## Modulo Arithmetic

### Divisibility tests

A2, 2021

If $$p$$ is a prime number, which of the following are true?
(a) For every prime $$p$$, $$p^2-p$$ is divisible by 3.
(b) For every prime $$p>3$$, exactly $$p-1$$ or $$p+1$$ is divisible by 6.
(c) For every prime $$p>3$$, $$p^2-1$$ is divisible by 24.
(d) For every prime $$p>3$$, one of $$p+1$$,$$p+3$$ and $$p+5$$ is divisible by 8.

Solution
(a) False. $$5^2-5$$ is not divisible by 3.
(b) True. Both 3 and 2 must be factors of either $$p-1$$ or $$p+1$$. Since $$p$$ is an odd prime, it is not divisible by 3. So either $$p-1$$ or $$p+1$$ is divisible by 3. But $$p-1$$ and $$p+1$$ are both even.
(c) True. $$p$$ is either $$4k+1$$ or $$4k+3$$. So $$p^2-1$$ has 8 and 3 as factors.
(d) False. Put $$p=17$$.

### Difference of squares

A5, 2018

List in increasing order all positive integers $$n \leq 40$$ such that $$n$$ cannot be written in the form $$a^{2}-b^{2},$$ where $$a$$ and $$b$$ are positive integers.

Solution

1,4 and all even number s of the form $$4 k+2$$.

### Fermat’s little theorem

A5, 2010

Find the remainder given by $$3^{89} \times 7^{86}$$ when divided by 17.

Solution

The usual trick is to try to get numbers that are 1,-1 modulo the divisor. In this case, $$16\equiv -1 \mod 17$$. We cannot get 16 directly but notice that $$21 \equiv 4 \mod 17$$, which we can get.

$$3^{89} 7^{86} \equiv 3^{3}(3 \cdot 7)^{86} \equiv 27 \cdot 4^{86} \equiv 10\left(4^{2}\right)^{43} \equiv 10(-1)^{43} \equiv-10 \equiv 7$$

### Chinese remainder theorem

A10, 2020

Find positive integers $$a,b,c\leq 475$$ such that:

\begin{align} a\equiv 0\pmod {25} & \quad a\equiv 1\pmod {19} \\ \\ b\equiv 1\pmod {25} & \quad b\equiv 0\pmod {19} \\ \\ c\equiv 10\pmod{25} & \quad c\equiv 4\pmod {19} \end{align}

Solution

### Background: Chinese remainder theorem (CRT)

We want to find a $$p$$ such that: \begin{align} p \equiv p_{1} &\: \left(\bmod\; n_{1}\right) \\ p \equiv p_{2} &\: \left(\bmod\; n_{2}\right) \end{align} where $$n_{1}$$ and $$n_{2}$$ are coprime. Bezout's theorem proves the existence of two integers $$m_{1}$$ and $$m_{2}$$ such that: $m_{1} n_{1}+m_{2} n_{2}=1$ The integers $$m_{1}$$ and $$m_{2}$$ can be found by the extended Euclidean algorithm. A solution is given by $p=p_{1} m_{2} n_{2}+p_{2} m_{1} n_{1}$ Further, the solution is unique modulo $$n_1n_2$$.

The numbers 25 and 19 are co-prime and we can apply CRT directly to our problem. $-3\times 25 + 4\times 19 = 1$ So we have: \begin{align} n_1 &= 25 & n_2 &= 19 \\ m_1 &= -3 & m_2 &= 4 \end{align} We apply the formula to get the values of $$a,b$$ and $$c$$. \begin{align} a &= 0\times 76 + 1 \times -75 = -75 = 400 \pmod{475} \\ b &= 1\times 76 + 0 \times -75 = 76 \\ c &= 10\times 76 + 4 \times -75 = 460 \pmod{475} \end{align}

### Is a square?

A6, 2019

For what values of $$n$$ is $$n^6 + n^4 + 1$$ a square of a natural number?

Solution

We will handle odd and even cases separately.

Lemma. Every odd square is $$1 \bmod 8$$.

$(2k+1)^2=4k^2+4k+1=4(k^2+k)+1$ Since $$4(k^2+k)$$ is divisible by 8, the lemma follows. $$\square$$

Case 1. If $$n$$ is odd, then the given expression $$S:=n^6+n^4+1$$ cannot be a square since $$S\equiv 3\pmod 8$$. Hence $$n$$ is not odd.

Case 2. If $$n=2$$, we have $$S=81$$, so we have one solution. If $$n>2$$ and is even we have:

$\left(n^3+\frac{n}{2}\right)^2=n^6+n^4+\frac{n^2}{4}> S > n^6+n^4-2n^3+\frac{n^2}{4}-n+1=\left(n^3+\frac{n}{2}-1\right)^2$

$$S$$ is a number strictly inbetween two consecutive squares, so there are no solutions for $$n>2$$.

### Pigeon-hole principle

B1, 2010

Let $$a_{1}, a_{2}, \ldots, a_{100}$$ be 100 positive integers. Show that for some $$m, n$$ with $$1 \leq m \leq n \leq$$ $$100, \sum_{i=m}^{n} a_{i}$$ is divisible by 100.

Solution

Consider the remainders of the sequence when divided by 100. If some $$a_k\bmod100=0$$, then $$m=n=k$$ will work. Otherwise, the reminders are between 1 and 99 for every number.

Since there are 100 numbers, there must be two indices $$i$$ and $$j$$ such that $$a_i\bmod 100=a_j\bmod 100$$. Pick $$m=i$$ and $$n=j$$, if $$i < j$$.

Similar problem. Prove that there exists a number consisting of only 1s and 0s that is divisible by 3.

### Pigeon-hole on pairs

B7, 2012

A sequence of integers $$c_{n}$$ starts with $$c_{0}=0$$ and satisfies $$c_{n+2}=a c_{n+1}+b c_{n}$$ for $$n \geq 0,$$ where $$a$$ and $$b$$ are integers. For any positive integer $$k$$ with $$g c d(k, b)=1,$$ show that $$c_{n}$$ is divisible by $$k$$ for infinitely many $$n$$

Solution

Let $$r_i = c_i \mod k$$. We want to prove that the sequence of $$r_i$$s has infinitely many zeroes.

Lemma. For all $$i> 0$$, $$r_i$$ and $$r_{i+1}$$ uniquely determine $$r_{i-1}$$.

Proof. Since $$k$$ and $$b$$ are co-prime, $$b$$ has an inverse modulo $$k$$. That is, there is a unique number $$b^{-1}$$ such that $$bb^{-1} = 1$$.

The lemma implies that there are infinite number of zeros in the sequence of $$r_i$$s. If not, we can find the last zero. Look at the infinite sequence starting from the last zero. Since there are only $$k^2$$ distinct pairs, some pair must repeat by pigeon-hole principle. Let $$ab$$ be the first pair of consecutive numbers that repeats. Let $$x$$ and $$y$$ be the numbers that come before the first and the second instance of the pair. Due to the above lemma, given the pair $$ab$$, the previous number is unique. So $$x=y$$. But this violates our assumption that $$ab$$ is the first pair that repeats. ### Perfect square in a sequence

B4, 2017

The domain of a function $$f$$ is the set of natural numbers. The function is defined as follows:

$f(n)=n+\lfloor\sqrt{n}\rfloor$

where $$\lfloor k\rfloor$$ denotes the smallest integer less than or equal to $$k .$$ For example, $$\lfloor\pi\rfloor=$$ $$3,\lfloor 4\rfloor=4 .$$ Prove that for every natural number $$m$$ the following sequence contains at least one perfect square

$m, f(m), f^{2}(m), f^{3}(m), \ldots$

The notation $$f^{k}$$ denotes the function obtained by composing $$f$$ with itself $$k$$ times, e.g., $$f^{2}=f \circ f$$

Solution

If $$m$$ is itself a square then we are done. So assume that $$m=k^{2}+j$$ for $$1 \leq j \leq 2 k$$. Hence we have $$f(m)=k^{2}+j+k$$. Consider the following two sets:

$$A=\left\{m \text{ a natural number} \mid m=k^{2}+j \text { and } 0 \leq j \leq 2 k\right\}$$

$$B=\left\{m \text{ a natural number} \mid m=k^{2}+j \text { and } k+1 \leq j \leq 2 k\right\}$$

Suppose $$m$$ is in the set $$B$$. Then

\begin{align} f(m) &=k^{2}+j+k \\ &=(k+1)^{2}+(j-k-1) \end{align}

Hence $$f(m)$$ is eit her a square or is in $$A .$$ Thus it is enough to assume that $$m \in A$$ In that case $$k^{2}< f(m)< (k+1)^{2},$$ so $$\lfloor f(m)\rfloor=k$$. Therefore

$f^{2}(m)=(k+1)^{2}+(j-1)$

This clearly implies that $$f^{2 j}(m)=(k+j)^{2}$$