proof of a Theorem

Theorem 1.2 of Bennett and Skinner (Canad. J. Math., 2004) asserts that the Diophantine equation $x^{p} - 4y^{p} = z^{2}$ is unsolvable for every prime $p \geq 7.$ The following is a possible proof ...
34
votes
1answer
685 views

Proving that $x$ is an integer, if the differences between any two of $x^{1919}$, $x^{1960}$, and $x^{2100}$ are integers

For a specific real number $x$, the difference between any two of $x^{1919}$, $x^{1960}$ , and $x^{2100}$ is always an integer. How would one prove that $x$ is an integer?