Category Archives: arithmetic

MaBloWriMo 24: Bezout’s identity

A few days ago we made use of Bézout’s Identity, which states that if and have a greatest common divisor , then there exist integers and such that . For completeness, let’s prove it. Consider the set of all linear … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 20: the group X star

So, where are we? Recall that we are assuming (in order to get a contradiction) that is not prime, and we picked a smallish divisor (“smallish” meaning ). We then defined the set as that is, combinations of and where … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 18: X is not a group

Yesterday we defined along with a binary operation which works by multiplying and reducing coefficients . So, is this a group? Well, let’s check: It’s a bit tedious to prove formally, but the binary operation is in fact associative. Intuitively … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 17: X marks the spot

Recall that we are trying to prove that if is divisible by , then is prime. So let’s suppose is divisible by . We’ll prove this by contradiction, so suppose is not prime: if we can derive a contradiction, then … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 16: Recap and outline

We have now established all the facts we will need about groups, and have incidentally just passed the halfway point of MaBloWriMo. This feels like a good time to take a step back and outline what we’ve done so far … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 9: omega and its ilk

So far, we have defined a sequence of numbers , and showed that where and . This is a big step: the are defined recursively (that is, each is defined in terms of the previous ), but and give us … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 8: definition of s and mod

I was a little unsatisfied with my proof yesterday since I don’t think I did a very good job explaining how enters into things. When sinuheancelmo asked a question which seemed to show confusion on exactly that point, I figured … Continue reading

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