If p $\equiv$ 3 (mod 4) with p prime, prove -1 is a non-quadratic residue modulo p.

I suppose this would not be true if p $\equiv$ 1 (modulo 4). To prove something is a non-square I find to be tricky. It's difficult to see any straightforward way to do this using only the definition of congruence for example.


Assume $$x^2\equiv-1\pmod{p}$$

$$(x^2)^{2k+1}\equiv - 1\pmod{p}$$

$$x^{4k+2}\equiv -1\pmod{p}$$

For all $k$. Now $\exists k$ such that $4k+2=p-1$



Which is in clear violation of fermat's little theorem.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Very neat and simple. +1 $\endgroup$ – DonAntonio Apr 1 '14 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ @DonAntonio thank you. :) $\endgroup$ – Guy Apr 1 '14 at 17:57

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