Category Archives: number theory

More fun with Dirichlet convolution

I’m back after a bit of a hiatus for the holidays! Last time we saw how the principle of Möbius inversion arises from considering the function from the point of view of Dirichlet convolution. Put simply, the Möbius function is … Continue reading

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The route puzzle

While poking around some old files I came across this puzzle: (Click for a larger version.) I didn’t make it, and I have no idea where I got it from (do you know?). But in any case, wherever it comes … Continue reading

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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 23: contradiction!

So, where are we? We assumed that is divisible by , but is not prime. We picked a divisor of and used it to define a group , and yesterday we showed that has order in . Today we’ll use … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 22: the order of omega, part II

Yesterday, from the assumption that is divisible by , we deduced the equations and which hold in the group . So what do these tell us about the order of ? Well, first of all, the second equation tells us … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 21: the order of omega, part I

Now we’re going to figure out the order of in the group . Remember that we started by assuming that passed the Lucas-Lehmer test, that is, that is divisible by . Remember that we also showed for all . In … 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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