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number theory 2

number theory 2

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3.1 Theorem Where a and b > 0 are integers, there are integers q and r,
called the quotient and the remainder on division of a by b, satisfying these two

a = bq + r 0≤r < b

Further, those integers are unique.

Note that this result has two parts. One part is that the theorem says there
exists a quotient and remainder satisfying the conditions. The second part is
that the quotient, remainder pair are unique: no other pair of numbers satisfies
those conditions.

proof. To verify that for any a and b > 0 there exists an appropriate quotient
and remainder we need only produce suitable numbers. Consider these.

q =


r = a−bq
Obviously a = bq+r, so these satisfy the first condition. To finish the existence
half of this proof, we need only check that 0 ≤ r < b. The Floor Lemma from
the Some Properties of R appendix gives


b −1 <


≤ a


Multiply all of the terms of this inequality by −b. Since b is positive, −b is
negative, and so the direction of the inequality is reversed.

b−a >−b


Add a to all three terms of the inequality and replace a/b by q to get

b > a−bq ≥0.

Since r = a−bq this shows that 0≤r < b.




We still must prove that q and r are unique. Assume that there are two
quotient, remainder pairs

a = bq1 + r1 with 0≤r1 < b


a = bq2 + r2 with 0≤r2 < b.


0 = a−a = (bq1 + r1)−(bq2 + r2) = b(q1−q2) + (r1−r2)

implies that


r2−r1 = b(q1−q2).

We must show that the two pairs are equal, that r1 = r2 and q1 = q2. To obtain
a contradiction, suppose otherwise. First suppose that r1 = r2. Then one must
be larger than the other; without loss of generality assume that r2 > r1. Then

0≤r1 < r2 < b

and so r2−r1 < b. But (3.1) shows that b divides r2−r1 and by the Comparison
property of Theorem 1.2 this implies that b ≤ r2 − r1. This is the desired
contradiction and so we conclude that r1 = r2. With that, from equation 3.1 we
have 0 = b(q1−q2). Since b > 0, this gives that q1−q2 = 0 and so q1 = q2. qed

3.2 Corollary The number d divides the number n if and only if on division
of n by d the remainder is 0.

proof. If the remainder is 0 then n = dq + 0 = dq shows that d | n. For the
other half, if d | n then for some k we have n = dk = dk + 0 (with 0 ≤ 0 < d)
and the fact that the quotient, remainder pair is uniqus shows that k and 0
must be the quotient and the remainder.


That corollary says that Theorem 3.1 generalizes the results on divisibility.
For instance, fix b = 3. Then, given a, instead of only being able to say that
a is divisible or not, we can give a finer description: a leaves a remainder of 0
(this is the case where b|a), or 1, or 2.

3.3 Definition For b > 0 define a mod b = r where r is the remainder when a
is divided by b.

For example 23 mod 7 = 2 since 23 = 7·3 + 2 and −4 mod 5 = 1 since

−4 = 5·(−1) + 1.

Chapter 4

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