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Number Theory–An Olympiad Approach1

Manjil P. Saikia

Abstract. We give a collection of all the important number theoretic results that are useful for students participating in the Mathematical Olympiads. The results are given without detailed proofs. A seperate problem sheet has been provided. The proofs of most of the results discussed can be found in the books mentioned in the References section. It is assumed that the students have some familiarity with certain algebraic manipulation techniques and other basic things.

1. Preliminaries Well Ordering Principle (WOP): Every nonempty set S of nonnegative integers contains a least element; that is, there is some integer a such that a ≤ b for all b’s belonging to S. Theorem 1.1. (Archimedean Property) If a and b are any positive integers, then there exists a positive integer n such that na ≥ b. Theorem 1.2. (First Principle of Finite Induction) Let S be a set of positive integers with the following properties: • The integer 1 belongs to S. • Whenever the integer k is in S, the next integer k + 1 must also be in S. Then S is the set of all positive integers. Theorem 1.3. (Binomial Theorem)If a and b are integers and n is a natural number then the general binomial theorem gives the relationship: n n n n−1 n n−2 2 n n n (a + b)n = a + a b+ a b + ... + abn−1 + b . 0 1 2 n−1 n 2. Some Results and Definitions Number Theory requires extensive preparation but the prerequisites are very few. Almost all are covered in a standard school syllabus and the remaining ones were covered in the earlier section. The strategies are accquired over time by massive amount of problem solving. This section contains almost all of the main results and definitions that a student preparing for Olympiads must know. Note that in this section all the variables stand for integers unless otherwise noted. Property 2.1. If b = aq for some q ∈ Z, then a divides b, and we write a | b. Property 2.2. (Fundamental Properties of the Divisibility Relation) • a | b, b | c ⇒ a | c.
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A series of lectures delivered at Darrang College, Tezpur, India.
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16. n! + 4.4. Property 2. All pairwise prime triples of integers satisfying x2 + y 2 = z 2 are given by x =| u2 − v 2 |.18. (Wilson’s Theorem)If p is a prime.14. subtracted and multiplied in a usual manner but they cannot be divided always. (Sophie Germain Identity) a4 + 4b4 = (a2 + 2b2 + 2ab)(a2 + 2b2 − 2ab). b) = ax + by.r).15. Theorem 2. Theorem 2. Definition 2. Then. there are x. (Division Algorithm)Every integer a is uniquely representable by the positive integer b in the form a = bq + r.b) can be represented by a linear e combination of a and b with integral coefficients such that. Theorem 2. (Congruences) If m | a − b then we write a ≡ b (mod m). √ Property 2. Property 2.8.b)=gcd(b.9.2 Manjil P.17. Notation 2. so that gcd(a. (Euclid)There are infinitely many primes. by the nonnegative integer k such that pk || n. (Euclid’s Lemma) If p is a prime.6.3. d | b ⇒ d | ax + by. then ap ≡ a (mod p). The smallest prime factor of a nonprime n is ≤ n. n! + 2. gcd(u. (Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic) Every positive integer can be uniquely represented as a product of primes. gcd(a.5. Theorem 2. Theorem 2. Property 2. n = Πp:prime pordp (n) . 0 ≤ r < b. (Euclidean Algorithm) In the above representation of integers gcd(a. y ∈ Z. Property 2. y = 2uv and z = u2 + v 2 . · · · . Congruences can be added. (Euler’s totient function) φ(m) denotes the number of numbers less than m which are prime to m. v) = 1 and u − v is not divisible by 2. Theorem 2. p | ab ⇒ p | a or p | b. (Fermat’s Little Theorem) Let a be a positive integer and p be a prime. n! + 3. Definition 2.12. Theorem 2.13.19. n! + n are (n − 1) consecutive composite integers. The converse is however not valid. Property 2. Theorem 2. (B´zout’s Identity) The gcd(a.7. then (p − 1) ≡ −1 (mod p). (Euler) If a and m be relatively prime positive integers then.10. aφ(m) ≡ 1 (mod p). Saikia • d | a. m) = 1 ⇒ aφ(m) ≡ 1 (mod m).11. We define ordp (n).

Feng. For any positive integer n.26. [4] H. 1 2 k τ (n) = (a1 + 1)(a2 + 1) · · · (ak + 1) Theorem 2.24. 2007. 2008.22.30.25.com . Theorem 2. then A is a multiple of B iff ordp (A) ≥ ordp (B) holds for all primes p. Theorem 2.27. Andrica and Z. Springer. Theorem 2. (Hermite) nx = x + x + 1 n ∞ n k=1 pk . x is the greatest integer less than or equal to x. 2010. x is read as floor of x. M. p1 − 1 pk − 1 3.Number Theory–An Olympiad Approach 3 Theorem 2. • x+y ≥ x + y .23. Pohoat˘.21. Elementary Number Theory. Lee. [3] A. Sixth Edition. Acknowledgements The author wishes to thank Prof. McGraw Hill. INFINITY. 1 • x + 2 = the integer nearest to x. Sonitpur. 104 Number Theory Problems From the Training of the USA IMO Team. With the same notation as the above three theorems we have.29.28. σ(n) denotes the sum of the divisors of the nonnegative integer n.in. C. Pin-784028 E-mail address: manjil msi09@agnee. b) = n. Problem–Solving Strategies. D. Let A and B be positive integers. Notation 2. b) with lcm(a. (De Polignac) ordp (n!) = Property 2. Theorem 2. x x • n = n . τ (n) denotes the number of divisors of the nonnegative integer n. (2a1 + 1)(2a2 + 1) · · · (2ak + 1) distinct pairs of ordered positive integers (a. Deka for inviting the author to deliver the lectures. Brikh¨user. + . a Department of Mathematical Sciences. σ(n) = pa1 +1 − 1 pak +1 − 1 1 ··· . Notation 2. T. With the notation of the previous theorem we have. Andreescu. then. Engel. 2005..tezu. B. Lovering and C.saikia@gmail. Notation 2. Theorem 2. manjil. M. Rege for [1] and R. a [2] D. + x + n−1 n . References [1] T.ernet. Burton. Πd|n d = n τ (n) 2 . If n = pa1 pa2 · · · pak is a prime decomposition of n.20. Tezpur University..