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34 views3 pagesbeautiful results in arithmetic concerning representations of a number by sums of squares

Mar 21, 2008

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beautiful results in arithmetic concerning representations of a number by sums of squares

Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

34 views

beautiful results in arithmetic concerning representations of a number by sums of squares

Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

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In how many ways can a given integer n be written as a sum of two squares? Let

us start with an easier problem.

1. How many integer solutions does the equation

x2 − y 2 = n

have depending on an integer n?

2. Show that the equation

x2 + y 2 = n

does not have an integer solution if n ≡ 3 ( mod 4).

Denote by S (n) the number of integer solutions of the equation x2 + y 2 = n.

Let z = x + iy be a complex number with integer real and imaginary part. Such a

number is called a Gaussian integer. The set Z [i] of all Gaussian integers is a ring,

i.e. the set is equipped with addition and multiplication satisfying distributivity and

associativity law.

3. Show that S (n) is the number of all Gaussian integers with absolute value n.

Show that if S (n) 6= 0 and S (m) 6= 0, then S (nm) 6= 0.

The last problem motivates us to look at the equation

x2 + y 2 = p

for prime p. Let Zp be the set of all remainders modulo p with naturally defined

addition and multiplication. Note that Zp is a ring.

4. Show that the equation x2 + y 2 ≡ 0 ( mod p) has a non-zero solution in Zp if

and only if the equation t2 ≡ −1 ( mod p) has a solution in Zp .

Let us recall some facts about the structure of Zp . First we can divide by any

non-zero element. Second, by Fermat theorem for all non-zero a

ap−1 ≡ 1 ( mod p)

An element a in Zp is called primitive if every other non-zero element of Zp is a power

of a. For example, 2 is primitive in Z13 .

5. Show that a primitive element exists for all p and find the number of primitive

elements in Zp .

6. Show that −1 is a square in Zp if p ≡ 1 ( mod 4).

7. How many solutions does the equation x2 + y 2 ≡ 0 ( mod p) have in Zp ?

8. Show that S (p) = 8 if p = 4k + 1, S (p) = 0 if p = 4k + 3, and S (2) = 4.

9. Let n = 2k0 pk11 . . . pkr r q1l1 . . . qsls , where pi ≡ 1 ( mod 4) and qj ≡ 3 ( mod 4) be

the prime factorization of of n. Show that S (n) 6= 0 if and only if all lj are even.

To obtain a formula for S (n) we look again at Gaussian integers.

10. Show that all invertible elements in Z [i] are ±1, ±i. Define what is a prime

Gaussian integer. Which of the following are prime: 2, 3 + i, 5, 10 + i?

1

2

We are going to prove that every Gaussian integer can be factored into primes in

unique way (up to multiplication by invertible number). Let us recall our old friend

Euclidean algorithm.

A ring is called Euclidean if one can define a non-negative function g (a) on all

non-zero elements such that g (ab) ≥ g (a) and one can divide with remainder, i.e.

for any a and b, a 6= 0 one can write b = qa + r with g (r) < g (a) or r = 0.

11. Show that the ring of integers and the ring of polynomials are Euclidean.

12. Show that Z [i] is also Euclidean.

13. Show that in Euclidean rings a greatest common divisor exists and can be

found by using Euclidean algorithm.

14. Show in a Euclidean ring every non-zero element is a product of primes and

prime factors are defined uniquely up to multiplication by invertible elements.

Not all rings

√satisfy

the unique factorizarion property. √

15. Let Z −3 be the set of complex numbers x + y −3 with integer x and y.

Then prime factorization is not unique.

16. Show that S (n) = 4 (k1 + 1) . . . (kr + 1), assuming that ki are as in Problem

9 and all lj are even.

17. Show that if an integer is a sum of squares of two rational numbers, then it is

a sum of two integer squares.

Let us attack another problem using the same method. Find the number of integer

solutions of

x2 + xy + y 2 = n.

√

18. Let ε = 1 + −3 /2, and Z [ε] be the ring of complex numbers x + yε with

integer x and y. Such numbers may be called triangular. Draw them on the complex

plane. Show that |z|2 = x2 + xy + y 2 . Find all invertible elements.

19. Show that Z [ε] is Euclidean.

20. Show that the equation x2 + xy + y 2 ≡ 0 ( mod p) has a non-zero solution in

Zp if p ≡ 1 ( mod 3) or p = 3.

21. The number of integer solutions of x2 + xy + y 2 = p is 12 for p ≡ 1 ( mod 3).

This result is harder, but you can try to prove it now.

Theorem. Any integer can be represented as a sum of four perfect squares.

22. Consider the ring Z [i, j, k] of all the numbers z = x1 +x2 i+x3 j +x4 k, x1 , . . . , x4

are integer, with multiplication defined by relations

i2 = j 2 = k 2 = −1,

These are integer quaternions. Show that in general zy 6= yz. Let |z| = x21 + x22 +

x23 + x24 . Show that |zy| = |z||y|.

23. Show that x21 + x22 + x23 + x24 = p has an integer solution for every p. You will

probably have to do the next problem first.

3

24. (Minkovsky Lemma) Let L be a lattice of full rank in Rn , i.e. the set of all

integer linear combinations of n linearly independent vectors in Rn . Let V be the

volume of a minimal parallelepiped generated by vectors from L, and B be a convex

body centrally symmetric with respect to the origin. If the volume of B is greater

than 2n V then B contains a non-zero point of the lattice.

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