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You are on page 1of 6

Descartes-Frenicle-Sorli Conjecture

on odd perfect numbers - Part II

Jose Arnaldo B. Dris

University of the Philippines-Diliman

e-mails: jadris@feu.edu.ph, josearnaldobdris@gmail.com

Doli-Jane T. Lugatiman

Mindanao State University

Fatima, General Santos City, Philippines

e-mail: djlugatiman@gmail.com

number with Euler prime q. In this note, we present some further conditions equivalent to this

conjecture.

Keywords: Odd perfect number, Abundancy index, Deficiency.

AMS Classification: 11A25.

1 Introduction

Let x be a positive integer. Recall that we call

∑

d = σ1 (x) = σ(x)

d|x

as the sum of divisors of x. Denote the abundancy index of x by I(x) = σ(x)/x, and the

deficiency of x by D(x) = 2x − σ(x). Note that we have the identity

D(x) σ(x) D(x)

+ = + I(x) = 2.

x x x

∏

Note further that, if y = w si

i=1 zi is the prime factorization of y, then we have the formula

(∏ w ) ∏ w ( ) ∏ w

si si zi si +1 − 1

σ(y) = σ zi = σ(zi ) = ,

i=1 i=1 i=1

zi − 1

where w := ω(y) is the number of distinct prime factors of y. This means that σ as a func-

tion satisfies σ(ab) = σ(a)σ(b) if and only if gcd(a, b) = 1, which means that σ is (weakly)

multiplicative.

1

Therefore, if gcd(a, b) = 1, it follows from the above formula for σ that

( ) ( )

σ(ab) σ(a)σ(b) σ(a) σ(b)

I(ab) = = = · = I(a)I(b)

ab ab a b

which shows that the abundancy index I as a function is also (weakly) multiplicative. Lastly, note

that the deficiency D as a function is in general not (weakly) multiplicative [6].

We will repeatedly use the multiplicativity of the divisor sum σ and the abundancy index I to

derive results in this paper.

We say that a number N is perfect if σ(N ) = 2N . The following result (due to Euclid and

Euler) gives a necessary and sufficient condition for an even integer E to be perfect.

Theorem 1.1. An even integer E is perfect if and only if E = (2p − 1)2p−1 for some integer p for

which 2p − 1 is prime.

See different proofs of Theorem 1.1 in [2]. Prime numbers of the form 2p − 1 are called

Mersenne primes, and if 2p −1 is prime then p must be prime. (The converse of this last statement

does not hold.) 6, 28, 496, and 8128 are examples of even perfect numbers, and these correspond

to the Mersenne primes 2p − 1 with p given by 2, 3, 5, and 7, respectively. We still do not know

if there are infinitely many even perfect numbers. Also, it is not known if there are odd perfect

numbers. It is widely believed that no odd perfect numbers exist.

If there is an odd perfect number O, then Euler proved that it must have the form O = q k n2 ,

where q is a prime satisfying q ≡ k ≡ 1 (mod 4) and gcd(q, n) = 1. We call q the special or

Euler prime of O, q k is the Euler factor, and n2 is the non-Euler factor. (Notice that both E and O

have the forms N = QK M 2 where Q is prime, K ≡ 1 (mod 4), and gcd(Q, M ) = 1.) Descartes,

Frenicle, and subsequently Sorli [7] predicted that k = 1 always holds. Sorli conjectured k = 1

after testing large odd numbers N ′ with ω(N ′ ) = 8 for perfection. More recently, Beasley [1]

reports that “Dickson has documented Descartes’ conjecture as occurring in a letter to Marin

Mersenne [on November 15,] 1638, with Frenicle’s subsequent observation occurring in 1657”.

Holdener presented some conditions equivalent to the existence of odd perfect numbers in [4].

In [3], Dris gives some conditions equivalent to the Descartes-Frenicle-Sorli conjecture.

In this paper, we reprove the following result, which originally appeared in [3]:

Lemma 1.1. If N = q k n2 is an odd perfect number with Euler prime q, then

( ) D(n2 ) σ(N/q k )

gcd n2 , σ(n2 ) = = .

σ(q k−1 ) qk

We shall use Lemma 1.1 to show the veracity of the following statements:

Theorem 1.2. If N = q k n2 is an odd perfect number with Euler prime q, then k = 1 if and only

if ( )

q−1

σ(n ) − n =

2 2

· D(n2 ).

2

Theorem 1.3. If N = q k n2 is an odd perfect number with Euler prime q, then k = 1 if and only

if ( )

q(q + 1)

N= · D(n2 ).

2

2

We also use Lemma 1.1 to give a new proof of the following result from [5]:

Theorem 1.4. If N = q k n2 is an odd perfect number with Euler prime q, then k = 1 if and only

if

n2 σ(n2 )

N= .

D(n2 )

All of the proofs given in this note are elementary.

Let N = q k n2 be an odd perfect number with Euler prime q.

Since N is perfect, we have

where we have used the divisibility constraint gcd(q, n) = 1 and the fact that σ is (weakly)

( )

multiplicative. It follows that q k | σ(n2 ) (because gcd q k , σ(q k ) = 1). Hence,

= =

qk qk σ(q k )

is an integer.

Consequently, by setting

A := σ(n2 ), B := q k

C := 2n2 , D := σ(q k ),

we can use the algebraic identity

A C C −A

= =

B D D−B

to show that

σ(N/q k ) D(n2 )

= ,

qk σ(q k−1 )

since D − B = σ(q k ) − q k = 1 + q + . . . + q k−1 = σ(q k−1 ).

The remaining part is to show that

( ) D(n2 )

gcd n2 , σ(n2 ) =

σ(q k−1 )

σ(n2 ) 2n2 D(n2 )

= =

qk σ(q k ) σ(q k−1 )

( )

and the fact that gcd q k , σ(q k )/2 = 1.

This finishes the proof of Lemma 1.1.

3

3 The proof of Theorem 1.2

Let N = q k n2 be an odd perfect number with Euler prime q.

By Lemma 1.1, we have

σ(n2 ) 2n2 D(n2 )

= = .

qk σ(q k ) σ(q k−1 )

Suppose that k = 1. Then we obtain

σ(n2 ) n2

= q+1 = D(n2 ).

q 2

Consequently, by setting

A′ := σ(n2 ), B ′ := q

q+1

C ′ := n2 , D′ := ,

2

we can use the algebraic identity

A′ C′ A′ − C ′

= =

B′ D′ B ′ − D′

to show that

2 σ(n2 ) − n2

D(n ) = q−1 ,

2

since B ′ − D′ = q − (q + 1)/2 = (q − 1)/2.

It follows that ( )

q−1

σ(n ) − n =

2 2

· D(n2 ),

2

and this establishes one direction of Theorem 1.2.

Next, suppose that ( )

q−1

σ(n ) − n =

2 2

· D(n2 ).

2

We get that ( ) ( ) ( )

2 σ(n ) − n

2 2

= q − 1 · 2n − σ(n ) 2 2

which gives

2σ(n2 ) − 2n2 = 2qn2 − 2n2 − qσ(n2 ) + σ(n2 ).

Collecting like terms and simplifying, we obtain

(q + 1)σ(n2 ) = 2qn2 .

This implies that

σ(n2 ) 2q

I(n2 ) = 2

=

n q+1

from which it follows that

2 q+1

I(q k ) = 2

= .

I(n ) q

Since q is the Euler prime, we conclude that k = 1.

This completes the proof of Theorem 1.2. (Note that σ(n2 ) − n2 is called the sum of the

aliquot parts of the non-Euler factor n2 .)

4

4 The proof of Theorem 1.3

Let N = q k n2 be an odd perfect number with Euler prime q.

The proof of the biconditional

( )

q(q + 1)

k = 1 ⇐⇒ N = · D(n2 )

2

follows from the fact that every odd perfect number N = q k n2 can be written in the form

( k )

q σ(q k ) D(n2 )

N= · ,

2 σ(q k−1 )

and a proof of this statement follows directly from Lemma 1.1. (Note that one also needs to use

( ) ( )

the fact that gcd q k , σ(q k−1 ) = gcd σ(q k ), σ(q k−1 ) = 1.)

Let N = q k n2 be an odd perfect number with Euler prime q.

First, assume that k = 1. Then, from Lemma 1.1, we have

σ(n2 )

= D(n2 )

q

which implies that

n2 σ(n2 )

= qn2 = q k n2 = N.

D(n2 )

This establishes one direction of Theorem 1.4.

For the other direction, suppose that

k 2 n2 σ(n2 )

q n =N = .

D(n2 )

σ(n2 )

= D(n2 ).

qk

However, by Lemma 1.1 we know that

σ(n2 ) D(n2 )

=

qk σ(q k−1 )

σ(q k−1 ) = 1.

This means that q k−1 = 1, which implies that k − 1 = 0, whence we finally derive k = 1.

This concludes the proof of Theorem 1.4.

5

6 Further Research

Following the proof of Lemma 1.1, one can use the same algebraic trick to derive a plethora of

identities linking the various quantities associated with the divisors q k and n2 of an odd perfect

number q k n2 with Euler prime q. As the penultimate goal of this research style is to derive a

contradiction from among the stringent conditions that an odd perfect number must satisfy, we

leave this as a research thrust for other researchers to pursue.

Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to the anonymous referee(s) whose valuable feedback improved the

overall presentation and style of this manuscript.

References

[1] B. D. Beasley, Euler and the ongoing search for odd perfect numbers, ACMS 19th Biennial

Conference Proceedings, (Bethel University, 2013).

[2] L. E. Dickson, History of the theory of numbers, Vol. 1 pp. 3-33 (Chelsea Pub. Co., New

York, 1971).

numbers, Notes on Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics, 23 (2), 1220.

[4] J. A. Holdener, Conditions equivalent to the existence of odd perfect numbers, Math. Mag.,

79, 389-391.

[5] D. Lustig, The algebraic independence of the sum of divisors functions, Journal of Number

Theory, 130 (2010), 2628-2633.

org/A033879.

[7] R. M. Sorli, Algorithms in the study of multiperfect and odd perfect numbers, Ph. D. Thesis,

University of Technology, Sydney, 2003.

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