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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37
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9answers
7k views

$\sqrt a$ is either an integer or an irrational number.

I got this interesting question in my mind: How do we prove that if $a \in \mathbb N$, then $\sqrt a$ is an integer or an irrational number? Can we extend this result? That is, can it be shown ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

If $a \mid m$ and $(a + 1) \mid m$, prove $a(a + 1) | m$.

Can anyone help me out here? Can't seem to find the right rules of divisibility to show this: If $a \mid m$ and $(a + 1) \mid m$, then $a(a + 1) \mid m$.
42
votes
2answers
4k views

The square roots of different primes are linearly independent over the field of rationals

I need to find a way of proving that the square roots of a finite set of different primes are linearly independent over the field of rationals. I've tried to solve the problem using ...
69
votes
6answers
6k views

Is there an elementary proof that $\sum \limits_{k=1}^n \frac1k$ is never an integer?

If $n>1$ is an integer, then $\sum \limits_{k=1}^n \frac1k$ is not an integer. If you know Bertrand's Postulate, then you know there must be a prime $p$ between $n/2$ and $n$, so $\frac 1p$ ...
35
votes
6answers
3k views

$x^y = y^x$ 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 $x^y = y^x$?
28
votes
8answers
3k views

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?
8
votes
7answers
5k views

The product of n consecutive integers is divisible by n factorial

How can we prove that the product of n consecutive integers is divisible by n factorial? Note: In this subsequent question and the comments here the OP has clarified that he seeks a proof that ...
21
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there possibly a largest prime number?

Prime numbers are numbers with no factors other than one and itself. Factors of a number are always lower or equal to than a given number; so, the larger the number is, the larger the pool of ...
27
votes
1answer
879 views

How does $ \sum_{p<x} p^{-s} $ grow asymptotically for $ \text{Re}(s) < 1 $?

Note the $ p < x $ in the sum stands for all primes less than $ x $. I know that for $ s=1 $, $$ \sum_{p<x} \frac{1}{p} \sim \ln \ln x , $$ and for $ \mathrm{Re}(s) > 1 $, the partial sums ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

The product of n consecutive integers is divisible by n! (without using the properties of binomial coefficients)

How can we prove, without using the properties of binomial coefficients, the product of n consecutive integers is divisible by n factorial?
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Reed Solomon Polynomial Generator

I am developing a sample program to generate a 2D Barcode. And i am using reed solomon error correction code. By Going through this article i am developing the program. But i couldn't understand how ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

Simple explanation and examples of the Miller-Rabin Primality Test

Coming from an understanding of Fermat's primality test, I'm looking for a clear explanation of the Miller-Rabin primality test. Specifically: I understand that for some reason, having non-trivial ...
41
votes
7answers
6k views

Nice proofs of $\zeta(4) = \pi^4/90$?

I know some nice ways to prove that $\zeta(2) = \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2} = \pi^2/6$. For example, see Robin Chapman's list or the answers to the question "Different methods to compute ...
48
votes
17answers
6k views

Different ways to prove there are infinitely many primes?

This is just a curiosity. I have come across multiple proofs of the fact that there are infinitely many primes, some of them were quite trivial, but some others were really, really fancy. I'll show ...
83
votes
29answers
26k views

Best book ever on Number Theory

Which is the single best book for Number Theory that everyone who loves Mathematics should read?
30
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Proof of a formula involving Euler's totient function.

The third formula on the wikipedia page for the Totient function states that $$\varphi (mn) = \varphi (m) \varphi (n) \cdot \dfrac{d}{\varphi (d)} $$ where $d = \gcd(m,n)$. How is this claim ...
2
votes
1answer
533 views

If the order divides a prime P then the order is P (or 1)

I've just come up with this question as I'm studying for a number theory midterm. If $p$ and $q$ are different prime numbers, and it's known that $2^p \equiv 1 \bmod{q}$, then $q\equiv 1 \bmod{p}$. ...
43
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there an intuitionist (i.e., constructive) proof of the infinitude of primes?

This question relates to a discussion on another message board. Euclid's proof of the infinitude of primes is an indirect proof (a.k.a. proof by contradiction, reductio ad absurdum, modus tollens). My ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Modular exponentiation using Euler’s theorem

How can I calculate $27^{41}\ \mathrm{mod}\ 77$ as simple as possible? I already know that $27^{60}\ \mathrm{mod}\ 77 = 1$ because of Euler’s theorem: $$ a^{\phi(n)}\ \mathrm{mod}\ n = 1 $$ and $$ ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the Euler phi function bounded below?

I am working on a question for my number theory class that asks: Prove that for every integer $n \geq 1$, $\phi(n) \geq \frac{\sqrt{n}}{\sqrt{2}}$. However, I was searching around Google, and on ...
21
votes
6answers
5k views

prove that $(2n)!/(n!)^2$ is even if $n$ is a positive integer

Prove that $(2n)!/(n!)^2$ is even if $n$ is a positive integer. For clarity: the denominator is the only part being squared. My thought process: The numerator is the product of the first n even ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

How can I prove that all rational numbers are either terminally real or repeating real numbers?

I am trying to figure out how to prove that all rational numbers are either terminally real or repeating real numbers, but I am having a great difficulty in doing so. Any help will be greatly ...
1
vote
3answers
394 views

Solutions to $ax^2 + by^2 = cz^2$

The integer solutions to the equation $x^2 + y^2 = z^2$ are very well studied. I'm wondering if there's any literature about the integer solutions to the equation $ax^2 + by^2 = cz^2$ where a,b,c are ...
243
votes
13answers
71k views

Does Pi contain all possible number combinations?

I came across the following image, which states: $\pi$ Pi Pi is an infinite, nonrepeating (sic) decimal - meaning that every possible number combination exists somewhere in pi. Converted ...
23
votes
5answers
10k views

Is there a known mathematical equation to find the nth prime?

I've solved for it making a computer program, but was wondering there was a mathematical equation that you could use to solve for the nth prime?
25
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I count the subsets of a set whose number of elements is divisible by 3? 4?

Let $S$ be a set of size $n$. There is an easy way to count the number of subsets with an even number of elements. Algebraically, it comes from the fact that $\displaystyle \sum_{k=0}^{n} {n ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Undergraduate/High-School-Olympiad Level Introductory Number Theory Books For Self-Learning

I don't know whether the books metioned in Best ever book on Number Theory are beyond undergraduate/high-school-olympiad level. Please recommend your favourite.
9
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 ^ ...
18
votes
2answers
21k views

Finding a primitive root of a prime number

How would you find a primitive root of a prime number such as 761? How do you pick the primitive roots to test? Randomly? Thanks
5
votes
5answers
953 views

Show that $3p^2=q^2$ implies $3|p$ and $3|q$

This is a problem from "Introduction to Mathematics - Algebra and Number Systems" (specifically, exercise set 2 #9), which is one of my math texts. Please note that this isn't homework, but I would ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

calculating $a^b \!\mod c$

What is the fastest way (general method) to calculate the quantity $a^b \!\mod c$? For example $a=2205$, $b=23$, $c=4891$.
8
votes
4answers
715 views

Induction Proof Help [Number Theory George E. Andrews 1-1 #3]

Prove that $$x^n-y^n=(x-y)(x^{n-1}+x^{n-2}y+\ldots+xy^{n-2}+y^{n-1}).$$ This problem is driving me crazy. $$x^n-y^n = (x-y)(x^{n-1}+x^{n-2}y+\dots +xy^{n-2}+y^{n-1)}$$ $(x^n-y^n)/(x-y) =$ the ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

How to show that: $\gcd\left( {a^n-b^n \over a-b} ,a-b\right)=\gcd(n d^{n-1},a-b )$

How to show that: $$ \gcd\bigg( {a^n-b^n \over a-b} ,a-b\bigg )=\gcd(n d^{n-1},a-b ) $$ $a,b\in \mathbb Z$ where $d=\gcd(a,b)$? $\gcd$ is the greatest common divisor.
78
votes
9answers
18k views

What is the importance of the Collatz conjecture?

I have been fascinated by this problem since I first heard about it in high school. From the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collatz_problem: Take any natural number $n$. If $n$ is ...
113
votes
2answers
5k views

How to show $e^{e^{e^{79}}}$ is not an integer

In this question, I needed to assume in my answer that $e^{e^{e^{79}}}$ is not an integer. Is there some standard result in number theory that applies to situations like this? Much later addendum: ...
76
votes
4answers
3k views

Least prime of the form $38^n+31$

I search the least n such that $$38^n+31$$ is prime. I checked the $n$ upto $3000$ and found none, so the least prime of that form must have more than $4000$ digits. I am content with a probable ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Efficiently finding two squares which sum to a prime

The web is littered with any number of pages (example) giving an existence and uniqueness proof that a pair of squares can be found summing to primes congruent to 1 mod 4 (and also that there are no ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Proving $p\nmid \dbinom{p^rm}{p^r}$ where $p\nmid m$

A question from Advanced Modern Algebra by Joseph J.Rotman. Let $n=(p^r)m $ such that the prime $p\nmid m$.Prove that $p\nmid \dbinom{n}{p^r}$.HINT: Assume otherwise,cross multiply and apply ...
11
votes
3answers
603 views

How to prove Chebyshev's result: $\sum_{p\leq n} \frac{\log p}{p} \sim\log n $ as $n\to\infty$?

I saw reference to this result of Chebyshev's: $$\sum_{p\leq n} \frac{\log p}{p} \sim \log n \text{ as }n \to \infty,$$ and its relation to the Prime Number Theorem. I'm looking into an ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Why doesn't 0 being a prime ideal in Z imply that 0 is a prime number?

I know that 1 is not a prime number because $1\cdot\mathbb Z=\mathbb Z$ is, by convention, not a prime ideal in the ring $\mathbb Z$. However, since $\mathbb Z$ is a domain, $0\cdot\mathbb Z=\{0\}$ ...
8
votes
1answer
646 views

If $\gcd(a,b)=d$, then $\gcd(ac,bc)=cd$?

$A$ an integral domain, $a,b,c\in A$. If $d$ is a greatest common divisor of $a$ and $b$, is it true that $cd$ is a greatest common divisor of $ca$ and $cb$? I know it is true if $A$ is a UFD, but ...
12
votes
1answer
413 views

Can $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m$ are perfect squares?

Can the expression $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m \in \mathbb{N}$ are perfect squares? I doesn't seem likely, the only way that could happen is if for example $\sqrt{m} = ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Three variable, third degree Diophantine equation

I haven't found any useful method to solve the following problem: Prove that if $x,y,z\in\mathbb{Z}$ and $x^3+y^3=3z^3$ then $xyz=0$. Source: ...
12
votes
1answer
253 views

primes represented integrally by a homogeneous cubic form

Expired by this question Show determinant of matrix is non-zero I am moved to ask: Given integers $a,b,c,$ and cubic form $$ f(a,b,c) = a^3+2 b^3-6 a b c+4 c^3 = \left|\begin{bmatrix} a & 2c ...
10
votes
3answers
345 views

Are there any Combinatoric proofs of Bertrand's postulate?

I feel like there must exist a combinatoric proof of a theorem like: There is a prime between $n$ and $2n$, or $p$ and $p^2$ or anything similar to this stronger than there is a prime between $p$ and ...
40
votes
12answers
8k views

For any prime $p > 3$, why is $p^2-1$ always divisible by 24?

I know this is very basic and old hat to many, but I love this question and I am interested in seeing whether there are any proofs beyond the two I already know.
8
votes
5answers
802 views

How many rationals of the form $\large \frac{2^n+1}{n^2}$ are integers?

This was Problem 3 (first day) of the 1990 IMO. A full solution can be found here. How many rationals of the form $\large \frac{2^n+1}{n^2},$ $(n \in \mathbb{N} )$ are integers? The possible ...