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

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237
votes
13answers
29k views

Find five positive integers whose reciprocals sum to $1$

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 ...
172
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!}}}}}) ...
164
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 ...
163
votes
2answers
14k 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, ...
129
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 ...
94
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
11k views

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

Just saw this post, and realized that 1/9801 = ...
66
votes
11answers
12k 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
12k 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 ...
63
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. $x=5$, $y=2$, ...
62
votes
13answers
21k 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 ...
59
votes
16answers
11k views

What is the smallest unknown natural number?

There are several unknown numbers in mathematics, such as optimal constants in some inequalities. Often it is enough to some estimates for these numbers from above and below, but finding the exact ...
57
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: ...
57
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 ...
54
votes
4answers
5k views

Do we have negative prime numbers?

Do we have negative prime numbers? $..., -7, -5, -3, -2, ...$
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: ...
50
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
49
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?
48
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 ...
46
votes
9answers
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
5k 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
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
739 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.
21
votes
1answer
676 views

Prove that $\lfloor \sqrt{p} \rfloor + \lfloor \sqrt{2p} \rfloor +…+ \lfloor \sqrt{\frac{p-1}{4}p} \rfloor = \dfrac{p^2 - 1}{12}$

Problem Prove that $\lfloor \sqrt{p} \rfloor + \lfloor \sqrt{2p} \rfloor +...+ \lfloor \sqrt{\frac{p-1}{4}p} \rfloor = \dfrac{p^2 - 1}{12}$ where $p$ prime such that $p \equiv 1 \pmod{4}$. I really ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

$n!+1$ being a perfect square

One observes that \begin{equation*} 4!+1 =25=5^{2},~5!+1=121=11^{2} \end{equation*} is a perfect square. Similarly for $n=7$ also we see that $n!+1$ is a perfect square. So one can ask the truth of ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is there no explicit formula for the factorial?

I am somewhat new to summations and products, but I know that the sum of the first positive n integers is given by: $$\sum_{k=1}^n k = \frac{n(n+1)}{2} = \frac{n^2+n}{2}$$ However, I know that no ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Prove a number is composite

How can I prove that $$n^4 + 4$$ is composite for all $n > 5$? This problem looked very simple, but I took 6 hours and ended up with nothing :(. I broke it into cases base on quotient remainder ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

$\gcd(b^x - 1, b^y - 1, b^ z- 1,…) = b^{\gcd(x, y, z,…)} -1$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Number theory proving question? Dear friends, Since $b$, $x$, $y$, $z$, $\ldots$ are integers greater than 1, how can we prove that $$ \gcd (b ^ x - 1, b ^ y - 1, b ^ ...
10
votes
2answers
141 views

Show $1+x+(x^2/2!)+ \cdots + (x^n/n!)=0$ has no rational solutions for all $n>1$.

Prove that the equation $$1+x+\frac{x^2}{2!}+ \cdots + \frac{x^n}{n!}=0$$ has no rational solutions for all $n>1$. Assume there is a rational solution $\frac{p}{q} \in \mathbb{Q}$ with ...
8
votes
0answers
225 views

A question on odd perfect numbers

Let $\sigma(x)$ be the sum of the divisors of the positive integer $x$. If $\sigma(M) = 2M$, then $M$ is said to be perfect. Currently, there are $48$ known examples of even perfect numbers -- on ...
7
votes
2answers
91 views

$ab$ divides $3^a+1$ and $3^b+1$

Find all positive integers $a,b$ such that $ab$ divides $3^a+1$ and $3^b+1$. It is clear that $3$ cannot divide either $a$ or $b$, because $3$ doesn't divide $3^a+1$ or $3^b+1$. ...
6
votes
2answers
539 views

Prove that any set of 2015 numbers has a subset who's sum is divisible by 2015

I assume this is correct to any size set, not 2015 in particular... it's obviously true for 2. I know from pen and paper it's true for 3, and 4.... I understand that I should look at the reminders, ...
6
votes
0answers
41 views

$y^2 = x^3 - 26$, exist ideal satisfying conditions?

For the solution $(x, y) = (3, 1)$ of $y^2 = x^3 - 26$, does there necessarily exist an ideal $I$ of the integer ring $\mathbb{Z}[\sqrt{-26}]$ of $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{-26})$ such that $(y + \sqrt{-26}) = ...
6
votes
1answer
44 views

Quadratic field, $O_K/\mathfrak{p} = \mathbb{F}_p$, $O_K/pO_K$ is a finite field of order $p^2$.

Let $K$ be a quadratic field $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{m})$ where $m$ is a square free integer, and let $p$ be a prime number which does not divide $2m$. Where can I find a reference to a proof of the ...
5
votes
1answer
35 views

$F[[T]] \times F[[1/T]]$, fundamental domain.

Let $p$ be a prime number. Here is a link which shows how to see that $$(\mathbb{F}_p((T)) \times \mathbb{F}_p((1/T)))/\mathbb{F}_p[T, 1/T]$$is compact using an adelic result. (Here $\mathbb{F}_p[T, ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Heuristics of the sum of squared naturals $(1^2 + 2^2 + 3^2 \cdots + n^2)$

I'm new and this is my first question (though I've been lurking). English is not my native language. Studying on my own. I'm really interested in deriving the formula $1^{2} + 2^{2} + 3^{2} + \cdots+ ...
4
votes
6answers
413 views

Elementary number theory - prerequisites

Since summer comes with a lot of spare time, I've decided to select a mathematical subject I want to learn as much as possible about over the next three months. That being said, number theory really ...
4
votes
6answers
140 views

Are there numbers such that A + B = 10A+B? [closed]

I was just wondering, apart from zero,are there numbers where $A+B=10A+B$ (the number AB)?
4
votes
3answers
366 views

Students in a class, girls sitting with boys and boys sitting with girls

This is a very interesting word problem that I came across in an old textbook of mine. So I mused over this problem for a while and tried to look at the different ways to approach it but unfortunately ...
4
votes
3answers
203 views

Solving $x^p + y^p = p^z$ in positive integers $x,y,z$ and a prime $p$

The question is from Zeitz's ''The Art and Craft of Problem Solving:" Find all positive integer solutions $x,y,z,p$, with $p$ a prime, of the equation $x^p + y^p = p^z$. One thing I noticed is ...