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Topic: Sum the Divisors (9/13/2002) (Read 1909 times) 

william wu
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Sum the Divisors (9/13/2002)
« on: Sep 16^{th}, 2002, 1:50pm » 
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A Perfect Number is a positive integer equal to half the sum of all its divisors. Two examples are 6 = (1+2+3+6)/2 and 28 = (1+2+4+7+14+28)/2. All Perfect Numbers found over the past two and a half millenia are even; nobody knows whether odd Perfect Numbers exist. If either n = 1 mod 6 or n = 1 mod 4, show why n cannot be a Perfect Number. Note: In the modular arithmetic equations of the 2nd paragraph, the "=" symbol in this context means congruent to. The congruence symbol is drawn with three horizontal bars instead of two.

« Last Edit: Sep 16^{th}, 2002, 1:50pm by william wu » 
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Pietro K.C.
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Re: Sum the Divisors (9/13/2002)
« Reply #1 on: Sep 17^{th}, 2002, 12:41pm » 
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I think the "perfect number" definition is prettier if you say that the sum of all its proper (i.e. less than itself) divisors is equal to itself. Like 1+2+3 = 6. It makes you see better why the ancients thought studying them was worthwhile. But let's get to the problem. I just had an idea as I was writing on the "arithmetical progression" topic, which is the following: if you take a number n such that n = 3 (mod 4) and divide it by another number a = 1 (mod 4), the result (if it is an integer) is a number b = 3 (mod 4). Also, if a = 3 (mod 4), then b = 1 (mod 4). These properties are relatively easy to prove using modular congruencies. Also, note that if n = 3 (mod 4), it is odd, and hence cannot have any divisors congruent to 0 or 2 modulo 4, because these would be even numbers. What this means is that, for n = 3 (mod 4), and x a divisor of n, x + n/x = 0 (mod 4). Therefore, the sum of all n's divisors (including itself) is divisible by 4, and half of that is even. But n is not even. Hence half the sum of its divisors cannot be equal to itself, and n cannot be perfect. Q.E.D. The case where n = 5 (mod 6) can be treated similarly, but you must notice that n cannot have any divisors congruent to 0, 2, 3 or 4 modulo 6. The 1's and 5's have a similar property as that explored before.

« Last Edit: Sep 17^{th}, 2002, 9:44pm by Pietro K.C. » 
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Eigenray
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Re: Sum the Divisors (9/13/2002)
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24^{th}, 2003, 10:55pm » 
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Another way to do this, which gives a stronger result, is to write any odd integer n = prod pi^ai * prod qi^bi, where each pi == 1 mod 4, and each qi == 3 mod 4 are distinct primes. Then sigma(n) = prod (1+pi+pi^2+...pi^ai) * prod (1+qi+...qi^bi) sigma(n) == prod(1+ai) * prod (11+1...(1)^bi) (mod 4) 2n == 2 (mod 4) Therefore all bi's must be even (otherwise 4  sigma(n)), and so any odd perfect number is the sum of two squares. In particular, n==1 mod 4. Further, in order to have 2sigma(n), we must have at least one ai odd, but no more than one, otherwise 4sigma(n). Therefore any odd perfect number can be written in the form n = pm^2, where p is a prime 1 mod 4 (and further, ord_p(m) is even).


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