# Relations; aRb if ab=k^2

Hi I am supposed to prove that R is an equivalence relation on N (natural number)

We define the relation R on N as aRb if $$ab=k^2$$ for some k that belongs to N.

I know that I should prove that the relation is reflexive, symmetric and transitive.

The relation is reflexive if aRa for some a that belongs to N. a^2 is a natural number and therefore a^2 = k^2 and aRa.

The relation is symmetric if aRb then bRa for all a and b that belongs to N.

The relation is symmetric because if aRb then $$ab=k^2$$ for some k that belongs to Z. This is equivalent to $$ba= k^2$$ and therefore bRa.

I'm not sure about Transitive tho. I must prove that if aRb and bRc then aRc. How can I do that?

Hint. Try to prove transitivity when $$a$$ and $$b$$ are both powers of $$2$$. A few examples should show you how. Then think about the fundamental theorem of arithmetic.

• Can you explain more? My teacher wrote a hint that if r^2 ∈ N then r ∈ Z or r does not belong to Q. How does this help me? Nov 20, 2020 at 18:48
• An integer is a square if and only if each of its prime divisors occurs to an even power. Nov 20, 2020 at 19:46

Since you know that aRb and bRc, you can conclude that there are natural numbers $$m$$ and $$n$$ such that $$ab=m^2$$ and $$bc=n^2$$. Your job is to prove that $$ac$$ is also the square of some natural number involving $$m$$ and $$n$$. (Hint: multiply those two equations together.)

• If ab=m^2 and bc=n^2 then I get that ac= ((mn/b))^2. Can I say that (mn)/b is some natural number? Nov 20, 2020 at 18:41
• @Erika You know your teacher better than I do. ^_^ If this is a discrete math class, then you can probably say that. If this is a number theory class, then you should probably explain why that's true.
– user694818
Nov 20, 2020 at 18:49
• It is a discrete math class. But my teacher wrote as a hint on the exercise that if r^2 ∈ N then r ∈ Z or r does not belong to Q. It feels like I should do something more than what I did. Nov 20, 2020 at 18:58
• @Erika: You have $ac=\left(\frac{mn}b\right)^2$, where $ac\in\Bbb N$. Is $\frac{mn}b\in\Bbb Q$? What does this plus the hint tell you about $\frac{mn}b$? Nov 20, 2020 at 19:42
• I think that if mn/b belongs to Q, then It is not sure that the square of mn/b will be a natural number. But if mn/b belongs to Z it must be a natural number. Nov 21, 2020 at 7:31