# Questions tagged [nt.number-theory]

Prime numbers, diophantine equations, diophantine approximations, analytic or algebraic number theory, arithmetic geometry, Galois theory, transcendental number theory, continued fractions

15,957
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### Polynomial bijection from $\mathbb Q\times\mathbb Q$ to $\mathbb Q$?

Is there any polynomial $f(x,y)\in{\mathbb Q}[x,y]{}$ such that $f\colon\mathbb{Q}\times\mathbb{Q} \rightarrow\mathbb{Q}$ is a bijection?

293
votes

8
answers

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### Philosophy behind Mochizuki's work on the ABC conjecture

Mochizuki has recently announced a proof of the ABC conjecture. It is far too early to judge its correctness, but it builds on many years of work by him. Can someone briefly explain the philosophy ...

288
votes

7
answers

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### Polynomial representing all nonnegative integers

Lagrange proved that every nonnegative integer is a sum of 4 squares.
Gauss proved that every nonnegative integer is a sum of 3 triangular numbers.
Is there a 2-variable polynomial $f(x,y) \in \...

233
votes

14
answers

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### Have any long-suspected irrational numbers turned out to be rational?

The history of proving numbers irrational is full of interesting stories, from the ancient proofs for $\sqrt{2}$, to Lambert's irrationality proof for $\pi$, to Roger Apéry's surprise demonstration ...

178
votes

11
answers

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### Knuth's intuition that Goldbach might be unprovable

Knuth's intuition that Goldbach's conjecture (every even number greater than 2 can be written as a sum of two primes) might be one of the statements that can neither be proved nor disproved really ...

173
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3
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### Estimating the size of solutions of a diophantine equation

A. Is there natural numbers $a,b,c$ such that $\frac{a}{b+c} + \frac{b}{a+c} + \frac{c}{a+b}$ is equal to an odd natural number ?
(I do not know any such numbers).
B. Suppose that $\frac{a}{b+c} + \...

166
votes

3
answers

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### Convergence of $\sum(n^3\sin^2n)^{-1}$

I saw a while ago in a book by Clifford Pickover, that whether the Flint Hills series $\displaystyle \sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac1{n^3\sin^2 n}$ converges is open.
I would think that the question of its ...

163
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11
answers

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### Why is the Gamma function shifted from the factorial by 1?

I've asked this question in every math class where the teacher has introduced the Gamma function, and never gotten a satisfactory answer. Not only does it seem more natural to extend the factorial ...

153
votes

7
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### Consequences of the Riemann hypothesis

I assume a number of results have been proven conditionally on the Riemann hypothesis, of course in number theory and maybe in other fields. What are the most relevant you know?
It would also be nice ...

149
votes

2
answers

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### What is a Frobenioid?

Since there will be a long digression in a moment, let me start by reassuring you that my intention really is to ask the question in the title.
Recently, there has been a flurry of new discussion ...

145
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4
answers

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### What are "perfectoid spaces"?

This talk is about a theory of "perfectoid spaces", which "compares objects in characteristic p with objects in characteristic 0". What are those spaces, where can one read about them?
Edit: A bit ...

142
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### If $2^x $and $3^x$ are integers, must $x$ be as well?

I'm fascinated by this open problem (if it is indeed still that) and every few years I try to check up on its status. Some background: Let $x$ be a positive real number.
If $n^x$ is an integer for ...

138
votes

0
answers

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### Grothendieck-Teichmüller conjecture

(1) In "Esquisse d'un programme", Grothendieck conjectures
Grothendieck-Teichmüller conjecture: the morphism
$$
G_{\mathbb{Q}} \longrightarrow Aut(\widehat{T})
$$
is an isomorphism.
Here $...

137
votes

2
answers

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### Consequences resulting from Yitang Zhang's latest claimed results on Landau-Siegel zeros

Very recently, Yitang Zhang just gave a (virtual) talk about his work on Landau-Siegel zeros at Shandong University on the 5th of November's morning in China. He will also give a talk on 8th November ...

127
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13
answers

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### Why are modular forms interesting?

Well, I'm aware that this question may seem very naive to the several experts on this topic that populate this site: feel free to add the "soft question" tag if you want... So, knowing nothing about ...

117
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8
answers

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### Zagier's one-sentence proof of a theorem of Fermat

Zagier has a very short proof (MR1041893, JSTOR) for the fact that every prime number $p$ of the form $4k+1$ is the sum of two squares.
The proof defines an involution of the set $S= \lbrace (x,y,z) \...

116
votes

5
answers

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### How did Cole factor $2^{67}-1$ in 1903?

I just heard a This American Life episode which recounted the famous anecdote about Frank Nelson Cole factoring $N:=2^{67}-1$ as $193{,}707{,}721\times 761{,}838{,}257{,}287$. There doesn't seem to be ...

114
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4
answers

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### Is the series $\sum_n|\sin n|^n/n$ convergent?

Problem. Is the series $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{|\sin(n)|^n}n$$convergent?
(The problem was posed on 22.06.2017 by Ph D students of H.Steinhaus Center of Wroclaw Polytechnica. The promised prize for ...

114
votes

3
answers

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### The number $\pi$ and summation by $SL(2,\mathbb Z)$

Let $f(a,b,c,d)=\sqrt{a^2+b^2}+\sqrt{c^2+d^2}-\sqrt{(a+c)^2+(b+d)^2}$. (it is the defect in the triangle inequality)
Then, we discovered by heuristic arguments and then verified by computer that
$$\...

113
votes

22
answers

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### What's the "best" proof of quadratic reciprocity?

For my purposes, you may want to interpret "best" as "clearest and easiest to understand for undergrads in a first number theory course," but don't feel too constrained.

111
votes

7
answers

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### Is the set $ AA+A $ always at least as large as $ A+A $?

Let $A$ be a finite set of real numbers. Is it always the case that $|AA+A| \geq |A+A|$?
My first instinct is that this is obviously true, and there is a one-line proof which I am foolishly ...

107
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6
answers

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### How small can a sum of a few roots of unity be?

Let $n$ be a large natural number, and let $z_1, \ldots, z_{10}$ be (say) ten $n^{th}$ roots of unity: $z_1^n = \ldots = z_{10}^n = 1$. Suppose that the sum $S = z_1+\ldots+z_{10}$ is non-zero. How ...

105
votes

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### integral of a "sin-omial" coefficients=binomial

I find the following averaged-integral amusing and intriguing, to say the least. Is there any proof?
For any pair of integers $n\geq k\geq0$, we have
$$\frac1{\pi}\int_0^{\pi}\frac{\sin^n(x)}{\...

104
votes

6
answers

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### Why does the Riemann zeta function have non-trivial zeros?

This is a very basic question of course, and exposes my serious ignorance of analytic number theory, but what I am looking for is a good intuitive explanation rather than a formal proof (though a ...

104
votes

10
answers

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### "Understanding" $\mathrm{Gal}(\bar{\mathbb{Q}}/\mathbb{Q})$

I have heard people say that a major goal of number theory is to understand the absolute Galois group of the rational numbers $G = \mathrm{Gal}(\bar{\mathbb{Q}}/\mathbb{Q})$. What do people mean when ...

102
votes

4
answers

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### Philosophy behind Yitang Zhang's work on the Twin Primes Conjecture

Yitang Zhang recently published a new attack on the Twin Primes Conjecture. Quoting Andre Granville :
“The big experts in the field had
already tried to make this approach
work,” Granville said....

100
votes

2
answers

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### Riemann hypothesis via absolute geometry

Several leading mathematicians (e.g. Yuri Manin) have written or said publicly that there is a known outline of a likely natural proof of the Riemann hypothesis using absolute algebraic geometry over ...

97
votes

19
answers

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### Collecting proofs that finite multiplicative subgroups of fields are cyclic

I teach elementary number theory and discrete mathematics to students who come with no abstract algebra. I have found proving the key theorem that finite multiplicative subgroups of fields are cyclic ...

94
votes

6
answers

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### Quasicrystals and the Riemann Hypothesis

Let $0 < k_1 < k_2 < k_3 < \cdots $ be all the zeros of the Riemann zeta function on the critical line:
$$ \zeta(\frac{1}{2} + i k_j) = 0 $$
Let $f$ be the Fourier transform of the sum ...

88
votes

7
answers

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### If I exchange infinitely many digits of $\pi$ and $e$, are the two resulting numbers transcendental?

If I swap the digits of $\pi$ and $e$ in infinitely many places, I get two new numbers. Are these two numbers transcendental?

87
votes

38
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### Where is number theory used in the rest of mathematics?

Where is number theory used in the rest of mathematics?
To put it another way: what interesting questions are there that don't appear to be about number theory, but need number theory in order to ...

87
votes

12
answers

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### Why do we make such big deal about the 'unsolvability' of the quintic?

The unsolvability of a general quintic equation in terms of the basic arithmetic operations and $n$th roots (i.e. the Abel–Ruffini theorem) is considered a major result in the mathematical canon. I ...

86
votes

9
answers

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### Why should I believe the Mordell Conjecture?

It was Faltings who first proved in 1983 the Mordell conjecture, that a curve of genus 2 or more over a number field has only finitely many rational points.
I am interested to know why Mordell and ...

85
votes

4
answers

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### Etale cohomology -- Why study it?

I know (at least I think I know) that some of the main motivating problems in the development of etale cohomology were the Weil conjectures. I'd like to know what other problems one can solve using ...

85
votes

4
answers

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### The enigmatic complexity of number theory

One of the most salient aspects of the discipline of number theory is that from a very small number of definitions, entities and axioms one is led to an extraordinary wealth and diversity of theorems, ...

85
votes

8
answers

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### What are the local Langlands conjectures nowadays, for connected reductive groups over a $p$-adic field?

Let me stress that I am only interested in $p$-adic fields in this question, for reasons that will become clear later. Let me also stress that in some sense I am basically assuming that the reader ...

84
votes

2
answers

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### A little number theoretic game

I came up with this little two player game:
The players take turns naming a positive integer. When one player says the number n, the other player can only reply in two different ways: They can either ...

83
votes

8
answers

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### The inverse Galois problem, what is it good for?

Several years ago I attended a colloquium talk of an expert in Galois theory. He motivated some of his work on its relation with the inverse Galois problem. During the talk, a guy from the audience ...

82
votes

30
answers

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### Applications of the Chinese remainder theorem

As the title suggests I am interested in CRT applications. Wikipedia article on CRT lists some of the well known applications (e.g. used in the RSA algorithm, used to construct an elegant Gödel ...

80
votes

10
answers

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### Existence of a zero-sum subset

Some time ago I heard this question and tried playing around with it. I've never succeeded to making actual progress. Here it goes:
Given a finite (nonempty) set of real numbers, $S=\{a_1,a_2,\dots, ...

79
votes

12
answers

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### Is there a high-concept explanation for why characteristic 2 is special?

The structure of the multiplicative groups of $\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$ or of $\mathbb{Z}_p$ is the same for odd primes, but not for $2.$ Quadratic reciprocity has a uniform statement for odd primes, ...

79
votes

6
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### Does Zhang's theorem generalize to $3$ or more primes in an interval of fixed length?

Let $p_n$ be the $n$-th prime number, as usual:
$p_1 = 2$, $p_2 = 3$, $p_3 = 5$, $p_4 = 7$, etc.
For $k=1,2,3,\ldots$, define
$$
g_k = \liminf_{n \rightarrow \infty} (p_{n+k} - p_n).
$$
Thus the twin ...

78
votes

1
answer

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### The topology of Arithmetic Progressions of primes

The primary motivation for this question is the following: I would like to extract some topological statistics which capture how arithmetic progressions of prime numbers "fit together" in a manner ...

78
votes

0
answers

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### The exponent of Ш of $y^2 = x^3 + px$, where $p$ is a Fermat prime

For $d$ a non-zero integer, let $E_d$ be the elliptic curve
$$
E_d : y^2 = x^3+dx.
$$
When we let $d$ be $p = 2^{2^k}+1$, for $k \in \{1,2,3,4\}$, sage tells us that, conditionally on BSD,
$$
\# Ш(E_p)...

77
votes

9
answers

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### Irreducibility of polynomials in two variables

Let $k$ be a field. I am interested in sufficient criteria for $f \in k[x,y]$ to be irreducible. An example is Theorem A of this paper (Brindza and Pintér, On the irreducibility of some polynomials in ...

77
votes

5
answers

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### Inaccessible cardinals and Andrew Wiles's proof

In a recent issue of New Scientist (16 Aug 2010), I was surprised to read that a part of Wiles' proof of Taniyama-Shimura conjecture relies on inaccessible cardinals.
Here's the article
Richard Elwes,...

76
votes

3
answers

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### Czelakowski's claimed proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

It seems like the article "The Twin Primes Conjecture is True in the Standard Model of Peano Arithmetic: Applications of Rasiowa–Sikorski Lemma in Arithmetic (I)" by Janusz Czelakowski ...

76
votes

2
answers

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### Is it known that the ring of periods is not a field?

I have just learned here that we know numbers that are not periods; is it known meanwhile that the ring of periods is not a field? I know that it is conjectured that $1/\pi$ is not a period, but the ...

75
votes

4
answers

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### What are reasons to believe that e is not a period?

In their 2001 paper defining periods, Kontsevich and Zagier (pdf) without further comment state that $e$ is conjecturally not a period while many other numbers showing up naturally (conjecturally) are....

75
votes

1
answer

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### A number theory problem where pi appears surprisingly

For a given positive integer $M$, the sequence $\{a_n\}$ starts from $a_{2M+1}=M(2M+1)$ and $a_k$ is the largest multiple of $k$ no more than $a_{k+1}+M$, i.e.
$$a_k=k\left\lfloor\frac{a_{k+1}+M}{k}\...