May you please verify I wrote this proof down correctly? I am practicing proof writing, and I hope to get better through your help! Many thanks :)

Theorem: The set $G_n$ of non-zero elements of $(Z_n,+,\times$ that are not $0$ divisors forms of a group under multiplication modulo $n$.


We have to show closure, identity existence, and inverses for all elements, (associativity transcends from the Ring)

$a\in G_n$ iff $gcd(a,n)=1$ by our previous work in Ring theory ($a$ is not $0$ divisor iff $gcd(a,n)=1$).

Closure: We have to show $ab\in G_n$ for all $a,b\in G_n$. We have $gcd(a,n)=1$ and $gcd(b,n)=1$ which means $a,b$ have no common factors with $n$, which means their product have no common factors with $n$ either, so $gcd(ab,n)=1$, so $ab\in G_n$. (Do I have to prove that their product has no common factors? If so my proof will be at the bottom)

Identity: Show that $1\in G_n$. We have $gcd(1,n)=1$ so $1\in G_n$(for all $n\in N$),

Inverses: Show that $\forall a\in G_n$, there exists $b\in G_n$ such that $ab=1$. So lets $G_n=\{1,a_1,...,a_{n-1}\}$. We have proved closure, so if I were to multiply $G_n$ by a fixed $a_i$ with $1 \le i\le n-1$. Then the new elements $a_i1$ and $a_ia_j$ $1 \le j\le n-1$ obtained would be the same elements in different order, and would still be in the group, and all distinct, and none of them equal to $0$ as none of them are $0$ divisors shown above. Suppose they were not distinct, then $a_ia_j=a_ia_k$ for some $a_j\not=a_k$, but by left cancellation (made possible by the fact that there are no $0$ divisors in the group) $a_j=a_k$ contradiction. So all elements are distinct and non-zero. Since there $a_i1\not=1$ we have that there must be a certain $a_ia_j=1$, meaning $a_j$ is the inverse of $a_i$ and since these are arbitrary elements, it applies to all elements in $G_n$.

  • $\begingroup$ More usual notation: either $\;\left(\Bbb Z_n\right)^*\;$ or even $\;U(n) \;\;\text{or}\;\; U(\Bbb Z_n)\;$ ... $\endgroup$
    – DonAntonio
    Feb 15, 2018 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


Basically your proof is fine though slightly cumbersome. For the inverse it could be better to use

$$gcd(a,n)=1\implies\;\text{exist}\;x,y\in\Bbb Z\;\;s.t.\;\;xa+yn=1\implies xa\pmod n=1$$

and there you found that $\;x\pmod n\;$ is the multiplicative inverse of $\;a\;$ .

  • $\begingroup$ Simplification at it's finest, thank you very much! As for the notation, I am using Fraleigh's notation. $\endgroup$
    – Kam
    Feb 15, 2018 at 12:04

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