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76 views2 pagesdiophantine equations in two variables

Mar 06, 2016

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diophantine equations in two variables

© All Rights Reserved

76 views

diophantine equations in two variables

© All Rights Reserved

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ax + by = c

a=

b=

c=

Diophantine equations are polynomial expressions that have integer coefficients and

integer solutions. Although they often appear in simple forms, they are challenging to

solve because you cannot always apply standard analytical methods. For example, the

quadratic Diophantine equation

x2 = 2y2 + 2y

looks simple enough, but finding only the integer solutions to this expression is difficult.

A few solutions are

x = 0 and y = 0

x = 12 and y = 8

x = 408 and y = 288

Linear Diophantine equations in two variables are luckily very easy to solve by applying

properties of divisibility. If you have an equation ax + by = c, the general solution takes

the form

x = xo + pt

y = yo - qt

Where (xo, yo) is a particular solution, t ranges over the set of all integers, and p and q

are fixed integer coefficients of t. You can use the method below to solve such equations,

or try the calculator above.

Step 1: Find a Single Solution

The first step in finding a general solution to a linear two-variable Diophantine equation

is to find a single solution. For instance, take the equation

Using trial and error, you can obtain the solution x = 43 and y = -5.Step 2: Find p and q

The coefficients p and q depend on the greatest common divisor (GCD) of a and b. The

formulas are

p = b/GCD(a,b)

q = a/GCD(a,b)

If a = 14 and b = 99, the GCD of a and b is 1, since these two integers are relatively prime

to one another (they have no prime factors in common). Thus, p = 99 and q = 14.Step 3:

Putting It All Together

The general solution of 14x + 99y = 107 is

x = 43 + 99t

y = -5 - 14t

where t is any integer. If you replace t with any integer, you will generate a new solution

to the equation. For instance, plug in t = -2, t = 3, and t = 17. This yields

x = -155 and y = 23

x = 340 and y = -47

x = 1726 and y = -243

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