Tag Archives: order

Order of operations considered harmful

[The title is a half-joking reference to Edsger Dijkstra’s classic paper, Go To Statement Considered Harmful; see here for more context.] Everyone is probably familiar with the so-called “order of operations”, which is a collection of rules that reflect conventions … Continue reading

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Fermat’s Little Theorem: proof by group theory

It’s time for our third and final proof of Fermat’s Little Theorem, this time using some group theory. This proof is probably the shortest—explaining this proof to a professional mathematician would probably take only a single sentence—but requires you to … 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 15: One more fact about element orders

I almost forgot, but there is one more fact about the order of elements in a group that we will need. Suppose we have some and we happen to know that is the identity. What can we say about the … Continue reading

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MaBloWriMo 14: Element orders are no greater than group size

Today we will give an answer to the question: What is the relationship between the order of a group and the orders of its elements? Yesterday, I claimed we would prove that for any element of a group , it … Continue reading

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