Questions on more advanced topics of number theory. Consider first if (elementary-number-theory) might be a more appropriate tag before adding this tag.

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Intuition for the Importance of Modular Forms

I am learning about modular forms for the first time this term and am just starting to wrap my head around what might be the big picture of things. I was wondering if the following interpretation of ...
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2answers
957 views

Why is $\varphi$ called “the most irrational number”?

I have heard $\varphi$ called the most irrational number. Numbers are either irrational or not though, one cannot be more "irrational" in the sense of a number that can not be represented as a ratio ...
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599 views

The resemblance between Mordell's theorem and Dirichlet's unit theorem

The first one states that if $E/\mathbf Q$ is an elliptic curve, then $E(\mathbf Q)$ is a finitely generated abelian group. If $K/\mathbf Q$ is a number field, Dirichlet's theorem says (among other ...
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4answers
927 views

How to prove $k!+(2k)!+\cdots+(nk)!$ has a prime divisor greater than $k!$

Question: Let $k$ be a positive integer. Show that there exist $n$ such that $$I=k!+(2k)!+(3k)!+\cdots+(nk)!$$ has a prime divisor $P$ such that $P>k!$. My idea: Let us denote by ...
34
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6answers
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$x^y = y^x$ for integers $x$ and $y$

We know that $2^4 = 4^2$ and $(-2)^{-4} = (-4)^{-2}$. Is there another pair of integers $x, y$ ($x\neq y$) which satisfies the equality $x^y = y^x$?
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Find all positive integers $n$ s.t. $3^n + 5^n$ is divisible by $n^2 - 1$

as is the question in the title, I am wishing to find all positive integers $n$ s.t. $3^n + 5^n$ is divisible by $n^2 - 1$. I have so far shown both expressions are divisible by $8$ for odd $n\geq 3$ ...
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1answer
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What is the sum of sum of digits of $4444^{4444^{4444}}$?

A recent question asked about the sum of sum of sum of digits of $4444^{4444}$. The solution there works mainly because the number chosen is small enough for the sum of sum of sum to be equal to the ...
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2answers
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Small primes attract large primes

$$ \begin{align} 1100 & = 2\times2\times5\times5\times11 \\ 1101 & =3\times 367 \\ 1102 & =2\times19\times29 \\ 1103 & =1103 \\ 1104 & = 2\times2\times2\times2\times ...
33
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1answer
678 views

How does one see Hecke Operators as helping to generalize Quadratic Reciprocity?

My question is really about how to think of Hecke operators as helping to generalize quadratic reciprocity. Quadratic reciprocity can be stated like this: Let $\rho: Gal(\mathbb{Q})\rightarrow ...
33
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1answer
658 views

Geometric intuition behind The Mordell Conjecture

The Mordell Conjecture/Faltings Theorem says roughly that if $K$ is an algebraic number field and $X$ is an algebraic curve defined over $K$ of genus $g >1$ then the set of $K$-rational points ...
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2answers
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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 = ...
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4answers
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Does there exist rational $a,b,c$, such that $\sqrt[3]{1}+\sqrt[3]{2}+\sqrt[3]{4}=\sqrt[3]{a}+\sqrt[3]{b}+\sqrt[3]{c}$

Let $w = \sqrt[3]{1}+\sqrt[3]{2}+\sqrt[3]{4}$. How to prove that there are no triples $(a,b,c)$, such that $a,b,c \in \mathbb{Q}$; $a \leqslant b \leqslant c$; $(a,b,c)\ne (1,2,4)$; $w = ...
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2answers
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Is $n(n+1)$ ever a factorial?

Brocard's problem asks if $(n-1)(n+1)$ is ever a factorial. My question is similar: is $n(n+1)$ ever a factorial? This can be seen as the special case $k=2$ of the question: for $2\le k\le n-2,$ when ...
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1answer
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$n!$ is never a perfect square if $n\geq2$. Is there a proof of this that doesn't use Chebyshev's theorem?

If $n\geq2$, then $n!$ is not a perfect square. The proof of this follows easily from Chebyshev's theorem, which states that for any positive integer $n$ there exists a prime strictly between $n$ and ...
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1answer
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Is this sequence unbounded?

Problem. Suppose that a sequence $\{a_n\}_{(n\ge 1)}$ is a strict increasing sequence of positive integers such that $$\forall i,\phantom{;}j(i\neq j);\phantom{;}a_i \not\mid a_j$$ Prove that ...
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Are there/Why aren't there any simple groups with orders like this?

The orders of the simple groups (ignoring the matrix groups for which the problem is solved) all seem to be a lot like this: ...
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2answers
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Prime powers, patterns similar to $\lbrace 0,1,0,2,0,1,0,3\ldots \rbrace$ and formulas for $\sigma_k(n)$

Some time ago when decomponsing the natural numbers, $\mathbb{N}$, in prime powes I noticed a pattern in their powers. Taking, for example, the numbers $\lbrace 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 ...
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Can every number be written as a small sum of sums of squares?

In a practice for a programming competition, one problem asked us to find the smallest number of pyramids which can be built using exactly $n$ blocks, where pyramids have either $k\times k, ...
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Yitang Zhang: Prime Gaps

Has anybody read Yitang Zhang's paper on prime gaps? Wired reports "$70$ million" at most, but I was wondering if the number was actually more specific. *EDIT*$^1$: Are there any experts here who ...
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Constructing $\mathbb N$ from the set of factorials

Let S be the set $\{0!, 1!, 2!, \ldots\}$. Is it possible to construct any positive integer using only addition, subtraction and multiplication, and using any element in S at most once? For example: ...
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Alternative proof that $(a^2+b^2)/(ab+1)$ is a square when it's an integer

Let $a,b$ be positive integers. When $$k = \frac{a^2 + b^2}{ab+1}$$ is an integer, it is a square. Proof 1: (Ngô Bảo Châu): Rearrange to get $a^2-akb+b^2-k=0$, as a quadratic in $a$ this has two ...
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Do we really know the reliability of PrimeQ[n] (for $n>10^{16}$)?

The algorithm Mathematica uses for its PrimeQ function is described on MathWorld. That web page says PrimeQ uses, "the multiple ...
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Proof of no prime-representing polynomial in 2 variables

In "The New Book of Prime Number Records", Ribenboim reviews the known results on the degree and number of variables of prime-representing polynomials (those are polynomials such that the set of ...
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5answers
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What is so interesting about the zeroes of the $\zeta$ function

The Riemann $\zeta$ function plays a significant role in number theory and is defined by $$\zeta(s) = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{1}{n^s} \qquad \text{ for } s > 1 \text{ and } s= \sigma + it$$ The ...
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Uses of quadratic reciprocity theorem

I want to motivate the quadratic reciprocity theorem, which at first glance does not look too important to justify it being one of Gauss' favorites. So far I can think of two uses that are basic ...
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3answers
986 views

Can the sums of two sequences of reciprocals of consecutive integers be equal?

I'm primarily a programmer, so forgive me if I don't know the proper nomenclature or notation. Last night, an old teacher of mine told me about a question that had caused some noodle-scratching for ...
29
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2answers
804 views

Does $2x^2-1=y^5$ have a solution in integers, with $y>1$?

In my solution to this MSE problem, I noted that $2x^2-1=y^5$ is unlikely to have solutions in integers with $y>1$. Recently, I've tried to find a proof, without success. Following Thomas ...
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Very tight prime bounds

Is it possible that $$\left|\operatorname{li}(n)-\sum_{k=1}^{\lfloor\log(n)\rfloor}\dfrac{\pi(n^{1/k})}{k}-\log(2)-\dfrac{1}{2}\right|<\dfrac{2\sqrt{n}}{e\log(n)}?$$ Since $$ ...
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Would a proof to the Riemann Hypothesis affect security?

If a solution was found to the Riemann Hypothesis, would it have any effect on the security of things such as RSA protection? Would it make cracking large numbers easier?
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Checking if a number is a Fibonacci or not?

The standard way (other than generating up to $N$) is to check if $(5N^2 + 4)$ or $(5N^2 - 4)$ is a perfect square. What is the mathematical logic behind this? Also, is there any other way for ...
28
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1answer
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Is $\sqrt1+\sqrt2+\dots+\sqrt n$ ever an integer?

Related: Can a sum of square roots be an integer? Except for the obvious cases $n=0,1$, are there any values of $n$ such that $\sum_{k=1}^n\sqrt k$ is an integer? How does one even approach such ...
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How can you prove that the square root of two is irrational?

I have read a few proofs that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational. I have never, however, been able to really grasp what they were talking about. Is there a simplified proof that $\sqrt{2}$ is irrational?
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1answer
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Why is it hard to prove whether $\pi+e$ is an irrational number?

From this list I came to know that it is hard to conclude $\pi+e$ is an irrational? Can somebody discuss with reference "Why this is hard ?" Is it still an open problem ? If yes it will be helpful ...
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Sequence of numbers with prime factorization $pq^2$

I've been considering the sequence of natural numbers with prime factorization $pq^2$, $p\neq q$; it begins 12, 18, 20, 28, 44, 45, ... and is A054753 in OEIS. I have two questions: What is the ...
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Find $a,b,c,d,e$ such that $\dfrac{s}a+1,\dfrac{s}b+1,\dfrac{s}c+1,\dfrac{s}d+1,\dfrac{s}e+1$ are all perfect squares $ (s=abcde)$

Are there five distinct positive integers $a,b,c,d,e$ such that $\dfrac{s}a+1,\dfrac{s}b+1,\dfrac{s}c+1,\dfrac{s}d+1,\dfrac{s}e+1$ are all perfect squares ? $ (s=abcde)$ If ...
27
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1answer
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prime as sum of three numbers whose product is a cube

Good evening! I am very new to this site. I would like to put the following materiel from Prof. Gandhi's note book and my observations. Of course it is little long with more questions. But, with good ...
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0answers
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Is this similarity to the Fourier transform of the von Mangoldt function real?

Mathematica knows that the logarithm of $n$ is: $$\log(n) = \lim\limits_{s \rightarrow 1} \zeta(s)\left(1 - \frac{1}{n^{(s - 1)}}\right)$$ The von Mangoldt function should then be: ...
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2answers
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Proof that a natural number multiplied by some integer results in a number with only one and zero as digits

I recently solved a problem, which says that, a positive integer can be multiplied with another integer resulting in a positive integer that is composed only of one and zero as digits. How can ...
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3answers
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Subjects studied in number theory

I know little about number theory even after reading its Wikipedia article. I was wondering if the subjects studied by number theory is only about integers or even more restrictedly natural numbers ...
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Are there infinitely many $x$ for which $\pi(x) \mid x$?

Let $\pi(x)$ denote the Prime Counting Function. One observes that, $\pi(6) \mid 6$, $\pi(8) \mid 8$. Does $\pi(x) \mid x$ for only finitely many $x$, or is this fact true for infinitely many ...
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Fermat's Last Theorem and Kummer's Objection

In 1847 Lamé had announced that he had proven Fermat's Last Theorem. This "proof" was based on the unique factorization in $\mathbb{Z}[e^{2\pi i/p}]$. However, Kummer, proved that when $p=23$ we do ...
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3answers
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Ramanujan's First Letter to Hardy and the Number of $3$-Smooth Integers

A positive integer is $B$-smooth if and only if all of its prime divisors are less than or equal to a positive real $B$. For example, the $3$-smooth integers are of the form $2^{a} 3^{b}$ with ...
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2answers
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A beautiful limit involving primes and composites

I observed the following limit empirically. Let $p_n$ be the $n$-th prime and $c_n$ be the $n$-th composite number then, $$ \lim_{n \to \infty}\frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=1}^{n}\frac{p_n c_n}{p_n c_n + ...
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4answers
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$\lfloor \sqrt n+\sqrt {n+1}+\sqrt{n+2}+\sqrt{n+3}+\sqrt{n+4}\rfloor=\lfloor\sqrt {25n+49}\rfloor$ is true?

I found the following relational expression by using computer: For any natural number $n$, $$\lfloor \sqrt n+\sqrt {n+1}+\sqrt{n+2}+\sqrt{n+3}+\sqrt{n+4}\rfloor=\lfloor\sqrt {25n+49}\rfloor.$$ Note ...
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4answers
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Geometric intuition for $\pi /4 = 1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - \cdots$?

Following reading this great post : What are some interesting cases of $\pi$ appearing in situations that are not / do not seem geometric?, Vadim's answer reminded me of something an analysis ...
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1answer
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Relation between the Dedekind Zeta Function and Quadratic Reciprocity

I was trying to learn a little about the Dedekind zeta function. The first place I looked at was obviously the Wikipedia article above. So my question comes from a sentence by the end of the article ...
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2answers
476 views

Linear independence of the numbers $\{1,e,e^2,e^3\}$

Does someone know a proof that $\{1,e,e^2,e^3\}$ is linearly independent over $\mathbb{Q}$? The proof should not use that $e$ is transcendental. $e:$ Euler's number. $\{1,e,e^2\}$ is linearly ...
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1answer
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Evaluating the sum $\lim_{n\to \infty}\sqrt[2]{2+\sqrt[3]{2+\sqrt[4]{2+\cdots+\sqrt[n]{2}}}}$

The following nested radical $$\lim_{n\to \infty}\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\cdots}}}$$ is known to converge to 2. We can consider a similar nested radical where the degree of the radicals increases: ...
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1answer
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A prime number pattern

The algorithm Given a natural number $n$ define a procedure as follows: Generate a list of primes upto and possibly including, $n$ Assign $Z = n$ If $Z > 0$, subtract the largest prime from list ...
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5answers
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Other interesting consequences of $d=163$?

Question: Any other interesting consequences of $d=163$ having class number $h(-d)=1$ aside from the list below? Let $\tau = \tfrac{1+\sqrt{-163}}{2}$. We have (see notes at end of list), ...