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Chapter 04_Division and Factorization

Chapter 04_Division and Factorization

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DISCRETE MATHEMATICS
W W L CHEN
c
W W L Chen, 1982, 2008.This chapter originates from material used by the author at Imperial College, University of London, between 1981 and 1990.It is available free to all individuals, on the understanding that it is not to be used for financial gain,and may be downloaded and/or photocopied, with or without permission from the author.However, this document may not be kept on any information storage and retrieval system without permissionfrom the author, unless such system is not accessible to any individuals other than its owners.
Chapter 4
DIVISION AND FACTORIZATION
4.1. Division
Definition.
Suppose that
a,b
Z
and
a
= 0. Then we say that
a
divides
b
, denoted by
a
|
b
, if thereexists
c
Z
such that
b
=
ac
. In this case, we also say that
a
is a divisor of 
b
, or
b
is a multiple of 
a
.
Example 4.1.1.
For every
a
Z
\{
0
}
,
a
|
a
and
a
| −
a
.
Example 4.1.2.
For every
a
Z
, 1
|
a
and
1
|
a
.
Example 4.1.3.
If 
a
|
b
and
b
|
c
, then
a
|
c
. To see this, note that if 
a
|
b
and
b
|
c
, then there exist
m,n
Z
such that
b
=
am
and
c
=
bn
, so that
c
=
amn
. Clearly
mn
Z
.
Example 4.1.4.
If 
a
|
b
and
a
|
c
, then for every
x,y
Z
,
a
|
(
bx
+
cy
). To see this, note that if 
a
|
b
and
a
|
c
, then there exist
m,n
Z
such that
b
=
am
and
c
=
an
, so that
bx
+
cy
=
amx
+
any
=
a
(
mx
+
ny
).Clearly
mx
+
ny
Z
.
PROPOSITION 4A.
Suppose that 
a
N
and 
b
Z
. Then there exist unique
q,r
Z
such that 
b
=
aq
+
r
and 
0
r < a
.
Proof.
We shall first of all show the existence of such numbers
q,r
Z
. Consider the set
=
{
b
as
0 :
s
Z
}
.
Then it is easy to see that
is a non-empty subset of 
N
{
0
}
. It follows from the Well-orderingprinciple that
has a smallest element. Let
r
be the smallest element of 
, and let
q
Z
such that
b
aq
=
r
. Clearly
r
0, so it remains to show that
r < a
. Suppose on the contrary that
r
a
. Then
b
a
(
q
+1) = (
b
aq
)
a
=
r
a
0, so that
b
a
(
q
+1)
. Clearly
b
a
(
q
+1)
< r
, contradictingthat
r
is the smallest element of 
.
Chapter 4 : Division and Factorization 
page 1 of 6
 
Discrete Mathematics
c
W W L Chen, 1982, 2008
Next we show that such numbers
q,r
Z
are unique. Suppose that
b
=
aq
1
+
r
1
=
aq
2
+
r
2
with0
r
1
< a
and 0
r
2
< a
. Then
a
|
q
1
q
2
|
=
|
r
2
r
1
|
< a
. Since
|
q
1
q
2
|
N
{
0
}
, we must have
|
q
1
q
2
|
= 0, so that
q
1
=
q
2
and so
r
1
=
r
2
also.
Definition.
Suppose that
a
N
and
a >
1. Then we say that
a
is prime if it has exactly two positivedivisors, namely 1 and
a
. We also say that
a
is composite if it is not prime.
Remark.
Note that 1 is neither prime nor composite. There is a good reason for not including 1 as aprime. See the remark following Proposition 4D.Throughout this chapter, the symbol
p
, with or without suffices, denotes a prime.
PROPOSITION 4B.
Suppose that 
a,b
Z
, and that 
p
N
is a prime. If 
p
|
ab
, then 
p
|
a
or 
p
|
b
.
Proof.
If 
a
= 0 or
b
= 0, then the result is trivial. We may also assume, without loss of generality, that
a >
0 and
b >
0. Suppose that
p
 
a
. Let
=
{
b
N
:
p
|
ab
and
p
 
b
}
.
Clearly it is sufficient to show that
=
. Suppose, on the contrary, that
=
. Then since
N
,it follows from the Well-ordering principle that
has a smallest element. Let
c
N
be the smallestelement of 
. Then in particular,
 p
|
ac
and
p
 
c.
Since
p
 
a
, we must have
c >
1. On the other hand, we must have
c < p
; for if 
c
p
, then
c > p
,and since
p
|
ac
, we must have
p
|
a
(
c
 p
), so that
c
 p
, a contradiction. Hence 1
< c < p
. ByProposition 4A, there exist
q,r
Z
such that
p
=
cq
+
r
and 0
r < c
. Since
p
is a prime, we musthave
r
1, so that 1
r < c
. However,
ar
=
ap
acq
, so that
p
|
ar
. We now have
 p
|
ar
and
p
 
r.
But
r < c
and
r
N
, contradicting that
c
is the smallest element of 
.
Using Proposition 4B a finite number of times, we have
PROPOSITION 4C.
Suppose that 
a
1
,...,a
k
Z
, and that 
p
N
is a prime. If 
p
|
a
1
...a
k
, then 
 p
|
a
j
for some
j
= 1
,...,k
.
4.2. Factorization
We remarked earlier that we do not include 1 as a prime. The following theorem is one justification.
PROPOSITION 4D.
(FUNDAMENTAL THEOREM OF ARITHMETIC)
Suppose that 
n
N
and 
n >
1
. Then 
n
is representable as a product of primes, uniquely up to the order of factors.
Remark.
If 1 were to be included as a prime, then we would have to rephrase the Fundamental theoremof arithmetic to allow for different representations like 6 = 2
·
3 = 1
·
2
·
3. Note also then that the numberof prime factors of 6 would not be unique.
Proof of Proposition 4D.
We shall first of all show by induction that every integer
n
2 isrepresentable as a product of primes. Clearly 2 is a product of primes. Assume now that
n >
2 andthat every
m
N
satisfying 2
m < n
is representable as a product of primes. If 
n
is a prime, thenit is obviously representable as a product of primes. If 
n
is not a prime, then there exist
n
1
,n
2
N
satisfying 2
n
1
< n
and 2
n
2
< n
such that
n
=
n
1
n
2
. By our induction hypothesis, both
n
1
and
n
2
are representable as products of primes, so that
n
must be representable as a product of primes.
Chapter 4 : Division and Factorization 
page 2 of 6
 
Discrete Mathematics
c
W W L Chen, 1982, 2008
Next we shall show uniqueness. Suppose that
n
=
p
1
...p
r
=
p
1
...p
s
,
(1)where
p
1
...
p
r
and
p
1
...
p
s
are primes. Now
p
1
|
p
1
...p
s
, so it follows from Proposition 4Cthat
p
1
|
p
j
for some
j
= 1
,...,s
. Since
p
1
and
p
j
are both primes, we must then have
p
1
=
p
j
. On theother hand,
p
1
|
p
1
...p
r
, so again it follows from Theorem 4C that
p
1
|
p
i
for some
i
= 1
,...,r
, so againwe must have
p
1
=
p
i
. It now follows that
p
1
=
p
j
p
1
=
p
i
p
1
, so that
p
1
=
p
1
. It now follows from(1) that
 p
2
...p
r
=
p
2
...p
s
.
Repeating this argument a finite number of times, we conclude that
r
=
s
and
p
i
=
p
i
for every
i
= 1
,...,r
.
Grouping together equal primes, we can reformulate Proposition 4D as follows.
PROPOSITION 4E.
Suppose that 
n
N
and 
n >
1
. Then 
n
is representable uniquely in the form 
n
=
p
m
1
1
...p
m
r
r
,
(2)
where
p
1
< ... < p
r
are primes, and where
m
j
N
for every 
j
= 1
,...,r
.
Definition.
The representation (2) is called the canonical decomposition of 
n
.
4.3. Greatest Common DivisorPROPOSITION 4F.
Suppose that 
a,b
N
. Then there exists a unique
d
N
such that (a)
d
|
a
and 
d
|
b
; and (b) if 
x
N
and 
x
|
a
and 
x
|
b
, then 
x
|
d
.
Definition.
The number
d
is called the greatest common divisor (GCD) of 
a
and
b
, and is denoted by
d
= (
a,b
).
Proof of Proposition 4F.
If 
a
= 1 or
b
= 1, then take
d
= 1. Suppose now that
a >
1 and
b >
1.Let
p
1
< ... < p
r
be all the distinct prime factors of 
a
and
b
. Then by Proposition 4E, we can write
a
=
p
u
1
1
...p
u
r
r
and
b
=
p
v
1
1
...p
v
r
r
,
(3)where
u
1
,...,u
r
,v
1
,...,v
r
N
{
0
}
. Note that in the representations (3), when
p
j
is not a prime factorof 
a
(resp.
b
), then the corresponding exponent
u
j
(resp.
v
j
) is zero. Now write
d
=
r
j
=1
 p
min
{
u
j
,v
j
}
j
.
(4)Clearly
d
|
a
and
d
|
b
. Suppose now that
x
N
and
x
|
a
and
x
|
b
. Then
x
=
p
w
1
1
...p
w
r
r
, where0
w
j
u
j
and 0
w
j
v
j
for every
j
= 1
,...,r
. Clearly
x
|
d
. Finally, note that the representations(3) are unique in view of Proposition 4E, so that
d
is uniquely defined.
Similarly we can prove
PROPOSITION 4G.
Suppose that 
a,b
N
. Then there exists a unique
m
N
such that (a)
a
|
m
and 
b
|
m
; and (b) if 
x
N
and 
a
|
x
and 
b
|
x
, then 
m
|
x
.
Chapter 4 : Division and Factorization 
page 3 of 6

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