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Problem. Show that there does not exists a, b, c ∈ Q ( ^{√} − 7) such that

a ^{2} + b ^{2} + c ^{2} = − 1.

Solution. I will use a result that says that a stufe of a number ﬁeld is either 1, 2, 4, or ∞ (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0 022314X7290039X). If the stufe is 4 or ∞ , then we are done. So, I will show that the stufe is not 1 or 2. Obviously, it is not 1. Then, I will show that there does not exists x, y ∈ Q ( ^{√} − 7) such that

x ^{2} + y ^{2} = − 1 · · · (1).

Suppose there exists x and

for a, b, c, d ∈ Q . Then (1) becomes

y that satisﬁes (1). Then, by letting x = a + b ^{√} − 7, y = c + d ^{√} − 7

(a ^{2} − 7b ^{2} + c ^{2} − 7d ^{2} ) + 2(ab + cd) ^{√} − 7 = − 1.

which is equivalent to solving a ^{2} − 7b ^{2} + c ^{2} − 7d ^{2} = − 1 and ab + cd = 0. We will focus our attention on solving a ^{2} − 7b ^{2} + c ^{2} − 7d ^{2} = − 1 · · · (2).

For all g = a, b, c, d, let us examine g = ^{g} _{g} _{2} , where g ∈ Z and (g _{1} ,g _{2} ) = 1. Then (2) becomes:

1

^{} a _{a} 2 2 − 7

1

_{c} 2 2 − 7 2 2 ^{+} c

b

1

b

1

d

d

1

2 2

= − 1 · · · (2) ^{′}

There are 3 possibilities of g _{1} and g _{2} , which is:

(i) g _{1} is odd (o) and g _{2} is even (e).

(ii) g _{1} and g _{2} are odd.

(iii) g _{1} is even and g _{2} is odd.

Case 1: There exists at least one of {a, b, c, d} that are in form (i). Then we multiply both sides in (2)’ by l ^{2} = (lcm (a _{2} ,b _{2} ,c _{2} ,d _{2} )) ^{2} , which gives us

^{} la _{1}

a

2

2 − 7 ^{l}^{b} ^{1}

b

2

^{} ^{2} _{+} ^{} lc _{1}

c

2

2 − 7 ^{l}^{d} ^{1}

d

2

^{} 2

= − l ^{2}

and also the fact that each ^{l}^{g} ^{1} is an integer. We also know that l must be an even integer. At least one of them must be odd, because if all of them are even integers, then l/2 is also a common multiples of a _{2} ,b _{2} ,c _{2} , and d _{2} , which contradicts the fact that l is the least common multiple of a _{2} ,b _{2} ,c _{2} , and d _{2} . Consider the equation in mod 8, then it becomes

g

2

^{} la _{1} ^{} ^{2} _{+} ^{} lb _{1} ^{} ^{2} _{+} ^{} lc _{1} ^{} ^{2} _{+} ^{} ld _{1}

a

2

b

2

c

2

d

2

^{} 2

≡ − l ^{2}

mod 8.

We know that at least of lg _{1} /g _{2} must be

odd, w.l.o.g g = a . Then, (la _{1} /a _{2} ) ^{2} ≡ 1 mod 8, while for other instances of g = b, c, d,

Because l is even, then − l ^{2} ≡ 0 or 4 mod 8.

(lg _{1} /g _{2} ) ^{2} ≡ 0, 1, 4 mod 8. It is easy to see from exhausting all the possibilities that all of lg _{1} /g _{2} must be odd, and − l ^{2} ≡ 4 mod 8. This implies that all of g _{1} /g _{2} are in form (i); if any of those are in another form, then lg _{1} /g _{2} must be even for some g = a, b, c, d, and also because l ^{2} ≡ 4 mod 8, this means that the highest power of 2 that divides l must be 2 ^{1} , which implies l/2 is odd. Multiplying both sides of (1) by l ^{2} /4, we have:

^{} lx ^{} ^{2} _{+} ^{} ly

2

2

2 = − ^{l} _{4} · · · (3)

2

where lx, ly are in the form p + q ^{√} − 7 where p, q ∈ Z and p ≡ q ≡ 1 mod 2. Let’s consider this new equation in mod 8. First, it is possible to consider lx/2 and ly/2 as a residue

mod 8,

which gives us x ≡ ^{√} − 7 mod 8, but this is simply all the odd integers. And also, because p , q and ^{√} − 7 are all odds, then p + q ^{√} − 7 is even in Z/8Z , which gives us the fact that p + q ^{√} − 7

in Z/8Z , because ^{√} − 7 mod 8 means we are looking for a solution of x ^{2} ≡ − 7

≡ k mod 8 for some integer k in Z/8Z .

2

Then, we can consider lx/2, ly/2 ∈ Z/8Z . Then, for any k ∈ Z/8Z , k ^{2} ≡ 0, 1, 4 mod 8, which gives us the fact that k + k ≡ 0, 1, 2, 4, 5 mod 8 for k _{1} ,k _{2} ∈ Z/8Z . But, for the right hand side of equation (3), because l/2 is odd, then (l/2) ^{2} ≡ 1 mod 8, or − l ^{2} /4 ≡ 7 mod 8, which is a contradiction. Hence, we conclude that ther e is no solution in this ﬁrst case.

2

1

2

2

Case 2: {a, b, c, d} are not in the form (i).

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