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I want to do inverse modulo to solve the equation

$$23x \equiv 1 \mod 120$$

And to do that I used the extended Euclidean Algorithm. $$120=23\times5+5$$ $$23=5 \times4+3$$ $$5=3\times1+2$$ $$3=2\times1+1$$ Which makes $1 \equiv3-2\times1=3-2$. I then substituted the other values to get the following


$$2=5-3\times1=5-3$$ $$1=3-(5-3)$$


$$3=23-5\times4$$ $$1=(23-5\times4)-(5-(23-5\times4))$$


$$5 \equiv120-23 \times5$$ $$1 \equiv (23-((120-23\times5)\times4)-(120-23\times5(23-((120-23\times5)\times4))$$


But now I'm not sure how much I need to simplify this down in order to find the answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, to construct an explicit inverse you need to find integers $a,b$ with $120a+23b=1$, or at least you need to find $b$. Note: you can simplify the original problem by noting that $120=2^3\times 3\times 5$ and solving for each factor separately, then using the Chinese Remainder Theorem. $\endgroup$
    – lulu
    Mar 22, 2018 at 12:36

2 Answers 2

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We wish to solve the congruence $23x \equiv 1 \pmod{120}$.

You correctly obtained \begin{align*} 120 & = 5 \cdot 23 + 5\\ 23 & = 4 \cdot 5 + 3\\ 5 & = 1 \cdot 3 + 2\\ 3 & = 1 \cdot 2 + 1\\ 2 & = 2 \cdot 1 \end{align*} Now, if we work backwards, we can obtain $1$ as a linear combination of $23$ and $120$.
\begin{align*} 1 & = 3 - 2\\ & = 3 - (5 - 3)\\ & = 2 \cdot 3 - 5\\ & = 2(23 - 4 \cdot 5) - 5\\ & = 2 \cdot 23 - 9 \cdot 5\\ & = 2 \cdot 23 - 9 \cdot (120 - 5 \cdot 23)\\ & = 47 \cdot 23 - 9 \cdot 120 \end{align*} Thus, $$23 \cdot 47 \equiv 1 \pmod{120}$$ Hence, $x \equiv 47 \pmod{120}$, so $47$ is the multiplicative inverse of $23$ modulo $120$.

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  • $\begingroup$ That’s the exact answe I was looking for! $9 \cdot 120$ is made equal to $0$ the iggy? $\endgroup$
    – Ski Mask
    Mar 22, 2018 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Any integer multiple of $120$ is congruent to $0$ modulo $120$. $\endgroup$ Mar 22, 2018 at 14:23
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Use the extended Euclidean algorithm to save you calculating backwards: $$\begin{array}{rrrl} r_i &u_i&v_i&q_i \\ \hline 120&0&1\\ 23&1&0&5\\ \hline 5&-5& 1&4 \\ 3&21&-4&1 \\ 2&-26&5&1\\ 1&\color{red}{47}& -9\\ \hline \end{array}$$ whence the Bézout's relation: $$47\cdot 23-9\cdot120=1$$ which says the inverse of $23$ mod. $120$ is $47$.

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