I've gone ahead and split up $4000$ into $2^{5} 5^{3}$ and solved each solution separately - as in applied Hensel's lemma for mod 2 and mod 5 solutions separately, I just don't understand how I would combine these solutions.

For mod $2^{5}$, after lifting the final solution I got was $x = 31$ (set of solutions would be $x = 31 + 32n$)

For mod $5^{3}$, after lifting the final solution I got was $x = 124$ (set of solutions would be $x = 124 + 125n$)

How can I combine what I got to get the final answer? Because these do not work for mod 4000

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    $\begingroup$ e.g. CRT. Note for $p$ prime: $\ p^n\mid x(x\!+\!1)\iff p^n\mid x\,$ or $\,p^n\mid x\!+\!1\,$ since $x$ and $\,x+1$ are coprime. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Nov 4 '18 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate some more please $\endgroup$ – Wallace Nov 4 '18 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ We get solutions $\,x\equiv 0,-1\,$ mod $32$ and $125$ which combine to $4$ solutions mod $4000$ viz. $\,x\equiv (0,0),\, (0,-1),\,(-1,0),\,(-1,-1) $ mod $(32,125)$ The 1st and 4th solutions are $0$ and $-1\pmod{4000}$ and the third is computable from the 2nd since $\,(0,-1)+(-1,0) = (-1,-1).\,$ So you need only ompute the 2nd (or 3rd) by CRT. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Nov 4 '18 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ A modification of the methods outlined here will settle this w.r.t. any modulus. In other words, Bill Dubuque's suggestion. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Nov 4 '18 at 18:40

You don't need Hensel's Lemma. This can be solved completely in a minute of mental arithmetic using only a single simple CRT calculation.

If $\,p\,$ is prime then $\,p^n\mid x(x\!+\!1)\iff p^n\mid x\,$ or $\,p^n\mid x\!+\!1\,$ by $\,x,\,x\!+\!1$ coprime.

So $\,2^5\mid x(x\!+\!1)\iff x\equiv 0,-1\pmod{\!32},\,$ and $\,5^3\mid x(x\!+\!1)\iff x\equiv 0,-1\pmod{\!125}$

By CRT these root pairs combine to exactly $4$ roots mod $32*125 = 4000,\,$ namely

$x \equiv \ \ (0,\,0)\ \ \ \ \pmod{32,125}\iff x\equiv\ \,0\ \pmod{\!n=4000}$

$x \equiv (-1,-1)\pmod{32,125}\iff x\equiv -1\pmod{\!n}$

$x \equiv (\color{#0a0}{-1},\,\color{#c00}{0})\ \ \pmod{32,125}\iff x\equiv 1375\pmod{4000}\ $ since by CRT, mod $32$ we have:

$\!\color{#0a0}{{-}1}\equiv x\equiv \color{#c00}{125k}\equiv -3k\!\iff\! 3k\equiv 1\equiv 33\!\iff\! k\equiv 11\!\iff\! x= 125(11)\equiv 1375\pmod{\!n} $

$x\equiv (0,-1)\ \ \pmod{32,125}\iff x\equiv (-1,-1)-(-1,0) = -1-1375 \equiv 2624\pmod{\!n}$

  • $\begingroup$ "$x \equiv (-1,0)\ \ \ \pmod{32,125}\iff x\equiv 1375\pmod{4000}\ $ since modul0 $32$ we have" I have a hard time understanding how you got this..? Could you please elaborate $\endgroup$ – Wallace Nov 4 '18 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ That CRT calculation is explained in the line just below that. viz. $\,x\equiv 0\pmod{125}\iff x = 125k.\,$ Next plug that into $\,x\equiv -1\pmod{32}$ and solve for $k$ as we did above. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Nov 4 '18 at 18:19

You have $x\equiv 31\equiv -1\pmod{32}$ and $x\equiv 124\equiv -1\pmod{125}$, hence $x\equiv -1\pmod{4000}$.

In general, given a system of linear congruences you have to apply the Chinese Remainder Theorem: see for example my answer here.


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