A Goldbug Number of order k is an even number 2n for which there exists some k order subset of the prime non-divisors of n $2 < p_1 < p_2 < p_3 < \cdots < p_k < n$ such that $(2n-p_1)(2n-p_2)(2n-p_3)\cdots (2n-p_k)$ only has $p_1,p_2,p_3,...,p_k$ as factors.

More information can be found at the related OEIS entry. https://oeis.org/A306746

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So what kind of answer to which question is expected? There should be a (predictible) finality somewhere. It is hard to start a discussion or to post code on this site. Usually, the own efforts should be shown. Please also look at the jax (latex) format possibilities. math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5020/…, the question assumes a given level of math and computer science... $\endgroup$ – dan_fulea Dec 4 '18 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ What is most efficient way to check if a number is a Goldbug in python? My efforts are shown in the code in the linked thread, but have only coded up order 2 and 3 search and not in most efficient way. How to generalize to subsets of size k? Is there a faster way to check subsets of all sizes simultaneously? $\endgroup$ – Goldbug Dec 4 '18 at 22:18

I am posting the code from the forum written by UAU. This is the best implementation to date and identifies 6 Goldbug numbers under 100k. Keep in mind for speed this is searching for the maximal set and there can be subsets of the maximal set which satisfy the Goldbug property. I have run the code and verified it produces 6 Goldbugs under 100k (128,1718,1862,1928,2200,6142). For more details see the original post:


Thanks UAU!

import sys

def sieve(n):
    n //= 2
    r = [[] for _ in range(n)]
    for x in range(1, n):
        if r[x]:
        r[x] = None
        y = 3*x+1
        while y < n:
            y += x+x+1
    return r

def check(n, r):
    s = {}
    for i in range(3, n//2, 2):
        if r[i>>1] is not None or not n % i:
        for f in r[(n-i)>>1] or [n-i]:
            s.setdefault(f, []).append(i)
    bad = [x for x in s if x >= n//2]
    bad_seen = set(bad)
    ok = set(i for i in range(3, n // 2, 2) if r[i>>1] is None and n % i)
    while bad:
        x = s.get(bad.pop(), ())
        for p in x:
            if p not in bad_seen:
    return ok

def search(lim):
    r = sieve(lim)
    for i in range(2, lim, 2):
        x = check(i, r)
        if x:
             print(i, sorted(x))

  • $\begingroup$ Someone please up vote this so I don't keep having to scroll down so far... $\endgroup$ – Goldbug Dec 9 '18 at 23:35

I am posting sage code (rather than pure py code), see also


which is testing if a given number is a Goldburg number, corrected version.

(In the first version primes till $N=2n$ were included, i definitively need glasses. Sorry for the first version.)

Python is maybe too weak to start programming number theory from the scratch in it. This is the reason why using sage, which is python plus batteries. Here is my code, second try, some Goldburg numbers were found...

def deliverGoldburgSolution(N, k):
    """The number N shoud be even.
    This routine tests if there are prime numbers p1, p2, ... , pk
    2 < p1 < p2 < ... < pk < n (*** bug fix ***) 
    so that for any pj in the list 
    N - pj
    involves as factors only the primes p1, p2, ... , pk themselves again.
    This is a lazy quick implementation.

    n = ZZ(N/2)
    D = Set(n.divisors())

    # *** bug fix below w.r.t. my first post *** using only primes < n
    # (the older code went till N)
    allowedPrimes = Set([ p for p in primes(3, n) ])

    for p in allowedPrimes:
        P = [p, ]    # init start, we soon extend
        stillSearch = True

        while stillSearch:
            stillSearch = False
            P_New = [ prime_number
                      for q in P
                      for prime_number in (N-q).prime_divisors() ]

            P_New = list(Set(P_New + P))

            if ( len(P_New) > k
                 or D.intersection(Set(P_New))
                 or not Set(P_New).issubset(allowedPrimes)
                continue    # with the next p

            # else
            if len(P) == len(P_New):
                if len(P) == k:
                    # print "Solution: {}".format(P)
                    return P

                P = P_New[:]
                stillSearch = True

for N in range(2, 10000, 2):
    for k in (2,3):
        sol = deliverGoldburgSolution(N, k)
        if sol:
            print( "GOLDBURG NUMBER: N={} k={} SOLUTION FOR THE PRIMES {}"
                   .format(N, k, sol) )
    if N % 500 == 0:
        print "\t... N={} so far".format(N)


        ... N=500 so far
        ... N=1000 so far
        ... N=1500 so far
        ... N=2000 so far
        ... N=2500 so far
        ... N=3000 so far
        ... N=3500 so far
        ... N=4000 so far
        ... N=4500 so far
        ... N=5000 so far
        ... N=5500 so far
        ... N=6000 so far
        ... N=6500 so far
        ... N=7000 so far
        ... N=7500 so far
        ... N=8000 so far
        ... N=8500 so far
        ... N=9000 so far
        ... N=9500 so far

So there is only one $k$-Goldburg number, $k=2,3$ (allowed) up to $9999$, which is $2200$ for $k=2$ and the primes $3,13$.

The code is no longer building "clusters", so that in the "peculiar case" a number is both a $k_1$- and a $k_2$-Goldburg number for different sets of primes (so that it is then also a $(k_1+k_2)$-Goldburg number) the code will not detect it.

  • $\begingroup$ sage was used above, not Python. $\endgroup$ – dan_fulea Dec 5 '18 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ N=14, 2N=28, 28-3=25=5*5, but 28-11=17 and 28-5=23 mean its not goldbug. Test should fail if 2n-p is prime not in original list. $\endgroup$ – Goldbug Dec 5 '18 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ Please use latex. You define a Goldburg number and call it $2n$. I use only an $N$. So $N=14$, $n=7$. Now $14-3$ is $11$, and $11$ is in the list. Of course, using $3$ and $11$ we also have a Goldburg number with "$k=2$". But we also can add the prime $5$, then $14-5=9=3^2$, which is a power of the $3$, already in the list. $\endgroup$ – dan_fulea Dec 5 '18 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Note that any even number which is the sum of two odd primes is a Goldburg number for "$k=3$" for these two primes. It is the reason why so many Goldburg numbers for $k=2$ exist. For each such realization $N=2n=p+q$, $p,q$ primes. if $N$ minus a power of one of the primes is a prime $r$, we get a configuration $(p,q,r)$ for which $N=2n$ is Goldburg. $\endgroup$ – dan_fulea Dec 5 '18 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ If your 2n is 14 then you cant include 11, only numbers less than n $\endgroup$ – Goldbug Dec 5 '18 at 13:35

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