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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269
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12answers
76k 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 ...
192
votes
10answers
17k views

Is '10' a magical number or I am missing something?

It's a hilarious witty joke that points out how every base is '10' in its base. Like, 2 = 10 (base 2) 8 = 10 (base 8) My question is if whoever invented the ...
154
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, ...
117
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: ...
108
votes
3answers
8k views

Is 2048 the highest power of 2 with all even digits (base ten)?

I have a friend who turned 32 recently. She has an obsessive compulsive disdain for odd numbers, so I pointed out that being 32 was pretty good since not only is it even, it also has no odd factors. ...
96
votes
29answers
29k views

Best book ever on Number Theory

Which is the single best book for Number Theory that everyone who loves Mathematics should read?
94
votes
1answer
20k views

Can $x^{x^{x^x}}$ be a rational number?

If $x$ is a positive rational number, but not an integer, then can $x^{x^{x^x}}$ be a rational number ? We can prove that if $x$ is a positive rational number but not an integer, then $x^x$ can ...
92
votes
1answer
11k views

Proof that ${\left(\pi^\pi\right)}^{\pi^\pi}$ (and now $\pi^{\left(\pi^{\pi^\pi}\right)}$) is a noninteger

Conor McBride asks for a fast proof that $$x = {\left(\pi^\pi\right)}^{\pi^\pi}$$ is not an integer. It would be sufficient to calculate a very rough approximation, to a precision of less than 1, and ...
88
votes
1answer
3k views

All polynomials with no natural roots and integer coefficients such that $\phi(n)|\phi(P(n))$

Let $P(x)$ be a polynomial with integer coefficients such that the equation $P(x)=0$ has no positive integer solutions. Find all polynomials $P(x)$ such that for all positive integers $n$ we have ...
85
votes
9answers
19k 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 ...
82
votes
9answers
4k views

How far can one get in analysis without leaving $\mathbb{Q}$?

Suppose you're trying to teach analysis to a stubborn algebraist who refuses to acknowledge the existence of any characteristic $0$ field other than $\mathbb{Q}$. How ugly are things going to get for ...
80
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 ...
78
votes
15answers
7k views

Infiniteness of non-twin primes.

Well, we all know the twin prime conjecture. There are infinitely many primes $p$, such that $p+2$ is also prime. Well, I actually got asked in a discrete mathematics course, to prove that there are ...
75
votes
6answers
7k 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 $\frac 1p$ ...
69
votes
4answers
2k views

Complexity class of comparison of power towers

Consider the following decision problem: given two lists of positive integers $a_1, a_2, \dots, a_n$ and $b_1, b_2, \dots, b_m$ the task is to decide if $a_1^{a_2^{\cdot^{\cdot^{\cdot^{a_n}}}}} < ...
59
votes
1answer
3k views

Does Fermat's Last Theorem hold for cyclotomic integers in $\mathbb{Q(\zeta_{37})}$?

The first irregular prime is 37. Does FLT(37) $$x^{37} + y^{37} = z^{37}$$ have any solutions in the ring of integers of $\mathbb Q(\zeta_{37})$, where $\zeta_{37}$ is a primitive 37th root of ...
57
votes
6answers
5k views

How can adding an infinite number of rationals yield an irrational number?

For example how come $\zeta(2)=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}n^{-2}=\frac{\pi^2}{6}$. It seems counter intuitive that you can add numbers in $\mathbb{Q}$ and get an irrational number.
57
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it possible to represent every huge number in abbreviated form?

Consider the following expression. 16313107343153908912074032799466965289077771751767944648966669091376847859711382649033004075188224 This is a 98 decimal digit number. This can be represented as ...
54
votes
1answer
3k views

Direct proof that $\pi$ is not constructible

Is there a direct proof that $\pi$ is not constructible, that is, that squaring the circle cannot be done by rule and compass? Of course, $\pi$ is not constructible because it is transcendental and ...
53
votes
3answers
729 views

A real number $x$ such that $x^n$ and $(x+1)^n$ are rational is itself rational

Let $x$ be a real number and let $n$ be a positive integer. It is known that both $x^n$ and $(x+1)^n$ are rational. Prove that $x$ is rational. What I have tried: Denote $x^n=r$ and $(x+1)^n=s$ ...
52
votes
3answers
2k views

$5^n+n$ is never prime?

In the comments to the question: If $(a^{n}+n ) \mid (b^{n}+n)$ for all $n$, then $ a=b$, there was a claim that $5^n+n$ is never prime (for integer $n>0$). It does not look obvious to prove, nor ...
51
votes
12answers
10k 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: ...
51
votes
5answers
5k views

Is this of any real importance to the mathematical scientific community?

I'm a 31 year old engineer, and I've recently came up with a way to exactly predict the probability of the number of prime numbers between two different integers. For example using my way, the number ...
51
votes
2answers
926 views

Can $\sqrt{p}^{\sqrt{p}^{\sqrt{p}}}$ be an integer, if $p$ is a non-square positive integer?

Can $\sqrt{p}^{\sqrt{p}^{\sqrt{p}}}$ be an integer, when $p$ is a non-square positive integer? Of course, it seems it would never but is there a proof of the fact, or maybe we have some spooky $p$ ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

Quadratic reciprocity via generalized Fibonacci numbers?

This is a pet idea of mine which I thought I'd share. Fix a prime $q$ congruent to $1 \bmod 4$ and define a sequence $F_n$ by $F_0 = 0, F_1 = 1$, and $\displaystyle F_{n+2} = F_{n+1} + \frac{q-1}{4} ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

Trigonometric sums related to the Verlinde formula

Original question (see also the revised, possibly simpler, version below): Let $g > 1, r > 1$ be integers. Playing around with the Verlinde formula (see below), I came across the expression ...
49
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 ...
49
votes
4answers
3k views

Fibonacci number that ends with 2014 zeros?

This problem is giving me the hardest time: Prove or disprove that there is a Fibonacci number that ends with 2014 zeros. I tried mathematical induction (for stronger statement that claims that ...
47
votes
7answers
5k views

The myth of no prime formula?

Terence Tao claims: For instance, we have an exact formula for the $n^\text{th}$ square number – it is $n^2$ – but we do not have a (useful) exact formula for the $n^\text{th}$ ...
47
votes
4answers
629 views

Integers $n$ such that $i(i+1)(i+2) \cdots (i+n)$ is real or pure imaginary

A couple of days ago I happened to come across [1], where the curious fact that $i(i-1)(i-2)(i-3)=-10$ appears ($i$ is the imaginary unit). This led me to the following question: Problem 1: Is $3$ ...
47
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the value of this Viète-style product involving the golden ratio?

One way of looking at the Viète (Viete?) product $${2\over\pi} = {\sqrt{2}\over 2}{\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}}\over 2}{\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}}}\over 2}\dots$$ is as the infinite product of a series of ...
46
votes
4answers
5k views

Is 128 the only multi-digit power of 2 such that each of its digits is also a power of 2?

The number $128$ can be written as $2^n$ with integer $n$, and so can its every individual digit. Is this the only number with this property, apart from the one-digit numbers $1$, $2$, $4$ and $8$? ...
46
votes
2answers
616 views

Does $\lfloor \sqrt{p} \rfloor$ generate all natural numbers?

Our algebra teacher usually gives us a paper of $20-30$ questions for our homework. But each week, he tells us to do all the questions which their number is on a specific form. For example, last ...
45
votes
9answers
8k 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 ...
45
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
45
votes
5answers
4k views

Is the notorious $n^2 + n + 41$ prime generator the last of its type?

The polynomial $n^2+n+41$ famously takes prime values for all $0\le n\lt 40$. I have read that this is closely related to the fact that 163 is a Heegner number, although I don't understand the ...
44
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
44
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 $x^y = y^x$?
44
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
43
votes
8answers
7k views

Can someone please explain the Riemann Hypothesis to me… in English?

I've read so much about it but none of it makes a lot of sense. Also, what's so unsolvable about it?
42
votes
5answers
1k views

Golden Number Theory

The Gaussian $\mathbb{Z}[i]$ and Eisenstein $\mathbb{Z}[\omega]$ integers have been used to solve some diophantine equations. I have never seen any examples of the golden integers ...
41
votes
13answers
9k 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.
41
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. ...
41
votes
2answers
1k views

Do the Möbius function, totient function, sum of divisors and number of divisors uniquely specify a number?

Let $\mu\left(n\right)$ be the Möbius function. Let $\phi\left(n\right)$ be Euler's totient function. Let $\sigma\left(n\right)$ be the sum of divisors and $\tau\left(n\right)$ be the number of ...
41
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
40
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is $e^{\pi \sqrt{163}}$ almost an integer?

The fact that Ramanujan's Constant $e^{\pi \sqrt{163}}$ is almost an integer ($262 537 412 640 768 743.99999999999925...$) doesn't seem to be a coincidence, but has to do with the $163$ appearing in ...
40
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
40
votes
1answer
1k views

Sums of prime powers

You are given positive integers N, m, and k. Is there a way to check if $$\sum_{\stackrel{p\le N}{p\text{ prime}}}p^k\equiv0\pmod m$$ faster than computing the (modular) sum? For concreteness, you ...
39
votes
5answers
841 views

Generalizing the sum of consecutive cubes $\sum_{k=1}^n k^3 = \Big(\sum_{k=1}^n k\Big)^2$ to other odd powers

We have, $$\sum_{k=1}^n k^3 = \Big(\sum_{k=1}^n k\Big)^2$$ $$2\sum_{k=1}^n k^5 = -\Big(\sum_{k=1}^n k\Big)^2+3\Big(\sum_{k=1}^n k^2\Big)^2$$ $$2\sum_{k=1}^n k^7 = \Big(\sum_{k=1}^n ...
39
votes
1answer
752 views

A new continued fraction for Apéry's constant, $\zeta(3)$?

As a background, Ramanujan also gave a continued fraction for $\zeta(3)$ as $\zeta(3) = 1+\cfrac{1}{u_1+\cfrac{1^3}{1+\cfrac{1^3}{u_2+\cfrac{2^3}{1+\cfrac{2^3}{u_3 + \ddots}}}}}\tag{1}$ where the ...